Tony skinner 00:01
Hi, and welcome to the podcast channel www.podcastmybusiness.com.au. And we’re rejoined by Lisa from www.lewis.com.au. And we, we had a survey result that is on the preceding podcast, another podcast. And we’re looking a little bit more in detail into working from home, and actually getting back into the office. So how you going there Lisa
Lisa I’m very well, how are you, Tony?
Tony skinner 00:34
I am fantastic. I don’t want to make mistake of doing all the talking for eight minutes. on my own.
That’s okay. I’ll try not to do the same thing. two people that love to chat, right?
Tony skinner 00:53
Yeah. Just cancel. And seriously, it’s a skill I’ve had to learn myself as well. So. But maybe I got to learn the skill of interrupting people at times as well. But anyway, it doesn’t really matter. Okay, so we’re really what we wanted to have a look at in this podcast is people are starting to move or realize there are advantages and disadvantages to working from home. Now, before COVID came along, there was this constant argument that you know, what, yeah, I’d love to work from home, that’d be great. And employers would go, Well, we don’t trust you. We don’t think you’re gonna be as productive working from home, and what have you. And your survey was covering that as well, whereby, you know, employers and employees were 50% of them are happy with the technology and whatever. But how would they personally in relation to working from home?
Yeah, again, it’s been fascinating watching it’s, you know, the biggest work from home experiment ever. And you’re exactly right. It has proven that it’s possible. And, and most people believe they’re more productive working from home. And as you said, our surveys showed, you know, roughly half think they’ve got all of the equipment that they need. And But definitely, it’s a little bit task or job title related and personality related, but as many people really looking forward to getting back into the office. So even the most introverted of introverts are starting to miss some of the social connectivity that comes with the workplace.
Tony skinner 02:33
Yeah, and that’s so true. I have a walking group. And we went for a walk on the weekend. Yes, I’m in Sydney. So we’re allowed to do that. And some of them, we’re starting to talk about it. You’re working from home. And I’ve got a shared office in North Sydney. And people started to come back dribs and drabs. So I think it’s true. I’ll tell you my little story about yet. I started up my business while the business clicks for profit, like five years ago, spent most of that time working from home, I’d rules in place, and I think in all working from home as their rules. And I think one is don’t do any domestic chores during office hours. On a you do, Lisa, because sure you want to get stuff done. You got Yeah, I’ll do it in office hours.
Tony skinner 03:20
They you go.
I love the multitasking of dabbing the washing going while I’m doing my work.
Tony skinner 03:25
Yeah, that myth of multitasking. But anyway, yeah, it’s in the machine, the machine goes, I just shut the door and just leave it and it’s done. And I’m happy with it. Okay, that’s fair enough. So I had that rule. And I had a rule of making sure I met up and caught up something socially everyday, it was just grant writing, having a coffee, again, you guys moment, it’s a little bit more difficult to do that. And that’s been really beneficial for a lot of local businesses as well. And sort of everyone been working in the CBD, and then I work from home, you can go out for a walk and get to take away coffee as well.
Absolutely. And in fact, more mindful of it than ever, you know, supporting some of the local businesses.
Tony skinner 04:08
Hmm, absolutely. So, and, you know, then I got back into working from an office and certainly mental health wise, it’s definitely made a difference. So what about the surveys and other research you’d be looking at in relation to that?
Yeah, we were looking at the results have shown us that people are quite keen to get back to some semblance of normal, they don’t want to go back to the office full time. Most people, you know, that taboo of working from home has certainly been broken down. People believe they’re more productive, working from home, whether that’s true or not, is another thing and there’s certainly things we can do around that. But most people want some form of a hybrid. And I think management have come to realize that people can be productive and engaged while still being at home. So at the moment, one of the greatest barriers to people Going back to the offices, how they get there, and the fear of things like public transport and those sorts of things. But there is only a very, very small percentage of people who, you know what, it’s not so small 38% think it’ll be all full time back in the office, that nobody really wants to be back in the office full time. So, most people are saying I’d like some hybrid, and that’s generally talking around three days or two days, one, you know, three days in two days out or something of that nature.
Tony skinner 05:36
And actually, that that’s a good way of dealing with that issue of employees being concerned about who’s doing what in the office, because I know their office now. And again, in Sydney, here, we’re a little bit ahead of that curve. whereby they have Team A is there on Mondays, Tuesdays, and teaming is their Wednesdays Thursdays, and Friday. Nobody cares. Um, so, yeah. So or maybe because Friday is a good social day, that they might have people in on the Friday or whatever it might be. Yeah, on the Friday. And I think that’s one way of dealing with it. But it’s interesting, I’ve been catching public transport, and I’ve got a mask for the bus because I recommend it. We can’t get arrested for not wearing a mask in Sydney, or beaten up by the police or dragged out of a car. I know, there’s fun things that then we go, Oh, my God, what? Wow. Um, and I’m not even going to get into the political side of that. And, you know, I, even me, I forgot to wear my mask on the train on the weekend, because I’m used to getting buses and whatever. And that’s starting to break down. So it’s interesting, the survey says, we are concerned about people getting public transport. But in reality, we don’t do anything about it ourselves.
Yes, it seems to be often the case. So you know, people, I think, for want of a better expression, look for ways to play the system. And, and even here in Melbourne, you know, there’s basically compliance fatigue. And I think as the weather gets nicer, and things seem to have settled down, and you know, so people still need the kind of reminder and, you know, dealing with that mentality, that it’s not really a problem here. So why do we bother either reading a piece from someone in Spain? And they said, Well, no, we will want it your point, Victoria, and this is what happened to us. And we thought it was, you know, too much to do the kind of lockdown that you’ve got. So it’s not, it ain’t educating people to know that it’s not about waiting till it’s out of hand to do something about it. And I think that definitely, one of the great things about the whole pandemic has been that it’s opened up discussion around mental health around physical health, and starting to encourage employers to think about employees more as a total human being. And it’s normalized to the conversation around things that might have traditionally been considered to be just too personal. And, and we know that social connectivity is a really great driving force for productivity. And as humans, that’s what we thrive on.
Tony skinner 08:25
Hmm. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I’ve got a podcast I just loaded up with Sir John Kirwan is around mental health, especially for high performance sports people. That locker room mentality of not sharing. And I think that’s also difficult on the online environment. Because you got your zoom call, and you’ve got your zoom call, and you have you chat. And I think that’s why people are more productive. Because in a zoom call, it’s more of a task driven environment.
Tony skinner 08:58
Yep. Whereas in the office, you have time to Well, let’s look at an office, I would say, in an office environment, and you’re probably productive three and a half hours a day.
That’s right. And you know, and we factor that in. Hmm. You know, so you’ve got your individual tasks and things like zoom meetings are great for that getting tasks off the list, perhaps less effective when it comes to managerial tasks and collaborative and workshopping tasks. And it might be that platforms and software get better and better to help those kinds of things. But it’s just, you know, the spontaneity of being able to walk over to someone’s desk, overhearing a conversation, sitting down for a coffee at lunch, you know, in the office kitchen. It’s those sorts of things that are just so difficult to duplicate in a remote and digital environment. Hmm,
Tony skinner 09:50
yeah. And I think that that’s definitely going to help businesses that when they come back, in order to come up with new ideas and new ways of doing things, and he Truly more productive individually rather than just task driven? Yeah, yeah, that’s gonna make a huge difference. And I read something in the weekend is somebody in Melbourne? And this seems to be could become a bit of a movement whereby they still put on their jacket? And should they get in the car, and they go the route within five K or whatever they’re allowed to do. And they go off and drive for 10 minutes and come back home, and then work.
Well, that’s one way of doing putting people in context of what you’re with. Yeah, absolutely.
Tony skinner 10:39
Yeah, like me, you’re here at home, I got a my polo shirt on and I’ve got a business t shirt that I’ve got, it’s got my branding on the front of my name on the back, or it’s like on the back or what have you. And that gets me ready for working. But I thought that 10 minute drive, that’s interesting, because you have that 10 minutes to get yourself ready. Whereas rolling out of bed and stumbling into the study or the lounge room or what have you. it’s a bit different.
Exactly. I call it putting on my costume. What you do to get stage ready, and that carpet, because you’re exactly right. Otherwise, it’s kind of just her a bit of a shock to the system.
Tony skinner 11:30
Hmm. And so the survey and the other report you’re referring to, does that have any suggestions in relation to how to get stage rating?
Yeah, that’s a much about some of those things around stage ready, what was really interesting you talked about to drive productivity. There’s kind of this was a BCG report that was published recently. And it talks about, we need social connectivity, we need mental health, physical health, and we need workplace tools. So our survey results said we’re we’re getting there on the workplace tools. And that’s kind of the hygiene factor. There’s more conversations around physical health. And that’s pretty easy. It’s the mental health and the social connectivity, that are going to be, you know, more and more important, if you you know, if you think about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, that’s where we’re going to get more of the self actualization. And it is the really, though, they’ve shown that when employees feel socially connected, they’re up to three times more productive than when they don’t feel socially connected. So you know, it is about getting stage ready and getting that mindset, which might be for some people put on your makeup, do your hair, put on, you know, your work, clothes, keep as much of the routine, you know, to your point, Tony don’t do domestic chores. And but, you know, the challenge really is then how that thing, we can start to put some rules around. And then the thing is, how do we mean we can remote an online environment, what we would normally have in the office. And so that means about, you know, some of the suggestions I’ve seen, for example, is if you’ve got people on site and off site, then everybody has to dial in. So you know, and do a zoom call, so that there’s not an us and them mentality, you know, making sure if you’ve got shift day and shift to be that there’s some overlap, because that one of the issues with this as it works right now, but one of the big concerns is when we’re onboarding new people, and if we go out for two years, and nobody’s ever really been together in an office environment, how do you keep to maintain your culture? How do you keep the team cohesive? I heard of one organization recently that gives because people are also feeling a bit overwhelmed, because you can be in back to back zooms, license to cancel two meetings a week. Scheduling versus virtual coffees, virtual birthday cakes, friendly competitions, my team last week, we had to go outside and take picture of something unusual. upload it and you know, whoever had the most interesting feature, won a great bottle of wine. So you know, really simple things like that to try and bring the team together.
Tony skinner 14:14
Yeah, I’m gonna do something. It’s not how I paint. And I recently did another self portrait. And I was going to email it to you. I’m going to get it off my phone and email it to you. I was going to live while we’re talking as usual. On my God, only the ultimate multitasking challenge hashing. Oh, is exactly that. So I’m going to try it. And we’re going to see how we go. So what else did the report have to say about working from home?
And you know, in just that, that kind of making sure that you’ve got the tools that you need to be as productive as you can. I just turned a little quick. So I think that’ll probably be you. Having your space. So one of the things that we did for our team was to do and basically a bit of an audit, and send in a photo of what your work space looks like, so that we could give them the creature comforts that, you know, we had people that were working on tiny little desks and bridging, you know, computers across things. So setting up a comfortable environment where you’ve got as much as possible, the duplication of what your office space might would be. And I went in and got my desk from the office. Because I didn’t have one at home, and I was working on security cable. And, you know, we’ve got sit stand desks, so I thought, I’m going to go in and get my desk and put it here. And I moved from the dining table to my desk. And even that made a difference, because I started to feel that I’m in, you know, the presence of work. And I am actually working from home, not just sort of doing a bit of work from the kitchen table. So it’s those kinds of cues that you’re so used to that are important.
Tony skinner 16:01
Now, I haven’t sent it to yet. So that thing wasn’t me.
Tony skinner 16:06
this one is going to be called Tony’s portrait. Send it to you. While you’re talking about that. Yeah, and I mean, even things like having the right equipment, because I know people have been forced, even partners have been forced to work from home together. And then there’s a home schooling and whatever. I read the whole Russia, people just dead gagging, to get the hell out of home, and get the hell out of home fast. And again, it’s not going to be always possible to do that straight away. But yeah, I feel for everybody that’s been stuck. And there’s definitely benefits to get back into the office. So have a look at the email. So I’m going to do that wonderful little challenge.
So definitely is that sense of, you know, a sense of workplace to give people that. And it’s really interesting, I actually saw something on Facebook or something. And you know, and even in our industry, we’ve got partners working together, and suddenly they understand what their partner does all day. And sometimes the descriptions of that are not particularly flattering.
Tony skinner 17:09
you sound like an idiot.
Tony skinner 17:17
Jeez, he talks like that on the phone. Really? Yeah.
Your personality coming out? You know?
Tony skinner 17:25
Yeah. Well, it’s, there’s, the world has changed. And I think there’s lots of good things. There might be some little bad things. But I think as creatures, humans are pretty adaptable, and pretty flexible. And yeah, I think we’re gonna see a lot of adaptability and flexibility coming up. So did you have a look at my little self portrait
there? I’m still waiting for it.
Tony skinner 17:48
Okay, it’s a big file. Actually, it’s a five megabyte file. It’s a huge Oh, that’s because my phone, my phone takes a photo and it’s huge. Anyway, when I get there one day. Okay, that’s cool. portrait? Well, it’s actually a little bit different cos we’re on a podcast, how can I hurt? Okay, you tell me about the portrait. There you go.
Oh, sorry. Well, I like it. But I’m so talking about split personalities, and
Tony skinner 18:27
let the audience know. Okay. What it is, is that it’s a photo of myself and a jacket and a T shirt. What I’ll do, I will put it up in the Instagram. So I’ll probably do that on on Wednesday. This week, I’ll whack it up on Insta. So you can all have a look at it. But what it is, it’s me I did a self portrait and I do take lessons and whatever. And this week it was last week about self portraits done before. And I thought I’m gonna do something different gonna challenge myself. So one side of me is blue. And the side of me is red. And it’s like the Obama thing for many years ago. And I’ve had lots of good feedback on Facebook and other channels that well it does look like me. So it’s pretty lifelike, apparently. Yeah. Yeah. But one, but somebody else said Oh, looks like a an angry Smurf.
Oh, or very embarrassed one who only blushes down one side.
Tony skinner 19:26
Exactly. So one side is blue. One side is red. And I did the opposite. On the blue side. It’s got the red lines and an opposite on the other and I thought I’ll do a challenge. But there you go. The unexpected. And the background is meant to be taken outside. outside my place. I’ve got a massive hedge was meant to be leaves but no one quite knows what it is. So hey, it’s an abstract. I’m an artist. I’m allowed to do what I want.
Oh, yeah, I like it. But you know, my my, my immediate thought was one of transition and You know, foot niche camp, finding new ways, you know got business down the bottom and outdoor nature behind you, huh?
Tony skinner 20:10
Yeah. Look, this thing about the logic. Thank you is that people don’t realize that the objective of ours to have people talking and thinking so everyone sees something different. So even if it’s three lines, then it’s still something
there. Yeah, exactly.
Tony skinner 20:29
Alright, so we’ve covered a lot today. So there you go. All right. It’s a bit more free. Free basing podcast, which is good. They’re good fun. Yeah. Yeah, I like them. I like that ours. Lisa. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Ah, that’s it for me for today. I think Tony.
Tony skinner 20:49
All right. No worries. We’ll leave it right here.