As a public servant, and similar to every other industry, there is a lot of speculation about what post-Covid workplaces will look like. Many of our operations can be done well-enough from home, and the challenges we have now are mostly about IT infrastructure, home office solutions, and privacy. Much of our work is digital and email-enabled, so it’s not a giant leap to work from home. We just traditionally haven’t done that transition for all the usual pressures related to remote workers and supervision/monitoring, and some unique pressures related to privacy, taxpayer dollars, and supporting Ministers in person.
Paul Taylor over at Governing.com wrote an article about five changes he sees coming to the public service post-Covid. Here’s an excerpt:
Your Cubicle. Our Conference Room. Where Did They Go? Your space may get bigger as facilities staff reconfigure space to conform with the 6-foot separation requirements. Coupled with limits on group size, that is likely to grow cubicle row into what were once conference rooms.
Because of my interest in helping people with HR processes, and learning techniques to be a better manager in general, I am frequently attracted to articles about mentoring. I’m also frequently disappointed with those columns that advocate a “one size fits all” closed approach to mentoring.
So colour me surprised when I saw an article on Pocket recently about questions that the best mentors ask, written by Gwen Moran (and originally shared on Fast Company). Some of them are pretty common-place in my view:
What does success look like to you?
What do you want to change? (usually as “where do you want to be in 3-5 years?”)
What options have you identified?
What are you reading? (not usually as a mentoring question, often more for interviewing)
But she also includes some more interesting open ones:
What does success look like to you? (a better phrasing than asking about their goals as it often leads to both visioning of ST and LT outcomes)
As part of an update to my website, I am revamping all my featured images (https://polywogg.ca/new-featured-images-astronomy/). Having already tackled a small one (astronomy) and a large one (website and computers), I am turning my attention to a different challenge — governance. I actually have multiple categories that fall into a “governance” theme, although in many ways, “government” might be a better term for some.
I have an actual category specifically called governance, and I tend to write about a variety of things related to running a government. Elections, public administration, audits. I have more of a technical bent to my topics, and if I was completely candid, it seems like public administration would be the more likely heading. Except from time to time I go above that and intersect with policy and politics. The running of a government at a level above. Not often, but occasionally, and usually related to how the two realms — politics and public administration — intersect. » Read the rest
I’ve been following the TBS announcements, as most government employees have been, trying to figure out if and when they will tell us simply to work from home across the board. Right now, managers are told to be as supportive as possible for people wanting to work from home. Yet we can’t even call it telework as most of them will have no “tele” options at all — many don’t have a connection or app to connect remotely, and for those who do, most networks don’t have the bandwidth or server power to handle EVERYONE logging in remotely.
On Reddit, one user started a thread and included the phrase:
Let’s be honest – in many cases we actually can work from home and should absolutely be doing so.
Thread | Reddit
I don’t know if they are a manager who has ever managed telework employees or are an employee who has ever worked from home more than a day or two, but the level of assumptions in that statement suggests to me that the answer is neither. » Read the rest
Unless you have been living under a rock, you would know that one of the latest pushes in all management circles — public, private, C-suites, academia — is to figure out how to improve workplaces so that they are supportive of good mental health. But part of that push is recognizing that we are not there yet, and even if we were, life happens outside of the workplace too, and eventually, even the most awesome place to work is going to deal with mental health issues with its employees.
Analysis without resolution
Earlier today, our branch held a half-day management discussion on mental health issues and included a desire for us all as managers to make a personal commitment to what we would “undertake” to improve our support on mental health issues. Some of them range from the obvious (don’t look at your phone while you’re talking to someone) while others are more complex (how to manage performance when there is an undiagnosed but suspected mental health issue on display). » Read the rest