Kicking off the 2021 Lockdown Leadership Conference on the theme of Making Hybrid Work, we have a fabulous panel discussion with Nicholas Corrigan of Societé Generale, Liese Lord of The Lightbulb Tree, and Susi Fish of Boult Wade Tennant. We're talking about:
How To Put Wellbeing And Preventing Burnout At The Heart Of Your Culture, Without Sacrificing The KPIs
What We Cover In This Panel Discussion:
- How has lockdown and remote or hybrid work impacting wellbeing and burnout.
- What triggers this?
- Are there any mistakes that people or organisations are making, without realising, that make this worse?
- What have you tried or seen others doing that has worked in helping to bring people's stress levels down?
- How can leaders and colleagues support team members in returning to the office or hybrid working, creating a culture of confidence and wellbeing, with work-life balance, without sacrificing the KPIs?
- What is your single biggest piece of advice for individuals and organisations who are looking at how to help people to thrive with hybrid working?
Agile Working Consultant
Partner at Boult Wade Tennant
Liese Lord is the found of The Lightbulb Tree and she specialises in agile and hybrid working.
Nicholas Corrigan is the Managing Director and Head of UK and Northern Europe Leveraged Finance at Societé Generale and is also co-head of their Gender Network.
Susi Fish is a Partner and Patent Attorney at Boult Wade Tennant, specialising in aerospace and medical devices. She is also the co-lead for the Women In IP (IP Inclusive) committee.
Watch The Interview:
Note: the video and podcast audio also have captions.
[00:00:05.070] - Clare Josa
So welcome to the very first event in the 2021 Lockdown Leadership Conference, where our core theme is #makinghybridwork. And in this session, I'm running a panel interview on the topic that I think needs to be the absolute core of all of our decisions about how to move from lockdown into either full time back at the office or part time back at the office. That is preventing burnout, a supporting employee well-being. Because any decision that we make is a business that doesn't do that is going to affect performance.
[00:00:36.030] - Clare Josa
It's going to affect mental health. It's going to affect the people in our teams and it's going to affect profits. But how can we make well-being and preventing burnout the core of our decision making without badges of honour for underperformance and sacrificing the happiness? That is exactly what Susi Fish, Nicholas Corrigan and Liese Lord are going to share with you today. So please listen or watch. And then at the end, I'd love to hear from you. Let me know via social media with the hashtag #makinghybridwork and tag me Clare Josa.
[00:01:09.420] - Clare Josa
What is your biggest takeaway from this session? I'll remind you about that at the end. And if you want to catch every every interview and every panel discussion in the Lockdown Leadership Conference running throughout June 2021, you can get your free ticket at makinghybridwork.Com. Good morning and welcome to the first panel discussion for the 2021 Lockdown Leadership Conference. I'm Clare Josa, and I'm joined here today by Nicholas Corrigan, Liese Lord and Susi Fish.
[00:01:42.080] - Clare Josa
And Nick is managing director and head of UK Northern Europe, leveraged finance for Societe Generale, the International Bank. He's got over 25 years experience in the field and he heads up the leveraged finance in UK and Northern Europe. He's responsible for managing the European mid level lending activities as well, and he is co lead for the UK Agenda Network and also Mental Health First Aider. With Liese, she's an agile and hybrid working consultant and founder of The Light Bulb Tree.
[00:02:16.010] - Clare Josa
She has spent many years helping businesses to transform, to become even better places to work. And she has a special passion for hybrid and agile working that she's going to be sharing with us today. Susi Fish is a partner and patent attorney at Beltway Tennant, and she spent a long time specialising in this field in aerospace and medical devices with a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering. And she's also co-lead for the women in IP, the IP Inclusive Committee, which supports women under the IP Inclusive umbrella, is a cross profession nationwide initiative set up to raise awareness of an increased diversity across the IP profession in the UK.
[00:02:55.430] - Clare Josa
So welcome to our panellists and I hope everybody on the recording, everybody who is live, as well, can hear us. If you can give me a hello via the chat and let me know where in the world you are joining us from this morning. And I'm going to dive in with my first question for our panellists, which is, how have you seen lockdown and remote or hybrid working, impacting well-being and burnout? And it's over to our panellists who would like to take this one first.
[00:03:22.250] - Nick Corrigan
I'm happy to jump in. Thank you. Firstly, good morning, everyone. Welcome. Lovely to be here. Thanks for the invite, Clare. I think I want you to join because I think this is a fantastic topic and obviously clearly hugely relevant for today's working practice, from my perspective, in an investment bank. This has changed the world of how we've been working on the hybrid structure. We've been at home for for most of the last 12 months in and out between lockdowns following the government advice.
[00:03:57.470] - Nick Corrigan
And I think the one issue that I would like to point out about how it's impacted work, I think is around a few a few more obvious issues. But one is the commute time. I think when we first went in to the lockdown, I think there was a view that this was actually quite a good thing in a way, because many of us have been travelling quite some time and the commute into the office. And now we felt we had that time for friends and family and time away, which which felt like it freed up an enormous amount of time.
[00:04:38.330] - Nick Corrigan
And that, to an extent, I think has become true. And and it's not unusual, I think, for people to travel an hour into work one way as two hours a day, 10 hours a week, that's that's an extra day a week just in commuting. And if you could convert that into friends, family time, one would consider that to be a positive change. I think what has happened instead to some degree, and this will depend on some institutions, that time has been eroded away and has been given to work time, actually.
[00:05:15.410] - Nick Corrigan
So what has happened for many, I think, is that extra work day a week has been put into work and may be away from family and friends. So what some people are finding, I think, is that you've got six days work in five days. And if you combine that with the social elements of being apart from each other and being isolated, it has a great impact on people. So I think for me, I think that has been one of the most noticeable aspects is a feeling that we had freed up some commute time friends of family, but actually in some cases that has just been transferred into another workday a week.
[00:06:02.510] - Nick Corrigan
Overlay that with the social distancing and some cost pressures in the industry, it has had a significant impact on people.
[00:06:11.750] - Clare Josa
Thank you, Nick. Thank you, Susi. Any thoughts from you on how you've seen lockdown or remote or hybrid working, impacting wellbeing and burnout?
[00:06:20.330] - Susi Fish
I think there's been some positives and some negatives, and it's very easy to kind of focus on one of them. But following on from from something that Nick mentioned. I saw an article in the BBC and I thought it was quite an insightful one and actually had a tag line that said for millions of people working from home has felt more like sleeping in the office, making it harder to switch off. And I think that's been one of the things that I've noticed, not necessarily personally, but I've heard people saying and I think alongside that, I think, as Nic was saying, you know, there's been this this erosion of the extra time from the commute that maybe has fallen into work time.
[00:07:05.120] - Susi Fish
But I think also the positives have been that, you know, personally, I might work early on a Saturday morning and I might send emails to my team early on a Saturday morning. But I make it very clear to them that I'm not expecting them to be working then, because actually what I've done is been able to go and collect my daughter from school at half past three and take her time to have a snack with her. So so although ours may sometimes look longer, that doesn't necessarily mean they are it might mean that you've been able to increase your flexibility in some ways.
[00:07:38.560] - Susi Fish
And I think that that is going to be really important going forward to make that clear that you don't expect that from people because otherwise it can have a real negative impact on people. And I think one of the the real positives of this is that there have been some there's been a lot more openness around mental health. So I've had many more conversations with many more people around mental health that maybe wouldn't have happened if we weren't in lockdown. And I'm hopeful that that will continue going forward.
[00:08:09.490] - Susi Fish
But then again, on that that negative side, I think a lot of the uncertainty around the last 14, 15 months has had a real negative impact. And that's on me personally and on others. And I wonder how that will look going forward. And I think that makes it really key that we're quite intentional about how we move going forward to make sure that we we support people. But yes, so that's kind of how I see it. There are positives and negatives and it's really important to be open about those.
[00:08:42.580] - Clare Josa
Thank you, Susi. Liese, how about you?
[00:08:45.920] - Liese Lord
Really great points, and thank you again for the invite. It's great to be here. And Susi and Nick have brought some really good points out that I've definitely seen and also felt myself. So I found talking to other people and myself that particularly look down one, it was almost like we press pause. So we were still working, but we were able to sort of press pause and look at the world differently. We were all going through it together. So we called it the roller coaster ride that changed curve of emotions together and a little bit.
[00:09:18.880] - Liese Lord
But I think because we were all in it together, it was so much easier for us to talk about it and acknowledge that our emotional situation is changing by the minute sometimes. And everybody was in an individual bubble in all of the lockdown's. We've all been in individual bubbles, so our experiences have been slightly different. So our levels of anxiety have been slightly different. Some people have thrived in other people and even those that thrive. We still have this sort of up and down range of reactions.
[00:09:51.940] - Liese Lord
I think I've seen a lot of people working very long hours. It's almost as though we lost the respect for. Time that wasn't work time before. Bear with me just one second. Apology's hay fever and was almost like we lost that respect, so I was talking to two friends who were finding that in with US colleagues meetings of slotting in at 9, 10 o'clock at night or depending on the time zone, early mornings meetings are popping in because we almost had nothing else to do.
[00:10:28.240] - Liese Lord
So some people were good at keeping the boundary and other people felt that they they didn't know how to establish those boundaries. So I think that's a really, really positive thing to take away as we move forward. What do we learn from that? And how do we create new boundaries? Because as we've come in coming out of the restrictions, people are starting to find they want to use time for different things. And there's almost a guilt rising up in some people about, well, I used to work such long hours in lockdown and now I don't want to because I've got other things to do.
[00:11:00.340] - Liese Lord
So I think it's being fair on ourselves. Susi made a really, really good point, something that I used to encourage pre-lockdown when we were changing ways of work. And it's called time chunking. And it's about tapping into your own energy, is tapping into your own needs and doing things that you want to do. So if you've got family, pick them up from school, drop them off, but work in different ways at different times to meet the different tasks.
[00:11:28.670] - Liese Lord
It doesn't have to be crammed into this traditional blocks of time, but as long as other people understand how you're working and there's no obligation on them, I think that's a really good point that Susi made about that. I think the other thing that's going back to the individuality. People's different situations and trying to people, I think initially were very compassionate to each other situations as some people, home schooling, you couldn't avoid it. You could see the children sort of around in the background or the pets walking across the keyboard or whatever was happening.
[00:12:06.290] - Liese Lord
But as we as we move out of restrictions, I think it's respecting that. I think we still got some fluidity needed to react to what we don't know is ahead, whether this tear structure or something else. So I think for leaders that's challenging because we're going through the change ourselves. We're having to support other people and each person's situation is different. There isn't a one size fits all.
[00:12:30.350] - Clare Josa
Brilliant. Thank you, Liese. I've got a question now for those of you watching us live. I'd love to hear from you via the chat. Is in your experience, what are the main triggers, the burnout and overwhelm? What do you see pushing people towards burnout, either in your own organisation or colleagues working for other organisations? Let me know via the chat. And I want to move on to the next question then for our panellists to give you a time to do some typing is are there any mistakes that you've seen organisations or individuals making over the last 15 months that can add to burnout and overwhelm?
[00:13:04.190] - Clare Josa
We've already talked about lack of boundaries and these nine o'clock calls with the states out of our stuff. But is there anything else that you've seen that maybe well-intentioned that has accidentally increased overwhelm? Liese, can I start with you on that one?
[00:13:20.090] - Liese Lord
I think the really big one for me is the dictatorial demand that people will return to the office without actually talking to their employees about how does that impact on them? Because it's not like flicking a switch. Not everybody's situation has eased up enough for them to just go straight back to the the workplace. So I think for me, I've I've seen in a number of places and I get where it's coming from. However, I think it's it's definitely caused resentment, frustration, upset and real worry for people.
[00:14:01.610] - Clare Josa
Absolutely. And Liese, one of the things I know I've definitely seen is where a lot of us, the child care arrangements we had before that allowed us to go into an office still aren't replaced, is still not there. And we need you know, it's almost I don't know if you found this as well, Liese, Nick and Susi, it can feel like a shock of how we used to manage this juggling before. Why can't I do it now?
[00:14:22.010] - Clare Josa
And it's because a lot of the support structure we had around us to allow us to do that juggling isn't there yet. Thank you, Nick. What are your thoughts? Have you seen any sort of well-intentioned stuff that maybe has backfired or any mistakes people have been making trying to prevent burnout for themselves or organisations?
[00:14:40.280] - Nick Corrigan
Yeah, I think it's interesting because initially when we when we started working from home. The level of relationship interaction just fell off the cliff immediately and everyone resorted to emails much of the time and just trying to detail over emails and what we all have understood for quite some time, certainly when it applies to marketing and sort of general relationship building, is that a face to face meeting with somebody is the most powerful tool you have to build a relationship, in my view, at least.
[00:15:20.490] - Nick Corrigan
And sometimes it might be, you know, 10 phone calls that could potentially have the impact of one face to face meeting. And in my mind, maybe 20 or 30 emails before you start hitting the same relationship impact of one face to face meeting. So for us to remove that most powerful tool for relationship building overnight and everyone resorting to emails over the subsequent weeks and months, you know, you really felt that people were were actually isolated. And when you did speak to them, that you could tell that things were little more challenging.
[00:16:01.530] - Nick Corrigan
So the institution, quite rightly, and I did my very best at the time, is to ramp up those phone calls, get the video camera going, try as much as possible to get back to a face to face as best we can with the social media. And that was great, but then I think we tipped over and I hear this a lot from from friends in the industry as well, where there were just so many meetings put in the diary for people that actually, you know, with a very positive view of trying to make everybody feel engaged and together, that it became quite difficult to do the day job because you have so many meetings and calls and and so forth.
[00:16:52.450] - Nick Corrigan
So then for me, there needed to be a balance. And it's very, very difficult. It's it will be a different balance for each organisation and for each person. But try to find that optimum position between the phone calls, the meetings, the emails to try and and check in with people, because I think initially it took quite some time for people to realise, oh, I haven't spoken to this person for two weeks and they're my team.
[00:17:22.090] - Nick Corrigan
This is this is crazy. Typically, I would be speaking to them every day, just walking by the desk or by the coffee machine or whatever it might be. And so you need to be actually as a manager, I think, very regimented. And it sounds possibly too much. But you really need to be aware of how many times you're interacting with members of your team to make sure that you don't get to a point where you really haven't spoken to somebody for two or three weeks.
[00:17:48.520] - Nick Corrigan
And that can happen in this environment. And that I think when we move to more hybrid arrangement where we're in the office a couple of days a week. Three days a week and a home between the two, it will become a lot easier. But that for me has been some of the, you know, the difficulties of making this work from home. Finding that balance to make sure people are left out across the team and obviously even more difficult when you're managing significant numbers of people, I think.
[00:18:26.860] - Nick Corrigan
But that that really should be the role of the manager, I think, to make sure that you cover everybody.
[00:18:32.800] - Clare Josa
Thank you, Nick. Thank you. And Susi, what are your thoughts on this one? Any mistakes that you've seen? Well, even with the best of intentions, I think mine are very similar to Nick's. So the email inbox has become you know, we talk about triggers. My email inbox is my big trigger, to be honest, and the meetings. And I think one of the things I did very early on in lockdown, in fact, on day one of lockdown was set up a twice a weekly meeting for my team on Zoom, making very clear that it wasn't mandated.
[00:19:06.970] - Clare Josa
But actually that was that was a really helpful thing. And hopefully that has been helpful and not not a negative impact. But one of the things around meetings and this is less in my organisation, but I've heard it in others, is people booking in meetings even when people have already had their calendar full. And this then leads into what Nick was talking about is you can spend an entire day in meetings. Sometimes you're supposed to be in two or three at the same time, and then you're supposed to do your day job.
[00:19:36.880] - Clare Josa
And when are you doing that? And I think, you know, I'm not sure. And I have asked other people it is not my speciality, but Outlook doesn't seem to have this kind of thing where it says, actually, you can't book that person there. They're already busy. Stop it. You know, for example, my my husband doesn't work on a Friday and he regularly has three or four meetings booked in on a Friday. And you know that that's somebody's not looking.
[00:20:05.200] - Clare Josa
And and I think that is something that has been a real difficulty throughout this. I think meetings are great. And I think, you know, the the Zoom has been amazing. But but booking people into meetings when they're already in a meeting or when they are booked out is focus. Time is not helpful. And I have heard of that a number of times.
[00:20:27.310] - Clare Josa
Absolutely. Thank you for that, Susi. And yeah, I mean, what you're saying about your email inbox, one of the things a lot of my clients are finding, and it's actually come up in the comments here, is that you teams, for example, has become another email box. There's no opportunity to switch it off. There's an organisation I've been running a leadership development programme with to prevent burnout. And one of their biggest triggers for burnout is actually the constant pinging from teams which they're not allowed to turn off.
[00:20:52.150] - Clare Josa
And it can be 50 or 60 times an hour. And if somebody doesn't respond to that ping within ten minutes, it gets escalated to their manager and then the director and everything has suddenly become urgent. We've lost the ability to flow because everybody has been stressed. Yep. So we've got yet teams is great, but constant notifications on my personal phone is very stressful. Some of the other triggers people have listed is not being able to switch off after work.
[00:21:16.960] - Clare Josa
The lines between work and home becoming blurred, frantic juggling of all work and home elements without any downtime. Yeah, the commute. Although it was long, it was a time to decompress the work self-talk before switching to the homes of yet not knottier staff have not had the opportunity to share how they're feeling. So they're feeling isolated and overwhelmed, leading to burnout and not being seen. We need to pick up the phone and ask how you are. And this is a really key thing is sometimes actually picking up a phone rather than scheduling a call.
[00:21:48.040] - Clare Josa
It can actually feel like a relief going back to that old way of communicating instead of being on video. It's that mixing it up. Yeah. Other stuff that we've got through is far too many emails, which, Nick, you mentioned too many meetings. That could be emails. Yeah. Is because we no longer have to put rooms and we don't have to fly people in. It can be too easy to book meetings sometimes with people. Everything defaults to multiples of thirty minutes.
[00:22:14.860] - Clare Josa
So a meeting that you guys have described, you could walk past somebody's desk and it would take two minutes to answer a question, suddenly becomes a 30 minute meeting. And another comment we've got is lack of clear agendas, meetings, meaning you sit there for half an hour. I wonder why am I even here and what have we achieved? Yeah, so it's the really basic stuff that because everybody's been stressed and trying to do things is such an unfamiliar way, has perhaps got lost.
[00:22:39.880] - Clare Josa
It's been adding to the burnout triggers. So thank you. Do keep those comments and ideas coming via the chat as we move on to the next question. So for all the panellists, how can leaders and colleagues support team members in returning to the office or hybrid working, creating a culture of. Wellbeing preventing burnout. Yeah, without this burnout become like a badge of honour with everybody working so hard without sacrificing the CPI's, what sort of things are you recommending?
[00:23:09.860] - Clare Josa
What are you doing yourself? What sort of strategies could we be implementing? And Susi, if I can, I'd like to talk to you, because I've really been enjoying your LinkedIn posts lately where you've been sharing this journey for yourself as an individual with your day to day choices on this. And I know you've got some strategies as well that you've been implementing.
[00:23:29.930] - Susi Fish
Yes, this is something that is really key for me. And I mentioned at the beginning that I'm part of a group called IP Inclusive. And one of the things that they published recently was a top 10 tips into how to return to hybrid working, being inclusive. And we're kind of looking at how we can implement those within my firm and I'm looking at how I can implement them within my own team. And one of the things that we're looking at is for everybody to have a personal return plan.
[00:24:01.160] - Susi Fish
So with their with their manager to sit down and say how they would like to return. Now, being mindful of the fact there are people who want to come back to the office five days a week, you know, we have people who are back in already five days a week because that suits them. That's what what is better for them. And there are people who may have wanted to move away and therefore may be coming in much less frequently.
[00:24:24.380] - Susi Fish
And so obviously, not everybody will get everything they want. But once we've gone through that, that means that then we can look at the set up of work spaces and so on to accommodate those people. And I think that being open to change, not accepting that this is going to be a fluid process process going forward. And one of the other things I think is really important looking at this is presenteeism and being very wary, not wary. That's the wrong word, making sure that somebody isn't rewarded just for being there all the time.
[00:25:02.660] - Susi Fish
And somebody it's not detrimental if they are not there all the time. And I think that's going to have to be a lot of intentionality around that. And that's something we might come onto to to later. But it's about not making assumptions, you know, not assuming, you know, how people want to come back, you know, not assuming that just because I have two children that I want to be working at home all the time. You know, it's making sure that we challenge those assumptions and actually ask about what people are actually looking for. So that's my initial thought.
[00:25:34.970] - Clare Josa
Thank you, Susi. Quick one for everybody who's watching live. Have you come across organisations actually asking that question of employees, actually asking? I'm not going to name anybody, but let me know by the chat. Has your organisation asked you what you want? Do you know of any organisations that have? Because I'm really curious, is a really important thing to be doing. And I think what's been happening is a lot of people have got groups together that are making these decisions on behalf of people.
[00:26:00.660] - Clare Josa
And what you're describing there, Susi, with that personal plan, obviously accepting that not everybody is going to get everything they asked for, it allows people to feel had to feel they've bought into the Y. Yeah. And to be on board with the next round of decisions. Thank you. Nick, over to you, if I may, with that one.
[00:26:20.510] - Nick Corrigan
Yeah, sure. I mean, to just touch on the last point. Yes. Society in general has asked us in the U.K. what we would like, what the balance should be asking for. And coming up with a strategy, the difference between different teams, client facing middle office, back office, so forth, as to what works for everybody is that which I think is exactly the right way to go about the subject. I'm very pleased. I'm very pleased to say.
[00:26:50.420] - Nick Corrigan
And that's developing a work in progress as we as we move through the next few weeks. But from my perspective in in the team, you know, how do we prevent burnout? How do we migrate back to the more hybrid version? You know, I think we've touched on many of the points already. I think when we're at home, video calls are key, less of the emails, less of the meetings that that don't necessarily are not necessarily vital, but also focus on giving people that time, that balance within the old commute time to the work life balance issues.
[00:27:34.100] - Nick Corrigan
Friends and family taking a break for us on the investment banking side, we can work very long hours. That can be some we can work know can be quite tough for a period of time where where there are very strict deadlines. What's critical with that is that there's a period of recovery available for people who have engaged in the. Types of processes, I think one of the most dangerous elements of managing a team is not focussing on what people are doing and just putting them on to one process after another without a break.
[00:28:12.340] - Nick Corrigan
And a constant treadmill of very challenging timelines is is a recipe for disaster. Frankly, that needs to be more thoughtful recovery time for people. And that's all very easy to say in today's environment. The reality is it's extremely difficult because resources are tough at the moment. People are very cost conscious and maybe you don't have so many people to allow that process to work as it once did. But nevertheless, there needs to be an understanding that unless you look to provide that recovery time, you may not have a team to worry about in the future.
[00:28:53.960] - Nick Corrigan
So it's vitally important to to worry about that, that the other technique. I mean, I hate to say technique because it sounds a bit to sort of thought through, but I quite like the nonwork phone call from some managers or other colleagues where somebody actually just calls you and they're not talking about work. And I try to do this with some of my phone specifically to ask about everything other than work, not no deal processes. And it doesn't have to be half an hour.
[00:29:29.960] - Nick Corrigan
It can be a relatively short period of time where you just simply asking about how's the family? What did you do the weekend? Because there's so many other avenues to talking about work related issues and dual processes and team meetings and so forth to get that cool out of the blue from the managers. Just asking how you are and refusing to talk about work. You know, if the if the recipient starts trying to move onto a deal process, you move it away and really go at that time very carefully for the non-work issues.
[00:30:07.060] - Nick Corrigan
And I think that's very powerful, actually, and helpful. Certainly I find that helpful when it happens to me and quite reinvigorating actually getting back into things that we feel like some actually, this is a group of human beings working together as a team and not just a production line. I think that's quite an important process. So, yes, that's that's how I would see managing that process back between the balance of the office and home.
[00:30:44.560] - Clare Josa
Thank you, Nick. And that's a really great point you just made there. I know, Liese, as we come to you, it's something you're really passionate about with the leaders being human and not having to leave who we are at the door of the virtual office. Thank you, Nick. Liese, what are your thoughts on this one?
[00:31:00.970] - Liese Lord
Yeah, I absolutely believe that people should be here. And I think what I loved about the initial stages of the first lockdown was how human we were to each other and how compassionate. And I think keeping some of that going forward is really important. So moving forward and and I resist using that go back to the office because I think a lot of organisations are still feeling a little bit wobbly about, you know, do we do we flip back to the way things are or do we look at this opportunity to decide what we could do going forward?
[00:31:34.810] - Liese Lord
And also, I think things still feel unstable for people, so we don't need to find the final solution yet. I think it's it's keeping that curiosity to to try new things and work out what's going to work best for the next phase of beyond that, we can work out when we get to that. And I think that's that's quite a different way of thinking for some of the things that are really helpful to keep connexion and keep our well-being going around using a team centred approach.
[00:32:13.150] - Liese Lord
So you're looking after each other? I use team agreements in more hybrid teams where each team so an organisation might have a backbone of behaviours and guidelines. And this is what we want. We want people to come together with purpose. So come get together. It might be the office. It might not be. There's an awful lot of organisations that have pulled out of their office contracts and leases. And I just thinking, what do we do next?
[00:32:38.920] - Liese Lord
Or that might be reduced space. So it's thinking differently about how do we get together and how do we get together with purpose. So why are we getting together and what do we want to achieve? I think there will be resentment if we all look on laptops, intellect, sit and just do emails. And so we. You need to be thinking about why why are we going the big why? And I'm hearing a lot of people saying that, but there's almost not the bravery to set the organisation.
[00:33:06.920] - Liese Lord
And I think we need to be braver and set the organisation. So why am I coming back? What what's going to be achieved? Because I don't feel life is stable enough yet to understanding what each individual wants, connecting it to a team purpose. So that's where we can be held onto the KPIs we're looking at what does the team deliver? What's my individual contribution to that? And I guess leaders and managers and really good Chicken Way of sort of helping understand how each person is and how how we're delivering to the team objectives.
[00:33:44.390] - Liese Lord
And I think it's something to look forward to if we all know we're coming together to, you know, to work through this particular phase of deals or projects or what have you. There's an excitement about that. We we can overcome our anxiety or resistance or worry about the commute. And that's that for me seems to be the biggest worry for people. Whatever style of commute you have, getting to the work location, being in the work location, like being a home, like it's that bit in the middle that people aren't always that confident about.
[00:34:17.870] - Liese Lord
The other thing and I love I love individual plan. I've been helping organisations and people think about an individual return to work plan, a bit like if you've been off for a while, whether a sabbatical or long term assets or something, a gradual return. So come in for half a day and travel outside of because we are starting to see the Russia come back, travel outside of that, come in for half a day, because actually it's going to exhaust people.
[00:34:48.740] - Liese Lord
So from a well-being perspective, the exhaustion of returning to a commute, whatever our communities, that that will be tiring. I've done that myself and I've you know, I've got a corporate role as one of my business. And the first day I went back into the organisation, workplace was absolutely shastra. It's almost as bad as those back to back Zaim conversations. And you sort of fall onto the sofa at the end of the day after eight hours of meetings.
[00:35:19.010] - Liese Lord
So just being aware of that that transition in our own physical and mental health, it's really exhausting. I'm seeing some organisations use some of this, the travel budgets, the wellbeing budgets, because obviously a lot saved a lot of money on travel because we didn't go anywhere. It's not going anywhere. And they're using it for quite creative well-being. Some are giving people individual options, you know, giving each person this much money to think about how they can support their well-being, because obviously massages in the office, if you're not there, it's not really benefit, Jim.
[00:35:56.180] - Liese Lord
And people still aren't feeling necessarily that motivated about going into an indoor space. I do outdoor big camps now, which is awesome, except in the rain and quite refreshing. So and the other thing I'm working with people on is giving them giving the employees permission to say to the managers, I'm really uncomfortable about this. Can we talk it through? So helping managers coach more, that coaching style of leadership is just talk to people on a human level like you would your family, friends.
[00:36:31.040] - Liese Lord
What can we do to support you? How does that feel? It's just really coaching people through it because everybody is getting different levels of anxiety in different ways and we might not understand what's triggering that. I think that's really quite toxic.
[00:36:45.770] - Clare Josa
That's such a key.
[00:36:48.960] - Liese Lord
And then I think the thing that we spoke about, which I love to share with people, is the battery analogy. So I've got an analogy which I use, which is three batteries as us, as individuals, as our teams and as our organisations. So we have a responsibility to keep ourselves topped up. Whatever our wellbeing needs are and how that looks, we should always try and put ourselves first where we can. So it's the oxygen mask, isn't it?
[00:37:18.530] - Liese Lord
If we if we're not at our best, we can't do our best for anybody. So looking after ourselves and then keeping our team battery tops up, how do we keep connected to our team and charge that up? And then to the organisation is what are we doing to keep up with the organisation? How connected do we feel? How engaged do we feel? If we're not, what do we do about it and who do we need to talk to so and so that's a fantastic strategy that Suzanna, you had something you wanted to add.
[00:37:50.210] - Susi Fish
Yeah, it was following on from something they had mentioned and that I thought was really important around. Be calls about non-work related issues and the meeting I mentioned I'd set up with my team a couple of times a week, I think I've actually got to know my team better over lockdown because those calls, with the exception of maybe in advance, I might say, this is a work related issue that we need to discuss our non-work related. So it's talking about what did I do at weekends and so on.
[00:38:23.500] - Susi Fish
And it's been absolutely lovely, I think, to get to know them more. And I sit within a number of different groups in my firm. And and so I've had those meetings where I'm not the one running them. And so I think I've got to know some people much better through lockdown. And I think that's been lovely because of that intentionality around it, because of that making sure to have conversations that are not just about work related matters. And then as Liese was talking, there was something that really came out around what what people can do to help.
[00:38:58.330] - Susi Fish
And one of the things it's much like when you go on holiday, you know, a lot of it's in the excitement about the planning and it's coming up. And things we've been putting on quite a lot of events. So chocolate tasting, various cocktail making, it's not all around food. And and in the Easter holidays, we had doughnut making. That was for families as well as individuals. And actually having the the the the coming up to that, people talking about it something different and then coming out the other side.
[00:39:32.290] - Susi Fish
And so I'm hopeful that things like that will equally, you know, keep running going forward because we have offices in various places. But you can stay in contact with people in those different offices via these more virtual events. And I think that's been a very useful use of budget that, like they say, may have otherwise been used on on on travel and other events. So, yeah, just taking them from those two points that that were great.
[00:39:59.120] - Susi Fish
So thank you.
[00:40:00.340] - Clare Josa
Thank you. Thank you, Liese.
[00:40:02.320] - Liese Lord
Can I just add. Sorry, that's a really, really good point. Actually, Susi just reminded me because I used to look after well-being in corporate life. We did that intentionally. When we moved to more agile way of working. We set up events both virtually and in person to, you know, for people to enjoy and to connect with. And you literally could hear the bounce, whether it was virtual, whether it was particularly in the office, you could hear the race and people chit chatting about it and particularly food, food.
[00:40:33.490] - Liese Lord
Just seems a winner, doesn't it. When you juggle everybody's intolerances!
[00:40:44.230] - Nick Corrigan
I mean, I jump in on that because I think one of the one of the challenges working from home is you don't necessarily celebrate the successes of a business in the same way that you did when you were in the office, when you got for something great happens, you win a do whatever it might be, a new client and people, you know, get together, maybe have a couple of drinks after work or something, and you're all together. It's it's a great feeling.
[00:41:12.670] - Nick Corrigan
During lockdown, you might have the same situation and people just simply go on to the next situation the next day. You don't get together, you don't go out. And so I think celebrating that success is so important to bringing the team together. So wherever a deal goes the right way or something works in as you as you want it to be as a team, we try and set up a gathering. I know it's horrible, I presume, but we all get together.
[00:41:46.810] - Nick Corrigan
We all talk about the success and, you know, raise the glass to everyone's hard work in the process. And it's really important to do that because it's so easy just to send out the email to everyone saying, well done, great job, everybody. And then suddenly you're immediately into the next process and you feel like you haven't really achieved that much. I've been getting an email, so I think it is really important to celebrate those successes even more so when we're all at home.
[00:42:17.890] - Clare Josa
It's such a good point, Nick, as well. When we're doing hybrid, it's going to be so important to make sure that on the day we're celebrating, those who are not necessarily in the office are also included. It's going to be a new new way of juggling this. And I know for myself, you know, as a keynote speaker, we're after a panel discussion like this, everybody would finish on a high. There'd be a massive round of applause.
[00:42:38.710] - Clare Josa
We'd all go and have a cup of tea or something else together. And for me, I can get to the end of a 90 minute keynote and suddenly it's just silence for about 30 seconds later by the children whinging that I've not given them lunch yet, yeah. And it's so important. I've actually had to put processes in place to create that post event high for me or if we. Doing a launch with my team to create that celebration because we're not together in person to do the hugs and the high fives in the world, that was so great.
[00:43:06.540] - Clare Josa
So it is such an important point is to create intentional spaces, to celebrate what we're achieving together, not just the day to day meetings. Say thank you on that. We've got some great stuff in the comments here about, yes, we're being asked each quarter in our health and safety survey. Yes. Initial discussions happening about returning to work, looking at how to make everybody feel included and to wrap up one minute each piece, because I do want to finish fairly on time.
[00:43:32.220] - Clare Josa
If we kind of want to honour your time and everybody's time. If you had a time machine and you could zoom forward to a year from now learning what we will have learnt by then. What advice would you give people today on how to prevent burnout, how to foster well-being without sacrificing the KPIs? Just one minute each list. Could I start with you, please?
[00:43:54.630] - Liese Lord
I think for me it's using the power of pause. There's very few things that we need to rush into. It's it's for it's talking to people involving them and helping people understand what good, well-paying looks like. And that's a top priority for the organisation. And enmeshing that all the way through everything, so I think that's take the time to consider each step would be the advice for today.
[00:44:27.040] - Clare Josa
Thank you so much, Nick. May I come to you?
[00:44:31.720] - Nick Corrigan
I would hope that these types of discussions generate lessons for organisations. So, you know, in a year's time, if we are all going back to the office five days a week and everyone still back to the commute and time away from friends and family, I think that would be disappointing. I'd like to to hope that we do move into a hybrid environment. There is more working from home because it's so beneficial in so many great ways. Yes, there are costs and we covered a number of those today, but we haven't really touched on the benefits of working from home can provide around childcare, friends and family issues time away from the northern line.
[00:45:16.750] - Nick Corrigan
You know, there are some great things. So I'm hoping in a year's time we are in that hybrid environment and the best way that works for every individual and every organisation. And we learn about looking after people when they're not in the office, the mental health aspects that we that we've covered as well. So we find the best of both worlds because it's as in many times in life, there's always the balance between the two. It's never one or the other typically.
[00:45:46.990] - Nick Corrigan
And there's some great things to be had with the office and sorts some great things and vice versa with work. And we can find that optimum balance between the two. I think a lot of people will be a great deal happier with their careers and it will lead to greater levels of retention and well-being in the office. So fingers crossed, that's where that's where we are in a year's time.
[00:46:13.330] - Clare Josa
Thank you, Nick and Susi, over to you.
[00:46:16.390] - Susi Fish
Yes, I have a couple of things. I think one is to start setting up the hybrid now to make sure that there are maybe guidelines put in place for people running high hybrid meetings not to be trying to think of that when we are actually in the situation, but to be looking at it in advance, you know, making sure that the screens are in place, the meeting rooms are ready. And alongside that, if if people are wanting to have people coming back into the office, think about how we want that to look, you know, make that office somewhere that you want people to that people will want to come into.
[00:46:50.950] - Susi Fish
So really think about that now so that along that line of what we were talking about, about maybe having teams coming in for reasons do we have rooms there that you can get people to have coffees delivered into and, you know, those kind of things, nice breakout spaces. But to do that now, to start looking at it now rather than in a year's time when everybody is just coming back, as Nick said, hopefully not into five days a week, because that's how it works, because things aren't set up.
[00:47:19.930] - Susi Fish
So I think we should be looking at that now. But I'm really excited to see how this goes forward. And I'm really hopeful that it will end up in a situation where everybody can have things that work for them individually. And thank you, guys. Thank you for inviting me today.
[00:47:34.870] - Clare Josa
Thank you so much. And quick bit of audience participation as we wrap up. I'd love to hear from you over on social media, whether that's Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn using the hashtag #makinghybridwork. What is your one big takeaway from this panel discussion today? Take me. I'll make sure I pass your wonderful feedback on onto our brilliant speakers. So that's #makinghybridwork is the hashtag and Tagami Clare Josa. What is your biggest takeaway today? What action are you going to take?
[00:48:04.660] - Clare Josa
Thank you so much to Liese, Nick and Susi for giving your time today to help to inspire people to share your experiences. I have got so many notes. This has been a great session. So I know everybody that's been watching this live or who gets the replay is going to find insights and actionable inspiration. In the replay page, you'll find details of how to connect with Susi, Nick and Liese. If you want to, please pass them on a thank you and thank you to all of you for helping us to launch the Lockdown Leadership Conference.
[00:48:36.700] - Clare Josa
It's been wonderful to get to spend time with you today. And thank you for sharing your time.
[00:48:41.110] - Nick Corrigan
Thank you. Pleasure. Thank you.
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