Disruption in the Workplace

Disruption in the Workplace

By Hayley Shaughnessy


What comes to mind when we think of “disruption”? For some, the word may have a negative connotation. We’ve been taught it’s not polite to disrupt someone while they’re sleeping or told to use indoor voices so as not to disturb quiet readers in the library.

Disruption isn’t always negative. For instance, what about in the workplace? Disruption can do a lot for you and your team if you are equipped to do it right. If you take steps to safely shake things up, you can benefit by showing off your value to coworkers and even your boss. Here are some tips and tricks to help you make those moves and waves in your office.


Ask questions and share your ideas

One of the oldest, tried-and-true adages for working and learning is: “there are no stupid questions.” Try a hand at being the first to question the way something is done or what you can do differently that’s out of the ordinary.

By activating your curiosity you can help propel your business, projects and even professional development forward. For example, staying on top of the latest industry trends will allow you to identify areas where your company may want to invest or make changes in the future.

Maybe there is someone in your office who’s already taken on the role of questioning norms and standards. So why not ask them what they’ve learned and for any advice on how you can do the same? Should you approach the CEO, or is there another executive in your company that is more open to new ideas? Do some reconnaissance to be sure you’re setting yourself up to speak to someone who’s receptive.


Exercise your brain and become more flexible

While staying active with your words, you can also flex your working style. Take inventory of how your coworkers and mentors frame their days and weeks. Is there anything new to weave into your calendar?

To start, mixing up your habits can add disruption to your day, and maybe not immediately in a positive way. You might perform tasks slower than usual, or make a few missteps, but don’t fret. Understanding how others approach their work adds great benefit. You’re bound to be a stronger, well-rounded employee if you try to understand how your colleagues think and act in situations. Sometimes disruption takes time to do properly. Stay optimistic and learn along the way.


Communicate in new ways

Calling, texting, emailing – these are all ways in which we communicate with our friends, family and even our coworkers. With all the apps and technologies we can get our hands on, the way we can reach someone is easier than ever. How we use social media is changing and growing too, and as a result more platforms are being integrated into the workplace. There are platforms to streamline project management, help check tasks off of our lists and boost overall work efficiency.

Beyond platforms, there are shifts you can make in communication that can have an impact. Consider extending a meeting to an online space once it’s over in person. Brainstorm with colleagues to see what they’re using outside of the office, and how you can incorporate it into the office.


Choose to be the teacher from time to time

It’s your turn in the hot seat. While you’re busy learning from others, create opportunities for them to learn from you too. Volunteer your time outside of your usual working circles – if the hours in the day allow – to knowledge share. Pro tips are never unwelcomed.  

In addition, you can host activities like trivia nights outside of regular working hours to create friendly competition and take the disruption out of the office. This is a great way to socialize and learn more about unique expertise and experiences.


Moving on up

Just like emerging technologies are disrupting many aspects of society today, employees like you can take the lead on shaking up the workplace. Using these tips and tricks can help make a bang in the office and set up opportunities you hadn’t even imagined. Maybe you’ll be asked to host lunch-and-learns or meditation in your office next month, or be invited to work on a new project team equipped with your new-found agile approach to work!


For the latest trends, or for tips on how to make the most of your work life, visit career-advice.monster.ca.