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Why You Should Let Your Employees Work from Home

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To achieve a better work-life balance, a growing number of people are looking for flexible work arrangements.

From an employee’s perspective, working from home has several perks that make their lives easier.

Numerous studies show that remote employment results in a win-win situation for both employee and employer.

Here are six reasons you should explore the option of letting your employees telecommute regularly.

It Increases Worker Productivity

Surprisingly, most workers tend to be more productive in work from home arrangements than in an office environment.

Remote workers tend to be more productive because they are spared the myriad of distractions present in a busy office environment.

Productivity killers that range from loud colleagues, endless meetings, office politics, heavy foot traffic, walk-in clients, and more are rife in most office environments.

For employees whose jobs call for deep concentration, a quiet home environment eliminates distractions to allow them more time to crush their tasks.   

It Makes Your Workers More Committed

Telecommuting comes with the risk of workers binging on Netflix or embarking on long shopping trips when they should be working.

Surprisingly, only a small portion of remote workers get suckered in by the newly found freedom.

Allowing workers to telecommute sends a strong message that you value and trust them enough to afford them such privileges.

Research shows that workers who enjoy work from home employment are not only innovative and productive but also tend to be fiercely loyal to the company.

You Get to Streamline Your Workflow

A smooth workflow is central to the success of your business.

Embracing a telecommuting business culture forces you to take a deeper look at your workflow.

With deep insights into the amount of work that needs to be done, you can eliminate bottlenecks and optimize the execution plan.

A smooth workflow improves business productivity and efficiency while letting you increase your turnaround time as well as the quality of service.

You Get to Lower Your Overhead Costs

Utility bills alongside the payroll take a massive chunk out of monthly revenue, drastically reducing your net profit.

Switching to a telecommuting model lets you cut down on each of these costs and grow your profit margins.

For starters, it eliminates the need to rent a vast office space since you only need to accommodate a few essential personnel or none at all.

Secondly, you can switch your hiring models and strictly work with independent contractors instead of full-time employees.

Working with freelancers and independent contractors eliminates some payroll obligations such as medical insurance, retirement benefits, overtime, and more.

You Get to Hire the Best Talent

Skilled workers routinely turn down lucrative job offers if the position entails uprooting their entire life and relocating to a new city.

You can hire the best workers without forcing them to abandon their friends and family in the pursuit of their dream jobs.

Better yet, hiring remote workers lets you tap into the global workforce and staff your company with skilled experts from around the world.

A diverse workforce comprising of top experts from around the world lets you come up with innovative products and increases your global appeal.

You Can Cherry Pick Your Clients

During the growth phase, it’s only natural to go after every client who promises you a payday.

Problem clients tend to be too demanding, slow to pay and dispute every invoice, all of which can suck the joy right out of your work.

They can take up so much of your time with endless complaints to the point of leading you to neglect your other clients, negatively impacting revenue generation and customer satisfaction.

High caliber clients trust your capabilities and won’t set impossible deadlines or try to micromanage your operations.

Don’t Get Left Behind, Let Them Work from Home

In addition to saving time and money on the commute, remote workers are able to tend to their personal needs without asking for time off.

At first glance, it seems working from home skews in favor of the employee, which, naturally, is likely to put employers on edge.

However, you stand to reap benefits by the boatload if you allow your employees the option to work from home.

Printed with permission.

About the Author: Katrina McKinnon is the founder of Small Revolution, which started as a knowledge base for online store owners and has now expanded into offering training for virtual assistants and copywriters. Through Small Revolution, you will learn the skills in a fun and practical way.


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You and Your Boss Have the Same Interests Right Now. That Is a Once-In-A-Lifetime Opportunity.

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“We’re a team.” “We’re a family.” “We’re all on the same side.” “A rising tide lifts all boats.” These are lies that companies regularly tell their employees. In fact, in normal times, the interests of the workers and the bosses are mutually exclusive. Their bigger slice of the pie gives you a smaller slice. But these are not normal times. For the first time in a lifetime, the interests of the workers and the bosses are—temporarily—the same. That is an opportunity.

I know a guy who owns a few bars. In the course of a week, his business dried up. His income went to zero. He had to close the doors. His 80 employees are all out of work. Even if he wanted to keep paying them, he couldn’t. All of his money is invested in the business. Now he and his employees are both powerless bystanders in the face of a disaster. It will wipe all of them out, together, unless something is done.

Multiply that scenario by a million and you have a rough picture of the American economy at the moment. This is not a normal acute business crisis, affecting a single area of the economy, which can be bailed out so that the rest of us can continue on. This is a stoppage of the economy, which renders the fight over slices of the pie moot. There is no pie now. There’s an empty plate, and we’re all going to starve together unless something meaningful is done.

Organized labor is built, and should be built, with the idea that it will always be locked in a contentious struggle with business interests, because the logic of capitalism means that every dollar that working people do not win with their own power will be snatched away by owners and investors. Broadly speaking, that is always true. Except for now. Now, today, business owners—in particular small business owners—and their workers have the exact same interest: not being completely wiped out by an unprecedented crisis that defies categorization. We all need help from above right now.

In a perverse way, this is a sort of leverage for the working class. The economic balance of power that is usually used as a weapon to force workers to take less out of desperation is being erased by the day. Yes, the working class is still fucked. But the boss is fucked too! The workers may starve faster, but we’ll all starve nonetheless. What is normally happy rhetoric that conceals a shiv is now real. We’re all on the same team, and we are losing.

A few big-picture things are clear for all of us: Whenever this virus and its quarantine pass, the businesses that employ tens of millions of people will not be able to just throw open the doors and restart on their own. For owners, the bills are still piling up while they have no income, which will drive them into bankruptcy. For workers, the bills are still piling up while they have no income, which will drive them into bankruptcy. A week ago, the boss may have been driving a Porsche and deriding his employees as ungrateful socialist kids who don’t understand the real world. Today, the idea of a rent freeze and universal government healthcare and a debt jubilee sound pretty damn good to that same boss. It has always been true that the economy should be organized around what is good for working people. Instead, it has been organized around the interests of money itself, and those who hold it. But all of the intricate rules and structures that have been built to pull wealth to the top are breaking down as we speak in the face of the fundamental fact that there is no functioning economy for anyone. That sudden equality is a form of power.

Paid sick leave funded by the government, healthcare funded by the government, financial relief funded by the government: All are in the interests of owners and workers right now. Organized labor and businesses can combine their power in this bizarre moment in time to extract what is necessary from a government that is used to picking the interests of only one side. Time for the cats and dogs to play together. The AFL-CIO and the Chamber of Commerce should be kicking down the door to Congress together and threatening the entire place with scorched-earth destruction unless they pass a massive stimulus that puts money in the pockets of working people and suspends debt obligations. (Already, unions and employers in the airline industry have put together a plan that would save the industry while prioritizing the workers, a good model of what can be done on an even grander scale right now.) If the working class emerges from this with no money to spend, there will be neither employees nor customers for any owners to come back to. Anyone too stupid to see this now is like The Millionaire stranded on Gilligan’s Island, still trying to pay money for good service while everyone else is hunting for coconuts to survive.

Union membership in America boomed after the Great Depression. Union radicalism and strikes boomed after World War II. There is nothing like an existential crisis to show people that they need to stick together. Notions of justice and urgency are sharpened when the stakes are this high. In the past week I have heard from multiple people across the country who are newly interested in unionizing. They all say that this crisis has prompted everyone at work to start talking about what can be done. That means that one of the biggest hurdles to unionizing—getting workers talking about united action—is already being crossed at workplaces all over America. The seeds of new unions are being planted. It is up to the labor movement to see to it that they grow and flourish. We may never see a more fertile environment for union organizing in the national psyche. This moment must not be squandered. Millions of people without unions have come to realize very fast that they have no safety net. Unions can build that safety net only by building newer and bigger unions. Get ready to work.

Very soon, the business class of America is going to come to the working class and say: “It is time to work together.” And they’re right. There is no choice. But this unity comes with a price. Regular people are not going to unite to rebuild the exact same set of arrangements responsible for all of them being overworked, underpaid, and unprotected in the first place. That won’t fly. Organized labor is not here to throw its power behind a government bailout that will restore organized labor to its former position of glorious inferiority. We are all on the same team now, and that team doesn’t run union-busting campaigns, or squeeze minimum-wage employees to pay enormous executive bonuses. Isn’t that right, bosses? The price of our cooperation is your cooperation. We can teach a business owner what solidarity looks like. Now they have to listen. Workers, after all, have been suffering forever. Bosses are just getting their first taste.

This article was originally published at In These Times on March 17, 2020. Reprinted with permission. 

About the Author: Hamilton Nolan is a labor reporting fellow at In These Times. He has spent the past decade writing about labor and politics for Gawker, Splinter, The Guardian, and elsewhere. You can reach him at [email protected].


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Coronavirus Prevention That Works For Working People

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America isn’t ready for coronavirus. In the last 24 hours, millions of school children across the country have been told to stay home for two weeks, or even longer. This is an important public health step to stop the spread, but it also means parents can’t go to work. 

I’m fixing lunch for a 9 and 12 year old as I write this. And I’m one of the lucky ones who is able to telecommute. Millions of Americans are not so lucky. 

In addition to the countless schools and businesses that are moving to telecommuting or closures, we’re also hearing from the CDC that if you are sick you should stay home, other than to seek medical treatment. 

And yet, we have to ask, exactly how are the third of Americans without paid sick days supposed to follow this advice?

Likewise the nearly 90 million Americans who are uninsured or underinsured are already sick with worry that if they contract the coronavirus they won’t be able to get treatment. 

This pandemic threatens to go from very bad to a whole lot worse simply because of our chronic disinvestment in the health and economic security of millions of Americans. The level of danger and risk we now face is directly related to our policy failures. 

Democrats in Congress are moving as fast they can on a policy response to the coronavirus that puts our health and safety first with paid sick days, enhanced unemployment insurance, food security, strong protections for frontline workers, widespread and free coronavirus testing, anti-price gouging protections from surprise medical billing, and increased capacity for the medical system. 

The reality is that these are all things that progressives have spent a very long time fighting for–guaranteed health care, paid sick days and family leave, an end to surprise medical billing, and a strong social safety net. Republicans on the other hand, have blocked them at every turn. 

And now we’re seeing the fallout from Republican indifference to low-income and middle-class families in real time: A Pennsylvania man and his young daughter were recently evacuated from Wuhan, China. When his daughter started coughing, they did the responsible thing and went to the hospital to get checked out. They were quarantined for a few days, and ultimately tested negative for the virus. When the medical bill for $3,918 arrived, he was stunned.  Almost 40 percent of people in the U.S. can’t afford a $400 emergency bill, let alone nearly $4,000. How many times has this scene played out already at kitchen tables across America? 

Just the other day, a family member told me her prescriptions were filled by a pharmacy tech who sneezed her way through the transaction. When asked why she didn’t go home to rest, the pharmacy tech said, “they won’t let me.” How many vulnerable people were exposed to cold or flu, or potentially worse, by that one pharmacy tech? Seven in ten low-wage workers can’t take time off to go to the doctor when they are sick or stay home from work without putting their jobs on the line. This is playing out in restaurants, stores, and yes, even pharmacies all across America.

When the 2008 recession hit, we engineered a massive bank bailout. If we can bail out the banks in a matter of days, we can provide guaranteed health care and workplace protections that our fellow Americans need to stay healthy and avoid getting the rest of us sick. We’ve also got to learn the lessons of 2008 and make sure we bail out the people who need it most.  Economic stimulus should focus on low- and middle income families, not tax giveaways or poorly structured bailouts that help Wall Street but leave Main Street in the dust. 

When it comes to a highly contagious virus like COVID-19 (or the flu for that matter), we’re all in this together. We have to make it possible for everyone to actually follow the CDC’s advice. That’s why Congress and the Trump administration must take action to ensure everyone can get tested, everyone has the guaranteed health care they need to get treated, everyone can stay home if they or a loved one are sick, and everyone can survive an economic slowdown. 

It should not take a terrifying national emergency for us to wake up to the realization that we all pay the price when we treat people like they don’t matter. Medicare for All, paid family leave, universal child care, a robust social safety net. These things are not a wish list. They are essentials. Now is the time to put the basic foundation in place that will make us all safer and more secure in good times, and more resilient when disaster strikes. 

This article was originally posted on Our Future on March 13, 2020. Reprinted with permission.

About the Author: Liz Watson is the executive director of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Center. She is the former labor policy director of the House Education and Labor Committee and a former Democratic nominee for Congress in Indiana’s 9th Congressional district. 


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When Your Employer Asks You to Work from Home! Are You Prepared?

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Make Working from Home an Asset for You & Your Employer

You have dreamt of this and now it is happening.  Maybe not for the best reasons, but you may be asked to work from home in the near future.   Are you prepared?  Once it happens and your company realizes that it is business as usual without the presence of all employees, it might be a good idea to make sure you exceed your bosses’ expectations. 

While the benefits to employees of working from home are numerous, it is important that certain guidelines are followed to ensure that the experience is a “win-win” for employee and employer alike.  For the employee, the following practices will better ensure that work time from home is both productive and, in the employer’s eyes, acceptable and beneficial to the company.

10 Must-Do’s When Working from Home

  1. Create strict, uninterrupted times for your work. Make sure that other household members understand and respect the work boundaries you have set.  This extends to other parties who might be inclined to call or visit with “personal time” communications – they must honor your work boundaries as well.  And, don’t answer the doorbell.
  2. Ensure care for your children. Pre-arrange to have them cared for by family or friends, nannies, or taken to day care.  If you and a friend are also asked to work from home, maybe they take ½ day, you take the other ½ and both of you work while the children are asleep to make up other lost work time.
  3. Pre-arrange with your employer to have corporate electronic access through the company’s firewall. For most of us, working from home means you will be transacting company business on a computer.  While corporate access through firewalls will unlikely be a concern with corporate-issued laptops, the same may not be true if you are using your personal computer to transact company business.
  4. Create an office workspace dedicated to your employment. This “office sanctuary” may have the added benefit of being an office-in-the-home tax deduction as well.
  5. Ensure you have the necessary work tools prior to starting your day. In addition to a quiet office area, assess the “must haves” to conduct your work. 

These might include:

  • computer/laptop
  • printer/typing paper
  • work phone/fully charged cellphone
  • reliable Internet connection
  • work station or desk
  1. Beware using your work-related computer for personal activities. Your employer will likely be able to track your personal transactions, and will take a dim view when your company time is used for such purposes.
  2. Stay “plugged in” to your employer. The adage “out of sight, out of mind” is sometimes applicable to employees working remotely – to their detriment.  You may not be privy to certain communications that you would otherwise be aware of if you worked in a corporate office environment.  Be sure you communicate directly and often with management and key associates via conference calls and video chats, etc. both to “stay in the loop” and to ensure your value is well recognized for that next annual evaluation or promotional consideration.
  3. Dress appropriately when working from home. You are more likely to be in a “working mood” when showered and dressed, than you are if working in your pajamas.
  4. Offer to “make up” time used for emergency personal purposes. Offering an employer an additional hour of work here and there to compensate for picking up a sick child from school, will be appreciated by your employer and make them feel you are a trusted work at home employee.
  5. Consider “giving back” to employers with some complimentary employer time. For most of us, working from home translates to a considerable reduction in commuting time to one’s employer.  Consider offering your employer an extra 30-60 minutes of work time – it will reflect favorably on you as a proactive employee, and should better ensure that your employer will appreciate, and continue, your working from home arrangement.

The prospect of working from home is cherished by many and can be an asset to employee and employer alike.  Follow the guidelines above to ensure the experience is a “win-win” for all concerned.

Reprinted with permission.

About the Author: Heidi Allison currently serves as a board member for Workplace Fairness, lending her expertise in communications, public relations and media relations. One of her passions is assisting job seekers with ground-breaking advice and discussions about career advancement.


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5 Steps To Ensure Your Work-From-Home Employees Maximize Corporate Performance

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Use These Guidelines to Ensure That Your Remote Workplace Is A Corporate Asset

The advent of employees working from the home continues to rise, a trend that will surely continue in the future. 

Corporations recognize that an increasing number of employees – particularly millennials and contract workers in the “gig” economy – value this option and that it is a tool to better attract/retain employees. 

Benefits to reducing brick-&-mortar expenses, such as utility bills, are also an attraction to many employers.  Still others are faced with mandated work-from-home provisions due to unforeseen events such as the coronavirus pandemic.  All of these factors will ensure that remote workplace activity will only increase going forward.

Having said this, many corporate managers fear employee misuse of such freedom. 

Here are 5 some steps to ensure that creating a remote workplace environment for employees is a positive, beneficial step for the company.

  1. Identify clear expectations from remote employees.  Key elements of this communication include the hours to be worked, amount of work to be completed each day, task prioritization, guidelines for the amount/timing of communications with management, etc.
  2. Ensure remote employees have the proper tools.  Not only does this include corporate laptops and the like, but also ensuring they can log in and input data via corporate portals that will assist management in tracking employee progress, performance, needs, etc. Doing so will reduce the need for managers to utilize valuable time in personally tracking and evaluating such data.
  3. Regularly monitor employee progress (and needs).  Employers must regularly follow up on employee progress to ensure that corporate objectives and expectations are met, and also to ensure the company is there to offer assistance to any employee who, for whatever reason, is struggling with the “remote” proposition.
  4. Interact regularly with remote employees.  All employees need some degree of support and morale enhancement from their management and key associates.  This in turn bolsters productivity and acknowledges that remote employees have not been forgotten, or their contributions overlooked for performance evaluation or promotion consideration.
  5. Place trust and faith in remote employees.  Virtually every employee wants recognition as being an important asset to the company.  While some may intentionally or inadvertently misuse remote working privileges, most will not – especially if given the proper guidance recommended above.  Managers need to avoid the extremes of micromanagement and inadvertently placing too little emphasis on mutual communication with their employees.

Properly managed, the remote workplace can benefit employers and employees alike.  Follow the abovementioned steps to ensure it is an asset on your organization’s behalf.

Reprinted with permission.

About the Author: Heidi Allison currently serves as a board member for Workplace Fairness, lending her expertise in communications, public relations and media relations. One of her passions is assisting job seekers with ground-breaking advice and discussions about career advancement.


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