Employers and employees are experiencing one of the biggest challenges in history in how people work. Some have never worked from home—some with spouses, kids, and pets at their desk – assuming they even have a desk at home. Many managers have never managed employees who work from home. The new situation is stressful and may be all-consuming.
How should remote teams communicate? How often? How do they have a meeting? What if there are employees that are not used to working with technology? Who pays for computer maintenance? Is there still a need to worry about workplace injury? How flexible should an employee’s work schedule be—is it okay to take a two-hour break in the afternoon and work instead in the evening? Is there a need to edit or create new policies that align with this new work environment, and if so, what types of policies? How to collaborate effectively if your team is remote? The questions are many and sometimes the answers are not easy.
Even before the pandemic, approximately 80% of U. S. workers continued to do business remotely after normal work hours. More and more organizations were incorporating telecommuting and other forms of virtual work into their workforce with great success and reduction in costs. Managing employees who work from home requires a management mindset that differs from what is required for managing on-site workers. Examining, planning, and implementing legal and contractual issues are not always considered in the same way when managing on-site workers. Failure to address these perspectives is at the organization’s and management’s peril. For example, what technological and management strategies should you incorporate to protect your interests? What, if any, contract should be created for remote workforce management? Who pays the home office electric bill for a telecommuter? Are there additional challenges for the non-exempt worker?
The virtual workplace is a reality that is expanding and influencing how organizations do their work during this pandemic. The changes you make now may possibly continue when the threat accompanying the pandemic is over. Will the workplace ever be the same?
The new virtual work environment offers exciting opportunities as well as challenges to avoid liability. Implementing prevention strategies to minimize liability includes designing and developing “virtual” policies, and training managers and employees who will be engaged in the virtual environment.
Managing remotely requires effective virtual leadership that spans the boundaries of time and space to help employees to work together – apart. Leadership of virtual teams is not the same as leadership of face-to-face, co-located teams. Leading a virtual team is more difficult; it requires a dynamic interaction between technological systems and human systems that the virtual leader has to address and balance for work to be accomplished.
• To list 4 essentials for virtual teamwork
• To identify best characteristics of virtual team/employee
• To discuss tools & techniques to facilitate “working together apart” in virtual environment
• To identify the tips for conducting effective virtual meetings using virtual meeting platforms
• To discuss the importance of virtual contracts and WFH policy for remote workforce management
• To determine the best data security
• To identify the remote/virtual worker
• To list recommended elements of a virtual team contract
• To explore steps to avoid discrimination claims
• To describe wage and hour obligations
• To discuss ergonomics, health risks, and virtual workplace injuries
• To define essential competencies of virtual leadership
Human Resources professionals; any manager of a telecommuter or virtual employee/team
Years of Experience: 52+ years
Areas of Expertise: Workplace Harassment, Organization Development, and Management/Leadership Development
Dr. Susan Strauss RN Ed.D. is a national and international speaker, trainer and consultant. Her specialty areas include education and workplace harassment, discrimination and bullying; organization development, and management/leadership development. Her clients are from healthcare, education, business, law, and government organizations from both the public and private sector. Susan conducts bullying and harassment investigations, works as an expert witness for education and workplace harassment and bullying lawsuits, and coaches those managers and employees that need assistance in stopping their harassing or bullying behavior.
Dr. Strauss has authored over 30 books, book chapters, and articles. Susan has been featured on 20/20, CBS Evening News, and other national and international television and radio programs as well as interviewed for newspaper and journal articles such as the Times of London, Lawyers Weekly, and Harvard Education Newsletter.
Susan has presented at international conferences in Botswana, Egypt, Thailand, Israel, Palestine, Bali, Lebanon, and the U.S., and conducted sex discrimination research in Poland. She has consulted with professionals from other countries such as Israel, England, Australia, Canada and St. Maartin. In addition to nursing education, she has her masters in community health and holds a doctorate in organizational leadership.View all trainings by this speaker