Several years ago BroadPeak started an experiment. We dis-assembled the concept of a workday. No set hours. No set vacation. No requirement to work in the office. We simply focus on deliverables.
Today’s pandemic is a sad twist that is testing everyone’s resilience. Here’s what we learned:
WFH is an important part of knowledge work. Sometimes you just need a quiet “head’s down” day. Sometimes you just need to work with a cat in your lap. Sometimes being able to pick up your kid at 3:30pm on a Tuesday will decrease anxiety enough to trigger a moment of brilliance.
Rule 1: Focus on deliverables.
This is the only rule that matters. Just deliver those deliverables. Where and how you deliver is IRRELEVANT. This can be incredibly liberating when done right. Create team meetings. Stand- don’t sit. No longer than 30 or 40 minutes. What’s each person going to deliver this week? This day? This hour? The details are up to you. No team? No problem. If you are sitting at home right now by yourself, draw a line in the sand. This is what you are going to deliver this hour, this day, this week.
Rule 2: Communicate your deliverables.
This is heavily opinionated but you MUST have a chat app. Slack, GChat, or MSTeams. The order is according to how good I think they are (and no I don’t think any other should be on the list). But at the end of the day, your company MUST have one of these to maintain good performance when people are working remotely. When I hear about companies that don’t use one of these tools I shake my head and look at them like they just crawled out from under a rock. (P.S. if you find yourself in non-COVID-19 times inundated by pointless, sit-down meetings, you are using your chat app wrong. They prevent meetings when used correctly.)
Rule 3: Tell people how to get a hold of you.
If you are not available then who is covering for you? The most important thing about this rule is actually what should not be said: DO NOT say WHY you are working from home. “I have a dentist appointment.” “My kid is sick.” “I have a migraine.” I know. I know. The urge is real, but think about this: If you are in deliverables mode, why you are WFH is totally IRRELEVANT. When our performance is being judged only by our delivery saying you had a doctor appointment when you actually were at a mid-day yoga is workplace theater that benefits absolutely no one.
Stay safe everyone!
Remember, Shakespeare cranked out King Lear, Anthony & Cleopatra, and Macbeth while quarantined.
Here’s your chance.