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MANAGING STAFF

5 lessons employers can learn from Elon Musk’s Twitter crises

By Lynne Curry When multi-billionaire and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk acquired Twitter on Oct. 27, he assumed leadership of a company that hadn’t earned a profit in eight of its ten years, By Nov. 4, eight days later, 1.3 million users had fled Twitter. Revenue dropped dramatically as advertisers, Twitter’s main revenue source, pulled out. One could feel sorry for Musk—except Twitter’s crises resulted in part from Musk’s own “I wing it” actions. His mistakes provide valuable lessons for other employers. Don’t alienate those you most need to survive Musk’s own tweets and heavy-handed actions alienated Twitter’s employees and stakeholders. In his first eight days, Musk fired massive numbers of Twitter’s full-time workforce, throwing remaining employees into survival mode. Remaining employees heard about the mass layoffs but didn’t learn… . . . read more

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

Flexibility is the key to remote work practices

“The name of the game is flexibility,” says Carl Kutsmode, Senior Vice President at Talentrise, an executive search and talent management consulting firm, talking about the nature of remote work since the coronavirus pandemic. Kutsmode discusses how the pandemic has changed the workforce, likely for good. Additionally, his perspective provides tips to help employers adapt to new business and networking practices in a post-pandemic world. Pandemic’s push for career reevaluations The confinement of the pandemic enabled people to pause, reconnect with their families, and establish a work-life balance that had not existed to such an extent before 2020. As the world slowly moves away from the pandemic’s restrictions, employees are motivated by new, different factors than they once were and, as such, have different expectations of their employer. As the… . . . 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

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.


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