Stock Take Part One: Work

Rose Tinted Glasses

Looking Through Rose Tinted Glasses (c) R Dennison October 2013

It’s that time of the year.  British Summer Time ended on 27 October.  Stand by for Argos Christmas gift offers; wintery warming recipes on television; Top Ten lists of the year.

Meanwhile, if you are reviewing your Work-Life-Everything Else list in 2013 here is the first three posts which might help.  This part looks at actions you can take to help yourself if your focus is work (well-being and wealth will follow).


Research commissioned by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development suggests that ‘trust between employees and senior managers is more likely to be weak (34%) than strong (29%)… and that trust is particularly weak in the public sector (43%)’.

Seemingly some senior managers wear rose-tinted glasses when they look at their teams’ performance.  Their junior colleagues feel they can’t speak up.  That could make for unhappier workplaces.  If so that’s an unfortunate outcome, as demographic trends seem to show people working for a greater proportion of their lives before retirement.

So a couple of good stock-take questions to ask are:

How can organisational leaders display honesty and integrity to build more trust into their relationships with their employees?

What else can staff do to voice their concerns in a way that captures leaders’ attention?

Hopefully thoughtful answers to those questions can produce more trusting, and productive, workplaces.

For more on the CIPD you can visit them online at

The Upside To Home Working

Y from the Yahoo logo

Y from the Yahoo logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I wonder if Yahoo chief Marissa Mayer has looked carefully at the costs (as well as the benefits) of denying staff the opportunity of working from home in favour of office-based collaboration?


In my experience of working for an office-based team it was possible to get quite a lot done for the team, when working remotely from it.


It was necessary to focus on the specific tasks and outputs to be delivered whilst operating from home though.  The Guardian’s five golden rules for successful home working would have helped.


The point Yahoo may be missing is that home working wasn’t an everyday event, but an infrequent privilege extended as a sign of the healthy upside in the emotional contract between employer and employee.  Employer trusts the employee to get the job done, even though the employee is not sitting in front of them chained to a desk.


What was the usual result after home working?


The employer got the timely outputs needed in the quantity required and to the appropriate quality standard.  The employee got to shape their life around their work and lower the environmental impact of their work by commuting less.  No dramas, no skiving and no downside involved.  In fact it seemed to me to be a fairly happy, efficient and productive arrangement for both sides.


If Yahoo was to ask me I would say their proposed change seems counter-productive.  Employees lose a privilege, gain a commute and wonder if their employer trusts them to deliver tasks at arms length.