ICYMI: Google’s WFH, longer hours at home, crazy good video

4 comms things and 1 non-comm thing

Mister Editorial
4 min readDec 4, 2020

Free learning opportunity…a two-day virtual conference on the workplace of the future, hosted by Future of Work USA.

In case you missed it…

1. Working From Home Is Working at Google

Alphabet Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat reports the company is seeing pre-pandemic productivity levels from employees thanks to leadership coaching and lots of employee surveys. “We’re pretty much back to pre-Covid levels,” she said.

The productivity reset can be attributed to several employee engagement tactics, including:

  • Coaching senior leaders on how to motivate junior employees
  • Pulse surveys that measure productivity and what matters to employees
  • More “granular” team meetings
  • More frequent check-ins with employees

“In a crisis, you’re dealing with the least worst choice,” Porat said. “For Google, that was a new muscle because Google really had had the best of the best options for so much of its life.”

  • 💭 MY THOUGHT: Google’s activities like “no meetings weeks” could also be a major contributor to increased productivity. It helps to have time to do actual deep work.

2. People Are Working Longer Hours During the Pandemic

We’re clocking in earlier and out later than we did before the pandemic. According to research by Atlassian, employees are working on average 30 minutes more since the Covid-19 outbreak.

Of the 65 countries represented in the study, only Brazil and China recorded working shorter working hours during the pandemic than before it.

  • Israelis extended their workday by 47 minutes, more than any other country.
  • Americans are working 32 minutes more per day.

What does it mean? Atlassian says “We need to find effective ways of ‘switching off’ or risk burning out.”

  • But…but…Data and surveys from around the world show that modern workers are only truly productive for a maximum of 2 hours and 50 minutes a day.
  • We may be “working” more, but we’re not really working well.

3. A Glimpse at Cisco’s Internal Comms During the Pandemic

Prerna Suri, head of communications, Southeast Asia, Cisco, says the company’s internal communications function has become much more strategic and important this year than ever before.

In an interview with Marketing-Interactive, Suri says Cisco:

placed emphasis on connecting with its own staff with initiatives such as sending care packages, having virtual catch-up sessions to increase camaraderie, and holding a five-day event for its managers to build their skills together.

📚 Suri also says that the most meaningful gift she received in a care package is a book called Wild Success: 7 Key Lessons Business Leaders Can Learn from Extreme Adventurers.

4. The Feds Are Journey Mapping the Employee Experience

Back in 2015, the Department of Veterans Affairs was the first major federal agency to create a journey map for its customers (i.e., veterans). Other agencies took notice and followed suit.

  • The VA is leading the way once again by creating the first-ever journey map for its 377,805 employees.

VA interviewed employees from a wide variety of disciplines across the department, from frontline healthcare workers and those administering benefits to others in procurement and finance, according to Federal News Network.

  • The department collected more than 11,000 data points, which it eventually summarized into an employee journey map with five phases, 23 stages, and 30 “moments that matter.”

“The same way that our veterans, families, caregivers, and survivors have a choice about whether to use VA services, our employees also have a choice about whether or not they want to stay a part of the VA family,” said Airis Gill, director of management, planning and analysis for VA’s Veterans Experience Office.

Two specific points on the employee journey map are being prioritized for improvement: the onboarding process and career development opportunities.

  • The Transportation Security Administration is taking a similar approach.

5. This Enchanting Video

I don’t know how to describe this promotional video, so I won’t even try. Some firm should sweep an industry awards show with this one.

Watch (3:48)

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Mister Editorial

Many internal comms teams don’t have an editorial strategy. I’m here to fix that. Newsletter: https://mistereditorial.substack.com/.