Joy at Work(er) Blog

2020’s Silver Lining is Connection

virtual teams Dec 24, 2020

Written by Ed Cook

Even if it doesn’t make sense, after seeing a pattern, one has to admit that there is something there, right? We have seen a pattern in what people have told us in dozens of interviews and client meetings and virtual courses. The pattern is increased connection...in a time of isolation.

“A human being is a part of the whole, called by us 'Universe,' a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for...

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Virtual Meeting Joy

management virtual teams Jul 10, 2020

Written by Roxanne Brown

Have meetings become friendlier? When a colleague’s child bursts on your screen to show you their toy, does that make people laugh? When a cat jumps up on the back of a colleague’s chair, does that bring smiles? Working from home is a lot of things. “Weird” certainly describes it. Sometimes, it can be unexpectedly joyous too. 

Of course, work is a serious thing that needs focus. collaboration and determination. Work also needs spontaneous, joyful moments. That momentary relief does a lot for mood, bonding, and energy.

Work-life balance seems like a passé phrase today. It’s more like work-life integration. That’s what we’re doing when we work from home all of the time. People used to have to hide those less-professional “life” parts of their lives before we quarantined. Now, not only do we seem to have the patience for it, many of us are enjoying getting to know work colleagues in these new...
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The 3 (and a half?) Types of Virtual Meetings

management virtual teams Apr 06, 2020

Written by Ed Cook

As we all scramble because of the COVID-19 outbreak of the coronavirus to move to virtual work that means virtual meetings.  Anything that has not gone well with our in-person meetings is going to go even more horribly with your virtual meetings.  Every distraction, every unfocused agenda item, every meandering conversation without conclusion or action, will be all the more so in a virtual environment.  So let’s use this time of COVID-19 driven separation to make our virtual meetings fantastic.  They can be a source of trust-building as discussed here.  They can even be a way to bring Joy at Work, even more so because so many are anxious about the future.  Now is the time for leaders to step up and be the voice that provides calm and guidance.  Meetings are the place we can do it!

Meetings are a symptom of bad organization. The fewer meetings, the better. 
-Peter Drucker

There is significant risk in contradicting a...

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Building Trust...Virtually

virtual teams Mar 30, 2020

Written by Ed Cook

With the coronavirus raging across the world and organizations asking people to stay home, we will all need to learn how to work better virtually. There are certainly practical tips for conducting a meeting virtually that you can review here.  Also important in a virtual work environment is building trust.

“One must be fond of people and trust them if one is not to make a mess of life.” -- E.M. Forster

But what is trust? And, why do we want to build it? These may not have easy answers to the simplicity the questions suggest.  Let’s start with trust. We place our trust “in” things and people, as in, “I’ll put my trust in this old car,” or “I’ll put my trust in Angela,” or even “I’ll put my trust in God.”  We talk about “my trusty pen,” or “umbrella,” or “screwdriver.” But how do we know we have trust?  The one key...

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How to Build and Sustain Trust on a Virtual Team

Written by Ed Cook

What is Trust? And, why do we want to build it? These may not have the easy answers the simplicity of the question suggests. Let’s start with the concept of Trust. We place our trust “in” things and people, like, “I’ll put my trust in this old car,” or “I’ll put my trust in Angela,” or even “I’ll put my trust in God.” We talk about “my trusty pen,” or “umbrella,” or “screwdriver.” But how do we even know we have Trust? The one key characteristic of Trust is that it is something given, as in, “I give my trust to you.” It cannot be taken or really even earned. The origin of the word itself is from Old Norse and means strength. In giving Trust, you are giving your strength to another. A powerful gift.

As to why would we want to build trust, especially in a team situation, the value is clear. The team is stronger. This makes sense if the team is...
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