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PRODUCTIVITY

Increase your efficiency with these workday PC tips

By Ron Slyker Due to the limited number of hours in a workday, it is critical to maximize your time. If you’re having trouble getting work done due to distracting websites, disorganized files, or cluttered inboxes, use these methods to improve your time management and stay productive at work. Keep an eye on productivity levels. Begin by keeping note of the amount of work you accomplish on an ordinary day. There are numerous useful applications for this. For instance, Google Chrome includes a feature called RescueTime that logs your most frequently visited websites and the amount of time you spend away from your computer. This program will offer you with a productivity score and a complete account of your workday. If you realize that you are squandering a significant chunk of your… . . . read more

WORKPLACE VIOLENCE

What about guns in cars in the parking lot?

By Lynne Curry Question: Our office takes threats of violence seriously. We prohibit any act or threat of violence by or against any client, staffer, supplier, or visitor. Our policy applies to all employees, whether on or off company property. We specifically state that we prohibit any use or possession, whether legal or illegal, of weapons on company property or while on business for our practice. In our rural practice some of our employees use their personal vehicles for office business. We pay them $200 a month to compensate them. Can we enforce the no firearms policy for their vehicle while travelling for our office? Answer: According to Perkins Coie Senior Counsel Michael O’Brien, “Your company can enforce a no firearms policy while your employees are on company time. Because your… . . . read more

WELLNESS

Worker well-being a priority for US employers, but program usage falters

Over the last year, workers around the world have been struggling with mental health issues—particularly burnout and isolation. As employers prepare for a post-COVID-19 world, a more holistic view of worker well-being is key to helping employees at all levels manage stress and remain engaged. A new report from The Conference Board, Holistic Well-Being @Work, examines what organizations are doing to implement more comprehensive well-being initiatives and offers recommendations for building healthier, resilient work environments. As the report details, while organizations recognize the importance of a holistic well-being strategy, many struggle to build a fully integrated approach, with low program participation and limited resources cited as the top barriers to success. Featured in the report are results from two surveys, including one of more than 200 practitioners responsible for their organizations’… . . . read more

RECRUITING

Entry-level law firm recruiting survives pandemic interruptions, but key indicators fall

While the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically altered the course of the 2020 law firm recruiting season, law firms, law schools, and law students have persevered, achieving a competitive summer 2021 recruiting season in winter 2021 instead of summer/fall 2020. The findings are part of NALP’s Perspectives on 2020-21 Law Student Recruiting report. Because of the changes in timing of OCI for the 2020-21 recruiting cycle due to the pandemic, NALP’s typical fall recruiting surveys were split into two collection timeframes, and the 2020-21 Perspectives report includes analysis from data collected in the fall 2020 Survey of Legal Employers on Summer Outcomes and First-Year Associate Plans and two spring 2021 Surveys of Law Schools and Legal Employers on 2020-21 Recruiting. “Amidst the pandemic interruptions and uncertainties there was an overall net decline… . . . read more

MANAGING STAFF

Amid higher productivity, 43% of US workers question need to return to workplace

Are you having trouble convincing your staff to return to the office? So are many employers. More and more offices plan to reopen their doors in the coming months, but will their workers show up? Amid higher productivity, 43 percent question the wisdom of returning to the workplace at all. The new survey by The Conference Board reveals a notable shift in employees’ greatest return-to-work concerns. Once dominant fears of contracting COVID-19 or exposing family members to it now lag behind anxieties about returning at all, dropping by nearly half in the last nine months. Moreover, a clear divide among workers emerged, with lower-level employees, women, and millennials questioning the need to return to the office at higher rates than their counterparts, despite expressing more concern about mental health.  … . . . read more

HIRING

An employee cyberstalks potential hires, looking for dirt

By Lynne Curry  According to rumor, one of my co-workers conducts unauthorized criminal background investigations on prospective employees without their knowledge or permission. This cyber-snoop doesn’t work in human resources but collects information and passes it along to the hiring managers. She’s also been known to interrogate employees after they’re hired about information she’s learned. We’ve also been told that, despite being married, this employee masquerades as a single woman on dating sites and essentially cyberstalks her targets. My co-workers and I don’t know what to do about this employee, as our members of our senior leadership team have indicated they support this woman one hundred percent. What can those of us who find this repugnant do about it? Answer:  According to employment and labor attorney Paul Wilcox, “It’s not surprising… . . . read more

MANAGING THE OFFICE

The top 8 policies to include in your employee handbook

By Krystal Barghelame  What is an employee handbook? An employee handbook is an important living document for your employees that outlines your company policies, history, and culture for current and future employees. Although 87% of businesses with 10 to 200 employees have employee handbooks, HR experts agree that it’s best practice to start a handbook as soon as you hire your first employee, because it defines expectations and can protect you legally. Here are the main policies you’ll want to record in that employee handbook: Onboarding and joining the team One of the top motivations for businesses to create an employee handbook is to train new hires. So, kick things off by laying out the basics that every employee should know before coming through the front door. The employee onboarding section… . . . read more

HIRING

Overall lateral hiring plummets in 2020, lateral associate hiring saw greatest declines

After remaining relatively steady in 2019, lateral hiring fell by more than 30% overall in 2020, driven in large part by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on recruiting. This steep fall-off in 2020 was experienced across all firm sizes, regions, and cities included in NALP’s analysis of the Survey of Legal Employers on Recruiting from 2020-21, although some offices saw larger decreases than others. This is the largest decline in lateral hiring since the peak of the Great Recession in 2009 when lateral hiring was down by 52%. NALP’s 2020 analyses cover aggregate hiring information on more than 4,500 lateral lawyers in 388 offices/firms. “This news may seem to be at odds with people’s current experience in the market, where the competition for lateral associates is reportedly red hot, but in… . . . read more

EMPLOYMENT LAW UPDATE

Disability discrimination and lookism in the workplace

By Mike O’Brien EEOC sues a work placement agency on behalf of disabled workers for disability discrimination The EEOC announced this week that it has filed suit under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) against a Hawaii work placement agency for disabled workers. The suit alleges that the agency refused to provide sign language interpreters for deaf employees, despite repeated requests by several deaf individuals. The workers had asked for interpreters to be present at staff meetings where matters such as work safety, protocols, and assignments were discussed. Despite these requests for accommodation, the agency declined to provide interpreters and instead gave the deaf workers written notes and handouts, or asked a deaf employee to interpret for other deaf employees. The EEOC asserts that these accommodations were ineffective and that as a… . . . read more

CYBERSECURITY

16 online safety tips for your telecommuters

Some of your staff may have opted to continue to work from home. Here are 16 reminders about online safety practices. While it’s a convenient—and often, necessary—setup, it’s not without its challenges. Working efficiently when you have children, dealing with distractions, and fightung off feelings of isolation when you work remotely are all common issues when you clock in and out of a home office. But there’s another less-talked-about threat a lot of employees don’t consider: cybersecurity. Online safety has become an increasingly important topic in our ever-changing digital world, but people who work from home need to be especially vigilant in taking digital security seriously. Not taking necessary precautions could not only slow down your productivity, it could also have major business ramifications. Our guide explains everything you need… . . . read more


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