Different ways of working – what are you wanting to change?

by | Aug 23, 2021

We have been adding articles to our website on how we work and on topical business challenges for several years now. Feedback has been positive although I recognise that we are all busy people and sometimes it is easier to read a LinkedIn post or scroll through your Twitter account. This led me to think about how business practices and ways of working are evolving at pace, particularly since the advent of the recent pandemic. I began to canvass feedback and, in some ways, I was quite surprised to learn that our articles are still popular, even though they take a little longer to read than less detailed social media posts. So, what should I be doing differently to make the most of the technologies and media choices available to me? I concluded that we need to retain our presence in the market and reiterate our service offer at every opportunity. And it soon became clear that some of our existing clients remembered us for what we used to do, rather than the much broader range of services our coaches deliver daily. Any suggestion by me that the articles may have run their course was met with disappointment. It seems that we frequently provide “food for thought” and encourage people to think a little differently about their challenges. I am extremely pleased that recent LinkedIn prompts, as well as my articles are keeping us connected, and I have concluded that they should not be discontinued anytime soon. This in turn got me thinking about what our colleagues retain about us as their co-workers. Do they remember us as the head and shoulders they have been chatting to for the past eighteen months or for the projects we have delivered together despite a pandemic? And do we now think of work as a series of interactions via Microsoft Teams? My sense is that some managers have suffered virtual meeting fatigue and crave the less regimented interactions that have popularised working from home. They are keen to experience the hum of collaboration and the need to take a step back when they overhear a disappointing conversation. In other words, they are ready to ditch the sometimes-one-dimensional management by screen in favour of some real time, in-person interaction. The notion of back-to-back meetings is not a new phenomenon, although it could be argued that during the pandemic we have developed more of a one-dimensional operating style while working. Guilt somehow creeps in when the diary shows daylight between appointments. Home schooling and other caring responsibilities aside, perhaps we have suspended (albeit temporarily) the need for multi-tasking and real time collaboration:
  • What has been your experience?
  • Has working in parallel given way to working in series (once again)?
  • Have thinking time, ideas generation and preparation been kicked into touch?
  • Have you missed being a butterfly?
  • Why not share your observations with us?
There are some commentators who would argue that focus and doing one thing well is preferable to numerous partly completed activities. This is certainly true for the more transactional occupations, or those which directly impact a customer interaction. While I agree in part, I prefer to work on several projects simultaneously, like many of our successful entrepreneurs. Sometimes I simply do not have all the required information to start at the beginning, although I can get work underway. Over time I have developed a knack of thinking creatively while working on more mundane tasks like rearranging electronic files. I call it multitasking and it keeps me motivated. What is your preference? Why not share your observations? It is unlikely that working practices will ever stand still although the impact of the pandemic on how we work and where we work has been huge. So, here’s yet more food for thought. I am encouraging corporate and individual clients (whatever their role or level) in the organisation to consider the past eighteen months and review their work highs and lows:
  • What have you learned about yourself and how you work?
  • Do you prefer to work in series or in parallel?
  • What have you enjoyed most of all/least of all?
  • What will you change about how you work?
  • How will you work differently with your colleagues?
  • What is your career goal?
If you would like to discuss your answers to these questions and change how you work or need to support your teams to work differently, our New Horizons Careers coaches are here to help you. We are eager to collaborate with you. Why not get in touch for a chat in confidence? Call us on 0044 (0)207 831 9843 to let us know how we can help, or send us a message now.