Career & Education | Life | Article

Podcast Roundup: Decoding Workplace Conflicts During WFH (Episode 8)

by Sophia | 14 Jul 2020 | 3 mins read

If job interviews are nerve-wracking, wait till you get a taste of workplace conflicts! And even though most of the workforce is still working from home (WFH) for the time being, that doesn’t mean we’re completely free from workplace conflicts either. After all, WFH presents a new set of problems that are unique to remote working, and it would be wise to learn how best to deal with these issues if they crop up in our daily lives.

In episode 8 of our official podcast, we talked to Evelyn Chow from Decode HR about some common work problems that have arisen for some of our IG followers (that’s you!), and asked her what we should do in these situations. Here’s a roundup of two scenarios that we went through.

Communication Problems

Even when working from home, people are still experiencing lots of communication breakdown at work. In some instances, colleagues tried to over-simplify decision-making over instant messaging, and misunderstandings have arisen more often than not. There’s also the classic case of misinterpreting meaning and tone over text. Here are Evelyn’s recommendations:

  • Instant messaging is not the best medium for decision making; get on a WhatsApp call or Google Hangouts
  • You’ll want to be able to read expressions, emotions, and reactions; picking up on body language and tone of voice will make a huge difference
  • It’s far easier to talk about challenges and obstacles F2F or over a call because it feels more like a two-way dialogue than just texting

Lack of Boundaries at Work

WFH blurs the line for most of us with our home offices being the same as our bedrooms. People have mentioned that bosses and colleagues are contacting them after working hours! Since they’ve got nowhere to go and are most definitely at home, they have no choice but to respond anyway, thus leading to workplace conflicts in the form of resentment and stress.

This even bleeds over into the weekend (and, arguably, this weekend problem has been in existence since before circuit breaker and COVID). We asked Evelyn for some advice, and this is what she said:

  • It’s great if you can talk about these issues on a one-to-one basis
  • If you prefer to be subtle, send the group a link to an article on the importance of preserving mental health as a hint
  • During a team catch-up, talk about how everyone’s adjusting with WFH, including the good and the bad
  • Bring suggestions to counter these challenges and share positive examples that demonstrate your commitment to your job

We tackled two other types of workplace conflicts in the podcast episode itself related to discrimination and underperforming, so be sure to head over to the last episode of our first season to give it a listen!