Are we even aware?

In a previous post « Ear’s the plan », I explained why creating awareness about the weaknesses of some current working methods was a prerequisite. Both individuals and teams need to be convinced that the way they work is affecting their overall life balance – too many emails, meetings without agenda, too many versions of documents, all this in a rather isolated way.

An awareness campaign about a recurrent behaviour, which I like to call « micro-working » – certainly abusively, but this illustrates well my point, could represent a good option.

A micro-worker has the following characteristics:

Right after coming to work in the morning, his first action is to open his inbox to read all his incoming emails. Then, he gets to his next action which is to invite colleagues to different meetings via an eCalendar, a very painful task as most of their days are already full. Finally, feeling quite relieved, the micro-worker starts reviewing a document, that he will send by email, copying all interested parties. Mail entitled « strategy_v12 ». And so on so forth.

Do not take me wrong, the micro-worker is a very hard worker. For instance, you will often see him in his office at lunchtime, devouring a sandwich, while reading reports on his computer. Besides, he will be one of the last ones leaving the office at night.

The micro-worker could be a she of course, which reminds me of a discussion with one female friend. “People need to understand that it is possible to come home earlier, there are ways to be more efficient” I told her. There was a long pause and then, she replied “This is a message for women, men want to come home late. It won’t work with men”. One discussion I will never forget!

You might want to watch this video, starting after 7 minutes, which aimed at raising awareness about the possible inefficiency of current work practices.