ADP’s Research Institute’s 50,000-respondent global survey found the most powerful predictors of retention, performance, engagement, and resilience, and inclusion did not include compensation, the place of work, or belief in the organization’s mission. While those factors played a supporting role, the following showed the highest positive correlation:
– Being excited about their work
– Getting to use their strengths every day
– Doing what they loved
Citing Lululemon as an example of an organization that practices Love+Work principles the article suggests:
– Replacing hierarchical career paths with moves that allow people to do what they love
– Allowing people to set their own goals
– Having once a week check-ins between team leaders and their people.
According to ADP’s research, weekly checkins that focus on four questions (identified in the article), can increase engagement by 77% and reduce voluntary turnover by 67%.
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The survey of 76 companies that reduced their number of meetings over the past 14 months found that new managers hold a third more meetings than experienced ones and that 92% of employees consider meetings a waste of time.
In addition to the 71% increase in productivity, a 40% reduction in meetings was also associated with:
– 78% increase in autonomy
– 57% increase in communication
– 52% increase in employee satisfaction
– 52% decrease in micromanagement
– 43% decrease in employee stress
– and more
The article offers the process by which they reduced the number of meetings at the participating organizations. It includes:
– Holding meetings only as a last resort—Instead use async methods of communication (i.e. chat, email, collaborative documents)
– Making attendance optional for some
– Encouraging employees to cancel meetings they didn’t feel were a good use of time
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Here are some of the highlights from this March 2022 survey.
Regarding work from home (WFH):
– 70% of Gen Z respondents but only 49% of Boomers said WFH improved their quality of life. Gen X and Millennial responses were between the two
– There was a similar distribution across age groups on reported improvements in productivity (63% for Gen Z, 49% for Boomers), job skills and knowledge (66% and 47%), and working relationships (57% and 39%)
– Nearly 80% of respondents felt their worklife balance improved with WFH (see report for generational breakdown)
– 64% said WFH saved them 4+ hours a week (see report for geographic breakdown)
– More than half felt their eating habits had improved across all countries (geographic breakdown available).
The report also provided interesting data on issues related to:
– Financial savings
– Well-Being and physical health impacts
– Stress and its components (across geographies)
– Preferences for remote/hybrid work across gender, seniority, generation, and geography
This McKinsey article shows improved D&I could improve with hybrid work, but unless practices change it may actually make things worse. Here’s the problem: Women, people with disabilities, and racial and gender minorities are disproportionately drawn to hybrid and remote work. In the McKinsey survey, among employees who prefer hybrid work, 71% say they are likely to look for other opportunities if hybrid is not offered at their current company. Underrepresented populations were disproportionately more likely to do so:*
– LGBQ+: 24% more likely than heterosexuals
– Blacks: 14% more likely than Whites
– Employees with disabilities: 14% more than those without
– Women: 10% more likely than men
If these groups are over-represented in the hybrid workforce and, —as many predict, proximity bias leads to greater career and compensation outcomes for in-office employees,—the wage and opportunity gap will widen. FYI, a recent SHRM study found that nearly 7 in 10 managers say they will likely favor office-based employees over those who work remotely.
* While the McKinsey survey base of 1,345 employees from North America, Europe, and Australia and (conducted in November of 2021) is a bit skinny for my taste, other research corroborates many of their findings.
We have had two years’ to see and understand that productivity is cultivated at an individual level, based on circumstances, needs and objectives. To try to put the genie back in the bottle and treat everyone as a homogenous ‘blob’, subject to blanket mandates, is truly stupid and will have bad consequences.”
The authors of the study found that the productivity of inventors, as measured by patents, declined 5% for every 10km increase in commute distance. Patent quality also declined with distance (down 7% for every 10km increase). The productivity loss was highest among top inventors (a 10% reduction). Unfortunately, the research did not extend to uncovering reasons for the decline.
Based on over 700 responses the NYT received on questions about the return to office and dozens of interviews, they conclude reticence has more to do with office culture than having to wear grown up clothes or working without your cat on your lap. Many Black employees, for example, have found working from home to be a reprieve from micro-aggressions and bias. Some felt working from home has leveled the playing field in terms of compensation and promotion by eliminating the presence over performance bias.
The respondents also want access to daylight, a quiet environment, and the ability to set the temperature in the room, but those are the easy things to fix. The oppression, bias, fear, and inequity issues are much more difficult and if we’re not careful, we will find ourselves with a workforce that is even more divided than it was before the pandemic.
This is big win for employee privacy, but Microsoft’s isn’t the only creepy employee surveillance tool on the market. Marketed under the guise of helping employees improve productivity, the use of tools like this increased more than 60% between April and June of this year.
In apoint/counterpoint, I wrote for SHRM, I tell the story of my daughter-in-law’s experience with keyboard tracking. She’s a 50-year-old Registered Nurse who makes decisions about whether medical procedures should be paid for by insurance. They give her two ten-minute breaks from her keyboard and thirty minutes for lunch. Outside those times, she gets dinged if her fingers aren’t moving fast enough. What about time to think? That’s important in her role, no?
Amazingly, there are no laws against this. As IOT applications proliferate, we need to be the guardians for how they’re used. Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should.
This HBR article offers practical tips for communicating in a more inclusive way. It’s based on study by Quantified Communications, a group that combines data and behavioral analytics to improve communication practices. The most inclusive leaders:
– Take time to understand their audience and tailor their messages in ways that are relatable
– Use second-person pronouns (you, your, yours) instead of “I” to shift the focus on others
– Speak with authority, not opinion
– Behave authentically, which the article defines as “acting the same way whether or not someone is looking”
The article offers good examples of inclusive vs. non-inclusive language.
Of note, the CEO of PepsiCo, Indra Nooyi, was rate #1 in authenticity.This YouTube videoof an interview with her has had over a million views.
Some feel strongly that a hybrid remote model is a recipe for disaster. The biggest problem with the mixed approach, they argue, stems from the potential for unequal treatment of remote workers. Instead, they recommend employers adopt either fully remote or fully in-office strategies.
Professor Raj Coundhury warns that making the transition to fully remote requires a wholesale transformation of work practices and processes; something that can take years to accomplish. His research and views are the subject of this month’s HBR cover story,Our Work-from-Anywhere Future.
I think the reality is most large organizations simply won’t be able to make the move to either extreme, particularly those that had a strong in-office culture before the pandemic. While hybrid-remote can introduce problems with equal treatment, it’s probably easier to fix those than to try to execute a complete change in their culture.
I get a regular newsletter from Korn Ferry. They’re always interesting, but this one really struck home; so much so that I wrote to the author—not realizing he was the CEO— and asked if there was a web address so I could share it. Surprisingly, he wrote back withthis link.
I think what touched me most, aside from an adorable puppy picture, is that it was so well written and so effectively communicated the importance of having a sense of purpose, particularly in difficult times. Try it, you’ll like it.
Allsteelsponsored a studyseveral years ago that found social cohesion as the factor most highly correlated to knowledge worker teams’ productivity. And in light of the significant challenges the pandemic has created both for businesses and their employees, the importance of social cohesion has only increased.
More recently, Allsteel has partnered withJeff Leitnerand developed a series of presentations and workshops designed to help organizations identify and redefine their social norms so they are a more positive force for their employees. Uncovering an organization’s social norm, is a powerful way to evaluate the relative strength of an organization’s social cohesion. A norm like ‘if you’re not at your desk you’re not working’ is a big red flag.
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The WMP program is designed for individuals with at least five years of professional experience in a relevant industry and a basic understanding of organizational structure but is open to anyone who wants to deepen their understanding of how to successfully transition organizations into the new world of work. Details about the various modules, webinars and workshops are provided here.
Over 60 participants (including FM & RE managers, A&D professionals, as well as HR & IT leaders) have taken the program in the past year. Here’s what they are saying:
“I took the Introduction to Workplace Management webinar and came to the conclusion that this program would benefit my career and professional advancement. So, I signed up for all the sessions and have shared with my NYC Chapter how valuable I am finding both the content and the interactive learning experience.’” Annette Vega, IFMA NYC Chapter President
Click herefor a pdf with details about the course contents.
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This is perhaps the largest and most rigorous study of remote work since the start of the pandemic. It’s based on a nationally representative survey of 10,332 U.S. adults (including 5,858 employed adults who have only one job or have multiple jobs but consider one to be their primary) and was conducted Oct. 13-19, 2020, using the Center’s American Trends Panel.
This new report offers extensive demographic details about whose working remotely, who wants to in the future, and what is and isn’t working based on gender, age, race, education, industry, and income. It’s well worth reading and validates much of what we already knew or suspected from prior surveys. Some of the more interesting findings include:
– 57% of Asian adults say the majority of their work could be done at home, versus 29% of Hispanics, 37% of Blacks, and 39% of Whites
– 38% of U.S. adults say they can do most or all of their work from home. Compatibility is highest among Women, Asians, Millennials, college graduates, and those with higher incomes.
– Half of parents say they are struggling with interruptions at home; men and women are about equally challenged
– Only about a third say they are worn out by video meetings
With the current debate about office versus WFH, why have offices and their commercial delivery model remained unchanged for decades? The pandemic has proved that traditional office space no longer serves the needs of the modern workforce. Could it be the case that we have reached a real inflection point today? The author of Where is My Office, Chris Kane, provides an optimistic and crisply argued case for a better future along with a compelling call for change.
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WE Advisory Board member, Chris Hood and Advanced Workplace Associate, Tanisha Krishnan ponder the role of the future office as one that is designed to support:
– Complex, fast-moving exchanges of information
– Hands-on creativity and innovation initiatives
– Specialized work that requires specialized equipment and technology
– People who can’t or do not want to work from home
– Social interaction, unstructured learning and knowledge transfer
– Hands-on help services
– Branded experiences with customers
But they also challenge the assumption that all of these activities require a traditional office setting. Instead, they offer suggestions for making more sustainable decisions around the place of work in the post-Covid-19 world.
Global Workplace Analytics collaborated with OwlLabs on a 4th annual State of Remote Work survey. In addition to the usual questions, they gathered insights on issues that had not been answered in the numerous other surveys particularly the issue of where employees stand on potentially divisive issues around:
– Remote monitoring
– Cost-of-living pay adjustments
– Who should be responsible for home office expenses
– Not being allowed to work remotely when the pandemic is over, and more
The survey also asked about:
– Top difficulties working from home
– Fears about career progression
– Money saved working from home
– Whether respondents would move if they were able to work from home permanently and whether they’d move to a suburban or rural area
– What training they need most
For some of the questions, the survey also looked at the difference in answers based on gender, age, and self-reported personality type (introvert or extravert).
Over 2k U.S. employees participated in the survey distributed by Qualtrics. You can download the 26-page reporthere.
There are three ways companies will emerge from the current crisis, better than they were before, the same, or worse. This article from Korn Ferry offers some great nuggets about the special importance of leadership and organizational culture right now. I especially like their idea for creating internal centers of excellence to share insights about technology solutions, managing remote workers, organizational purpose, and other concepts that will drive value.
“…respondents say it would have taken more than a year to implement the level of remote working that took place during the crisis. In actuality, it took an average of 11 days to implement a workable solution, and nearly all of the companies have stood up workable solutions within a few months.”
McKinsey queried 700+ executive about the impact of the pandemic on timeframe for adoption of various business changes. On average, it accelerated them by a factor of 25. In the case of remote work, they did in 11 days what would have otherwise taken them over a year. More than half think the shift will stick when the pandemic, but 23% expect work to go back to ‘normal.’