Recently, POE re-wrote the language of one of our core values – “Do the Right Thing”. It sparked a wonderful conversation about what it means to us and highlighted three main categories that we felt create a sense of joy and happiness in our workplace. These are suggestions based on POE’s personal experiences and is not an all-inclusive list of what creates a happy and joyful workplace culture.
Make time for colleagues to finish speaking during a meeting – no one likes to be interrupted, and often interruptions lead to unnecessary discussions that prolong the meeting. Allowing people the time to finish their contribution to the conversation goes a long way in making people feel happier.
Get to know one another on a slightly deeper level. We are not advocating for being Facebook friends with co-workers or being overly invested in personal matters, we are suggesting making the time to get to know what makes people happy or celebrating milestones in their lives. It could be as simple as taking 5 extra minutes at the lunch table to conclude a meaningful conversation, or it could be something like throwing a shower for an expectant mother.
It cannot be ignored, traffic is back! No one likes traffic, it makes us grumpy and it makes us late. On the days that in-office work is required, make time to check a traffic app for current travel time so there is not a sense of hurry or stress.
Make space for co-workers to feel focused. If on a video call or a phone call in the office and there are others working in the same proximity, make the effort to step into a more private area. For those that are easily distracted, it is refreshing to have some quiet space to work.
Social distancing does not have to maintain its negative connotations related to the pandemic. Some people have a naturally large “bubble” – the personal air space surrounding an individual – and for them, the extra space was welcomed. Continue to be aware that some people are comfortable with a little more space around them.
Keep shared spaces neat and tidy – we are looking at you, yes you, the one who leaves leftovers in the fridge until it becomes a fifth-grade science experiment. We guarantee moldy pizza does not spark joy for anyone.
Invest in helping colleagues succeed by mentoring new employees. It is never easy being the newest member of an organization, having help and guidance from co-workers can make the process much more fun and relaxing.
Be invested in the person/s who called a meeting by being on time, focused and engaged. It is understandable that sometimes an email or phone call needs an immediate response. We suggest thinking quickly about how pressing a priority it is before letting it take attention away from the meeting in progress.
Lastly, Invest in pants for video calls. Over the past two years it is sure to be a shared story by many – the person who stood up or jostled their camera to reveal that it was business up top and underpants on bottom. With the pandemic coming to a close and virtual calls remaining, it really is time to put on some pants.