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Manager told us all to cheer up.(22 Posts)
I have been working from home since lockdown and I am still working from home. Ever since lockdown began we have all had to dial into a meeting in the morning- it is a complete and utter waste I'd timing 9 times out of 10 and mostly management talking to each other while we listen in. Several of my colleagues have told me they deplore it and it starts their day off wrong.
In a meeting held last week one of the managers asked us all if we could please be more 'engaged' and 'present' in these meetings. We have been told the energy seems very low and they want everyone to appear happier, ok?? Omg I could have snapped.
Is this how you look out for the mental health of employees? By telling them all to cheer up during a global pandemic?
Could you and your colleagues all group together and tell the management how you are feeling? Explain that you are finding the meetings deflating and you are being excluded? Do the meetings have to be daily? Why do they have to be morning meetings?
Just a few thoughts OP. Luckily I don’t have to suffer this kind of thing working in a supermarket! What you have described really does sound tedious and mind numbing!
Oh and yes telling people to cheer up during a pandemic is insensitive at the very least.
Sounds as if you are working for David Brent. Maybe next time imagine you are part of a recording of The Office in lockdown, hopefully that will make you smile and appear cheerful without bursting into laughter.
I have considered taking a super smiley photo of myself and just making it a profile photo instead of dialling in.
Frankly I am wondering how long these stupid meetings are going to go on for. Everyone used to pour in at 9am in varying degrees of awake. No one would have been told to seem happier.
I suppose I dont want to speak up and be the only one who does. But really it is so mind numbing and I actually find myself working later to catch up on tasks I would have completed during that time.
But can’t you be getting on with the tasks you need to do during the meeting? I’m not good with technology, can you not ‘minimise’ the meeting on the screen and get on with other things somehow?! I’m sure you’ve thought of this already though!
If your other colleagues feel the same you should try and get them all to join together and give some ‘constructive’ feedback.
Cover your screen with a black dot and change your name to "reconnecting" this week. Then band together and suggest a new meeting set up/plan - maybe weekly for managers then one manager runs a 15min meeting with everyone else covering the notes and taking questions.
@Sunshineonrainydays that is what I have been doing but we have now been informed that we must not answer emails in order to seem more present. So instead I have to stare into a webcam for ages while people talking about irrelevant customers etc I know nothing about.
We have been asked to give feedback next week so as long as I can do it anonymously then I might.
I think you definitely need to say something. Say you feel that whilst you appreciate being kept in the loop you are not sure it's necessary for all parts of the meeting and could a condensed version happen less often? That you feel its impacting your productivity, and while you appreciate you are at home you still feel more productive during hands on work time.
"We have been asked to give feedback next week so as long as I can do it anonymously then I might."
Really? Just tell them why everybody is deflated. That you feel time isn't being used in the most productive way possible as much of the info discussed at the meetings isn't relevant to your work.
the alternative is, mute your mic and put a podcast on in the background - or a tv show on an ipad positioned above the screen!
Definitely give feedback, they need to know that these meetings are lowering morale, wasting valuable time and reducing productivity.
Did you have morning meetings before the pandemic? Why do they feel this is necessary just because you are all working from home?
No we had one meeting per week for most of us! I think at first it was because the boss didnt trust us to work from home and was meant to be proof we were actually all up and working.
But now? What is the point in it?
Can you suggest a 5-10 min section at the beginning for everyone then a longer meeting for the managers with feedback the next morning on any key developments. If a weekly meeting was fine before then it is fine now not to spend 5 hours a week in meetings.
Exactly, what is the point? Feedback is essential, if these managers realise that they are getting less out of the staff by doing this they might change things. Surely people could log in or something or record they are present and working by sending an email? There must be a better way. Can’t they check what work people are doing anyway or ask for evidence randomly?
At the moment the morning meeting can last anything between 15-40 mins. It is usually about 30. It is at quite an awkward time too, so we have to stop and start what we are doing.
I am most productive in mornings so I really just being able to get in and stuck into the morning workflow.
Definitely continue doing emails. Just save them as drafts, then after the meeting take a well deserved tea break and then send them all. Not sure I’d bother to speak up, if the culture has allowed them this gross sort of “you’ll be bloody happy while we talk and monitor you” attitude, unlikely it’ll improve.
I hated pointless shit early in my career and refuse to impose it on others now. Now I have a 15 minute meeting rule. I will quite literally leave after that. The world needs more emails, fewer meetings.
@sergeilavrov I suspect that might be true but I will still consider bringing it up. The manager who brought this up is not my main line manager who was on annual leave at the time. This is not the first time this person has tried to exert some power when my LM was not around. When my LM came back from annual leave she was checking her emails during the call...she musnt have got the memo so I dont know if this order gave from our main bosses or not.
I am not willing to keep working overtime (unpaid) because I am not able to use that time valuably anymore.
Could you say you'd like an agenda so you could be prepared and therefore more engaged?
They might then have to admit (even if only to themselves) they're having the meeting for the sake of it rather than because they have anything useful to discuss.
Given them feedback to say the meeting isn't effective, there are things in the call of no interest to half the participants and overall it is a waste of 1-2 or more man days a week with no apparent benefit. It needs structure if it is going to be daily.
Our company formalised their daily ops meetings for operational departments and it made it much better. Rules were clearly set out, the meeting started bang on time, fixed agenda, fixed topic slides updated by each team before the call, any issues anyone had could be raised and allocated to someone (not discussed or resolved in the meeting), any comms, meeting finishes bang on time. No lecturing or droning on about details. Any issues that couldn't be resolved at that level went up to the next level of ops meeting and decisions on issues stated getting resolved quicker. Meeting was trimmed to 20 mins and was much more informative.
I wouldn't say anything, I'd just find a way to ignore I think! Say one chirpy thing per meeting then zone out. Like circle time at school.
Feedback to the managers.
‘Assembly’ still seems important because it ensures people are getting up in the morning and starting work. Just because you’re a good self starter doesn’t mean that everyone else. There needs to be something to foster a connection.
Managers feel tired too, you try keeping everyone going and chirpy on your team for months on end. We’re all in this together.
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