Pragmatism VS Loose conversations in a remote work life

13th Feb 2021

Today, we stumbled upon a culture clash during a conversation on Company North Star and Objective and Key Results (OKRs): pragmatic northern Europe vs the loose southern one.

Living in Berlin for a considerable amount of years but coming from Italy, I consider myself a way in between; if on one side I aim to a goal and reach it, on the other hand, I tend to have loose plans to be open to serendipity or influences during the process.

These differences are accentuated during these pandemic times, where we are in a constant video call.

If meetings are proven more effective when there are a clear agenda and goals, now meetings are also a way to keep the connection and human interaction that where characteristics of the office life (read coffee talks for southern culture).

Now, in my experience, a meeting could last longer than planned to make space for chitchat and non-work-related conversations. And it’s totally fine. As a manager, I encourage these situations because they help keep the team together and not lose the human touch. Overall we are all human being, and as much as we love to think, work and personal life are interconnected.

Some could argue that it would work better to schedule a coffee” meeting to catch up. Still, nothing is like spontaneous conversations that could arise in a meeting with colleagues that you rarely work with and meet in some stakeholders update and alignment meetings.

Having these informal conversations could help as a stress reliever and improve the mental health of the team. Something, as leaders, is one of the most important things in these times.

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