“What are your new rules for success?”
That was the question posed by Rakuten CEO Mickey Mikitani to his network of nearly 1.3 million on LinkedIn earlier this summer — after sharing his own work-from-home-centric recommendations via a blog post on Rakuten Today entitled “Re-examining rules for success.”
With so many people now adjusting to new working conditions and a rapidly changing business landscape, it’s a question on many of our minds. And based on the breadth of thoughtful responses Mickey received from his network, it’s clearly a topic the international business community has been thinking about deeply.
Get the work-life balance right
Corinne: The biggest challenge for home working will be getting a balance between work and life. This shift will not only be challenging for the individual, but it will also be challenging for the employer. Employers who understand that their employees should be working to live, not living to work, will get the following benefits: happier and healthier employees; high productivity levels; a more positive working team; staff loyalty and retention.
Set micro KPIs
Diane: Make sure you break things down into chunks small enough to accomplish in an hour or two. As each item is completed, take a micro-break to refresh for the next task.
Embrace the human side of virtual meetings – pets and all!
Frank: Many people have family and pets that don’t understand what many of us are doing, and sometimes they say or do things that interrupt a Zoom meeting and cause unnecessary embarrassment. Virtual meetings shouldn’t be so formal and we shouldn’t be so strict with each other: Let’s ease up on each other and embrace the human side of our virtual meetings.
Set clear boundaries
Rexx: Have clear boundaries about when you are on the clock. Don’t let working from home become an excuse to work constantly and at all hours of the day. This will involve communicating with coworkers what is important and what is urgent, and the intersection between the two. It will also require self-imposed discipline to know when to take a break from working.
Have regular touchpoints
Sixto: Being unable to connect face to face can make some feel disconnected from the latest company information that one can usually gather during coffee and lunch breaks. Doing regular one-on-one meetings helps keep the employee on track with KPIs and engaged. It also gives the leader the opportunity to clarify and provide support when needed. Lastly, and most importantly, it is an opportunity to show empathy by asking how the employee is doing.
Encourage physical movement
Anjan: Encourage workers to improve their physical health. Motivating employees to get up and move can have a really great impact on the mental health of your employees and finally lead to an increase in productivity and efficiency. You can even conduct virtual group activities where employees can do a mini 7-minute workout together.
New formats for socializing, sharing & storytelling
Laurie: It is so much more difficult to feel neighborly in a digital village — we need interaction and we need to meet new people and learn from them. A new rule for success post-COVID-19? New formats for in-person socializing, sharing and storytelling — formats that inspire a diversity of participants.
What would you add to the list of new rules for success? By sharing and discussing the emerging new rules, we can all benefit from each other’s experiences and work toward a brighter, more optimistic future.
*Some responses have been shortened for brevity or edited for clarity.