Blog

Peter Thomson blogs regularly about the changing world of work and how WiseWork is helping organisations to benefit from new working practices. This site also hosts blog contributions from Wisework Partners and other guest bloggers..

Tip 10: Don’t forget to say “thank you” and “well done”

After two months of lockdown we are entering an even more challenging time for managers. When everyone had to work at home if at all possible and there was no choice, we all pulled together. It was an emergency and people were prepared to adapt and cope as best as they could. Now some people are able to come back to the workplace whilst others have good reasons to stay away. As more businesses open up, some children get back to school…

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Tip 9: Review your use of technology

If you were not already employing people working from home you will have had to send your staff into lockdown with whatever you had available. Fortunately many desktop computers had been replaced by laptops already and smartphones are now commonplace, so you have probably sorted out the hardware and software. The bigger question is not WHAT you are using but HOW it’s being used. We are used to using email as a way of sharing factual information even when working…

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Tip 8: Keep people involved in decisions

With everyone working from home and showing they can be trusted to get on with their work, it’s easy to forget to involve people in what else is going on. Back in the old days, when you were working alongside members of your team, you could casually ask their opinion on things. You might be having a coffee break and chatting about what’s on your mind or raise something in a team meeting to seek some additional views. You probably…

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Lockdown improves productivity – we will never go back

Despite the worst fears of managers, evidence is now growing that productivity hasn’t slumped because of the lockdown. In fact in many cases it has increased. People have saved time by not commuting, they waste less time in meetings and they can choose to work when they feel most productive. A survey of about 1,000 employers across theUK and Europe, carried out by Willis Towers Watson, found that only 15% of companies reported a moderate or large loss of productivity.…

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Tip 7 – Listen Carefully

We are in the middle of Mental Health Awareness week and now, more than ever, this is the time for managers to be listening to their employees. It’s difficult enough to know how some people are feeling at the best of times, and now is not the best of times! After seven weeks of lockdown some of the stresses of isolation are starting to show. People are desperate to get out and see friends, meet relatives and get back to normal.…

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Tip 6 – Use video where possible

Although we have not been able to have face-to-face meetings during the lockdown, we can still enjoy the next best thing. We can sit around a virtual table and discuss things almost as naturally as sitting in a real meting room. We have Zoom, Teams, Webex and many other video meeting tools readily available. Broadband connections are common and the Internet has held up well with the increased traffic. We are getting accustomed to using video in our personal lives. Whether it’s…

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Tip 5 – Review your need for meetings

It’s too easy to get into the habit of holding lots of meetings when we all work in the same place. Our calendars rapidly fill up with back-to-back meetings and we are rushing from one meeting room to another. Now all that has changed. We can still hold virtual meetings whilst working from home and we are now getting quite used to Zoom, Webex, Teams and all the other videoconferencing applications. But it has made us stop and think about…

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People versus profits

One month into the lockdown it’s becoming clearer that we are in this for the long run. There may be a partial easing of the restrictions in a week or two but until there is an effective treatment or vaccine many people will be putting themselves in danger if they return to their normal place of work. Leaders will be under pressure to get businesses running up to full capacity again and they will be faced with some difficult decisions.…

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Tip 4 – Keep the social aspects of work going

When people work together in the same place they form friendships, enjoy each other’s company and join together in social activities. From the casual cup of coffee through to the Christmas party most people feel they belong to a team when they share experiences together. For many their social life is centred on their friends at work. Now people are isolated away from their colleagues. What will substitute for the lunchtime conversation or the chat in the pub after work?…

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Tip 3 – Trust your people

Now more than ever you need to trust that people working from home will be getting on with the job. Just because they are out of sight of their manager that doesn’t mean they are sitting around watching television. It’s most likely that they are finding creative ways of getting work done without coming in to their usual workplace. Home working isn’t new. Thousands of people were working at least some of their time from home before the crisis. What’s…

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