Dealing with Uncertainty at Work

The world is changing at a rapid pace. The pandemic shook up the way we do business, our work routines, and how we think about our lives. Add war, inflation, political unrest, and climate change, and you’ve got a lot of uncertainty. In this episode of My Crazy Office, Kathi and Katherine offer concrete ways to manage uncertainty on the job and in general.

Forgotten How to be Social at Work?

As the pandemic morphs into an endemic, many remote workers are being asked to return to the office — some are less excited about it than others. In this episode of My Crazy Office, Kathi and Katherine ask the question, “Have you forgotten how to be social at work?” If so, here’s what you can do about it.

#33: Resistance to Work/Life Balance – My Crazy Office, Season 8

Kathi and Katherine talk about resistance to work/life balance on this week’s episode of the My Crazy Office podcast.

First we answer what do to when a supervisor expresses disdain for work/life balance and calls it B.S.

Then we give advice to managers that believe work/life balance is ridiculous, while their staff think it is not.

#18: Maintaining Healthy Work Habits – My Crazy Office, Season 8

Kathi and Katherine talk about maintaining healthy habits on this week’s episode of the My Crazy Office podcast.

First we give advice to an employee who fears that a return to the office will hurt their new healthy work habits.

Then we discuss how a manager can balance staff boundaries with their work productivity.

Moving Forward – Into the Unknown

This past Sunday (4/26/2020) Governor Cuomo of New York said, “We are not going back to the way things were, we are going forward.” I have to say I agree with the Governor.  Many of my clients are telling me that they see this as an opportunity to do things differently.

Some small business owners want to take their businesses smaller not bigger.  Other clients want to continue working from home and no longer want to commute. Several of my clients are saying they want to incorporate real work-life balance — not just pay lip service to it. And some clients are realizing that they need to find a better job/career.

Everyone is thinking about what “moving forward” means.  If you aren’t, it’s time to start.  We are in a reset.  Go inside and listen. Do not disregard your deepest thoughts and feelings; they are telling you something.  You are at a point of choice at this time. You can let go of the way you thought work had to be and decide on what is right for you.

What parts of your job/career do you want to move forward? What parts are you unwilling to continue?  Consider the following:

Commuting – Maybe you want to work closer to home, or work virtually.

Change industry – If your industry is on hold, you may want to investigate a completely different industry. Maybe you want to go back to school.

Micromanaging boss – This could be a good time to see if you can transfer to another department or find another job.

Doing the work of others – Perhaps you no longer want to compensate for others’ lack of initiative.

Compromising my private life – You may want to establish a hard start and stop time to your workday, creating boundaries around work that protect your private life.

Working with a mean girl/guy – Instead of working with awful people, you may be ready to look for a new position within or outside of your current company

Not getting paid fairly – It may be time to find a position that pays you what you deserve.

Getting rid of troubling employees – Downturns have always been a good time to lay off difficult staff. Perhaps you have some people who could go.

Needing less office space – Going to a more virtual workforce may mean you don’t need as much office space.

Going back to a standard schedule – Instead of returning to your previously regimented work schedule, you may want more flexibility.

Stop eating overpriced unhealthy food – Does your company serve unhealthy, overpriced food at meetings?  You may want to bring your own food to work more often.

 It’s time for me to not have a boss – You may be ready to start your own business.

 Doing work that has no meaning – You may feel that now is the time to make a difference.

Most of us fear change and the unknown.  We tend to stay in difficult situations longer then we should for fear of not knowing what better options are available to us.  Instead of being scared, embrace change and possibilities. (I know this is easier to say than it is to do.)

During this unusual time, I challenge each of you to examine and come to terms with what you really want to do professionally.  Consider your happiness, your purpose, your health, and your legacy.

Kathi Elster – Executive Coach and co-owner of K Squared Enterprises.

Contact us at info@mycrazyoffice.co for any further help around this topic.

Dealing with Uncertainty

Without question, these are uncertain times. Daily routines, work lives, economic conditions and social lives have been uprooted and disrupted. Homes now serve as offices, school rooms, infirmaries, and personal gyms. We don’t know when we will get our normal lives back again.
Because there is so much we can’t control at this time, it’s important to notice and act on the things that we can. The following are things you can do to calm your nervous system, take control of your environment, and deal with these uncertain times in a constructive manner:
• Create order in small areas that you can control
Uncertainty can feel chaotic. To manage the chaos, it’s important to take small actions that provide order to your life: Get up at a regular hour, make your bed, dress for work, continue your workout routine (even if you have to modify it), plan meals, coordinate with family members when scheduling your day.
• Do things to calm your nervous system
Think of your emotions as energy-in-motion. To release anxiety, you want to do things that let the energy of anxiety move through your body. Physical activity or home workouts can really help here. Meditation, yoga, and relaxation exercises are also good. Activities like cooking, singing, playing music, playing games, making art or building things can help your brain relax.
• Stay informed but don’t drown in information
Uncertainty makes us crave control. One way you may strive for control is by tracking every piece of news that comes out about CoVid-19 on social media, online news, or TV. Information overload will make you more anxious, not less. Limits on news consumption (checking in the morning, mid-day, and at end of day) will help your brain rest – which it needs to come up with clever solutions to uncertain times.
• Look for ways to be of service
Helping, assisting, caring for others is a very concrete tool for calming your mind and lifting your spirits during times of uncertainty. With social distancing and self-quarantining, the kind of help you can offer may not be “hands on” but it still counts. Phone calls to people living alone or elderly friends/family can make a difference. Video chats with friends who need to connect. Cooking meals for others that can be dropped at their homes. Reach out in some way, and offer to help. It will give you a sense of purpose and control.
• Work at being present
Being present means you are not running forward trying to predict the worst-case scenario nor are you glancing backward focusing on what you, your business, or your government should have done differently. Being present means you look at where you are today, appreciate what you have, and take small, concrete actions to live your life as well as you can. Being present can be very challenging during uncertain times, but it allows you to deal with the current reality from a non-hysterical place.
• Practice gratitude for simple things

Practicing gratitude is one of the most powerful tools you can use during uncertain times. Gratitude allows you to see what you have and what’s working rather than focusing on what you may lose and what isn’t working. You can be grateful for your food, your morning cup of coffee, your smart phone, your bed. List three things you are grateful at the beginning of every day and share that list with a friend.

Katherine Crowley – Career Therapist and co-owner of K Squared Enterprises.

Contact us at info@mycrazyoffice.co with any questions or for further help around this topic.

#33: Work-Life Balance – My Crazy Office, Season 5

Kathi and Katherine talk about work-life balance on this week’s episode of the My Crazy Office podcast.

First we give advice to a father-to-be wrestling with how his 80 hour work week will affect his ability to be a father.

Then we define and discuss work-life balance.