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REMOTE WORK

Digital presenteeism: Faking you care, faking you’re even there

By Lynne Curry A surprising number of employees, determined to hold on to their “work from home” status and aware that managers and others suspect remote employees of working less than their required hours, practice digital presenteeism. Digital presenteeism involves remote employees demonstrating they’re hard workers by responding to additional emails, attending additional meetings, and contributing comments in every meeting. According to a recent job trends report, the average remote employee works 67 additional minutes daily in an effort to convince managers they’re fully engaged in their jobs, https://www.flexjobs.com/remote-jobs/company/talentwise. The same report reveals that a record 85% of managers find it difficult to know for sure if their remote employees are productive. The problem—these actions erode morale and don’t equate with higher productivity. Said one mid-level manager who called me this… . . . read more

REMOTE WORK

Make online team meetings work for you

By Lynne Curry If you dread online meetings–attending them, hosting them–and long for meetings to become more than a necessary evil, you can make it happen. Recently, I hosted a two-day, 15-hour meeting that the 17 attendees said “zoomed by,” “was fun, kept me engaged the entire time;” and “made an hour seem like five minutes.” Here’s how we did it. A “you” start We started with the “real,” with questions like “how is remote working for you this week?” Real value Before I launched into the first topic, I asked everyone what they hoped the meeting focused on and what results they wanted from it. Everyone listens to the same radio station, WIFM, “what’s in it for me”. If your meeting attendees know from the start, they’ll receive value,… . . . read more

RECRUITING

How to attract new staff in the post-pandemic job market

By Lynne Curry The pandemic has changed employees and what they want out of a job. It’s up to employers to recognize these new attitudes toward work and figure out how to attract good staff. See if you relate to the situation described here by a manager in another industry, and if you can use some of the advice.  Question: I always thought I was a good manager. Not anymore. I feel outgunned by what’s happened with my employees. A third of them have left for “better” jobs. The ones who’ve stayed have made it clear they expect higher wages and to work from home when they want.  The woman we hired to handle HR and accounting tells us she’s doing her best, but she hires “the best of the… . . . read more

STAFF RETENTION

Over half of workers would quit if required to return to office

After two years of office spaces sitting empty, many companies are eager to call employees back for good. In a survey of more than 800 senior managers, more than half of respondents (55 per cent) said they want their teams to work on-site full time as COVID-19-related restrictions ease, nearly unchanged from a similar survey  conducted last year. Currently, 44 per cent of senior managers support long-term hybrid schedules (where staff can divide time between the office and another location) and employees’ ability to choose where they work. Managers at large companies with 1,000 or more employees (54 per cent) are most open to flexibility, according to the survey conducted by Robert Half, a specialized talent solutions and business consulting firm. The risk of an employee exodus Separate research from… . . . read more

MANAGING STAFF

7 things to require of your moonlighting employees

By Lynne Curry “One of our highly paid professionals works remote. We don’t want to lose his talent, but he used to work 45 to 55 hours a week and now half the time I can’t find him when I call. He always calls me back, but it’s hours later. Last year, he was the first to volunteer for special projects. He doesn’t anymore. I heard a rumor he’s working another job, and I’m wondering if we’re getting what we’re paying for.”     “I found this site, overemployed.com. It taught me how to work two or three remote jobs at the same time and attain financial freedom. It even shows me how to negotiate a severance if one of the employers finds out and gets nasty.1”             In recent weeks,… . . . read more

TECHNOLOGY

Clocked out or connected: What you need to know about after-hours group chats

By Paul Edwards “Quick question…” Those two words have become increasingly popular as our near-constant attachment to communication devices blurs the line between work and personal time. Whether by phone, laptop, or tablet—via Slack, WhatsApp, or Google Chat—it’s easier than ever for teams to stay in contact after the workday is done. But employers need to be cautious about how they approach group conversations outside of the workplace. Not only will you need to ensure that your employees are clear on the standards for professional conduct within a group chat or text, but whether or not you have to pay employees for the time they spend messaging will depend on several factors, including the content of the messages, how much time is spent messaging, and whether the employees are classified… . . . read more

EMPLOYMENT LAW UPDATE

Harassment continues in era of remote work

By Mike O’Brien  In the early days of the pandemic, there was speculation that workplace harassment would decrease when so many workers shifted to remote work. Some recent surveys indicate that hasn’t been the case, and that incidents of harassment have been increasing. Possible reasons for this spike include the stress of the pandemic, the fact that remote workers may lack the kind of personal connections with colleagues that might otherwise hinder poor behavior and a more casual approach to conversations due to working in a more relaxed environment. Zoom meetings have also provided a whole new forum for trouble, with employees behaving badly (sometimes while thinking they are off-camera). The quick and unexpected shift to remote workforces may also have left many employers unprepared for the challenge. To combat… . . . read more

EMPLOYMENT LAW UPDATE

Are your remote employees moonlighting?

By Mike O’Brien A movement trending among some remote workers advocates holding multiple remote jobs at the same time, while concealing the other jobs from the involved employers. This approach is sometimes referred to as “over employment,” a term coined by the website www.overemployed.com, which provides tips and sells coaching services for workers who want to try their hand at holding multiple remote jobs simultaneously. Proponents say that they work fewer than 40 hours total per week, for all jobs held. Employers should determine what limitations on outside employment are appropriate for their organization, and craft corresponding policies. Possible considerations include whether outside employment is for a competitor, creates a conflict of interest, uses company time or affects the worker’s ability to do the job during their expected work hours, uses… . . . read more

Employment Law Update

Did your employees move out of state during the pandemic?

By Mike O’Brien Here’s a growing concern for employers over the last couple of years: discovering that an employee has moved from one state to another while working remotely during the pandemic. This situation presents a number of problems and challenges for employers. Imagine the situation where you are a state-based company and hire someone who lives in the state. Unless the job duties outline something else, in this situation there is at least an implicit agreement that the employee will live and work in your state and stay here while employed. Based on this agreement you, the employer, apply your state laws to the relationship, pay your state taxes, report the new hire in your state, etc. If, however, the employee moves to another state and works remotely from… . . . read more

MANAGING STAFF

How to resolve conflicts in a virtual, remote work environment

By Lynne Curry “We had a situation blow up this morning,” the law practice partner said when he called for advice. “It came out of nowhere. One small issue, a manager not letting his peer know about a meeting, unleashed a tidal wave of anger from her. We talked to the first manager. He said he’d accidentally overlooked putting the other manager on the Zoom invitation. He reminded us the other manager hates meetings and complains about how many she is forced to attend.” “And you believe him?” I asked. “Does the other manager?” Conflicts flourish in a virtual work environment. Rarely do explosions come out of nowhere. Why conflict explodes in a virtual environment Virtual and remote work environments can become petri dishes for conflict. When we work with… . . . read more


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