In my coaching sessions of late, I think in relation to the return to office based work and the mandates to get back in the office 3 or 4 days a week many organizations are pushing, I'm seeing an interesting theme
Collaboration keeps coming up in areas as broad as
Sales and Customer Success
Leaders and their teams
Marketing with the solutions team
So if collaboration is crucial, how do you build it? Well that's the conundrum many of my coachees have been exploring with me.
For new colleagues
Understand their POV: How they work, their goals and preferred contact methods. Get them to share stories of their wins, lessons and development areas. And, share your point of view with them: How you work, your goals and preferred contact methods. Share stories of your wins, lessons and development areas
For existing colleagues - perhaps a "reset" discussion given the change from wholly remote to hybrid is in order - you can repeat the steps for new colleagues
Managing your self
Use the time in the office for
Socialization, use getting-to-know-you activities like team lunches, 1-1 coffees (or walks around your neighborhood, office park or building) or even ice cream. Some designate the 15th or 1st of every month as "Birthday Day" and a cake is brought in to celebrate all those having a birthday that month.
Being face to face in the office is also a time for you to lean into those difficult conversations around performance, feedback and expectations. If you've done the socializing right the tough discussions came easier to have and go off track less readily
Use the time at home for...
Tasks requiring deep focus work best when you are not distracted by other people talking, cakes being cut or impromptu meetings happening around you, Save things like reading, research and analysis for your home office where you can control the distractions more easily. I would also add client facing calls to the deep focus task list - a noisy office can kill the best call so do them where you can be quiet!