This Week Health

Today: Remote Work Works, Right?

How's remote work working for you?

Transcript

Today in health, it remote work works right. That's what we're going to take a look at. My name is bill Russell. I'm a former CIO for a 16 hospital system and creator of this week health, a set of channels and events dedicated to transform healthcare. One connection at a time. We want to thank our show sponsors who are investing in developing the next generation of health leaders, short test artist, side, parlay and certified health, notable and service.

Now check them out at this week. health.com/today. Three quick things, check out our new site this week. health.com/news. One place for your health? It news. Second thing. Alex's lemonade stand. We put our goal in for this year to raise another a hundred thousand dollars for Alex's lemonade. Stand left. Have you be a part of it hit our websites website top right-hand column. You're going to see a logo for the lemonade stand. Click on that to give today. Finally share this podcast with a friend or colleague use it as a foundation for daily or weekly discussions on the topics that are relevant to you. And the industry. Great way to mentor.

They can subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts. All right. We're going to take a look at an article and that article is about web MD. Web MDs parent company goes nuclear on return to office and an uncanny leaked video. We need you ready and present and we need it. Now, this was an article that was sent in. By one of our curators for our new site.

And I found an interesting, so I'm going to re read a couple excerpts from it. And then we're talking about remote work a little bit. It's Friday. So it's a little bit of a rambling day. Whatever's top of mind. All right. Earlier this week, internet brands, the parent company of web MD, and a bunch of other companies shared an unusual and didn't discomforting. Discomforting. Video

announcing its plans to formally order workers back to the office and mocking those who haven't done. Of their own accord. The internet video was erroneously shared publicly on the company's Vimeo page. According to vices, Maxwell's striking. Since the vice writeup, the video garnered some online jeering and internet brands amended the video to include an opening.

Disclaimer. Wow. This video has gotten a lot of attention. It reads our return to office policy is a hybrid one. We've been rolling out this hybrid policies over a year as to comments, criticism on the tone and style. Yeah. Corporate videos, our corporate videos. It then included a shrug emoji. Regardless.

We strongly believe that we are better together. The message concludes before launching into the montage of scenes from internet brands, offices in California considered one of the most remote work friendly states. Who knew. Let's see web MDs video runs about two minutes and features a smattering of internet brands, senior executives, most prominently longtime CEO, Bob Briscoe. That's almost sounds like a comedy named for a CEO, Bob Briscoe, CEO. Rattling off the benefits of in-person work and monitoring. Admonishing the company holdouts. We aren't asking or negotiating at this point, Briscoe said, we're informing you of how we need to work together.

Going forward. The video features at one point a stock image of a man ostensively working at his laptop in his kitchen, wearing a collar shirt. And out of you boxers. Towards the end of the video Lin. Takeshi internet brand senior vice president of HR tells viewers. That their manager will be in touch shortly about how this will be implemented and tracked. While many workers have returned to the company's LA office, too big of a group hasn't returned said web MD, CFO. We're getting more serious about getting everyone back into the office for the simple reason that we're better when we are together. We need you ready and present and we need it now. The Simone went on.

We have been slow in getting back and some people in some places that's about to change the video concludes with a familiar Google meet login page, and a memo saying that no one is on the call because everyone is in person now. Ask about web MDs, actual return to office playbook and how the video is meant to differentiate from its supposedly existing hybrid arrangement.

As spokesperson told fortune. Only that the company has had an evolving hybrid strategy in place. For more than a year. Which will continue in place going forward. Our executive teams feel strongly that both our company and our employees are more successful when they can collaborate in person. The spokesperson said. The tone of the video was an intentional decision. To keep the topic light and somewhat ironic in the context of knowing very well that the return to office issue can be emotionally charged.

That is an understatement. Across the U S workers bristle at being told what to do. Indeed experts say the best hybrid work planes are the ones. That lead with employee sentiment and focus on each individual worker and team's preference, autonomy and desired balance. Our company review site, blind web MD employees likened the Vimeo to a hostage video. This is like when the teacher's school did the class for misbehaving, one commentator said. If I worked here and was on the fence about leaving that video alone would motivate me to start sending out resumes. Given the broad unpopularity of return to office mandates that don't consider employee choice or input.

It's unlikely that web MDs workers caught the lightness or the irony. And I said, the story originated from fortune. Dot com. This continues to be one of those really interesting topics. Now most healthcare organizations I know are leading with employee sentiment. And they are essentially letting that drive a hybrid strategy.

And I think that will continue to be. The case, I, by the way, I do not disagree with their argument, that we are better when we are together in a room. We tend to be able to read people better. We tend to be able to have better conversations. We tend to get closer. As individuals when we are face-to-face. There's a whole bunch of things.

I think we lose in this remote work environment. There's a bunch of things I think we gain as well, by the way. That level of autonomy is fantastic. The ability to shut everything off and actually get some work done. I think it's also a fantastic. I think the The nature of the video meetings has gotten better and better. As time has gone on the tools associated with them, I've gotten better. I think it is funny.

I was talking to a CIO the other day and he said that there are some tools that they're looking at and they're utilizing, I guess they're new in the Microsoft stack that essentially you can send an AI chat bot to a meeting. In your stead. So you're not gonna be able to make the meeting. You send the AI chat, bot a reports back to you. What actually happened.

And we were joking that there are going to be times when it's going to be all AI chat bots. In the meeting reporting back. The my reservation on this is really twofold. One is the value of getting people back face-to-face and we use the word hybrid. I believe as a cop-out, because we don't really think through what gives us the best return we think, Hey, what keeps the. The tension, the lowest. And hybrid is the thing that keeps the tension.

The lowest actually what keeps tension the lowest is remote work. Second would be hybrid and just using those words. But third would be a really reason to thought out, Hey, we're all going to be in the office on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Would be better to me than a hybrid that says, Hey, pick a day, you're coming in. I think it's you pick up some of that serendipity and I know that we're just not Not looked on too kindly. Amongst the amongst the staff and the workers, but at the end of the day, there are conversations and things that happen. That that wouldn't happen otherwise.

In between this recording and my next recording, whatever that happens to be. I'm going to go talk to my family. I'm not talking to another worker. I'm not discussing. Hey, are you working on that project or are those kinds of things? And so we I think we miss out on some of that. Now, some of us have been able to create that remotely. And that's and that's good.

All right. So you have this remote work. No conflict at all. Hybrid work just in name only creates very little attention for people. Hybrid work where it's more prescriptive. Come in on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I think gets us back closer to something that is going to work and provide value and give us the ability to mentor that next generation.

I think mentoring that next generation remotely is extremely difficult. Mentoring them. At the elbow, I think. Works a lot better. And then obviously the one with the most tension is, Hey get your butt back in your in your office. And that gets a lot of pushback ed for obvious reason.

It doesn't take into account any of the flexibilities that we have experienced since the pandemic started. That we actually now attribute to a good work environment. The ability to see our families during the day. The ability to not sit in traffic. There are a lot of at the, ability actually to get more work done, potentially remotely. Now I. I balanced that with there are days I get more work done than I would ever get done in an office.

There are days where I do not. Quite frankly, and I would benefit for being in an office and that's just me personally. And it's based on it's. Moods is not the right word, but it's based on my my current mental disposition, whether I'd get more work done in an office or not. And I don't think we're taking those things into account. That there are some people who, if you put them in an office at home, they are not going to thrive.

They're actually going to start to die on the vine. And there are people who, if you make them go into an office, they are not going to thrive. They are going to die on the vine. There are different personalities that thrive in different situations. We need to give those personalities. That those kinds of environments.

And at times when you're giving. Certain personalities, the environments where they thrive, you're giving people who don't thrive in that environment. They have to be there in order for those people to thrive. And so you're looking at the whole, not the individual. That's part of the problem with how we are looking at remote. And back to the office, things we're looking. A lot of times at the individual, is this good for the individuals?

It would, we're a company, we're an organization, we're a team. We work together sometimes what's best for me. It's not what's best for this staff member, but sometimes what's best for that staff member is not what's best for me, but we do that because we're a team and we work together. Those are just some of my thoughts.

Use them. Don't use them. It's entirely up to you. My team is a hundred percent remote. Mostly because we. We live in. Eight different states creates a huge problem with regard to taxes and all that other stuff. We have to pay eight different state taxes for a small company. That is quite the challenge, but but at the end of the day it's how our company functions and how it was designed. We do a lot of things.

We have an onboarding process. That's two weeks long to make sure that we help people to to get up to speed as quickly as they possibly can. We have a daily stand-ups. We have a weekly staff meeting where everybody. Can come together and hear what's going on. Get a vision from me as the leader and hear from each other as what's important what's going on.

We also have some personal time baked into our meetings as well. Yeah. And so I think it's important, whatever environment you come up with. To maintain. The things that made you successful or will make you successful. And so we've identified those things. We make sure that they are a part of our culture moving forward, and we're constantly evaluating.

If the things we decided to do last year. Are still serving its purpose. And we just went through this big process. And we added a meeting and cut some out so interesting interesting path forward. All right. That's all for today. That's enough rambling for Friday. Don't forget to share this podcast with a friend or colleague.

Keep the conversations going. Agree with me. Disagree with me. Just want to get the conversation going. We want to thank our channel sponsors who are investing in our mission to develop the next generation of health leaders. Short test artists, I parlance certified health, notable and service. 📍 Now check them out at this week.

health.com/today. Thanks for listening. That's all for now.

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