As host of the Workplace Innovator podcast by iOffice, Mike Petrusky is most comfortable with asking questions. This time, however, he finds himself in the opposite role. He answers a variety of questions to provide some insider information and factoids about the digital workplace and workplace in general.
Although Petrusky never imagined hosting a podcast before his start with his first show (FM Innovator Podcast), he does have a background in DJing and learned the value of learning about people. He goes beyond the business aspect, discovering little, personal details about guests to provide Mike some common ground to further establish a connection.
Personal details allow him to see that everyone, no matter how much celebrity status they hold or how popular they seem to be, they’re just a person. By revealing guests that are held in high esteem as regular folk, it helps Mike, guests, and listeners to connect.
Petrusky started his FM Innovator Podcast in an attempt to share information and develop a community with the D.C. chapter of IFMA (International Facility Management Association). Associate members of the chapter required a way to communicate their value to FM practitioners, so Mike took the initiative to help. With the rise in popularity in podcasts at the time, his way of helping was starting his own.
As a fan and follower of iOffice, Mike invited co-founder and Executive Vice President Elizabeth Dukes on his facility management podcast and developed a great friendship with her. A mutual desire to work together expanded into much more than Petrusky expected. When she informed him of her desire to have him on her iOffice team, Mike felt as though it was the perfect match. It was then that his previous facility management show was rebranded as a workplace podcast.
While Petrusky did have some reservations, he communicated his thoughts and desires for thought leadership and education, and everything aligned between iOffice and his own goals. Since becoming the voice of his audience, Mike has learned a lot about workplace challenges and opportunities, but mostly about people. He is interested in what people struggle with and how people can improve to be the best and do the best.
With varying people, industries, places, and organizations, Mike has found that when you understand strategies and opportunities, people still hesitate when it comes to change. It is this understanding that brings Petrusky to the paradox of the workplace.
Much like the difference in views on a half empty or half full glass, people tend to look at change similarly. Where some individuals will look at a workspace and see how things have changed so much - technology is so different from what it was 20 years ago. However, others will say at its roots; the workspace is the same: a working surface, a phone, and a computer have been the main elements for a long time.
Both statements are correct, and both statements are contradictory. This is the paradox of the workplace. A paradox, in general, is a conflicting truth. When it comes to the workplace, change can often display various paradoxes: there is frequently a difference in vision when it comes to how much has changed over time.
Trends in employee experience are meeting expectations of workers and clients and creating a frictionless experience. Having said this, Mike described a recent guest of his that explained that a frictionless workplace shuts down the brain and turns off creativity. This is another paradox.
Agile and flexible working are also ways to elevate employee experience. However, organizations must employ people from various backgrounds that share a common mission — creating a culture and a level of communication that encourages team bonding and connectivity. For most people, that means using technology. Despite this, technology can also mean isolation.
As someone who travels regularly, Mike Petrusky also learns by discussing workplace and employee experience with those outside real estate and a bit beyond his immediate comfort zone. For him, this means exploring workplace experience from an HR standpoint. When it comes to the view on experience from HR, it is a holistic view. It often includes daycare options for the children of employees, branding, onboarding, and meeting more personal needs.
Getting a better understanding of employee experience requires learning the vernacular and vocabulary of other departments, industries, and organizations. With various terms and a new level of importance on something that was not thought of, having a grasp on different viewpoints allows for greater employee experience.
Petrusky uses marketing to determine the best course of action in achieving maximum productivity and employee experience. For Mike, this has been learning to be comfortable being uncomfortable. Being comfortable in uncomfortable situations means becoming adaptable. You might do this by going outside of the norm and learning something new. Another way to do this is to reach out to someone that does things differently and ask how they do it.
Mike quotes Seth Godin in saying, “If what you did today wasn’t hard, you didn’t expose yourself to enough risk and fear.” It seems like a heavy statement, but when it is boiled down, you might take away this: do something hard, no matter how scary it is. Doing so can create connections and new human experiences.
People have more in common than they realize - from Bono to Mike Petrusky. With that as a takeaway, facing fears seems much more natural and worthwhile. Facing fears is a great way to boost productivity and employee experience simultaneously.
Watch the full interview by clicking the image below:
Who is Seth Godin? Seth Godin is an American author and former business executive that is well known for a handful of his books and his blog. Poplar books include Free Prize and Purple Cow. His work has been praised by the New York Times, Business Week, and Forbes.
What is iOffice? iOffice is facility management software at its core, but the company itself has expanded into many other ventures. Mike Petrusky’s podcast is one such venture.
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