I’ve gotten a few emails from people who are reading The New Corner Office with their colleagues who are also working from home. I have pulled together some discussion questions for anyone who’s got a virtual corporate book group going (which, by the way, is an excellent idea for doing something that’s both social and educational!). I’ll turn this into a PDF as well if you want to email me to get a copy.
1. Working from home is a skill. What work-from-home skills have we gotten better at over the last few months? What practices could still use some improvement?
2. What parts of our former office life are important to replicate? Which would we prefer to change up?
3. What constitutes a good, productive day? How do each of us decide what goes on each day’s priority list?
4. How do we plan meetings? How could we plan and conduct them better? What could we do to have fewer meetings? Did any recent meetings go really well? Why?
5. What are our expectations about response times for emails? Instant messages? Calls? What about for messages sent outside of business hours? Do we have quiet hours and interactive hours?
6. How do we begin our days? How do we know when they are done?
7. Talk through the rhythm of a good day. What kind of work would each of us do when? When would we take breaks? What kind of breaks?
8. When and how are we most likely to get distracted? How do we deal with these distractions — or prevent them from happening in the first place? (There could be a side discussion here for colleagues with children or other caregiving responsibilities about how they are managing coverage these days.)
9. A book group is a great way to encourage social engagement! What are some other activities that have helped us feel connected to our colleagues? When do we feel most disconnected, and what could we do to change this?
10. Long term, what do we see as the right balance between time spent working at home, and time spent working at the office?
11. What activities would we like to spend more time doing, personally and professionally? If each of us were going to devote one extra hour a week to a personal priority and a professional priority, what would those be?
12. What little adventures have each of us been able to put into daily life during quarantine? What else could we try to make the days stand apart from each other?