WFH (WORK FROM HOME) & Work patterns continue to shift nearly three years into the pandemic. Friday & Thursday now most popular days for hybrid workers to take off.

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: when the pandemic began leaders, hoped that people working from home would take off days earlier in the week (e.g. Mondays) and then work harder later in the week. But the opposite seems to be true with more people today taking off Thursdays and Fridays than any other day during a five day work week.

This has implications for the leader and the church staff. The staff may prefer taking off days later in the week, which also are nearer the weekend and may frustrate Sunday preparation plans.

But there is a silver lining. Church volunteers may be more available on Thursdays and Fridays than other days during the week. This is because remote workers are increasingly taking those days off. Read this article to learn more.

A shift in the most popular remote-work days has puzzled the experts

by Matthew Boyle and Bloomberg, Fortune Magazine, 12/16/22.

Hybrid workers are settling into a pattern of staying home twice a week, but it’s not the days you’d expect.

While many companies’ flexible-work plans have sought to get people in the office Tuesday through Thursday, and work from home Monday and Friday, it turns out that workers are staying home more often on Thursday. 

That’s according to new data from WFH Research, a team of academics including Stanford University’s Nicholas Bloom that has compiled data on the actions and attitudes of tens of thousands of American workers since the pandemic began. 

Friday ranks as the most popular day to work from home over the past six months, followed closely by Thursday, while Wednesday is the most common day to be on site.

The findings show how work patterns continue to shift nearly three years into the pandemic, and also reinforce how difficult it is for companies to enforce strict mandates about returning to the office, especially in a stubbornly tight labor market.

Read more at … https://fortune.com/2022/12/16/most-popular-remote-work-days-puzzling-experts/

WFH & Microsoft’s remote-work-friendly CEO puts his finger on the big problem with working from home.

by Jane Thier, Fortune Magazine, 10/17/22.

… Speaking at Yahoo Finance’s All Markets Summit on Monday, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said workers and their bosses continue to disagree over their respective at-home productivity levels. The argument, Nadella said, shouldn’t be hashed out based on anything but data.

His comments came a month after Microsoft released its latest Work Trends Study. Surveying 20,000 people across 11 countries, it found that nearly all (87%) of employees say they’re more productive when they work remotely or in a hybrid setup. It’s no wonder hybrid work is proven to be the most cost-effective and most popular model. 

On the other hand, 85% of employers say it’s difficult to have confidence in their workers’ productivity levels when they’re not in-person. That’s a paradox, Nadella pointed out.

… To alleviate that paranoia, some bosses are doubling down on tracking their remote workers. According to the New York Times, eight out of the 10 largest private employers in the U.S. track often baseless productivity metrics, such as length of time required to write an email and individual keystrokes.

Nadella is staunchly against this. Any kind of employee tracking will only distract from the bottom line, Jared Spataro, Microsoft’s VP of modern work, recently wrote for Fortune“While you might get a lot of data from tracking this type of employee activity, I can confidently say it’s the wrong data,” he wrote. “And surveillance doesn’t just lead to bad data—it undermines trust, a critical factor in organizational success that, once lost, is incredibly difficult to regain.”

Rather than monitoring, Nadella encourages leaders to get back to basics: setting clear business goals.

“Really make sure that you’re very clear, as leaders and managers, about what the goals of the company or the team are, setting the norms for how people collaborate, and communicate,” he said.

Read more at … https://fortune.com/2022/10/17/microsoft-ceo-satya-nadella-remote-work-problem-productivity-paranoia/

GROWING THE POST-PANDEMIC CHURCH & Working From Home: 53% Of Remote Workers Are Quitting Due To Outdated Benefits.

by Jasmine Browley, Essence Magazine, 6/15/22.

Working remotely has become heavily favored by many workers over the last few years for many reasons that include better work-life balance, money saved on daily commutes and comfortable work environments are key factors that come to mind. 

But according to a new study, this isn’t enough to keep workers around. 

Paychex survey more than 1,000 employees across the U.S across various leadership levels about what they’re looking for in benefit packages. The participants also discussed how important these benefits are when considering the viability of the companies they’re working for. 

While 88% of employees reported satisfaction with their benefits while working on-site, and that number dropped to 71% when they switched to remote work. That number rose to 77% for those participants whose companies offered upgraded benefits workers. 

The survey also asked which benefits were most important. The most common benefit updates for remote workers included flexible working hours and performance bonuses. When asked which additional benefits were most important, employees said they valued a home office stipend (31%) and reimbursement for internet costs (30%). 

The full report can be found here.

And read more from Essence Magazine here … https://www.essence.com/news/money-career/remote-workers-importance-of-benefits-workplace-morale/

GROWING THE POST-PANDEMIC CHURCH & Study Shows 74 Percent of Introverts Don’t Want Full-Time Remote Work. They Want This Instead

by Jeff Steen, Inc. Magazine, 4/12/22.

… In a recent study detailed in The Wall Street Journal. In fact, they found something quite different: 82% of extroverted workers would prefer a hybrid work model, with 15% actually preferring full-time remote work. Self-described introverts, on the other hand — a whopping 74% of them — said they wanted to be in the office at least part-time.

CEOs and people leaders who are navigating our new normal should see a lesson here, namely that employee preferences aren’t as black and white as management would like.

As one introverted employee, quoted in the article, noted: “At the end of the day, I want to be home by myself, but it doesn’t mean you can’t crave other people’s company.” Indeed, as Myers-Briggs’ head of thought leadership, John Hackston, noted, the takeaway here is that new work models shouldn’t be all or none — or even as highly regulated as some managers would want. The control should land with employees.

Read more at … https://www.inc.com/jeff-steen/study-shows-74-percent-of-introverts-dont-want-full-time-remote-work-they-want-this-instead.html

GROWING THE POST-PANDEMIC CHURCH & WFH? Do this one thing to retain your employees and avoid the Great Resignation by Bob Whitesel PhD

Read more at … https://www.biblicalleadership.com/blogs/wfh-do-this-one-thing-to-retain-your-employees-and-avoid-the-great-resignation/?utm_source=BLC&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=EMNA&utm_content=2022-04-07

ANXIETY & Is It Even Possible to Focus on Anything Right Now? Yes, and this is how! HarvardBusinessReview #solutions

by Maura Thomas, HBR, 4/14/20.

Here’s how the practice of attention management can help with three common attention-grabbers right now: your kids, your chores, and your thoughts.

Your kids 

How can you practice attention management to do good work in a house full of people who need you?

If you have older children at home, you can use the same attention-management techniques I recommend for in-office work: put up a sign, close a door, or provide some other signal for when you can’t be disturbed (unless in emergencies). A nearby dry-erase board or chalkboard is helpful so kids can let you know what they need when you’re ready for a break. This “do not disturb” time works best in increments of 10-60 minutes, followed by a break where you check in with others in the house…

Your chores 

When you find yourself distracted not by other people but by your home environment — nagging thoughts such as, “I really should put in a load of laundry,” “I think I need a snack from the fridge,” “Isn’t it time to walk the dog?” — use these to your advantage. Physical movement, like walking the dog or emptying the dishwasher provide relief after spending time doing mostly “brain work,” like reading, writing, and collaborating with others.

Plan for these breaks and use them as a reward. For example, if you’re having trouble starting the article you need to write, decide that “as soon as I identify the three points of the article and draft the introduction, then I can take the dog for a walk.” Trying to put all personal thoughts out of your head when working from home takes up a huge amount of energy and it isn’t necessary. Instead, tie those personal tasks to important work activities so your days can be productive both personally and professionally, and you’ll end the work day feeling more refreshed and energized because you took appropriate breaks throughout the day.

Your thoughts

In addition to helping you maintain a high level of productivity, practicing attention management will also help you recognize when your thoughts start to turn darker and create anxiety. It’s easy in times like these to ruminate over what might happen. And it’s true that planning is important. But the media exaggerates negative news, so what might start out as research can soon send us into a state of anxiety and worry over “worst case scenarios.”

… If you’ve ever considered starting a gratitude journal, now would be a great time. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Just start or end (or both!) every day by writing down three good things about that day. They don’t have to be big things. Taking a walk in the middle of the work day, reconnecting with an old friend, appreciating a particular aspect of your physical well-being — calling your attention to the good things will change your perspective. Even better, we should take this opportunity to express gratitude to others more often. Behavioral scientist Francesca Gino writes, “gratitude enables us to savor positive experiences, cope with stressful circumstances, and be resilient in the face of challenges.”

Read the full article here … https://hbr.org/2020/04/is-it-even-possible-to-focus-on-anything-right-now?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=hbr