Does your workplace have a “heart cloakroom”?

Building on the themes of our Productivity blog series and aided by Claus Moller, the Honeydew team went off grid for a workshop to reflect on how we can best work together and as individuals. We explored areas of personal commitment, prioritising and relationship building, among others.

Do you bring your heart to work?

Many employees don’t feel committed to their work. They come into the workplace in the morning and leave their heart in the “heart cloakroom”. Even common sense can tell us that employees, who are committed – or in current terminology, engaged – will achieve the best results and have most job satisfaction. A huge proportion of workers feel that they are doing the wrong job and working for the wrong organisation. That is not a recipe for a happy coexistence for either party.

All jobs can give meaning to the employee, though, if the attitude is right. Each job has its purpose and even the most mundane of tasks can be meaningful as long as it receives recognition. You can also feel proud of doing anything well, however small the task. A cleaner provides an essential service and, if they didn’t, we would immediately notice. Still, I suspect that most cleaners don’t receive much praise for their job when it is done properly because it’s taken for granted. We only remember the person when they make a mistake. It’s important that managers and coworkers give thanks for a job well done so that we feel motivated to bring our hearts into work every day.

Are you always firefighting?

The second theme of our workshop was prioritising work. We discussed two common patterns of working: firefighting and New Year’s resolutions. In our day-to-day working lives, we often find ourselves spending most of our time firefighting, i.e. doing the things that are most urgent. We let our email inboxes dictate the pace of the day and can get lost without a clear overview or vision for our work. It is important to take time to re-evaluate the company or team goals and make strategic decisions about the direction for the future. The tasks that contribute to the future path that the company or we as individuals would like to take usually fall into the category of New Year’s resolutions: we know they’re important but something we never get around to doing. Instead, we should take breaks from the firefighting to make time to work toward the longer term goals. This could be as simple as closing down your email for a few hours to avoid distraction.

Relationships start with me

Relationships with colleagues, customers and suppliers are part of our everyday working lives. They can be the best or the worst part of our jobs and it has been shown in surveys that friendships at work increase both job satisfaction and productivity. However, the basis of interaction with others starts with my relationship with myself. If I don’t feel good about myself or the work I am doing, that will feed into how I interact with others. Of course, the way others treat me can have a massive impact on my self-esteem and general outlook on things. The key message of this session was to be more reflective. In difficult situations, review your own response first. Your initial reaction may be anger or annoyance but you have the ability to choose a different response. Choosing a positive response instead of a negative one will most likely result in an outcome that is beneficial for both yourself and others.


One easy indicator of a disengaged workforce is a high absence level. Do you know your absence level today? If not, it is time to get to work on better absence reporting. Engage absence management software makes the job very easy!