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Thanks to @Daniel Eads for the suggestion.
About New Practice November 2022:
Each week during November, we prompted this group to adopt a work behavior for that week. At the end of the challenge week, we shared our reflections in the post's comments.
Even though the prompts for the month are over, feel free to continue sharing your reflections as this discussion will be available well after New Practice November 2022. Thanks to all who have and will participate!
Yes, courses count!
Hi @Christine P_ Dela Rosa happy Halloween. It's time to reflect on the best practices and try new tasks and ways of working.
Task: Try taking a walk outside while listening to a meeting or webinar >> I'm currently (at the time of writing this comment) on this mode given the cool whether coupled with fall season in Irving, Texas.
I got to see a new guest paying attention to me puzzled when attending Zoom Video meeting while walking in the park. This feels so elated and relaxed to step out of remote work desk, feel the nature, relax your mind while also engaging in professional meetings.
I will try the other options and share the pics or comments in this post.
Love it, @G subramanyam! Do you do this often and how did this trip compare to any other times you've taken meetings outside?
Hi @Christine P_ Dela Rosa , I rarely step out of desk to attend meetings or calls. Post moving to USA, I started this new activity of attending internal Scrum meetings sitting or walking in the park (of course in isolation). To me, I see this trend as a welcome move relieving my stress, being close to nature and generate fresh ideas.
I often walk around the house wearing my headphones; it's a great way to achieve my stand and move goals for the day, that is, until the Bluetooth disconnects because I'm out of range - whoops! :)
LOL I relate.
If this is normal thing to do around the house, what can be different for this week to try on? Looking forward to you changing this up this week!
I have been practicing that. Instead of walking, to not get distracted by a lot of chrome tabs, I'm kinniting or crocheting during webinars, or meetings, :)
This is equivalent to "Try doing household chores with your meeting in your headphones.".
It works, as the activity is motor coordination only, my brain is free for paying full attention and I dont get distracted with notifications, tabs, popups, etc.
Oh I like it! That's not just location but also an activity change.
Let us know what you might try that's different from your normal routine of knitting or crocheting this week! And after you try the new thing out, we'd love to hear how you felt about it.
Thanks for the suggestion! We will try
Joining a team meeting from my garden? Yes please!
It's spring here in Perth (Western Australia) and a glorious time of year to be outside. I felt I was more focussed and energised than I am when I'm connecting while indoors.
Thanks for this fantastic suggestion!
Sweet! Is that something you normally do? If so, what if you tried a new location outdoors? Or a different spot? If it was new to you yesterday, why do you think you felt that difference yesterday?
I definitely do this all the time, as I bounce around my house when working from home. I definitely want to try the take a walk with the person you are going to have a meeting with.
I will tell you, it truly makes for a less routine day, it breaks up the monotony of the day, invigorating the mind a little. It's like having caffeine without the coffee.
I too am a mover around my home. And I too am going to walk around outside this week (in a way that's not just walking back home and being on a call outside for that reason). We're challenge twins!
That's a great reminder. I will move now to my balcony with a lot of clothes on to my weekly meeting. I did it in summer time more often but now the weathers are awful - windy, wet and cold.
I also am usually doing chores when the meetings are mostly for listening not participating myself that much!
I mean, it IS a season-change point in the year. I didn't even realize that till you reminded me.
Looking forward to hearing how it goes to move back into your balcony!
I think that what ever season it is, people need fresh air and sunlight so it was a good reminder! I enjoyed it. Should do it more often.
I have been practicing this at a cemetery for a year now.
I know, it sounds crazy, but there is a cemetery called Mill Road Cemetery very close to my house that is used as an open space by Cambridge City Council. It's listed as English Heritage Grade II and new burials are not accepted. It is very nice to get fresh air, walk your dogs and listen to those lovely birds.
Anyway, I use this cemetery for my 1:1 meetings. While e-meeting with my colleagues, I reach the goal of the footsteps goal of the day. Makes you remember that life is not just about work :D
Okay I have to ask...are you ever on video calls while in the cemetary? ...and do teammates ask about the background? lol.
Since some parts of the world celebrate Halloween this week, I wonder if working from there has an impact on your style of working. Let us know what it's like when you are outside after taking a meeting from there this week!
lol, I've never done video calls there, it'd be a bit scary for the colleagues :D
I use my AirPods during the conversation and my colleagues say that they can clearly hear the birdsong which is music to their ears, making the meeting warmer.
I was there yesterday and experimented once again. I reached the goal of the day (steps). Obviously, I am looking for alternatives other than working from home. I really need to go out in the morning and come home in the evening like in the good old days. I wouldn't say this is the best option, but I feel the combination of them all is the best. 2 days at the co-working spaces or office, 2 days from home and one day swapping on and other, or find another place (cemetery, another room, desk,..)
I was taking a walk outside while listening to a meeting. Walked so far that I lost the Bluetooth connectivity. Had to run back to get it connected.
LOL @Rilwan Ahmed !
Can you share what it was like to take the meeting on a walk? Did you feel differently compared to taking the call from your normal desk? What did you like? What did you wish was different?
I take the meeting on a walk when I usually have nothing to speak. Just to mark my presence. I have been doing it from long time. Its a kind a small exercise for 30 - 60 mins :)
Took a couple meetings from my yard, back deck, and around the neighborhood this week. Biggest challenge is that a lot of meetings have screen sharing or a presentation that can be hard to see on a small screen. This works best for a call that doesn’t have a screen sharing component.
I hear that, @Mike Hunsberger. Since the last couple of years has increased video call practices, I think we forget that it's possible to still meet without screen-sharing. Because really, to take a walk or move to another outdoor location can be tough when having to look at a small screen.
Maybe we think about explicitly saying calls are screens-off sometimes. Hmm.
When it's a All Hands quarterly meeting, I like to turn the volume up so I can listen from my bed :)
2nd best is a nice porch or deck to sit on.
I too do the "turn the volume up" or "connect via bluetooth headphones" thing as I walk around my space!
For this week, we challenge you to try a different "away from your desk" method and report back how it went.
very good ideas and suggestions,
I walk while I am in meeting or webinar attending from mobile.
by this I cover work and my walking steps for day.
Fair, @vikram ! This challenge doubles as an exercise vehicle :)
Once you go through the practice this week, please update your comment how it felt this week. Looking forward to hearing about the update!
Thanks for posting up this @challenge @Christine P_ Dela Rosa .
The chores thing was a great idea. Able to do some laundry at the same time. Felt more productive and one less thing to do after work.
Walking didn't turn out great since it end up to be too cold for me. Had a running nose throughout and couldn't concentrate well. I think I will try again in spring time.
The weather makes a difference, for sure. But I like the chores thing, @Benjamin ! My go-to chore during meetings is watering my plants or folding laundry. I can do both on auto-pilot.
Thanks for sharing!
This looks like a great challenge @Christine P_ Dela Rosa ! Love the ideas!
I typically attend 3 townhalls a month; one for IT, one for the company, and one for my division. I try to take them all while walking. It is a good way to get exercise and make it less boring. It makes me feel good to not only get out of my home office, but the walking feels great!
Here are a few pics of my roadrunner friends I encounter on my walks.
I've never seen a roadrunner, let alone one literally on the road! Major perk for walking meetings.
Please post a photo of what you see on your walk this week! Or a description, y'know, whatever you think is good to share, @Summer_Hogan :)
Here you go @Christine P_ Dela Rosa! I am attending a Twillio conference today and during one of the break out sessions, I took a walk. It's cloudy and cold in the valley today, FINALLY! Given that I have been waiting for a cold day for a very long time, it was glorious to get out of my office and enjoy the cold weather!
Extra Christine points for these sky pics! ...and for walking out in this.
Unrelated: I've been listening to a relatively recent phenomenon where creative folks take a cold plunge followed by a sauna bath (the equivalent would be a cold shower for a minute followed by a normal temp). Apparently, these people find that the cold shock to the body requires you to pay attention to your body, to really be present and restart your system.
Related: I wonder if that^ brisk walk did something similar for you.
Thanks @Christine P_ Dela Rosa
The cold walk definitely made me feel better! It is cold today too and I'm going to go for another walk and take a call at the same time. And then tomorrow night I'll be at an outdoor football game and that will also be cold! I try to listen to my body at all times, but that is not as easy as it sounds!
I take my meetings typically walking, although not far from the desk. I have the same issue as others, very unpredictable most meetings I attend, I end up having to screen-share, access some data, or show/tell something.
Mmhmm, makes sense, @Steven Mustari. Curious: instead of taking a walk, what if you simply worked from a different location, either inside or outside of your home? Or asked for a no-screen meeting?
Excited to see what you come up with this week!
Well this week was actually an exciting week, my wife and I stayed at our sons Sunday/Monday night and I worked from there, so that was different. It's already been a bit of change-up from the normal this week.
I haven't specifically asked for no-screen - although it really just depends on the week and the clients.
Going for outdoors this week hopefully, we'll see what we can come up with.
Thanks for sharing the new practice, will apply it tomorrow!
Love this discussion energy so much!
Friendly EOW bump to share your experience from this week to qualify for a tote/badge. The experience should be a change from the way you take your meetings / work locations, like taking a call on a walk, in a garden, or simply moving around the house for a different change of scenery.
cc: @Steven Mustari @Dave Mathijs @Chrissy Clements @Patricia Francezi @Fabio Racobaldo _Herzum_ @Margo D @Jonathan V_ @Tuncay Senturk @Tim Perrault vikram
I did try to take a conference call in the garden, alas, my connectivity is just not strong enough to support it, so I had to settle for the dining table. Not a bad compromise; it's the greenest room in the house with climbers, crawlers, pot plants and lots of natural daylight.
Pretty darn good!
The dining table is clear, unlike my cluttered desk, and there is just something about being surrounded by plants that makes me happy.
@Christine P_ Dela Rosa so I decided to water and tend to my plants while have one-on-one meetings with team members and other co-workers.
It was nice, as I pretty much don't have to think about what I'm doing with the plants (comes second nature at this point), so it allows me to still focus on the call. Funny thing is that I actually focus more, because if i would take the call while at my desk, I would be answering emails, responding to IMs, or just trying to multi-task.
I had a call with my bank account manager while doing laundry...
I felt great - 2 problems solved at once LOL
I've mostly worked from home for 5 years (completely since March 2020), and have had a study here since we moved in 14 years ago. This has meant while I usually work from the sofa or study, I've taken a laptop to a local lounge, cafe, or pub many times (only ones with the strong coffee on offer though), just to get out of the house.
But meetings were, until a year ago, all done from the study or sofa. External calls, mainly from the study.
Adaptavist calls, it's a bit random, but I do have a reputation for giving colleagues random tours of my house, for several reasons - delivery arrives, I hear a cat making a funny noise, making tea, emptying or filling the dishwasher - stuff I can do while paying attention or pause if I need to speak or concentrate. I think I may have done a couple of ACEs while cooking dinner as well.
This summer, I broadened out a bit - I changed my network from a simple access point to a mesh, which changed my garden wifi from "just about ok for surfing" to "zoom works fine". So I started doing internal meetings in the garden.
This week though, prompted by this post, I have done one meeting from the pub, two from the lounge, and a 5-minute "Nic, can you help us" Zoom call from my opticians, while I was waiting for my glaucoma test.
Also, my study has many computers, (and a lot of junk) in it. My usual meeting seat has a background of a pair of skylights with a monster plant beneath them, with a hint of bookshelves on either side.
So I swapped to one of the other computers. Not a huge change - I moved a couple of feet back and turned 90 degrees, which made my background become a hint of monster plant on one side, and a bookcase behind me. Lots of books, of course, but also a pile of memorabilia and Atlassian swag (mostly from the Community - a couple of Cloudies to the forefront)
"...a 5-minute "Nic, can you help us" Zoom call from my opticians..."
I appreciate that your changes have been seasonal and not just for this week! Even though this last bit was, in your words, "not a huge change," I wonder if anyone on the call notice the background difference, and in turn, if that impacted any of the day's calls.
A couple of people commented when I used the bookshelf background. One asked me if I had moved house, another asked me if my kids had enjoyed building the Lego models (no, but I did), and the third asked how I had got so much Atlassian swag!
Thanks for this challenge. As a mother of toddler and being in the remote work setup where number of quick calls (pun intended) have increased, I have always struggled to do household chores on time like making food or folding laundry. This challenge gave me a chance to analyze my situation. So this week I could identify those meetings where I don't have to share my screen or where active participation in discussion was not required. During one such meeting, I setup my laptop on dining instead of my normal desk and I could actually complete food preps while attending a call. Another one where I took it from phone while folding laundry. This has really made an impact and balancing work and home seems possible now in remote setups with such hacks. Looking forward to using these hacks wherever possible but also ensuring work quality is not impacted.
I love it, thank you for sharing, @Suvarna Gaikwad I'm so glad this something you were already experimenting with.
For me, routine household chores actually help me focus more on the meeting. Sometimes I get distracted by something said in the chat for example, and in turn, I Google the meaning behind something. Folding laundry (where my muscle memory takes over) forces me to focus more on listening because I can't use my hands to get distracted and search for something else. It's counter-intuitive, but thought I'd share in case that inspires others to try the chore + call combo.
Working at a university campus has its perks where you can walk around and enjoy the trees, animals and nature in general but I hadn't tried it. This was a nice change to the usual routine of being in a meeting at my desk. I'll have to do this more often.
I 100% WFH, and hardly ever leave my office during work hours. By the end of the week I usually am stressed and irritable. This week I attended several meetings while enjoying a coffee and taking a walk around the neighborhood, and one meeting while relaxing outside on the front porch. Today I'm feeling much less stress and irritation, I guess spending more time outside really is good for your mental health.
I guess spending more time outside really is good for your mental health.
Hahaha that thought crosses my mind whenever I spend more meaningful amounts of time outside. It's like a new thought every time, despite me knowing that insight beforehand.
@Christine P_ Dela Rosa For several months I have been taking walks outside or on my treadmill for meetings where I do not have to take notes or present. It usually allows me to do this once or twice a week and it has been a great mental / physical pick me up. Sometimes I do have to stop walking to come off mute and talk but in an hour meeting I am usually able to walk for about 20min which has been great.
20/60 mins is a pretty good ratio, @Brant Schroeder. :)
Would you say you continued this practice this week? And has walking during meetings felt differently this week compared to when you first started trying the practice out?
@Christine P_ Dela Rosa I did do it this week. Your post was timely as the weather has been getting bad here and it makes it harder to do it outside. The treadmill is harder so you post helped motivate me to keep it up and think about the benefits I have been seeing.
This past week I made a big effort to get in the office for in person meetings with other teammates (after a long stint without being able to go into the office). I noticed that my attention would stray a little to look at other things on my laptop, so I got up, walked around, picked up a marker and diagrammed on the white board. I felt my brain more active and focused, and it made for higher quality interaction since I could focus my listening skills. What a big difference..
I'm always a huge proponent of walking meetings too for 1:1s. There's something relaxing that allows your mind to absorb and remember more - maybe the novelty of sensory stimulation at the same time.
Also, this week, I wanted to catch up on a few webinars, so I paired listening to the webinar with taking care of my cat time (brushing, feeding, etc). And it was very satisfying!
Oh sweet, @carolyn french! One of the things that I haven't heard from others is: changing your meeting space/condition is like an untethering from a routine way of taking in your meetings. And doing that does something to your brain, and I may be projecting, but it feels like your brain needs to pay attention more because it can't rely on muscle memory. Does that resonate?
Being a full time WFH feels tough sometimes. I usually take my meetings from my desk that will be in the Bedroom, For a change, I tried taking the meetings in the Living room (Thanks to the meeting backgrounds) froa while and I liked it very much, I have a change of mind from working at the desk to taking a meeting, got that extra attention in the meeting where I will not get when I am at my desk.
I love this new practice and would like to continue to do so. Thank you so much @Christine P_ Dela Rosa for getting feedback on this new practice which helps others understand that they are not alone in this.