We’ve all seen the memes, TikToks and other social media content poking fun at workplace norms, remote work struggles, and co-worker relationships.
As a self-proclaimed “aspiring TikTok star,” @corporatenatalie rose to influencer stardom last year when she began creating short videos that highlighted the uncharted territory of working from home during a pandemic. Her Instagram and TikTok accounts have since grown to over a half million followers, and there’s no question why. Her content has been explosive with millennials and gen Z, but will likely resonate with anyone in the workforce. She highlights what so many of us struggle to put into words; the awkwardness of video conferencing, return to office anxiety, challenges connecting with co-workers from home, and more.
While influencers like @corporatenatalie can give us a good laugh, I believe we can take away more than a smile. Her content sheds a light on opportunities we have to better support our employees as we look ahead to a forever changed workplace. Here’s a few things we can all learn from @corporatenatalie:
@corporatenatalie I’m at my desk I promise #corporate #workfromhome #corporateamerica #millennial #fyp ♬ original sound – CorporateNatalie
Normalize stepping away for breaks
We’ve all read the studies and know the importance of taking breaks. Whether it’s a quick walk or lunch break, does your work model support breaks at home, as well as in the office? Encourage employees to intentionally reserve time on their calendar for breaks.
@corporatenatalie Everything cool here boss? #workfromhome #corporate #9to5 #corporatelife #fyp ♬ original sound – Solo
Check-In On Your Employees
Whether you’re still remote, in an office, or evolving to a hybrid environment, it will take a lot of time to solve the mental health challenges many employees are facing. Connection is more important than ever. Be sure to ask the question behind the question “how are you doing?”. Inquire about their personal interests and ask what you and your credit union can do to support their wellbeing. Asking once isn’t enough – be sure to incorporate this connection point into your regular cadence of 1:1 meetings.
@corporatenatalie Actual conversation that occurred today #corporate #workfromhome #millennial #bossproblems #fyp ♬ original sound – sounds for slomo_bro!
Lead by example after hours and during time off
With PTO banks at an all-time high due to limited travel opportunities, encourage employees to use their PTO and help them truly unplug. A leader I work with recently turned off his phone during his vacation, and his team said they felt more empowered to do the same. Leaders really do set the tone here! This includes email after hours. Unless there’s an emergency, consider scheduling your email to be delivered the following business day.
All laughs aside, the pandemic has surfaced some opportunities to re-think how we work and enable our employees to be their best. With these pearls of wisdom and new perspective, let’s be more intentional than ever to connect and engage our employees.