June 20, 2022

Empathy is the Name of the Game

Empathy is the Name of the Game

Yes this is a quick blog about WFH/remote work. I know you may be tired of hearing me speak on and on about the joys of working remotely, and I get it. However this week, I wanted to divert the conversation a bit and talk about the social emotional aspect of remote work, and call out the "mean girl" tactics and attitudes that I've encountered along my WFH journey. So if you'll bear with me a few minutes, here are just two quick areas I felt were worth mentioning. Side note: if you are interested in a more robust conversation centered around the fundamentals of remote work, I invite you to listen to my amazing conversation with Remote Work Expert, Ali Greene, it's worth your time especially if you are on team WFH or thinking about joining. 

Mention #1 - To put it simply, stop with all the shady hate speech when you're engaged in conversations around WFH/remote work. I've had front row seats to some of the most immature and down right rude comments and thoughts that influencers have been bringing to the conversation, especially those thought leaders who are within the administrative support community. I hate to break it to you, but EA's, AA's and PA's have been doing some form of remote work for decades....decades! This is not a new concept. Should an EA, AA or PA decide to pursue a WFH position, that doesn't automatically throw them in the loser pile. Just because we prefer the WFH route doesn't make us sorry at our jobs or any less than our brick and mortar counterparts.  Before jumping to conclusions and wagging your finger at the horrors of remote work for admin professionals, do me a favor will ya? Engage in a healthy dialogue with someone, anyone, who is doing what you lament, to learn and see things from their point of view. You will be amazed at what you take away and just maybe, your antiquated views will be slightly changed, for the better.

Mention #2 - Enough with the forced office activities already. Blech! I hate to break it to the office cheerleaders out there but you might be pretty hard pressed to find anyone who enjoys standing in a crowded conference room, singing off key happy birthday wishes and eating stale cake & cupcakes. Nope! Those types of forced office activities should be a thing of the past, especially after 2020. Side bar: I no longer eat food that has been blown on by someone else. #sorrynotsorry #postpandemicblues. Maybe moving forward consider activities that are more inclusive to both your WFH colleagues and those who are in-office. Pulling out the empathy card here can play big and go an incredibly long way into making our work peers feel included and not picked on. News flash! Not everyone has the time, money or energy to go out for drinks after work, so don't put others in the awkward position to decline and then feel like shit afterwards. If co-workers politely decline a forced fun activity, be a nice human and accept their decline with grace and explore or maybe involve them and your WFH colleagues in planning the next activity, or at least put the ask out there.

To put a big red ribbon around this blog post, be empathetic to what others may be going through right now and be accepting of our differences, behaviors and thinking. Let's all make an effort to be a part of the solution and knock off the office drama.