Office life as you know it will never return, here's why | Vitamin J #1

Nina Gordon
|
April 22, 2020

In just a couple of weeks the entire working world has shifted from cushty office spaces to kitchen tables. And it may never go back, it’s a bell that can’t be unrung. A shakeup that will see leadership teams considering entirely new operational structures.  

Could the office go from zero to hero?

In a complete 180, companies may de-densify and rethink the open-plan office to create the physical distance employees will expect creating a choice: send more people to work from home permanently or get a bigger office? Many will choose to downsize their leases and look for more flexible office space.

Will the office suddenly become a signal that “hey, this is a company doing well, they’ve got cash to splash”?

Suddenly, it becomes a feature in the benefits section of job ads - and it’s not just the beanbags or ping pong table this time. Rather than free fruit and beer fridges companies looking to hire the best talent will advertise their methods of ensuring their employees WFH set up is fit for purpose. Perks include providing new hires with better cameras and headsets, paying for faster internet and supplying top-notch office chairs.

Going to the office is now a joyous experience, rare and exciting. A chance to catch up with colleagues, laugh at mistakes and celebrate wins. A time for letting go and chatting with colleagues who normally only get to see your game-face on zoom.

In a world where contact with your colleagues is limited to video calls, instant chat and project management platforms, does the office become a great humaniser and a place of comfort?

We’ll see.

This week’s dose of tools and tips are designed to enhance your WFH experience.

 

Toolkit, unlocked

Slash – This app only lets you do one thing at a time. The aim? Maximum productivity. Notifications are coming in thicker and faster than ever now everyone’s at home and it can be hard to know when to switch off. Use slash to eradicate interruptions and win back your time so you can have a guilt-free, animal crossing filled evening.

WFH like a pro - snippets from class

Here are some best bits from our classes to skill you up on remote working fast.

  1. When communicating with a remote team this is the order of preference: Video, Audio, Messenger and LASTLY email.
    Class: The Future of Work: How to Manage a Remote Team
  2. There are 4 imperatives for great project management: transparency, a data driven approach, ownership and measured impact.
    Class: Manage Projects Using Collaborative Platforms
  3. The more meetings employees take, the more stressed they feel and the higher they perceive their workload to be.
    Class: Run Productive Meetings
  4. Key results would be specific, metric driven and objectively gradable. You should be able to say if it’s been achieved or not without discrepancy.
    Class: OKRs: How to Set Business Goals that Aim for Success

To sign up to the full class search the name in the app. Not a member yet? Click here

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Staying productive in the "new normal" - Community Murmurs

Our student's learn from us, we learn from our students. Here are the takeaways from a recent Cereal Chatter - our community discussion-led breakfast events.

  1. Work output first, focus on hitting your goals and revel in the freedom which many WFH veterans have shared as a testament to their success. Remember the importance of routine though.
  2. One of our students shared the theory of Pajama Paralysis, which is a term used in the medical industry. It's believed patients recover slower when they stay in bed in their pj's. Get up, get dressed, get things done!
  3. Another shared that using a simple productivity planner keeps him accountable to his outputs. Check it out.
  4. We also discussed using social media to be SOCIAL instead of simply sharing our achievements and shiny moments. Switch your use of it, including your business page, to being more social. Use the DM feature, reply to stories, comment on people's posts and reach out to businesses or people you think might be affected by the situation and might want some words of encouragement.

The Library

What we've been reading this week:

How to Respect Your Team's Time While Working Remotely

Navigating Uncertainty: How To Stay Motivated And Proactive At Work

Why Brilliant People Take Breaks Often

Marie Kondo Is Back To ‘Spark Joy’ In Your Work

How To Actually Work Smarter, Not Harder


📚:  The 4 Pillar Plan - Ranjan Chatterjee

You've just read the first-ever Vitamin J 🤩 - we'd love your feedback, send nina.gordon@jolt.io and email to let us know what you thought.

We'll see you next week with another dose of tools, tips and tricks to keep you on track. Until then, have a wonderful week of government approved exercise in the sun ☀️

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So why do so few of us have creative breaks?

Because almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes. Including you.

Charles Darwin took long walks around London. Kurt Vonnegut made listening to jazz a daily priority. Fiona Apple disappeared for 6 years after the release of her third album.

So why do so few of us have creative breaks?
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I ask because I can often be found agonising over the "more". If only I posted on Instagram more, I'll think in the bath. I'd have more followers if I pitched to more publications. I need to post 2 more times a week, minimum. I could go on...

Between you and me, I've got frustrated with myself for browsing Facebook or watching too much TV more times than I can remember.

And I'm not alone. So many of us are terrified of taking a break, creatively speaking. We won't let a moment pass without listening to a podcast, consuming an article or sharing something.

The cognitive load is real, y'all.

But like Vitamin D, sleep and good food, it's not only ok to take a break, it's essential.

Living a successful life is also about knowing when not to work. For your best output, you need to focus on your input, too.

The world won't end if you disappear from the internet for a week or so. Your creativity won't suddenly stop. Your time is now, but your time was also then and it will be again.

Your dreams don't have an expiration date.

Many of us confuse being "busy" with being constructive. But you can only do your best work by taking breaks.

And science backs it up, too. The brain requires substantial downtime to do its most innovative thinking. The ideas you have while driving or in the shower aren't coincidental. They're a result of you taking a step back, whether you're aware of it or not.

Here's a challenge for you

Let yourself take a wonderful and indulgent break. Several breaks. Hell, get downright bored.

Put airplane mode on for a while. Sit down. Lie down. Be still. Do nothing. Observe. Listen to your mind. Let it do what it does without judging it.

Wallow in it. Don't be afraid of it. Push it as far as you can.

When you leave your laptop behind, something always happens. A new idea or a fresh perspective appears.

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"A spark of inspiration needs an empty cave."

Take proper breaks, often. Completely clear your mind. Your next best idea depends on it.

Are you a keeper?

Empower your team to go and shine.