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  • Writer's pictureAnna Conrad

How to Make Sure Everyone Knows the New Rules of the Workplace

A lot has changed in the last 14 months, but does everyone know the new unstated cultural and emotional norms? For instance, do people know if it's okay to turn off video during a meeting? Is it acceptable for team members to go for a walk in the middle of the day?

Understanding what the new rules are will alleviate stress for many people. Do this by setting aside time for you and your team to brainstorm an "It's okay to…" list to clarify the minor ambiguities that can add needless stress. Here is an example of some items that came out of a recent activity I did with a client:

  • It's okay to say you don't understand an explanation or a process.

  • It's okay to ask, "Why?".

  • It's okay to have quiet days.

  • It's okay to shift hours to take care of family commitments.

  • It's okay to block off time on the calendar for focused work.

Documenting norms is a simple exercise, and it has positive benefits for new, tenured, and future employees. Writing down the norms also allows you to reinforce your culture even when the nature of work changes.


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