How to Successfully Manage a Remote Workforce

Remote workforces are becoming increasingly popular. According to Global Workplace Analytics, the population of work-at-home employees has more than doubled in the past 10 years. About 3.7 million employees, or 2.5 percent of the workforce, works from home at least half of the time, according to Global Workplace Analytics. More employers are looking at remote workforces because of the benefits they bring: Employing a remote workforce can save money on office space, boost productivity and keep morale high. Employees enjoy remote work because of the flexibility it offers. On the other hand, it can also be a disaster if you don’t manage it properly, resulting in unfinished work and blown deadlines. This white paper will look at seven things you’ll need to do to successfully manage a remote workforce. Establish Clear Expectations One of the most important things managers of remote workers must do is ensure their direct reports understand …

CONTINUE READING

The Commute, Not the Job, May Cause Burnout

The Commute, Not the Job, May Cause Burnout

The term burnout, which describes a state of emotional, mental and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress, is most often associated with a person’s job — but there may be another work-related trigger. A 2015 study from the University of Montreal found that workers who commute to their workplace every day, especially if the trip between home and the office is longer than 20 minutes, can have an increased risk for burnout. Annie Barreck of the University of Montreal’s School of Industrial Relations studied commuting patterns in rural and urban regions of Quebec. She analyzed a survey of almost 2,000 commuters between the ages of 17 and 69 who worked at 63 organizations to find out how they got to work — whether they drove a car, took a subway or bus, or walked or rode a bike. She also documented how long the trek from home to …

CONTINUE READING

Using Flexible Schedules: Better Work, Healthier Employees

Using Flexible Schedules: Better Work, Healthier Employees

Personal crises impacting employees can encompass more than individuals becoming sick or injured. Stressful and often unexpected responsibilities and worries include having to care for an elderly parent, ill child or newborn or supporting a newly unemployed or underemployed spouse. The result for the worker may be financial strain as well as a detrimental impact on mental and physical health (in some cases even triggering alcohol and drug abuse). For the employer, the employee’s problems may translate into absenteeism and reduced productivity. Increasingly, however, HR leaders and managers are realizing that creating flexible work schedules can help employees in times of crisis – and it can also be a strategy that benefits both the workforce and the company, in general. Academic researchers, business and labor leaders, and government and military officials gathered in Washington, DC, to discuss this topic at a Focus on Workplace Flexibility conference sponsored by the nonprofit …

CONTINUE READING

Flexibility Bias: What HR Leaders Need to Know

Flexibility Bias: What HR Leaders Need to Know

What happens when employees need a flexible work schedule, often in response to childcare needs? While it’s not uncommon for workers to arrange a telecommuting or flex time schedule with their employers, there can be a significant downside – flexibility bias. This phenomenon, involving prejudice and resentment from co-workers and even managers towards employees who need a flexible schedule, isn’t new. However, its impact may be more pervasive and damaging than many employees and employers realize. A case in point: Researchers at Rice University and the University of California, San Diego, polled 266 faculty members at a top-ranked university about attitudes towards parents of young children who had flexible work schedules. The results, recently published in the journal Work and Occupations, show flexibility bias is a problem even in a university setting where flexible schedules are more common – and this prejudice can not only harm a worker’s career, but it can also negatively impact an organization’s bottom line. While the study …

CONTINUE READING