Re-Onboard Employees Who Started Remotely

While going back to the office will be an adjustment for everyone, it will be an entirely new experience for people you hired remotely. Here are a few strategies to re-onboard employees who started work in a WFH environment.

  1. Allow remote hires to bond as a cohort by creating structured opportunities for them to interact and get to know each other. These might include icebreakers or “speed networking” activities.
  2. Create a buddy system. Pair each remote hire with a more tenured employee who can answer their questions about the physical office space and organizational norms that they may not have picked up on when working from home.
  3. Check in regularly. You may feel like you’ve already done the work of getting your remote hire up to speed, but the office is an entirely new environment. Take them to lunch and have a one-on-one meeting with them their first week back, as you would have done if they had started their job at the office.

Source: Harvard Business Review

This tip is adapted from “How to Re-Onboard Employees Who Started Remotely,” by Rebecca Zucker

What Can You Really Accomplish in a Day?

Many of us overload our workdays, only to find ourselves facing an unfinished to-do list at the end of the day. How can you break free of this magical thinking that causes you to disappoint others, miss deadlines, feel depleted, and lose your inspiration? To get a realistic sense of how long your current and future projects will take to complete (and how to prioritize them), start by reviewing your major projects from the past year. Which were planned and which were opportunistic? This self-audit will help you paint a more realistic picture of how your future calendar will be populated. It will also help you prioritize the top of your to-do list and renegotiate the rest by saying no, lowering expectations, or requesting help. Crucially, you need to stop convincing yourself that next time will be easier. This kind of optimism may be misguided, leaving you at risk of falling short. Always lean toward building in more time for your work, not less. Finally, look for opportunities to build your team’s capacity, and delegate when you can. You don’t need to go it alone.

This tip is adapted from “Be More Realistic About the Time You Have,” by Sabina Nawaz

Source: Harvard Business Review

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Working Dads: It’s Okay to Drop the Always-On Mentality

Working dads: Do you take significantly less paid time off than your company allows? And when you do take time off, do you feel glued to your phone — or even guilty that you’re not working? If so, you’re not alone; research shows that this kind of always-on attitude is exceedingly common among working fathers. But the truth is that this mentality actually hurts your organization, your family, and you.

It’s time to stop chasing the “ideal worker” image. It’s the product of unhealthy and unrealistic societal expectations. Plus falling into that trap only perpetuates it for other men. You can shift the paradigm by setting a better example. Try being vulnerable, honest, and empathetic about the responsibilities of parenthood. Encourage other dads to actually use the benefits you’re afforded to, such as paternity leave, backup child care, and flexible work schedules. And empower each other to be more involved at home.

These small steps will go a long way towards fostering a healthier model for working dads — and by extension, creating a fairer, more equitable work culture.

Source: Harvard Business Review

This tip is adapted from “I’m a CEO and a Working Dad. Here’s What I Wish I Did Differently.,” by Tim Allen

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The Remote Revolution: Are We Reaching The Tipping Point?

In the last few weeks, companies have begun to embrace the new workplace reality. The likes of Twitter, Facebook, Shopify, Upwork, and Coinbase have all communicated lasting changes as a result of COVID-19. But most companies are still new to distributed teams and working from home. Let’s look at those using these practices before the pandemic hit. Let’s learn – once again – from the pioneers.

In the last few weeks, companies have begun to embrace the new workplace reality. The likes of Twitter, Facebook, Shopify, Upwork, and Coinbase have all communicated lasting changes as a result of COVID-19. 

Jack Dorsey, CEO of both Twitter and Square, announced recently that employees can now work from home indefinitely. Shopify CEO Tobi Lutke announced working from home as the new normal. On Twitter he wrote: “As of today, Shopify is a digital-by-default company. We will keep our offices closed until 2021 so that we can rework them for this new reality. And after that, most will permanently work remotely. Office centricity is over.”

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Busy family life and career during quarantine

Working parents, take it easy on yourselves right now

There’s no doubt that it’s challenging, but you can make it easier on yourself by focusing on some simple principles. Instead of aiming for perfection, aim for happiness. Try to be patient with yourself if you need extra time to get your work done, because you often will. Accept that your days won’t go as planned. And rather than dwelling on your mistakes, be curious about them. What can you learn? Are there meaningful patterns in the mistakes you’re making? How can you adapt? You may be reading advice about how to be productive during this time — how much sleep and exercise you should be getting, or how to enrich your kids’ online learning experience over the summer. Ask yourself if these recommendations are actually serving you at this moment. If they aren’t, let them go and identify what your family really needs. Finally, make sure you find time for laughter. Especially during a crisis, we need to find ways to turn stressful moments into light-hearted ones — whenever we can.
Tip adapted from “Lessons from a Working Mom on ‘Doing It All’,” 
by Francesca Gino

Source: Harvard Business Review

5 Simple Steps To A High-Quality Webinar Studio

Written by Pim

How many times have you joined an online session with shitty audio? Or hideous video quality that makes you want to leave instantly? The answer probably is “way too often”. Especially now, while most of us are working remotely. To solve that familiar frustration, I will share 5 quick, easy and inexpensive steps to upgrade your setup. We did it – and I can tell you – it makes all the difference in the world.

Before the corona pandemic, most of our client work took place at their sites. One week in each month we travelled to somewhere in the world to run workshops, give presentations, and work with companies overhauling their outdated structures. Then came the travel ban. Now we run all our sessions online.

But our equipment was in desperate need of an upgrade. We wanted to stand out not just in terms of content, but also in terms of quality.

Here is what we did.

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Stop Your Mind from Imagining the Worst-Case Scenario

When you feel anxious about losing things that are dear to you, your mind may imagine the worst. To calm yourself, return to the present. Start simple. Name five things in the room: There’s a computer, a chair, a picture of the dog, an old rug, and a coffee mug. Breathe. Realize that in the present moment, this room is your reality. In this moment, you’re OK. Use your senses, think about how these objects feel. The desk is hard. Feel the breath come into your nose. The goal is to find balance in your thoughts. If you feel a negative image taking shape, make yourself think of a positive one. Let go of what you can’t control. And be compassionate and patient with yourself and others. Being generous in your thinking can help brush aside some of your negative thoughts.

Source: Harvard Business Review

This tip is adapted from “That Discomfort You’re Feeling Is Grief,” by Scott Berinato

A New Technology to Combat the Pandemic

This is one of those rare turning points in history. The COVID-19 pandemic will profoundly change our behaviour and society. Many institutions will come under scrutiny and, we hope, change for the better.

At the Blockchain Research Institute, we’re doing our part to facilitate positive change. Technologies like artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, augmented/virtual reality, and above all, blockchain are more relevant than ever—not just to business and the economy but to the future of public health and the safety of global populations.

Traditional systems have failed us and it’s time for a new paradigm. To build on Victor Hugo, “Nothing is more powerful than an idea that has become a necessity.”

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