Transitioning to a virtual workforce can be beneficial for nonprofits and for-profits alike. Consider these tips for making sure the process is a smooth one.
Too many Americans are trapped in toxic jobs, a problem employers and employees need to take more seriously. Jeffrey Pfeffer, an organizational behavior professor at Stanford who wrote the book Dying for a Paycheck, found through his research that poor management in U.S. companies accounted for up to 8 percent of annual health costs and was associated with 120,000 excess deaths every year."
Work is the leading cause of stress and stress is a leading cause of many chronic problems including poor sleep, digestion, issues, depression, over-eating, pain, and more. While the article offers a couple of token ideas for reducing stress, the author's best advice to those with toxic jobs is to get a new one. Given the cost of losing a good employee and the war for talent, reducing employee stress and ferreting out the root causes ought to be an employer's job #1.
A UC Davis researcher quoted in the article suggests there's an unconscious perception that people who are seen around the office during regular working hours are more reliable, committed, dependable than remote workers (including telecommuters and those who travel heavily). In fact, Microsoft's 'unconscious bias' training includes an example of forgetting to invite remote workers to a meeting.
The worry is that the 'not-being-seen'-bias could result in poorer performance reviews. It suggests including social time with remote workers and making sure managers judge their people by what they do, rather than their subjective feelings toward them.
RA 11165 or An Act Institutionalizing Telecommuting as an Alternative Work Arrangement for Employees in the Private Sector encourages employers to adopt telecommuting - a work arrangement that allows an employee to work from an alternative workplace with the use of telecommunication and/or computer technologies.
The new law does not require employers to offer telecommuting, it simply requires that if they do, they ensure they are treated no differently than other employees. It specifically mentions having appropriate training, technology, and access to colleagues and advancement opportunities. These have proven critical to the success of work-at-home programs in the U.S. and elsewhere, so it's good to see them baked into law.
Reducing traffic and improving work-life balance are the primary drivers of the telecommuting law.
Please feel free to share an issue or two of this newsletter with colleagues, but as it's a WE member-only benefit, we hope you'll encourage them to join WE here: https://we.ifma.org/join/. At $55 dollars, it's a steal!
Insights are provided by WE:Research leader, Kate Lister. Kate is president of Global Workplace Analytics, a research and consulting firm dedicated to making the business case for workplace change. The opinions expressed herein are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of IFMA or the WE community.
Kate is not responsible for anything including, but not limited to, earthquakes greater than 4.0, crying babies, barking dogs, car alarms, and singing minstrels.