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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

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

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

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

MANAGING STAFF

How you can lure your employees back to the office

By Lynne Curry Question: Like many law offices, we want our staff to return to working on-site, but don’t want to force them to return and have many of them quit. We want our employees to want to return. How do we do that? Answer: A recent Wall Street Journal article said, “There is a magical land where the temperature is always 72 degrees, the Wi-Fi never goes down, and there is always someone to talk to.”1 Except—multiple surveys show few employees want to return full time to that magical land, their former workplace. Many employees want to work from home three or more days a week.1 If you’re an employer, how do you change that? Envoy/Wakefield’s August 2021 online survey of 1,000 U.S. employees2 and Leanin’s June to August 2021 survey… . . . read more

MANAGING STAFF

Making hybrid work: Charting a new playbook for a future-ready workplace

By Lynne Curry Employers thought employees would want to come back to their offices, where they had easy access to equipment, coworkers, and managers. They were wrong. COVID-19 untethered us from our traditional workplaces and many employees don’t want to return. Employees enjoyed the flexibility and freedom, sometimes from micro-managing supervisors, they had when working from home. They discovered they could better balance home and work when they didn’t have to commute or leave home for eight hours daily. When the C-suite consulting firm McKinsey & Company surveyed more than 5,000 employees, it reported three-quarters of them want to work from home two or more days per weekly, with more than half of them wanting to work from home at least three days a week.1 Given this disconnect, if employers… . . . read more

COMPLIANCE

How to give your analog workplace harassment policy a digital makeover

One of the only nice things about the pandemic is the relief it’s provided from workplace harassment. After all, employees are far less vulnerable to workplace harassment when they work from home. Right? Absolutely wrong!!! Since the pandemic began: More than 4 in 10 U.S. workers (41 percent) reported that they’ve been subjected to some form of digital harassment (Pew Research); Nearly half (45 percent) of women experiencing sexual harassment say it happened remotely (Rights of Women, UK and Wales (“ROW”)); 23 percent of women reporting that they’ve been harassed say the problem has actually gotten worse since they began working from home (ROW); and More than 7 in 10 (73 percent) of victims say they don’t think their employer is doing enough to protect them from remote harassment (ROW)…. . . . read more


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