Twitter Chat Recap: The New Workplace Normal: In Person, Remote and Hybrid

On Monday, June 21, 2021, Apra Members joined Isabelle Roy (McGill University), Sharon Poulson (NC State University), Kristin Richardson (Virginia Commonwealth University) and Sandra Montgomery (Summa Foundation) to talk about the new workplace normal during and post COVID-19. Monday’s #ApraChats created 1,610 impressions over 85 tweets. Highlights include:

How Teams are Navigating a Transition Back to the Office After Almost a Year Working Remotely:

  • Communicating with management on preferences for going back to the office, hybrid approach or staying 100% remote
  • Restrictions are being lifted, but further details are expected to be shared during the upcoming months
  • Still wearing masks and only allowed to have 3 employees in the office at a time
  • Most companies have decided to continue working remote until later this fall

Strategies Employed While Working Remotely that Teams Plan to Continue Carrying Forward:

  • Team weekly huddles – not always discussing business to keep it more lively and fun
  • Implementing a Daily Standup to stay connected
  • Daily Srum Meeting – daily check-in to discuss projects of the day
  • Started with weekly zoom team meetings and now that restrictions are starting to lift, move zoom meetings to in-person

How Working Remotely Has Impacted Interactions with Gift Officers and Other Internal Clients:

  • Many challenges with zoom logistics and fatigue
  • Chatting by phone has been a great way to connect
  • Much less planning and organizing for meetings, now you can just schedule a zoom
  • Challenging to express your energy levels and passion without meeting face to face

Surprises Found (good or bad) While Working Remotely this Past Year:

  • How effective one can be when working from a quiet home office
  • The convenience of being able to do chores around the house while working
  • Saving money (and calories) on eating lunches at home
  • Improvement on quality of life
  • Increased productivity for most days, but extreme lack of motivation for other days

Practices to Share Knowledge and Develop Personal Skills During this Period of Time

  • Attending online seminars as a team
  • Monthly team meetings to share learned tips and tricks
  • Attending all free virtual conferences – doesn’t beat the in-person experience, but provides a much richer set of learning choices
  • Team chat’s and daily meetings have helped to spread knowledge within departments
  • Increased time for prospect research and dive into training new researches without neglecting other duties
  • Microsoft Teams and Chat functions have increased companywide communications

Remote Work Practices Expected to Remain as Companies Return to the Office

  • Continuing to schedule daily, weekly and monthly team meetings
  • Greater flexibility and allowing grace for others
  • The belief that employees who work from home are actually working and completing projects without being in the office
  • Keeping zoom meetings as they have significantly reduced time chatting or waiting for late employees to arrive – something about scheduling a zoom meeting keeps everyone on schedule

Best Sources of Motivation to Stay Focused and Disciplined While Working Remotely

  • Take breaks!! And encourage others to do so as well – this helps the mind and eyes to relax for a minute
  • Getting fully dressed and putting on a pair of shoes – this gives a sense of structure and routine
  • Reminding yourself to be grateful that you still have a job during a time like this
  • Set little reminders throughout the day to log off, go outside and take a break for at least 10 minutes

Changes Implemented to Conduct your Work Week while Being Remote

  • Spending less time on “fluff” and more time focused on completing projects
  • Starting days earlier due to the lack of commute
  • Greater flexibility to make adjustments with family matters, external appointments and personal time
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