Anita had been working from home since the emergence of Covid 19. In the beginning, it seemed like a great practice, as she could keep an eye on her children, ensure they were at home and safe while she and her partner juggled chores. Twelve months of Work from Home (WFM) and she was a mental wreck. The stress of everyone at home studying or working, the demands on her time, both personal and professional, the lack of ‘my time’ and ‘my space’ had taken a heavy toll.
So, when they announced earlier in the year 2022, that employees were encouraged to come back to work, Anita was thrilled.
Day One was a reality check.
Only 50% of her colleagues were at work. The rest had chosen to continue to work from home for some more time.
Anita stayed glued to her desk, till a team member nudged her to go for lunch.
She came back home after a very long day, more dispirited and exhausted than ever.
As she closed her tired eyes in preparation of a good night’s sleep, Anita affirmed to herself that she would from tomorrow onwards take charge of her happiness at work, and definitely up the happiness quotient for herself, and consequently for everyone around her.
After a year of blurred time territories at home, where work began on time, but never seemed to end, Anita had gotten used to working without pause, taking breaks when convenient from the work perspective, never on any schedule. This had contributed to her overall breakdown.
At work in the office, she spent 10-15 minutes reviewing her goals and commitments and writing up a schedule including start and end timings/dates, in order of priority, with some room for flexibility. Organizing her work helped clear her head and made it easier for her to take breaks for coffee, bio-breaks, and short walks. The result? She felt grounded, calm, and found it easier to take decisions and execute work efficiently and effectively.
Being home-bound, Anita had gotten used to digital interactions with colleagues, leaving her a little flustered when having to interact with them in close physical proximity within the confines of an office. Having said that, only 50% of the workforce was back. No better time to reengage!
Anita decided she would walk across to her team members to discuss projects, and not do it over the phone. She encouraged face to face meetings. There was an instant shift in energy, as the atmosphere became charged, vibrant, with more positive and successful outcomes. The camaraderie, the connections, the energy exchange – the whole ecosystem of interpersonal communication enhanced engagement levels, leading to efficiencies in the system, and quality and timely deliverables.
Recognition during WFH was more often than not, delayed or perfunctory.
Anita made sure that good, hard, smart, discretionary work was recognized and rewarded, then and there. She started giving out spot award certificates to members of the team, for whom it was a great gesture of meaningful motivation, and for Anita the pure joy in giving and the happiness of gratitude.
Changing others – behavior, work patterns, attitudes – is the most challenging and unrewarding activity.
Anita sought to be the change. She started practicing behaviors which were professional – being punctual, completing work on time, keeping communication channels open, giving constructive solutions to seemingly difficult challenges, avoiding negative language, appreciating deserving colleagues, being firm with those erred, eschewing bias, avoiding knee-jerk reactions, being non-judgmental, staying approachable, demonstrating respect and courtesy in all interactions, and avoiding intruding into personal space.
A month into these interventions, and Anita felt she was in a great space – happy, focused, inspired, determined, energized – and excited to come to work every day.
At Jobs n Gigs, our ecosystem is one of transparency and trust – qualities that assure a happy environment. We make it a win-win for both talent and organizations when they partner with us!
Know more at https://jobsngigs.com/ ; we would love to engage!