I recently facilitated a bite-size workshop with a team within a reasonably large sized online-based business, on new work, giving them a chance to look at what it is generally about, and whether any of it suits them in their teamwork. They left me free hand (Any trainers dream and also one of the most effective way for customers to take advantage of picking up topics they don’t have the time to research in training.) and came out of the morning session eager to go and packed with ideas on how to focus on what was really important in their working lives.
Here are some of the topics we focused on:
New Work – what does it mean? And where did it come from?
New Work is pretty much anything but new…. But like many revolutionary ideas, it has taken a while to make inroads into business and peoples’ everyday working environment.
The team, and many of you, will surely find that a lot of what we focused on is not rocket science, but it is thanks to the change in the business environment that these important factors are now coming to the fore. Prof. Dr. Frithjof Bergman first started publishing about this in the 1970s and 80s, as a result of his work on freedom, and his conclusion that nothing gives people less freedom than the working environments he encountered at the time.
The main four values of his manifesto are:
#freedom to act
#partaking in your community
And while some companies could afford to ignore the #newwork movement in the past, it is becoming increasingly obvious in today’s fast-moving markets, why it is important to live these values, for people to be wholly motivated, for teams to be effective at work, and for productivity to be maximized. In order to maximize productivity it is key that people are enthusiastic about what they do and happy where they do their work, and this led us to the question:
What do you really, really want to do?
As in: what is important in your everyday work-routine? Many of you will be familiar with the metaphor of the glass jar and the big rocks. Click here for a great version of this in German. The team used this question to focus in on what their big rocks were in their work-day, and what small rocks could wait until later, so that they could enjoy the cocoa (queue the video).
Looking at their daily working rhythm, the team also analyzed when they were most productive and when their brains needed a well-earned break. Comparing notes on this supported the team’s ability to calculate in when to cover important things together, and when to factor in time for gravel.
Now that the team had a good idea of when their individual peak- and off-peak times were, they had a look at how they could better understand each other, in order to continue becoming a truly #newwork team based on openness, teamwork, community, approachability and sustainability. As a team it is key to know each other’s preferences in term of you like working with people and topics: are you more of a people person, or do you like figuring things out on your own, do you need structure, or thrive on flexibility? Combined with a good dose of feedback on what they appreciate about each and every colleague, this put them on a great basis to be able to work together in their #newwork environment.
With that the team left the workshop bursting with ideas and material in order to focus them on their big rocks, their #newwork, and their teamwork, raring to go.