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
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.”
Nothing reveals character like a crisis. As corona spreads, companies reveal their true colors. Some seem rotten to the core. Others show tenderness, love, and care. Micro-management gone wild, voluntary pay cuts, and Maximus Decimus Meridius (a.k.a the gladiator).
When you’re writing for work, it can be tempting to rely on industry jargon or big words to puff up your ideas. But overblown language doesn’t make you sound smart, and it can be off-putting to readers. Most people are drawn to a more conversational tone. So, choose shorter, more familiar words and explain things in a way that anyone could understand. For example, write “things that could affect the merger” instead of “issues potentially impacting the successful completion of the merger.” Also, whether you’re writing an email or a formal proposal, make sure that your content is glanceable, since it probably will be read on a screen — and these days, often a phone. Assume that your readers will be distracted, busy, and on-the-go. Formatting can help: Try using subheads, bullet points, diagrams, and tables to highlight your key takeaways. Short sentences and short paragraphs help too. A good rule of thumb is “one thought per sentence.” If there are too many linked ideas in one sentence, your readers may get lost and just give up.
The only thing worse than having a long to-do list is not knowing how you’re going to get everything done. Timeboxing can help: It’s a way of converting your to-do list into blocks of time on your calendar, so you have a plan for what to do and when. Start by looking at your to-do list and figuring out each task’s deadlines. For example, if a promotional video has to go live on a Tuesday, and the production team needs 72 hours to incorporate your edits, then put a hold on your calendar at least 72 hours before Tuesday. Repeat for each item on your to-do list. If you work on a team where people can see one another’s calendars, timeboxing has the added benefit of showing people that the work will get done on time. But the biggest advantage of timeboxing might be that it gives you a feeling of control over your calendar — which can help you feel happier at work.
Source: Harvad Business Review.
Negotiations can get emotional, to say the least. Whether you’re asking for a raise, more resources for your team, or to restructure your position, you might feel anxious, reluctant, or worried. But you won’t be successful if you’re worked up, so take steps to handle your emotions. Before the negotiation, ask yourself how your counterpart might respond — and why. Doing so will help you identify potential setbacks and gather additional information to respond to their challenges. The more you prepare, the less anxious you will feel. During the negotiation, if you find yourself getting upset or nervous, pause and reflect on the underlying reasons and formulate a strategy to address them. After the negotiation, try to avoid carrying negative emotions. Reflect instead on the moments you were most proud of during your interaction, and focus on how you will use your experience to get the result you want in the future.
This tip is adapted from “3 of the Most Common Challenges Women Face in Negotiations,” by Mara Olekalns et al.