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TRAINING

8 simple steps to improve virtual presentations

Today’s hybrid workplace means you may have to conduct training and information sessions for remote staffers. You need to know how to best present yourself and your material virtually, using tools such as PowerPoint slide shows. Consider these tips to ensure your audience gives full attention to your presentation without being distracted by glitches. Format your virtual presentation so it’s easy to read and follow. Use text sparingly on each slide and ensure the text you use is large enough to read. Use visuals/videos that are engaging but also easy to view and follow. Limit the overall number of slides and transitions. Consider sharing your virtual presentation slides separately. If you have the ability, consider sharing your virtual presentation slides or other visuals with your staff ahead of time or… . . . 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

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

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

COMPLIANCE

Beware of privacy pitfalls when remotely monitoring telecommuters

Before the pandemic, 80 percent of U.S. employees worked primarily from an external workplace; today, only 21 percent do. Coaxing employees to return to the workplace will be an uphill battle, with recent surveys, including one from Pew Research, suggesting that 54 percent of those who are currently working remotely want to continue spending at least some of their working hours at home. In short, as with other employers, law offices need to adjust to the realities of telecommuting. Among the biggest challenges will be maintaining productivity. One potential solution is to deploy technologies that monitor employees’ whereabouts and use of computer and other work equipment to verify that employees who work remotely are actually doing their jobs. Unfortunately, doing this exposes your office to liability risks under privacy and… . . . read more

TOOL

Tool: Model Remote Monitoring of Telecommuters Policy

Letting employees telecommute poses significant operational and management challenges to employers, not the least of which is ensuring that employees are actually doing their jobs and meeting expected productivity standards when working from home. Software, apps and other monitoring technology can go a long way in meeting this goal; but it can also get you into hot water under privacy and other laws. The best way to manage privacy liability risk is to include specific language in your telecommuting policies and arrangements that provides for monitoring. The idea is to let employees know exactly what you’re going to do and how, and ensure they don’t have reasonable expectations in the information collected. Here’s some model language you can adapt for your own use.

HUMAN RESOURCES

How to conduct a virtual investigation

By Lynne Curry bio Question: We have a messy situation we need to investigate involving 12 and possibly more employees at remote locations. Nine months ago, we laid off our human resources officer. The accounting manager and I inherited many of her duties. Both of us have investigated minor issues in each of our departments, and our former human resources officer left a good protocol for conducting investigations in her file. The protocol calls for bringing involved individuals into the corporate office to interview them. In the past, we spent considerable money flying employees in from the field for interviews. We lack the financial resources to do that this time. Also, while we know who was immediately involved in the situation, we won’t know which other individuals we may need to… . . . read more

MANAGING STAFF

Post-pandemic period a chance to try flexible staffing strategies

By Lynne Curry bio Question: COVID-19 hit our northern U.S. law practice hard. We cut employees, then salaries, and then we cut again. We lost half of our clients as their fortunes failed; other clients cut their work to the bone. Our revenue is down 70%. Some office staffers left our state when their spouses’ high-paying jobs evaporated. Others took off when COVID-19 combined with our cold, dark winter proved too much. Because these employees had talents we needed, we kept them as “snowbirds”. At first, it didn’t cause trouble. Everyone was working from home, so it didn’t matter where “home” was. Now that we’ve moved back into the office building, our local employees complain about the snowbirds. They feel the fair weather staff get an unfairly sweet deal, as… . . . read more

MANAGING STAFF

Professionals working remotely clock long and weekend hours

A new study by global staffing firm Robert Half shows employees are working around the clock while at home. More than half (55 per cent) of professionals who transitioned to a remote setup as a result of the pandemic said they work on the weekend. In addition, one-third (34 per cent) of remote employees reported regularly putting in more than eight hours a day. “Despite the significant benefits of working remotely, such as saving time spent commuting and increased flexibility, it can also lead to putting in longer hours,” said David King, senior district president of Robert Half. “Heavier workloads have become a reality for many professionals during the pandemic, making it more challenging to disconnect while at home. It is critical that employers encourage their teams to take regular… . . . read more

BUSINESS CONTINUITY

How to ensure your firm can weather a disaster

Many law firms are not well prepared to weather a disaster, whether it’s a physical one such as a flood or fire, or a technological one such as…


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