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Future of Work Roundup: April 21st

This week’s Future of Work Roundup includes how companies can entice employees back into the office, plus why having your cam off during calls may hinder your career growth.

Want your team back in the office? Make it better than their home. (Inc.)

Even before the pandemic, we knew employees were no longer getting suckered into an office that boasted ping pong tables and kegs in lieu of competitive wages and reasonable hours.

And in today’s hybrid working world, it’s becoming even harder to encourage them in.

  • Because, really, why would anyone want to leave their comfy clothes, cozy pets, meetings via video, preferred snacks, ideal temperature…  
  • Okay, we get it. But the reason is for a sense of community, plus it gets the momentum going for doing other things outside of the house afterwards, like hitting the gym or grabbing happy hour.  

Let them decide to come in, and make it easier with these suggestions.

  • Make improvements – like adding comfy rugs and nicer lighting – so when people come back for the first time in a while, they’ll be all “ooh!” and “aah!” at what you’ve done.
  • If you’re looking for an office space, try your damndest to make it central and in an area that offers more outside of the office, like a variety of restaurants, shops, and more.
  • Be receptive to feedback. See what people like and don’t like, and create an office that makes the most sense for your unique set of employees.

The bottom line: If you actually want people back in, make your workspace work for them or face the challenging road of hiring more of ‘em.

Despite all the excuses, having your camera off can affect your career growth. (Axios)

Really, your camera isn’t working? We don’t buy it, and neither does your company’s leadership. Stats show that 92% of execs think those who turn their cameras off during meetings aren’t paying attention and don’t have what it takes to grow with the company.

 Ouch, that’s way harsh. And also the facts.

  • As the hybrid working world becomes our new norm, the casual camera-off, muted-mic meetings of yesteryear are no longer cutting it in terms of perceived engagement.
  • If you – a remote and/or hybrid employee – have worried about the lack of facetime with your boss impacting your career growth, then you’ll definitely want your camera on.

But, but, but…

  • Oh, we know. You have kids running around, dogs barking, roommates milling about, and partners who are also partaking in these same types of meetings.
  • You also have Zoom fatigue, and are so, so sick of looking at yourself. Honestly, same. 

The bottom line: Your (genuine) excuses are valid, and leadership needs to take that into consideration. And just how a required return-to-work policy may nudge employees to quit, so may a required camera-on policy. So, we need to meet in the middle. Leadership needs to make it clear when it’s required (or not), and employees need to know which ones to be ready for (please, nothing before 9am, okay?).

Yes, Zoom is unflattering and, no, you don’t really look like that. (Wired)

Speaking of Zoom fatigue… have you ever looked at yourself during a Zoom call, cringed immensely, and promptly searched for “botox near me” on Google? You are not alone!

Since the pandemic, business has boomed for dermatologists and those in related fields.

  • Good for them, sad for us. And when they ask their patients what’s up, they say that video calls are making them bummed about the way they look – otherwise known as having “Zoom dysmorphia.”
  • Fun fact: “Snapchat dysmorphia” was coined in 2015, when folks would go into plastic surgeon offices wanting to look like the filtered versions of themselves. Dark. Days. 

Here’s the real talk: Zoom is actually extremely unflattering.

  • Unlike social media filters, video conferencing platforms really do distort our appearances. Front-facing camera can make your nose look bigger and eyes smaller. 
  • Also, looking down at a camera isn’t doing anything for anyone (as if the Myspace generation didn’t already know this). Plus, you may be just a teensy bit bored on some of these calls, and that relaxed facial expression isn’t exactly having us look our best.

Bottom line: Now that you know this info, cut yourself a break and give yourself some grace. Oh, and just FYI: images on social media and television are heavily edited, so those people don’t really look like that either!