Section 3: Work-Life Effectiveness Barriers and Solutions

Section 3: Work-Life Effectiveness Barriers and Solutions

“Three challenges and their solutions … habits, good and bad … busting myths about flexible work arrangements … Develop your personal work life plan … rounding out knowledge”
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Summaries

  • Section 3: Work-Life Effectiveness Barriers and Solutions > Three Challenges—and Their Solutions (19 min.) > Real World = Real Barriers
  • Section 3: Work-Life Effectiveness Barriers and Solutions > Habits, Good and Bad (6 min.) > Some Habits Are Meant to be Broken
  • Section 3: Work-Life Effectiveness Barriers and Solutions > Busting Myths About Flexible Work Arrangements (20 min.) > Voices of Work-Life

Section 3: Work-Life Effectiveness Barriers and Solutions > Three Challenges—and Their Solutions (19 min.) > Real World = Real Barriers

  • You may work at an organization that has a face-time culture.
  • You might have a manager that doesn’t support work-life effective strategies, or you might worry about how you manage your work and life is going to impact your career development.
  • So flexible work arrangements, really, are just that.
  • They’re flexible, for the diverse ways that we all work.
  • When you talk about it that way, it’s an important reminder that work-life effectiveness is about strategies for working better, and working smarter.
  • The stigma around flexibility and work-life effectiveness will only go away when both employees and managers realize that flex is really about working smarter.
  • So let’s start by talking about one that we hear a lot about, which is the ideal worker, and a face-time culture.
  • As we discussed last week, every workplace has its own unwritten rules, and a really common one is this ideal worker norm.
  • The ideal worker is often putting in a lot of face time to make themselves, and their work, visible.
  • If you know that you work best when you were working from home, or that you need some flexibility in your day to meet work and life demands, how can you thrive in a culture that values face time? Yeah, that’s a great question Liz, and I actually dealt with that myself when I was working both reduced hours and telecommuting.
  • I know we’ve talked a lot about the reason why someone chooses to work flex should not matter in a results-oriented organization, but I’ll be honest, I needed to work flex to pick my kids up two days a week at that time.
  • I knew I was doing great work, I was meeting all my deadlines, but I wasn’t fitting the mold of the ideal worker.
  • I didn’t know how to make sure that I was getting the visibility, and letting my work be known.
  • We hear managers say a lot of things about flex, including how will I know if the employee is working, will they take advantage of flex, and are they home all day watching TV. That’s totally fair, I also wouldn’t want my employees sitting at home watching TV all day.
  • When my boss moved away- she and I used to work in the office, she was here- she moved to a different time zone, she became a completely virtual employee, and we really had a hard time at first.
  • We went from talking every day in the office to me thinking, how is she going to know what I’m working on, how is she going to evaluate my progress, is she going to think I’m slacking off, will she give me real-time feedback, things like that.
  • For people who work shift work, such as a coffee shop, factory work, retail sales.

Section 3: Work-Life Effectiveness Barriers and Solutions > Habits, Good and Bad (6 min.) > Some Habits Are Meant to be Broken

  • So one would hope that over time the number of offerings, the way flexibility was done, etcetera, would become more inclusive, more comprehensive, more inventive, more business-beneficial more supportive to employees and people with families.
  • We have inherited the 20th-century industrial mindset of how you do work: 9:00 to 5:00, in the office, blah, blah, blah.
  • When you see that as the way work is, the way work gets done, when that’s the way you did it, that’s the way you succeeded as a manager, working that way was how you get promoted, how you think you’ll continue to get promoted, that habit becomes so deeply ingrained that it’s very hard to consider, let alone do, something else.
  • So there are tons of studies and lots of experiences- individual, company, departmental- of people doing very effective forms of job-sharing or take work from home or off-site work or remote work or whatever your organization might call it.

Section 3: Work-Life Effectiveness Barriers and Solutions > Busting Myths About Flexible Work Arrangements (20 min.) > Voices of Work-Life

  • Well, earlier I used to think that the ideal worker was the one that worked the most, that stayed the longest, that came in before the boss came in, and left after the boss left.
  • Again, if their life is respected and they have the ability to work flexibly, then they will enjoy their work more, and they’ll be able to continue doing it without burning out, without having to take time off or whatever.
  • I work at my company’s headquarters, but my team of five all are virtual, actually around the world.
  • So when I think about that idea of face time and kind of those traditional ways to succeed in your career, that just doesn’t work for my team.
  • One of the challenges in working with a virtual team is that we all work in different time zones.
  • One of the ways that we’ve tried to accommodate that is to make sure that we all have concrete working hours between 11:00 and 3:00 East Coast time.
  • Flexible work can be a double-edged sword because if you’re going to work from anywhere, you could also just be simply working all the time.
  • Too many nights working until early in the morning can affect you sleep cycle negatively.
  • How to work around that? I’ll basically tell my clients that if they expect me to work from late in the afternoon until early in the morning, then I won’t be available the following morning.

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