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The U30s are different.

Covid delayed a lot of Under 30s’ plans for the exhilarating two year stint living and working abroad, but with borders re-open, they’re busting out in big numbers again.

Before moving to London this month from Melbourne, 27 year old Kirsty had two very attractive offers from two UK consulting firms. Both sizeable, reputable organisations, the choice for Kirsty in assessing their job offers wasn’t so much about the role or the salary. For Kirsty it came down to their respective answer to one question: “What are your WFH/WFO arrangements?”

One said, “We’re super flexible, we all work when and where we want, at home or in the office.” The other said, “We offer some flexibility, but most of us are in the office most days.” Kirsty jumped at the opportunity to work in an office where she’d get to work with and know her colleagues In Real Life. Who would have seen that wheel turning? Not me! As Kirsty said, “Why would I want to live in some dodgy affordable share house and work from my bedroom all day? I want to get out and meet people, and at work is the obvious place where that happens.”

Those at mid and later stage careers can likely look back on their first decade in the workforce as one which was fast, fun and challenging. We didn’t have too many responsibilities outside of work, and family life, if that lay ahead, was still a foreign country. Who didn’t collect a handful of friends they made at work in their 20s? And perhaps you’re one of the two in five people who have had relationships with people they met through work? Pretty hard to have a drink over Zoom on Friday night and kick on.

Leadership is hard, and this is another example of the nuanced decision making that is required in policy planning and employee centred decision making. A 27 year old is very different to a 47 year old, and we can’t assume their workstyle needs are the same!

Good luck managing through another year of challenging decision making.

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Posted in The world @work

4 clues about teamwork by solving a murder mystery

What makes a good team? Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson are a famous pairing. Our Shared Services team recently cloaked up for a team bonding activity at Escape Hunt in Melbourne. While being locked in a dark room for an hour surrounded by beer doesn’t sound too bad for some, we needed all our powers of deduction (and a few phone-a-friends) to unravel this puzzle. Despite being physically challenging for one 6’4 individual, we had a lot of fun and solved a few mysteries about teamwork in the process.

OUR PUZZLE: A brew master has been murdered. The motive – stealing a secret beer recipe. Our mission – solve the crime, locate the recipe and bring the perpetrator to justice. (Spoiler alert: this article may contain clues.)

  1. It is better to get help when you need it – Some people always seek help, others try to nut it out alone. Asking for help is really worthwhile when you can’t otherwise figure it out; knowing when to ask is the key. While it would defeat the purpose of the game if we were given too many clues, wasting time over every impasse is counterproductive.
  2. Teamwork is as important as individual work – Our combined efforts allowed us to progress to the next steps, and we were rewarded with more challenging clues. We found some clues individually, presented them to the team and brainstormed our ideas further.
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask a ‘dumb’ question – I should have spoken up but instead I thought I had a ‘dumb’ question. In the last room of our murder mystery puzzle, I saw a torch on the table and was wondering why it looked a little different from the standard ones we were given. Fearing that I would be asking a dumb question, I kept quiet. Our team was unable to figure out by ourselves that it was a UV torch to illuminate hidden clues.  Yes, I should have asked that seemingly ‘dumb’ question.
  4. Sometimes we overcomplicate things unnecessarily – Often the solution is obvious. Our team was stuck in the last room of the final stage of the game for ages. I could feel the atmosphere amongst the group changing. We were all getting frustrated, uncomfortably cramped into a claustrophobic room.  With just two combination locks to go, we spent ages trying to multiply, add, subtract and rearrange six digits that were simply a linear code.

Holmes said, “Give me problems, give me work.” What have you learned about your work style through a team bonding activity?

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Posted in The world @work