Are You Operating in a Two Speed Office?

With the lingering COVID19 pandemic and the lockdown in Melbourne, I’m noticing many offices operating on two different levels. When the pandemic first occurred, everyone had to get creative and change the way that they operated. The rise of the work from home dynamic and the massive increase in Zoom meetings to keep the communication open created a new way of operating. People seemed to get used to this approach and many enjoyed the connection with their family at home, not to mention not having to spend hours driving in traffic or on public transport to work.

Now I’m noticing a new speed that is occurring as people go back into the office. I worked with a client in their Sydney office this week, and they still only have 60% of their staff travelling in physically, whilst the rest are still working from home. One of the managers commented on how being back in the office was great as they could have faster catch ups with people from other areas. The other thing she mentioned was she was struggling with trying to reach out to those still working at home to keep them in the loop as it took a bit longer.

These are the two speeds that I am seeing across workplaces. One is the rhythm of working from home and the other is the rhythm of working in the office. When everyone is all one or the other, it is a bit easier. Now, with many organisations running a hybrid approach, it is creating 2 different environments or dynamics with different levels of speed or activity.

So what are you doing to manage this new dynamic? The best thing you can do as a leader is to ensure that regardless of whether people are physically in the office or working remotely that there is a common way to have everyone interact and connect. I have one client that has a 20 minute check-in on Monday morning and a 20 minute check in on Friday afternoon with all of their staff. Some participate physically and others dial in from home and their faces are put up onto the screen so everyone can see them and include them in the conversation. Another has a separate Zoom check in meeting with their virtual staff a couple of times a week. There are a number of different strategies you could use, the question is are you doing something to manage this dynamic?

If you would like to learn a number of strategies and gain some inspiration on leading, you should attend the Hands Leadership Bytes Online Conference. It takes place on the 10th of September from 10am-3pm AEST. You will learn from some leading thinkers including Mike Walsh, a futurist who will share insights on the new rules in a new world as well as the CEO Fast 5, which will provide insights for Senior leaders.

If you would like to find out more please go to the Leadership Bytes Website. This is a great opportunity to bring a group of your people along virtually to be inspired.