Business Briefs: Overcoming Bad Teammates; Designing Creative Office Spaces & Planning Better Hybrid Meetings

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Welcome to Business Briefs! The world of academic publications features fascinating findings from real-world experiments in business and the marketplace. Here are some key takeaways and applicable nuggets of knowledge that may be helpful for your business.

Bad Teammates

Oxford University Press just published a book by two psychologists called Overcoming Bad Leadership in Organizations. It’s centered around the concept of “the dark side,” that is, dysfunctional personalities and counterproductive behaviors. Using an analysis of collected research studies, the authors look at how the dark side impacts the workplace.

When it comes to teams, the authors say that encountering the dark side is inevitable, because teams are made of people. To support success, they offer the following pieces of advice in a chapter that cites more than 70 studies:

  1. Build self-awareness in the team; people aren’t always aware of how they’re perceived by others
  2. Create a team mission so powerful that it transcends personal interests
  3. Build an environment where it’s safe to disagree
  4. Encourage interaction

Will this prevent bad teammates? The authors say that would be impossible. But their recommendations do point to ways to address obstacles associated with the frustrating behavior that might be found among colleagues. 

Read more here

Overcoming Bad Leadership in Organizations – Derek Lusk & Theodore Hayes, Oxford University Press

Creative is Money

While the most popular office space these days is…remote, for those whose work is office-oriented, the appearance of the office itself can have a profound effect on employee recruitment. 

And it’s more than having a “nice” looking office. It needs to be a particular type of nice. Surveying 808 participants aged 18 to 45, researchers created four types of workspaces for a questionnaire. The four types of workspaces were: high value (expensive equipment and furniture), low value (inexpensive equipment and furniture), high creative (unconventional decorative elements and design), and low creative (with fewer unconventional elements).

Based on the results of the questionnaire, the researchers learned that participants found firms with creative workspaces to be the most attractive as potential workspaces. Based on those findings, the research team suggested that the creatively designed offices suggest a business is innovative and has a climate for creativity. 

The researchers also concluded that low-value work environments could improve employee recruitment by integrating high-creative touches. 

Read more here

Saw the Office: Want the Job – Lukas Maier, Christian V. Baccarella, Timm F. Wagner, Martin Meinel, Tobias Eismann, and Kai-IngoVoigt, Journal of Environmental Psychology

Better Hybrid Meetings

Hybrid meetings are get togethers where some of the participants are in the same room, and others are present via a video feed. They’re now commonplace at work, because some employees are in the office…and some are not. That said, communicating with two audiences at once requires a special set of guidelines. Otherwise, the participants who are online often feel isolated because it can be hard to tell who is speaking in the room and what exactly is going on. The dynamic makes it challenging to truly participate from a remote location. 

So academics looked at the literature, 18 publications to be exact, to extract the best approach for coordinating hybrid meeting. Their advice includes:

  1. Circulate an advanced agenda so everyone knows what to expect
  2. Have some defined rules of engagement
  3. Per Item #2: Only one speaker at a time in the room, that makes for better audio
  4. Take a ten minute break for every ninety minutes of meeting
  5. Identify one in-office participant to monitor the video feed. That ensures that remote participants can weigh in too.

Read more here

The Application of Human Factors at Hybrid Meetings – Ricky Ellis, Tim Goodacre, Neil Mortensen, Rachel Oeppen, and Peter Brennan, British Journal of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery