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Zoom fatigue is real and has four basic causes

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zoom fatigueThe much discussed idea of Zoom fatigue turns out to be a real phenomenon according to new peer reviewed research from Stanford academics. The study published in the American Psychological Association’s journal Technology, Mind, and Behaviour found that meetings conducted via video calls leave participants feeling more exhausted and emotionally drained than those held face to face. The study found the four most important factors that make video calls so exhausting; the constant need for eye contact, the ability to see one’s own face constantly during meetings, the need to sit still for long periods and difficulties in interpreting or communicating via body language.

Prompted by the recent boom in videoconferencing and people increasingly switching what would once have been phone calls to the technology, communication Professor Jeremy Bailenson, founding director of the Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab (VHIL), examined the psychological consequences of spending hours per day on these platforms. Just as “Googling” is something akin to any web search, the term “Zooming” has become ubiquitous and a generic verb to replace videoconferencing. Virtual meetings have skyrocketed, with hundreds of millions happening daily, as social distancing protocols have kept people apart physically.

In what is claimed to be the first peer-reviewed article that systematically deconstructs Zoom fatigue from a psychological perspective, Bailenson assessed Zoom on its individual technical aspects. He has identified four consequences of prolonged video chats that he says contribute to the feeling commonly known as “Zoom fatigue.”

Bailenson stressed that his goal is not to vilify any particular videoconferencing platform – he appreciates and uses tools like Zoom regularly – but to highlight how current implementations of videoconferencing technologies are exhausting and to suggest interface changes, many of which are simple to implement. Moreover, he provides suggestions for consumers and organisations on how to leverage the current features on videoconferences to decrease fatigue.

 

Four reasons

Excessive amounts of close-up eye contact is highly intense.

Both the amount of eye contact we engage in on video chats, as well as the size of faces on screens is unnatural. In a normal meeting, people will variously be looking at the speaker, taking notes or looking elsewhere. But on Zoom calls, everyone is looking at everyone, all the time. A listener is treated nonverbally like a speaker, so even if you don’t speak once in a meeting, you are still looking at faces staring at you. The amount of eye contact is dramatically increased. “Social anxiety of public speaking is one of the biggest phobias that exists in our population,” Bailenson said. “When you’re standing up there and everybody’s staring at you, that’s a stressful experience.”

Another source of stress is that, depending on your monitor size and whether you’re using an external monitor, faces on videoconferencing calls can appear too large for comfort. “In general, for most setups, if it’s a one-on-one conversation when you’re with coworkers or even strangers on video, you’re seeing their face at a size which simulates a personal space that you normally experience when you’re with somebody intimately,” Bailenson said.

When someone’s face is that close to ours in real life, our brains interpret it as an intense situation that is either going to lead to mating or to conflict. “What’s happening, in effect, when you’re using Zoom for many, many hours is you’re in this hyper-aroused state,” Bailenson said.

Solution: Until the platforms change their interface, Bailenson recommends taking Zoom out of the full-screen option and reducing the size of the Zoom window relative to the monitor to minimize face size, and to use an external keyboard to allow an increase in the personal space bubble between oneself and the grid.

 

Seeing yourself during video chats constantly in real-time is fatiguing.

Most video platforms show a square of what you look like on camera during a chat. But that’s unnatural, Bailenson said. “In the real world, if somebody was following you around with a mirror constantly – so that while you were talking to people, making decisions, giving feedback, getting feedback – you were seeing yourself in a mirror, that would just be crazy. No one would ever consider that,” he added.

Bailenson cited studies showing that when you see a reflection of yourself, you are more critical of yourself. Many of us are now seeing ourselves on video chats for many hours every day. “It’s taxing on us. It’s stressful. And there’s lots of research showing that there are negative emotional consequences to seeing yourself in a mirror.”

Solution: Bailenson recommends that platforms change the default practice of beaming the video to both self and others, when it only needs to be sent to others. In the meantime, users should use the “hide self-view” button, which one can access by right-clicking their own photo, once they see their face is framed properly in the video.

 

Video chats dramatically reduce our usual mobility.

In-person and audio phone conversations allow humans to walk around and move. But with videoconferencing, most cameras have a set field of view, meaning a person has to generally stay in the same spot. Movement is limited in ways that are not natural. “There’s a growing research now that says when people are moving, they’re performing better cognitively,” Bailenson said.

Solution: Bailenson recommends people think more about the room they’re videoconferencing in, where the camera is positioned and whether things like an external keyboard can help create distance or flexibility. For example, an external camera farther away from the screen will allow you to pace and doodle in virtual meetings just like we do in real ones. And of course, turning one’s video off periodically during meetings is a good ground rule to set for groups, just to give oneself a brief nonverbal rest.

 

The cognitive load is much higher in video chats.

Bailenson notes that in regular face-to-face interaction, nonverbal communication is quite natural and each of us naturally makes and interprets gestures and nonverbal cues subconsciously. But in video chats, we have to work harder to send and receive signals.

In effect, Bailenson said, humans have taken one of the most natural things in the world – an in-person conversation – and transformed it into something that involves a lot of thought: “You’ve got to make sure that your head is framed within the center of the video. If you want to show someone that you are agreeing with them, you have to do an exaggerated nod or put your thumbs up. That adds cognitive load as you’re using mental calories in order to communicate.”

Gestures could also mean different things in a video meeting context. A sidelong glance to someone during an in-person meeting means something very different than a person on a video chat grid looking off-screen to their child who just walked into their home office.

Solution: During long stretches of meetings, give yourself an “audio only” break. “This is not simply you turning off your camera to take a break from having to be nonverbally active, but also turning your body away from the screen,” Bailenson said, “so that for a few minutes you are not smothered with gestures that are perceptually realistic but socially meaningless.”

 

ZEF Scale

Many organisations – including schools, large companies and government entities – have reached out to Stanford communication researchers to better understand how to create best practices for their particular videoconferencing setup and how to come up with institutional guidelines. Bailenson – along with Jeff Hancock, founding director of the Stanford Social Media Lab; Géraldine Fauville, former postdoctoral researcher at the VHIL; Mufan Luo; graduate student at Stanford; and Anna Queiroz, postdoc at VHIL – responded by devising the Zoom Exhaustion & Fatigue Scale, or ZEF Scale, to help measure how much fatigue people are experiencing in the workplace from videoconferencing.

The scale, detailed in a recent, not yet peer-reviewed paper advances research on how to measure fatigue from interpersonal technology, as well as what causes the fatigue. The scale is a 15-item questionnaire, which is freely available, and has been tested now across five separate studies over the past year with over 500 participants. It asks questions about a person’s general fatigue, physical fatigue, social fatigue, emotional fatigue and motivational fatigue. Some sample questions include:

  • How exhausted do you feel after videoconferencing?
  • How irritated do your eyes feel after videoconferencing?
  • How much do you tend to avoid social situations after videoconferencing?
  • How emotionally drained do you feel after videoconferencing?
  • How often do you feel too tired to do other things after videoconferencing

If you are interested in measuring your own Zoom fatigue, you can take the survey here and participate in the research project.

Image by Regina Störk 

The post Zoom fatigue is real and has four basic causes appeared first on Workplace Insight.

Originally posted at: https://workplaceinsight.net/zoom-fatigue-is-real-and-has-four-basic-causes/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=zoom-fatigue-is-real-and-has-four-basic-causes

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4 Reasons Young Workers Are Most At Risk Of Injury

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Work health & safety is an important part of any HR policy, and all businesses have a duty of care and legal requirement to train their staff in best practices. But what you might not be as aware of is the attention and awareness that is needed for one of the most at-risk sections of your workforce – your young workers.

Young workers (aged 15-24) are engaged in the workforce in a number of ways, including part-time and full-time employment, casual employment and volunteering, and apprenticeships and traineeships.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of expecting young workers to know how to look after themselves and colleagues when it comes to workplace safety. However, this is not the case at all. Remember back to what it was like in the first few weeks of your very first job – how much did you think about safety, risks and hazards back then?

Young workers have one of the highest work-related injury rates of any age group (ABS 2017-18). This is second only to those towards the end of their work careers.

For HR professionals, business managers, team leaders and health and safety specialists, understanding young worker safety is critical to a safe and confident workplace.

Here are 4 reasons your young workers are most at risk of serious injury, and what employers can do to protect them.

1. Their physical & cognitive abilities are still growing

This may appear obvious in theory, but it’s easy to forget when you’re running a busy workforce and business: workers who are 25 years or younger lack the same physical attributes and cognitive skills as older staff.

In fact, the human brain is not fully developed until your age reaches the mid-20s.

This can have different impacts in each role and industry, but it might not be what you think. Manual labour work still requires cognitive thinking for safety and different situations. Hospitality work might seem straight-forward and easy on the body, but staff new to the workforce need time to learn spatial awareness, balance and confidence behind the bar.

It all starts before workers even start on day 1. Online safety inductions are one of the best ways to prepare workers with practical, job-specific safety training so they start work with safety in mind. This can be completed in their own time without being on site, and can be tracked and monitored digitally.

All employers have a duty of care to their whole workforce to provide industry-standard, compliant safety training. It means all new workers, including those who are younger, are beginning their roles with confidence that their health and wellbeing is being looked after.

2. They lack experience & maturity

When you don’t have years of work experience to draw from or the maturity that you can only get from learning from your mistakes, your daily performance is at a low standard.

Older workers have faced and learned from a wide range of work risks, hazards and sometimes previous injuries. They know the personal impact, the professional repercussions that come from particular decisions you can make in a work setting. Most importantly, they also gravely understand the importance of speaking up and reporting risks to management.

You should assume that your younger staff members lack experience and maturity, regardless of how much they may appear to show they have already. Although sometimes true, it’s easy to be deceived.

When they begin on the job, don’t assume what they know. Take extra time to understand exactly where they’re at, and monitor their progress.

workpro young worker safety

3. Ineffective training & inductions

One of the factors of young worker injuries that can fly under the radar is an ineffective history of training and inductions.

If you are hiring staff aged 16-20 they could be entering the workforce for the first time. If this is the case, you don’t have to worry about their previous training or inductions from other businesses. But it does mean you have to ensure they’re well supported and their first safety training and inductions are more comprehensive and suitable.

For those joining your company with a few items on their resume already, it pays to assume they haven’t received effective training before. A young worker might tell you they have completed bullying & discrimination training in the past, for example. In this case, it’s easy for many employers to wrongly trust the information and ignore a formal training program.

Always ensure you put every young staff member (and all other staff) through induction and training you can record. If you’re using an online eLearning solution, you may be able to check if someone has completed training on that platform with another employer. If they have, you can validate it quickly and have the young worker start even faster with written evidence of where they’re at with their safety knowledge and skills.

4. They need more supervision & mentoring support

Young workers often need increased hands-on support and guidance than other staff to help them grow confidence at work with personal safety.

This can be accelerated faster in your workplace by ensuring they receive suitable supervision from a manager or team leader, as well as mentoring support or buddy assistance from one of their colleagues.

If left to their own devices, young workers don’t feel as comfortable as older team members asking small and ‘silly’ questions as they arise. These can be the little safety and WHS hazards that mean the difference between a serious personal injury, or a simple safety report filled out.

Many of us learn right from wrong through experience. Supervision ensures they pick up the nuances and knowledge to build a well-rounded safety skill set. If you are proactive about safety and lead by example, they will follow.

WorkPro’s eLearning platform makes young worker health & safety simple to deliver, track and manage. For more tips and strategies to keep your young workers injury-free, download our free Young Worker Safety e-Book.

Originally posted at: https://www.workpro.com.au/4-reasons-young-workers-are-most-at-risk-of-injury/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=4-reasons-young-workers-are-most-at-risk-of-injury

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God’s Work: Labor in the Church

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In this episode, we talk to Rev. Lindsey Joyce of the United Church of Rogers Park in Chicago and the Institute for Christian Socialism. We discuss Pastor Joyce’s life and path to being a full-time pastor and the community she serves. We also discuss the work of ministry: What is it like to be a worker who works in the church? What is the relationship between the higher calling?—?the vocation of being a pastor?—?and the daily labor that goes into fulfilling that role in the church and the community?

This blog originally appeared at In These Times on February 26, 2021. Reprinted with permission.

About the Author: Maximillian Alvarez  is a writer and editor based in Baltimore and the host of Working People, ?“a podcast by, for, and about the working class today.” His work has been featured in venues like In These Times, The Nation, The Baffler, Current Affairs, and The New Republic.

The post God’s Work: Labor in the Church first appeared on Today’s Workplace.

Originally posted at: https://www.workplacefairness.org/blog/2021/02/26/gods-work-labor-in-the-church/

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Texas and Florida, Defying CDC Guidance, Aren’t Prioritizing Vaccination of Farmworkers

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Despite Centers for Disease Control recommendations, a few states with large farmworker populations have not prioritized Covid-19 vaccinations for farmworkers. 

Because farmworkers risk Covid-19 exposure in the course of their jobs, the CDC proposed that they should be near the front of the vaccination line. But Texas and Florida, which have large farmworker populations, have not included farmworkers in their initial rollouts, according to state documents.

Farmworker advocates said the people who pick and process the fruits and vegetables consumers rely on should become inoculated from the virus. During the pandemic, farmworkers have been forced to choose between protecting their lives and keeping their jobs.

“We believe that farmworkers should be a high priority for vaccine distribution because of their essential work and because of the high risk of exposure in the agricultural workplace,” said Alexis Guild, Director of Health Policy and Programs at Farmworker Justice.

In Texas, people who are old enough and have a history of illness are the priority, and that could include agricultural workers, said Douglas Loveday, Texas Department of State Health Services spokesman.

“Right now, agricultural workers 65 and older and those with underlying chronic illnesses that can lead to several illness or death if infected by Covid-19 can be vaccinated,” he said. ?“Discussions on future priority groups have begun, but nothing has yet been decided.”

Across the U.S., most farmworkers are not over 65. According to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average age of farmworkers is 39, with over half being younger than 44.

This past summer, Marco Antonio Galvan Gomez, a 49-year old agricultural worker, died from Covid-19 a few weeks after arriving in Texas.

Similarly, only people 65 years old and older, long-term care facility residents and health care personnel are authorized to receive vaccines in Florida, even though farmworkers in the state have been hit hard by Covid-19. For instance, the Immokalee community in southern Florida, known as the capital of tomato production in the U.S., had dozens of deaths over the summer.

Florida’s health department did not return requests for comment.

During the pandemic, farmworkers have been forced to choose between protecting their lives and keeping their jobs. At least 22 farmworkers have died from Covid-19, according to data from the National Center for Farmworker Health. 

As essential workers, farmworkers ?“were required to continue to work throughout the pandemic, but they often have been excluded from protections at the national and state level,” said Kara Moberg, attorney at Farmworker Legal Services of Michigan.

More than half lack health insurance, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s 2016 National Agricultural Workers Survey. Many employers don’t provide it.

Many workers also live in employer-provided accommodations?—?often in cramped housing with limited options for social distancing. Among those who don’t live in these facilities, it’s also common to live in crowded conditions.

“For workers who do not work or who do not live in employer-provided housing, they still tend to live in crowded housing conditions because of their low wages,” said Alexis Guild of Farmworker Justice. ?“So it’s very hard for them to socially isolate, socially distance.”

An October study by researchers from the University of California San Diego found that farmworkers, especially those who do not speak English and live in poverty, ?“may be at heightened risk for Covid-19 mortality in non-urban counties.”

All states’ distribution plans for vaccines follow a phased approach, but that differs from state to state.

The phases are decided based on vaccine availability. People in groups 1a, 1b and 1c (or equivalent) will receive the vaccine when the supply is limited. As vaccine availability increases, people in the next phases will be able to receive vaccinations, according to the CDC.

The problem with the CDC guidelines is that, similar to safety protections for workers, there is no federal standard for vaccine prioritization, said Jared Hayes, policy analyst for the Environmental Working Group. This is especially problematic for a workforce that frequently moves across state lines, he said.

“One challenge, especially with regard to farmworkers, many of whom are undocumented, is ensuring that they have access to the vaccine,” he said. ?“We’ve seen how badly the vaccine rollout (has been). Imagine how complicated it would be to vaccinate a workforce that is undocumented and migratory.” 

Problems with access, even if states prioritize farmworkers

Most states have followed CDC recommendations on farmworkers, but advocates worry it will be challenging to get the vaccine to them.

North Carolina, plans to vaccinate farmworkers and other frontline essential workers in the state’s Group 3 (equivalent to the CDC’s 1c phase), following healthcare workers and people 65-years old or older, which belong to Groups 1 and 2 respectively, according to the state’s vaccination plan.

As of Feb. 16, only Groups 1 and 2 were eligible to receive vaccines.

“The way that things are rolling out in North Carolina and just the timing of everything, we haven’t really gotten there yet,” said Justin Flores, vice president of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC), which represents tens of thousands of agricultural workers in the South and Midwest.

In the Midwest, the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center, which ?“represents hundreds of food and agricultural workers across the state,” complained that these workers are ?“currently not scheduled to receive vaccines until May,” according to an online statement.

Even though agricultural workers are classified as part of phase 1b in the state?—?which meant they were scheduled to receive vaccines as early as mid-January?—?they are not expected to receive vaccination until more than three months after the phase begins, according to Michigan’s prioritization guidance.

Mistrust of authorities, immigration status may lead to few vaccinations

Another problem that advocates see is that a combination of mistrust, fear and misinformation might lead farmworkers to avoid looking for vaccinations in the first place.

“The issue of distribution is really complicated and there’s a lot of fear in many communities,” said Guild, of Farmworker Justice. ?“We’ve heard from our partners on the ground, we’ve heard of mistrust and fears around vaccines.” 

According to some advocates, the role of community organizations in educating and providing critical information will be crucial in the next few months.

“Relying on expecting farmworkers to go to the CVS or a medical health clinic won’t be enough,” Hayes, of the Environmental Working Group, said. ?“We’re going to need to lean on the non-profit organizations that have always served farmworkers to ensure that they actually have access to the vaccine.”

Another reason why agricultural workers are in a vulnerable position with regard to vaccine access is that many of them lack legal immigration status, advocates said.

Roughly half of all farmworkers lack legal immigration status, according to the USDA.

Despite this, some advocates are hopeful that immigration status won’t affect farmworkers’ access to vaccination.

“We certainly hope and it seems to be that immigration status will not be a factor when it comes to the vaccine. We also hope to see the vaccine being free of charge, regardless of immigration status, or regardless of insurance status,” Guild said.

In a press release, the Department of Homeland Security encouraged undocumented workers to get vaccinated, stating that ?“U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection will not conduct enforcement operations at or near vaccine distribution sites or clinics.”

“It is a moral and public health imperative to ensure that all individuals residing in the United States have access to the vaccine. DHS encourages all individuals regardless of immigration status, to receive the Covid-19 vaccine once eligible under local distribution guidelines,” the department said.

North Carolina is not checking immigration status during vaccinations, but some residents told the News & Observer they were still scared to get the vaccine.

In Nebraska, despite the federal government’s emphasis on reaching undocumented workers, Governor Pete Ricketts said in January that only documented workers will receive the vaccine.

Neither the governor’s office nor Nebraska’s health department responded to a request for comment.

Editor’s Note: The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting is a nonprofit, online newsroom offering investigative and enterprise coverage of agribusiness, Big Ag and related issues through data analysis, visualizations, in-depth reports and interactive web tools. Visit us online at inves?ti?gatemid?west?.org

This blog originally appeared at In These Times on February 26, 2021. Reprinted with permission.

About the Author: Frank Hernandez is a senior at the University of Texas at El Paso, majoring in philosophy and multimedia journalism. Previously, he reported for Bor?derzine?.com, an online news magazine covering life on the U.S.-Mexico border.

The post Texas and Florida, Defying CDC Guidance, Aren’t Prioritizing Vaccination of Farmworkers first appeared on Today’s Workplace.

Originally posted at: https://www.workplacefairness.org/blog/2021/02/26/texas-and-florida-defying-cdc-guidance-arent-prioritizing-vaccination-of-farmworkers/

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The Secret in Building a Highly Motivated Team

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The Secret in Building a Highly Motivated Team

Building a highly motivated team is not that easy.

And if you’re running a team in a fast-paced environment, this is even harder. You’ll have to consider so many factors to even get close.

But one thing is for sure, no longer does a one size fits all leadership model really work especially if you want your team to be highly motivated.

We can’t treat everyone the same and expect that everything will just “work out” somehow. If you’re a first time manager, check out this post to get more insight.

Managers and leaders must have a framework with which to manage their workers in a way that respects everyone’s unique and specific position on the job.

Empowered leadership is the way to do just that.

Empowered leadership shares the power between management and the front-line employees, thus empowering both groups.

You’ve heard it all before. The manager who doesn’t delegate because of lack of trust and instead of empowering his team, becomes a control-freak.

Unfortunately this is brought about by the lack confidence and the fear that they are going to lose something – credibility, control, respect etc.

When, it does the opposite.

Think about it.

When people rule with an iron hand, they generally instill fear in those who work for them.

Do you do your best work when you are afraid? I don’t know about you but I will attempt to comply because I want to avoid negative consequences, but it certainly won’t be my best work.


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The absolute best a manager can hope for with coercion is compliance. If compliance is enough, then coercion might work.

However, I will gripe and complain and quietly wait for opportunities to get even.

I won’t have a kind thing to say about my employer and at every available chance will seek corroboration for how I feel from my co-workers, thus spreading an “us” versus “them” mentality.

And the best time to start empowering your team is as soon as you become a first-time manager.

Without fear, their minds can be creative and innovative.

When managers are willing to accommodate special requests and it doesn’t interfere with product or service delivery, then their team will be sure to give back their best in return.

Giving away power only increases a manager’s power.

Now, I am not talking about being a total pushover and only advocating for what employees want.

As a manager, you have a two-fold job—you are to represent your employees’ desires, opinions and suggestions to management while at the same time communicating management’s issues, concerns and expectations to your employees.

This is not an easy line to walk.

You will never get the best from your employees if they don’t respect you.

You cannot be a doormat for your employees to walk over. If they believe you have no bottom line or non-negotiables, then they will never be satisfied and always asking for more.


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You will feel used and abused and the truth is, you asked for it.

Don’t fall into this trap.

As a manager, you must hold the bar high.

Set the standards and lead by example. If your workers see you giving it your all, it will be difficult for them to perform below standard.

You must have production goals you are attempting to meet for either products or services.

Always enlist the help of your employees to set the goals, with the underlying premise being continuous improvement.

And as a manager, you have the responsibility to create a need satisfying workplace for yourself and your workers.

You cannot emphasize one to the exclusion of the other without there being undesirable consequences.

When you focus on production only and forget the human capital, you will end up with resentful, resistant, angry team.

On the other hand, when you only focus on the people end and allow production goals to be compromised; you will have a team who do everything they can to take advantage and to get out of doing the work.

After all, if you the manager don’t value production, why should they?

Somewhere in the middle, when you are walking that very fine line between relationships and production goals, you are practicing empowered leadership and that’s where you will get the most from your employees.

Summary


Building a highly motivated team starts with you especially when you practice empowered leadership. Empowered leadership brings out the best in your team and increases their level of engagement and sense of purposes. Not only will your team surprise you with results but also amaze you with consistent behavior. Take the time to be more critical of your actions especially as you practice empowered leadership every day.

About Daisy Casio

Daisy is the creator of ChampLeaders. She has a husband, a toddler, a passion for travel and love for learning something new everyday. She writes about Leadership, motivation and many more. Daisy hopes to share her mantra on being positive and living your best self in the now.

The post The Secret in Building a Highly Motivated Team appeared first on ChampLeaders.

Originally posted at Champleaders

Cartoon Coffee Break: Defining a Work From Home Policy

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Editor’s Note: This post is part of our “Cartoon Coffee Break” series. While we take talent management seriously, we also know it’s important to have a good laugh. Check back regularly for a new ReWork cartoon.

 

Even before the pandemic upended employees’ daily routines, workers craved flexibility. A 2018 survey found that almost a third of workers valued it more than extra vacation time or higher job titles. And beyond helping companies attract and retain employees, flexible workplace policies make companies more agile and save them money.

Nontraditional work setups due to the pandemic have shown that people need flexibility more than ever—and more than just the ability to work from home. Take a closer look at what flexibility really means when crafting work from home policies for your company. 

Flexibility in the Workplace Means Different Things to Different People

Not everyone is looking for the same thing when it comes to having a flexible work arrangement. Some people may want to work from a geographical location not tied to a physical office, while others might work most efficiently outside of the typical 9-to-5, or even with their hours distributed across more or fewer days per week. Others might actually prefer having a dedicated office space outside their home to visit, even if it’s not five days per week.

The need for flexibility can come from many different places. For some, it’s about remaining productive or meshing with their best workstyles—perhaps working better at certain hours of the day or in specific environments. Others might need flexibility—whether of location, hours or accomodation—in order to care for dependents or manage a disability. 

Establish Clear Boundaries Around Flexible Work

Having flexible work policies doesn’t—and shouldn’t—mean that you expect your employees to be available around the clock (or while, say, on a hike!). When considering flexible work schedules for your employees, emphasize and establish boundaries to avoid employee burnout and help them maintain a work-life balance. Encourage employees to set away messages, pause chat or email notifications or block time on their calendars when they are not available.  After all, trust is key to a strong manager-employee relationship: Focus on measuring the results of your employees’ work rather than micromanaging their daily behaviors. 

Finding the Best Work from Home Policy For Your Team

Crafting work from home policies will not necessarily be one-size-fits-all—you’ll likely have to make some exceptions. Know what factors are likely to impact your employees’ ability to complete work and where logistical challenges might pop up—such as managing time zones with colleagues or clients, or completing collaborative work. 

Ultimately, flexibility is still one of the most important factors people consider when deciding whether to accept or remain at jobs. As you develop policies moving forward, understand what flexibility really means for your company. 

Read more about how to measure productivity to find the best flexible work situations for your organization.

 

Originally posted at: https://www.cornerstoneondemand.com/rework/cartoon-coffee-break-defining-work-home-policy

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6 leadership styles: how and when to apply them on your team

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abstract mountains at night

There are many theories about different leadership styles. Our favorite is Daniel Goleman’s theory of “6 leadership styles” discussed in his book, Primal Leadership. Why do we like it? Because it doesn’t only focus on hard skills, and we agree that great leaders are emotionally intelligent and human at the core. In this article, we will take you on a spin of the 6 different styles you are bound to use as a manager.

💡 You should know: There isn’t one style that fits all. The leadership style you use will change depending on different situations. As a manager, it’s up to you to gauge which leadership style will best suit your team, and when.

The 6 leadership styles, what are they and when to apply them

First off, leadership styles refer to the behaviours that leaders adopt to interact with their their teams. Let’s look into 6 different styles!

1. The visionary leader

The visionary leadership style creates momentum toward a shared vision. This style is about getting your team aligned towards their North Star.

  • Key elements: encouragement of innovation, experimentation and action.
  • When should you apply it: Adopt this style when the requirement for direction becomes extremely urgent.
  • Importance: Unclear direction often results in a lack of motivation and employee engagement. Visionary leadership helps to shape up teams who have lost sight of their goals and increase their understanding of where they need to go next.

For example: At Officevibe, our mission is to empower managers to lead successful teams. A common understanding and reminder of this vision ensure that the work we do coincides with the products we create.

How to become a visionary leader:

  • Be bold. Don’t be afraid to try new things and experiment.
  • Get comfortable with the prospect of failing forward.
  • Pinpoint one ambitious goal that the whole team can contribute towards.
  • Keep track of tasks moving you towards your direction, or away from it. Adjust accordingly.
  • Communicate with. motivation the team’s vision and set clear team expectations
  • Visionaries delegate. Ask your team for help. Encourage them to share their strengths and express diverse perspectives

2. The coaching leader

Coaching leaders adopt a coaching mentality to help develop the skill set of their employees and encourage them to shine their strengths by living out their potential. Part of being a coach is helping others to evolve into their role, feel challenged and supported.

  • Key elements: encourages improvement and confidence.
  • When should you apply it: especially in growing teams, as work gets more complex, you’ll team will need more than clear objectives. They will need your encouragement to grow their skills and abilities so that they grow confidence in their ability to perform.
  • Importance: A great manager and leader strives for balance to avoid a micromanaging mentality. Provide the right tools and resources available for employees to feel set up for success. This styles also helps you to develop a strong connection with your teams.

For example: Managers at Officevibe love our 1-on-1’s feature because it allows managers to schedule regular check-ins and continuously keep career-goal conversations. Our teams are not only working to complete a to-do list. They work together to become the best at what they do.

How to become a coaching leader

  • Host frequent 1-on-1s with your team. 
  • Provide thoughtful feedback that encourages employees’ strengths. 
  • Reflect with each team member and specify what they’re doing well, to reach their full potential.

If you’re looking for a tool that can automate feedback in your team, try Officevibe for free! Our science-based questions will get you all the insights you need to prioritize your team’s needs.

3. The affiliative leader

Affiliative leadership happens when a leader feels comfortable building connections throughout the company. The focus is to create a harmonious workplace, one where employees can feel as though they have achieved team chemistry and a level of comfort with one another.

  • When should you apply it: if you sense a lack of connection between teams. This style is very important in a remote work context, where we could easily work in silos and find ourselves disconnected from what is going on.
  • Importance: Resolving team conflict is a hallmark of the affiliative leader. They support teams and develop those who have been working in silos.

For example: With the rise of the pandemic, we decided to take a stand and go digital-first. However, the leaders of our organization didn’t want to lose the sense of connection that made our team culture so great for so long. By using Officevibe to collect feedback and by working together, our leaders rose to the occasion. With the insights they received, they developed a full plan to keep our teams well and connected.

How to become an affiliative leader

  • Build a culture of recognition. When employees feel valued, they are more likely to contribute and build meaningful connections.
  • Facilitate employee bonding. Host regular team-building activities that highlight individuals’ strengths and communication styles.
  • Be open about difficult conversations. Make sure that you provide a supportive and safe environment to promote vulnerability within the team.
  • Moderate conversations and encourage transparency and kindness as a baseline.

4. The democratic leader

In democratic leadership, the manager knows how to collaboratively implement inclusive next steps and focuses on building healthy progress for everyone, at all levels.

  • Key elements: a strong sense of collaboration, problem-solving, process management and implementation.
  • When should you apply it: This approach is helpful in situations where everyone’s input is required to support decisions and strategic planning that will affect the whole team.
  • Importance: Collective intelligence promotes diverse solutions. This leadership style can help your team work together towards common goals, and find efficient ways to do so.

For example: Officevibe has grown really quickly over the years. Without our managers actively working on implementing structures and processes that make sense to our team dynamics, we wouldn’t be able to keep with the pace of work. Managers make sure that everyone has access to the teams and tooling they need to do their job.

How to become a democratic leader

  • Trust your employees are there to support each other as well as yourself. You hired smart people who are capable of big things, empower them.
  • Be clear with your communication style and expectations.
  • Identify clear objectives and provide a strong foundation of ideas for the team to brainstorm upon.
  • Run a qualitative pulse survey to observe data-driven results that can help drive decisions.
  • Consider each idea equally and be clear on why or why not it is being considered in your next steps.

5. The pacesetting leader

A pacesetting leader focuses on concrete goals that are set for their team. Pacesetting leaders have high expectations of the team and are fast-paced in their demands. They should balance their high-intensity leadership with a strong recognition plan.

  • When should you apply it: this style is most effective with short-term goals. It’s wise to first address if this level of pressure is conducive to the success of your team.

For example: If there is something we have learned first hand, it’s that business as usual never goes as usual. Things can change overnight. New direction and mandates need to be quickly implemented. It is during times of change that we need pacesetting leaders to rise up and lead the way while trusting their teams to perform.

How to become a pacesetting leader

  • Explain that this is a temporary measure and be clear about why this is being adopted. 
  • Give visibility around timelines and let them know that this won’t last forever. 
  • Share results. Underline what had a positive impact and how they contributed.
  • Recognize your team for their efforts. It’s equally important to recognize individuals and the collective team.

6. The commanding leader

Simply put, this leadership behavior promotes a fear based mentality.

This approach can come across as harsh and typically leaves a negative footprint on a company’s culture. To say it bluntly, those who lead with fear are regarded as ineffective. 

It’s generally recommended to avoid using this style altogether unless it is in a state of emergency when you need to quickly make decisions, even if they are unpopular.

If you feel like you have been leading with his style, we recommend:

  • Instead of demanding and ordering your team around, try inspiring them, leading with vulnerability, empathy and collaboration.
  • Instead of micro-managing your team, create a safe space for effective 1-on-1 conversations.
  • Instead of focusing on weaknesses and objectives that were not met, try focusing on strengths, potential, growth and progress.

Finding a different leadership style that suits your team will encourage a well rounded and productive team. Below are some key takeaways that will allow you to make your mark as a great leader to bring about transformational impact.

Key takeaways about leadership styles

  • Fluctuate between different leadership styles. Effective leaders find the most relevant way to manage their team. Notice that each style has a way of impacting your team differently.
  • A good leader knows when to ask for help. The weight of the world doesn’t have to fall on your shoulders, your team is there to support you, too.
  • A clear mark of an effective and great leader is that they inspire others to be great: give your team the space to thrive and grow.
  • Continuous learning is a part of the journey. Building your own emotional intelligence will only further develop your skills in addition to those of the people who look to you for leadership.
  • The best approach to understanding the need of applying different styles falls on the concept of “servant leadership”. Your leadership style should have the intent to help and support. As long as you keep that mentality, you will do great things for your team.

Officevibe empowers managers to build productive teams who enjoy showing up to work. If you’re not sure where to start, our pulse surveys help clarify the needs of your team so you can build an effective, customized experience. Try it for free!

Originally posted at: https://officevibe.com/blog/different-leadership-styles

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UKGBC launches framework for defining social value

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frameworkThe UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) has published a Framework for Defining Social Value in the Built Environment, designed to help built environment practitioners define and deliver social value on their projects. Social value is often considered especially hard to define for built environment projects, as each project serves a different community with their own unique set of requirements. 

UKGBC’s latest guidance responds to this challenge by setting out a high-level definition of social value for the built environment as a whole, before providing a framework for defining social value for any individual project or place. The guidance also includes a process and principles for delivering social value across the asset lifecycle.

This new guidance has been developed in response to growing interest in social value from both within and beyond the built environment industry. At a national level, the Government’s Social Value Model – signals this direction by presenting a new measurement framework which aims to maximize the additional societal benefits that can be achieved in awarding central government contracts.

The Framework for Defining Social Value in the Built Environment has been developed in collaboration with a task group of experts from across the industry. It was also informed by a consultation run by UKGBC last year, which received 78 responses.

John Alker, Director of Policy and Places at UKGBC: “The built environment has the power to shape our lives in profound ways, and by placing social value at the heart of decision-making, we can unlock the benefits that the built environment brings to our quality of life. Now more than ever our communities are in need of support, and as a sector, we must sharpen our focus on how we create social value and unlock the benefits of high-quality, sustainable development.

“This new framework is important because it supports built environment practitioners in understanding what best practice social value delivery looks like for their projects and contributes to a growing professional discipline around social value for the sector. UKGBC will continue to build on this work in the coming years in collaboration with our members and the wider industry.”

“The built environment has the power to shape our lives in profound ways.”

Ana Bajri, Senior Specialist- Property Standards at RICS: “RICS professionals working in the built and natural environment play a critical role in the development and delivery of social value solutions globally. It is a key priority for many of our firms.

“With a clear framework for defining social value, the built environment industry is able to understand and enhance the value that high quality, sustainable development brings to communities. At RICS we are committed to working in the public interest and will continue to support initiatives that create clarity and drive positive change.”

Image:UKGBC

The post UKGBC launches framework for defining social value appeared first on Workplace Insight.

Originally posted at: https://workplaceinsight.net/ukgbc-launches-framework-for-defining-social-value/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=ukgbc-launches-framework-for-defining-social-value

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Workers hatred of Mondays and Fridays threatens post Covid-19 environmental dividend

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workersWith the Government setting out its roadmap for the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions, workers are set to return to offices later this year. However, new working practices mean they will still split their time between the office and home.

Analysis by global consultancy Advanced Workplace Associates (AWA) claims that people want to work from home on the same days – Mondays and Fridays – so that their 2-3 days in the office are all bunched together and workplace utilisation could resemble a Swiss cheese.

This bunching threatens to undermine many of the benefits of a part-time working-from-home revolution prompted by the changes that the Covid-19 pandemic has brought.

AWA has calculated that with smart working practices post-Covid 19, office workers could cut their annual CO2 emissions by an average of 26 percent, so saving the UK a massive 10.5 million tonnes of CO2 a year, the equivalent of 7 million return flights from London to New York.

“Analysis we’ve conducted, along with studies around the world, show that people will want to change the way they work when this pandemic is over, coming into the office on average just two or three days a week,” said Andrew Mawson, founder of AWA. “However, we predict that with their new-found flexibility almost everyone wants to go into the office on the same days, avoiding Mondays and Fridays so they can ‘shoulder’ the weekend.

“Almost everyone wants to go into the office on the same days.”

“Unless leaders act to manage when people come into the office and introduce flexible models of office working when they are in, then offices will end up nearly empty, with no buzz, for large stretches of the week.”

Based on detailed studies that AWA has conducted, the average annual CO2 emissions of a British office worker can be cut from 5.69 tonnes to 4.23 tonnes taking in savings in office usage, commuting, business travel and consumables, such as printing or paper, offset by extra heating, lighting etc use at home. If all 7.22 million knowledge-based office workers in the UK worked smartly, the total annual saving could be 10.5 million tonnes of CO2, the equivalent of 3.0 percent of the UK’s total emissions.

“Smart working means that offices can save on the amount of space they use, as well as heating, lighting and other consumables, and also reap a massive dividend in cutting their environmental footprint by nearly two fifths,” said William Buller, AWA’s Low Carbon Working consultant. “With organisations under pressure from the Government as part of the UK’s target to move to net zero by 2050, this is a potential win-win for everyone.”

Read the full report here.

Image by Tumisu

The post Workers hatred of Mondays and Fridays threatens post Covid-19 environmental dividend appeared first on Workplace Insight.

Originally posted at: https://workplaceinsight.net/workers-hatred-of-mondays-and-fridays-threatens-post-covid-19-environmental-dividend/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=workers-hatred-of-mondays-and-fridays-threatens-post-covid-19-environmental-dividend

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UK workers put in £24 billion worth of unpaid overtime during the pandemic

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overtimeUK employers claimed £24 billion of free labour last year because of workers doing unpaid overtime, according to new analysis published by the TUC. More than three million people did unpaid overtime in 2020, putting in an average of 7.7 unpaid hours a week. On average, that’s equivalent to £7,300 a year of wages going unpaid for work done.

The 2020 figures are not helpful for understanding long-term trends. Disruption to working patterns during the pandemic made it a unique year.

 

Key findings

• Unpaid overtime was lower than in 2019: With many workers furloughed or reducing their working hours to care for children, the number of hours worked in the economy has fallen. This is reflected in significantly lower numbers of workers doing unpaid overtime, and the amount and financial value of unpaid hours worked.
• Occupations with most unpaid overtime: As in previous years, teachers are high on the list. The challenges of keeping schools open for the children of key workers, while providing home learning too, has kept up their work intensity. Managers and directors feature strongly, suggesting that the additional responsibilities of senior staff are not properly managed by employers.
• Home workers: Most of the top ten occupational groups for unpaid overtime are jobs likely to be possible to do from home. It is clear that homeworking has led to work bleeding into home life, and to significant extra hours being worked.
• Regional variation: London has the highest proportion of workers doing unpaid overtime, with nearly 1 in 6 workers (15.9 percent), compared to around 1 in 8 nationally (12.1 percent).

Key workers collectively contributed £7 billion of unpaid overtime in the last year. The TUC is calling on the government to cancel the pay freeze affecting 2.7m public sector key workers. The union body says that key workers have earned a decent pay rise for putting in long and tough hours to keep the country going during the pandemic. If key workers get a decent pay rise, the boost to consumer spending will help our businesses and high street recover, and this will help many other workers get a pay rise too.

 

The TUC is calling for action in the Budget

• Cancel the pay freeze: The government is planning to freeze the pay this year of 2.7 million public sector staff. This is no way to thank key workers. And by holding down pay, consumer spending will be reduced with a £1.7 billion hit to the England economy.
• Raise the minimum wage: The chancellor should commit to raising the minimum wage to at least £10 per hour, improving the pay of 3.6 million key workers.
• Fill vacancies in essential services: Many public services are understaffed. The NHS and social care services have the worst shortfalls, lacking 220,000 workers in total. The Chancellor should provide funding to unlock these vital jobs. This would reduce pressures leading current staff to work unpaid hours.

The TUC is also calling on the government to quickly bring forward the long-promised employment bill and strengthen protections against overwork and burnout.

“Ministers should help by bringing in new rights to flexible working for everyone.”

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Over the last year, many workers have worked huge amounts of unpaid overtime to keep the country going and keep businesses and public services afloat.

“We should thank the key workers who put in extra hours without any extra pay. At the Budget, the chancellor should cancel the pay freeze and give every key worker a decent pay rise. It is what they have earned.

“And he should unlock the 600,000 public sector job vacancies and gaps that currently exist. That’s an easy way to cut unemployment, reduce burnout among key workers and get our public services back on their feet.”

Commenting on the spread of long hours amongst those working from home, Frances added: “The impact of working from home has been to increase unpaid hours worked. As the UK begins to slowly exit from the pandemic, employers must support workers to balance work with their home lives, leisure and families. Ministers should help by bringing in new rights to flexible working for everyone.”

Image by https:SnappyGoat

The post UK workers put in £24 billion worth of unpaid overtime during the pandemic appeared first on Workplace Insight.

Originally posted at: https://workplaceinsight.net/uk-workers-put-in-24-billion-worth-of-unpaid-overtime-during-the-pandemic/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=uk-workers-put-in-24-billion-worth-of-unpaid-overtime-during-the-pandemic

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