What Can Yahoo! Teach Us About Presentee-ism?

There has been a very positive shift in working culture over the past few years that has encouraged employees to work from home more often – living the flexible working mantra, and understanding that being in a physical office (or not) does not necessarily mean that you are at work (or not!). I take advantage of this enlightened approach and work from home often: the technology allows me to access everything exactly the same as in the physical office, and I am judged not on my attendance in the office, but what I achieve in my role. Great…I thought.

 

I was a big fan of this approach. Recently, however, I’ve started to consider (or notice) if presenteeism (being at the office all the time) can in fact lead to better results. And the thing that made me consider this is Yahoo!

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The Seven Deadly Sins of Email: the abuses of electronic mail

Imagine the scenario: it’s the 1960s and you’re a busy office worker. You’ve just finished up for your two-week summer holiday at Great Yarmouth, and you’re looking forward to riding the snails at the Pleasure Beach. When you return to work, you find over 200 memos in your intray.

It wouldn’t happen…

Jump forward to today…you return from your ten-day holiday on some Greek island to 200+ emails (or you might have even spent Sunday night going through them).

How has this become acceptable?! How has email gone from a pretty geniune form of electronic correspondence to a catch-all pile of every type of information possible? And is it acceptable any more? I call on you all to repent for the seven deadly sins of email and live a virtuous, marvellous new world of email correspondance and make the best use of the other brilliant tools at our disposal for the other tasks that email has become.

Here are, what I have deemed, the seven deadly sins of email (and what you can do about them):

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PIES at your meeting

PIES. Yum. Who doesn’t like pie?

Pie

Pie

But on this occasion, I’m not talking about a tasty pastry and meat/fruit filling, oh no. I’m talking about a method of co-operative learning developed by Dr Spencer Kagan and that I learned whilst I was teaching. I recently thought that this model might be really useful to apply to modern, grown up meetings too. It works like this:

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Work/Life Balance isn’t about the number of hours you work…

Work/Life balance, right?

Work/Life balance, right?

Mon-Fri 9-5 sounds like a good work/life balance

I have a confession to make…I don’t work ridiculous hours. However, I did make the mistake of inferring that, because most evenings and weekends were not at work, I had a great work/life balance. I did not. It turns out that the work/life balance split is not about hours worked, but about working on work and working on life…

work_life_balance

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