The extrovert Olympics – Pot of Coffee 9-30-22

The extrovert Olympics (this gem courtesy of Jess Forgue)

Thanks to everyone that came out for Pot of Coffee 2 last Friday. It was a little chilly with the fog, but it’s fun to be outside in the early Fall. Maybe I shouldn’t have worn shorts.

Being in public with people rolled nicely into our first discussion around remote/hybrid/office dynamics, preferences and what is and is not working.

There is no “one size fits” all and hybrid seems to be the best of both worlds. Companies are still figuring out what works best and there is a disparity in approach when establishing policies. Some companies are grudgingly going to hybrid. Truth be told, I would guess that company execs/owners want everyone back full-time but they know it’s not going to happen. People work in different styles and with different levels of productivity in the office and remote. Work needs to be designed to take into account this.

Determining how to navigate best communication practices seems to be scattered. Tools to communicate are either hoisted upon us as they company “way” or companies are taking time to evaluate what works, what doesn’t and including, hold your horses, employee feedback to make those decisions. Yay for those companies!

Is remote work better for your work?

An industrial designer was strong in his opinion that yes, his work is better from working remote. I always wonder about the inspiration one gets from being “out and about” and challenged this notion. He does find outside influences, such as taking a walk or running an errand contribute to creative inspiration but it’s still taken back home and executed. People actually find they end up working more hours, not less, when remote. There is no “I have to leave the office to get home by 6” dynamic anymore so often people just keep on working.

People don’t remember how to interact

Coming back to the office isn’t necessarily resulting in better work or productivity either. Manners and civility seem to be more challenging than they were in the past. And Portland’s passive aggressive tendencies are sometimes apparent such as when co-workers remark, “you didn’t even say “hi”” before responding to a question. No one makes eye contact anymore. We’ve all been Zoom-ified.

The extrovert Olympics

Who has the biggest personality when in the office? Who can be the most active, most engaging? Who wants to prove that they are the best at being back in the office? Apparently, a lot of you do but the rest of us just want you to simmer down.

How does one stay relevant while remote and otherwise disconnected from direct co-worker contact?

People are using social media more. People are reading more. You may follow more leaders in your industry. You are more award of who’s saying what.

People have become so formal in setting up times to meet or talk. You can’t just grab someone in the office anymore, you have to not only ask for a meeting you have to be super specific about time/place to hope to get a commitment. Slack has replaced the tap on the shoulder.

It’s still who you know.

Internal recruiters can still act more like gate keepers than an avenue into a company. It’s often still “who you know” who gets you an interview or a meeting. It’s not unusual for recruiters to interview you as a box to check-off, without real interest.

While hiring is still brisk in many sectors, tell-tale signs of a slowdown are there too. Hiring freezes are back as a strategy, whether based on real data or an assumption on the direction of the economy.

Blue Suede Shoes

They were actually gray, but they were well received. See you next month.

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