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疫情期间,为何中层管理者的压力最大

疫情期间,为何中层管理者的压力最大

Lee Clifford 2021年01月21日
许多中层管理者的人际网络比不上公司高管,而且他们也无力掌控自己的日程安排。

自2020年3月以来,许多团队转向了远程工作模式。这种情况已经持续一段时日,现在许多人都有这样的疑问:到底什么才算工作?

《财富》杂志最近与软件公司Slack的未来论坛联盟(Future Forum)携手,召开名为“重新构想工作:领导新方式”的虚拟座谈会,专门讨论这一话题。

未来论坛的负责人布莱恩•埃利奥特表示,其公司研究表明,不同群体的员工对远程工作的体验和适应能力存在显著差异。在与工作压力和社交隔离的博弈中,“中层管理者的表现尤其显眼。”他说。根据这份针对全球9000名知识工作者的调查,与个人和公司高管相比,中层管理者有91%的可能性会抱怨远程工作受阻。越来越多的初级和高级团队成员已经基本上认为远程工作的效率更高,但认同这一看法的中层管理者比个体工作者少36%,并且其中只有60%认为他们能够管理好自己的工作。

这应该归咎于谁?许多中层管理者的人际网络比不上公司高管,而且他们也无力掌控自己的日程安排,从而导致“会议倦怠”。考虑到年龄因素,这些处于职业生涯中期的管理人士往往是在职父母,他们试图在家庭和工作之间找到平衡。埃利奥特表示,他们总体认为“在这种远程工作的环境中压力更大”。

哈佛商学院(Harvard Business School)教授拉杰•乔杜里最近在《哈佛商业评论》(Harvard Business Review)的封面故事中讲到远程工作,他认为公司应该承担起责任,减轻“自由工作地点”所带来的挑战和机遇。若想成功做到这一点,则需要对生产力、沟通甚至社交进行反思。他主张虚拟社交实际上好过在茶水间闲聊,因为前者可以让你扩展自己的网络,对象远远不止你每天在办公室看到的人。他认为关键在于“有计划的随机互动”,公司能够通过这种方式在短时间内聚集一群人,跨越等级和地域。

这与珍妮•约翰逊的发现如出一辙,她是全球投资公司富兰克林邓普顿基金集团(Franklin Templeton)的总裁兼首席执行官。她认为关键要让每个团队领导者在居家办公的问题上,自由决定事情的轻重缓急和工作流程。她告诉自己的首席信息官“要利用这段时间挑战极限,探索如何弹性工作,这样才可以挖角人才”。他们还尝试通过提出具体问题来促进公司内部的人际关系。例如他们会说:“我们想让你在下次开会之前与五位陌生人联系。”

座谈会的所有人士最后都赞同这样一个观点:如果无法在一起实体办公,就必须更努力去让每个人明白自己在做什么工作。达伦•墨夫是代码托管平台 GitLab的远程主管,他表示目前这种透明度十分重要。“在没有办公室的情况下,人们会意识到差距和隔阂。如果你看不到大家在做什么工作,你就会更加没有归属感。”他说。看到别人的目标、进度和状态,“会让我们觉得自己属于这个团队。”

Slack的埃利奥特补充道,“不要害怕未雨绸缪”,尤其是面对那些超负荷工作的中层管理者。他表示,其公司已经“提供机会让中层管理者聚在一起”讨论各自会遇到的障碍,并探讨和比较解决方案。“可以私下聊聊你的工作负担,也可以公开讨论你或公司的头等大事,这么做真的能够减轻压力。”他说。(财富中文网)

译者:秦维奇

自2020年3月以来,许多团队转向了远程工作模式。这种情况已经持续一段时日,现在许多人都有这样的疑问:到底什么才算工作?

《财富》杂志最近与软件公司Slack的未来论坛联盟(Future Forum)携手,召开名为“重新构想工作:领导新方式”的虚拟座谈会,专门讨论这一话题。

未来论坛的负责人布莱恩•埃利奥特表示,其公司研究表明,不同群体的员工对远程工作的体验和适应能力存在显著差异。在与工作压力和社交隔离的博弈中,“中层管理者的表现尤其显眼。”他说。根据这份针对全球9000名知识工作者的调查,与个人和公司高管相比,中层管理者有91%的可能性会抱怨远程工作受阻。越来越多的初级和高级团队成员已经基本上认为远程工作的效率更高,但认同这一看法的中层管理者比个体工作者少36%,并且其中只有60%认为他们能够管理好自己的工作。

这应该归咎于谁?许多中层管理者的人际网络比不上公司高管,而且他们也无力掌控自己的日程安排,从而导致“会议倦怠”。考虑到年龄因素,这些处于职业生涯中期的管理人士往往是在职父母,他们试图在家庭和工作之间找到平衡。埃利奥特表示,他们总体认为“在这种远程工作的环境中压力更大”。

哈佛商学院(Harvard Business School)教授拉杰•乔杜里最近在《哈佛商业评论》(Harvard Business Review)的封面故事中讲到远程工作,他认为公司应该承担起责任,减轻“自由工作地点”所带来的挑战和机遇。若想成功做到这一点,则需要对生产力、沟通甚至社交进行反思。他主张虚拟社交实际上好过在茶水间闲聊,因为前者可以让你扩展自己的网络,对象远远不止你每天在办公室看到的人。他认为关键在于“有计划的随机互动”,公司能够通过这种方式在短时间内聚集一群人,跨越等级和地域。

这与珍妮•约翰逊的发现如出一辙,她是全球投资公司富兰克林邓普顿基金集团(Franklin Templeton)的总裁兼首席执行官。她认为关键要让每个团队领导者在居家办公的问题上,自由决定事情的轻重缓急和工作流程。她告诉自己的首席信息官“要利用这段时间挑战极限,探索如何弹性工作,这样才可以挖角人才”。他们还尝试通过提出具体问题来促进公司内部的人际关系。例如他们会说:“我们想让你在下次开会之前与五位陌生人联系。”

座谈会的所有人士最后都赞同这样一个观点:如果无法在一起实体办公,就必须更努力去让每个人明白自己在做什么工作。达伦•墨夫是代码托管平台 GitLab的远程主管,他表示目前这种透明度十分重要。“在没有办公室的情况下,人们会意识到差距和隔阂。如果你看不到大家在做什么工作,你就会更加没有归属感。”他说。看到别人的目标、进度和状态,“会让我们觉得自己属于这个团队。”

Slack的埃利奥特补充道,“不要害怕未雨绸缪”,尤其是面对那些超负荷工作的中层管理者。他表示,其公司已经“提供机会让中层管理者聚在一起”讨论各自会遇到的障碍,并探讨和比较解决方案。“可以私下聊聊你的工作负担,也可以公开讨论你或公司的头等大事,这么做真的能够减轻压力。”他说。(财富中文网)

译者:秦维奇

Plenty of teams have switched to working remotely since March 2020. Now enough time has passed that many are starting to ask: What's actually working?

That was the topic of a recent virtual panel presented by Fortune and Slack's Future Forum called "Reimagine Work: New Ways to Lead."

Brian Elliott, who leads the Future Forum, said that his company's research showed a stark divide in terms of how different groups of employees are experiencing—and adapting to—remote work. When it came to having stress at work and wrestling with social isolation, "middle managers stood out," he said. According to his company's survey of 9,000 knowledge workers around the globe, middle managers were 91% more likely to say they were having trouble working remotely when compared to individuals and senior executives. And while more junior and more senior team members largely felt that they were more productive working remotely, middle managers were 36% below individual contributors on that scale, with only 60% feeling that they could manage their workload.

To blame? While many middle managers lack the extensive networks of their more senior counterparts, they may also have less control over their own schedules, leading to "meeting burnout." Because of their ages, these mid-career execs are often working parents who are trying to balance caregiving responsibilities that have bled into the workday. Overall, they are "feeling the squeeze even more in this remote work environment," said Elliott.

Raj Choudhury, a Harvard Business School professor who just authored an HBR cover story on remote work, made the case that the responsibility falls on companies to help mitigate the challenges and opportunities brought about by "work from anywhere," and doing so successfully involves a rethinking of productivity, communication, and even socializing. He argued that socializing virtually can actually be more effective than relying on the "watercooler," because it allows you to expand your network far beyond the people you'd generally see day to day at the office. The key, he thinks, are "planned randomized interactions" whereby a company draws a group together for short bursts of time, cutting across hierarchy and geography.

That tracks with what Jenny Johnson, president and CEO of global investment firm Franklin Templeton, has found as well. She says giving individual team leaders the freedom to set their own priorities and processes when it comes to WFH has been key. She's told her CIOs to "use this time to push the envelope on how you can flexibly work so you’re the one that is poaching talent." They've also experimented with encouraging networking within the company with specific asks. For instance, they'll say, "We want you to reach out virtually to five people you don't know before your next meeting."

Finally, all the panelists endorsed the idea that when you can't physically work together, you have to work harder to let everyone know what people are working on. Darren Murph, whose job title is head of remote at GitLab, says this kind of transparency is radically important right now. "With no office, people recognize gaps and silos. If you can’t see what people are working on, you feel like you belong less," he said. Seeing other teams' goals and progress and status, "makes us feel like we belong to a team."

Slack's Elliott added that, especially when faced with those overtaxed middle managers, "don't be afraid to get super tactical." He said at his company they've "built opportunities for middle managers to get together" to discuss and compare obstacles and solutions. "Private conversations about your workload plus public conversations about your [company] priorities really help with the stress level," he said.

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