A Manager’s Guide to Successfully Managing a Hybrid or Fully Remote Workforce
When the “future of work” comes up, one of the first conversations is usually about hybrid or remote work. But, according to PwC’s US Remote Work Survey, the “new normal” includes work-from-home opportunities. You can successfully manage a hybrid or fully remote workforce.
While some managers and employees are entirely content to abandon the office space, others prefer a hybrid workforce with employees rotating in and out of offices as needed. In short, flexibility is the key to the future of the hybrid or remote workforce.
But hybrid and remote work isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. There are inherent challenges and trade-offs when managing remote employees vs. in-office employees, and preparing for the shift to more remote work takes some strategy.
How Things Have Changed for Managers in a Remote and Hybrid World
When the pandemic hit, businesses had to adapt quickly to continue operations in the wake of lockdowns and employees’ fears. However, many were able to make this shift quickly and with minimal hiccups, eventually proving that remote work could succeed.
The Learning Curve
Remote work did come with some learning curves, however. The structure of day-to-day operations went AWOL. There was less delineation between workday start time and end time. Without the “9 to 5” structure in place — boundaries for both employees and employers were easily crossed.
The Employee Balancing Act
Employees had to balance home and family requirements, such as caring for their now home-schooled children, dogs barking during a Zoom conference call, or managing multiple family members working in the same household with the workload, meeting schedules, and deadlines.
Communication modes also shifted – what was once an office meeting became a video conference call, an email, or a chat on Teams or Slack.
Virtually every aspect of the job was new and different, leaving managers feeling less prepared and less confident in their roles. In addition, managers lost their most effective mode of communication and in-person check-ins, increasing the chances of frustration and miscommunication that occurs when there is less face-to-face time.
Common Challenges of Remote Work
A remote workforce typically means fully remote, 100-percent work-from-home employees, while a hybrid workforce integrates both in-office work with at-home work. The breakdown of in-office vs. at-home work may vary according to the needs of the business.
Learning Cloud Tech When Managing a Hybrid or Fully Remote Workforce
A fundamental technology in remote or hybrid work is cloud technology. While this is excellent for keeping everyone connected throughout the work day, it also means that employees are working on-the-go some of the time. There’s more freedom but less unity without a centralized location for communications, such as a conference room.
Higher Level of Freedom With Fully Remote Employees
Both employees and employers or managers have higher levels of freedom — they can work where they want and when they want, in some environments. However, the inevitable switch up of work venues complicates communications since employees and managers may be on asynchronous schedules, requiring more coordination to connect.
What About Training and Miscommunications in Hybrid Workforce?
In addition, the lack of in-person training can take its toll. In-person training interactions enhance emotional engagement — so without the “human element” of the workplace — the team can become isolated and disengaged.
There’s also a greater chance of miscommunication, insufficient communication, or information silos that occur between departments, hindering productivity. Employees no longer have the “mutual knowledge” and social cues from face-to-face interactions, which can illuminate situations.
For example, an employee may be having a bad day and a little snippy in communications. In a face-to-face situation, a manager may let this slide after knowing the day has been particularly difficult (as long as it’s not disrespectful) but may not be as tolerant in virtual settings because they don’t know about those stressors.
Finally, both employees and managers may struggle with distractions, such as children at home, taking care of housework like laundry or preparing meals, or simply ambient sound from a television, traffic, mail delivery, etc. While it’s important to note that most employees feel more productive in a remote or hybrid environment, the distractions at home can impact productivity.
Micromanagement is Counterproductive — Manging While Being Supportive
Productivity concerns lead to another issue – micromanagement. Without the ability to observe and supervise employees in an office environment, some managers may be concerned that employees aren’t working hard enough, leading to micromanagement.
Micromanagement is counterproductive. The concerns about employee productivity at home has been assuaged following the pandemic, not to mention that employees experience poor mental and physical health effects from being micromanaged. They may also think that their managers are being unsupportive or distrustful.
Ways to Successfully Manage a Remote or Hybrid Team
Create Structure Where It Makes the Most Sense
For some workplaces, a 9-to-5 schedule still makes sense, even for a remote or hybrid team – the clock-in is just virtual. For workplaces allowing a flexible schedule and deadlines or tasks instead of hours — structure can be established with a daily check-in.
You have numerous options for a daily check-in, from one-on-one calls to team calls to a group chat on communication apps. The right choice depends on the type of work (collaborative or independent), but the most essential feature is the check-ins are predictable and scheduled and take place in an expected format. During these check-ins, you and the employee or employees can address progress on work, concerns, or questions.
Set Ground Rules and Expectations for Remote/Hybrid Workforce
Remote work can be efficient and productive, but it’s up to the manager to create expectations for the team regarding response times, online presence, and availability. For example, you could say that videoconferencing is required for daily check-in meetings, but an instant message on Slack is preferred for urgent or private communications.
Communication Will be One of Your Most Complicated Issues With Hybrid Employees
In addition, both you and the employees should have an understanding of the best communication channels and times to connect during the workday, especially in asynchronous environments. For example, you may be available for Zoom meetings or phone calls later in the day, but prefer texts early if there’s an urgent conversation.
You also need to monitor and supervise the communication between employees and teams to ensure they’re all sharing the information they need to. Of course, miscommunication can happen in virtual workforces, but clear manager communication regarding expectations can minimize communication mishaps.
Provide Options for Employee Contribution Remotely
As mentioned, some workplaces require set hours for all employees. However, it’s good to offer flexibility on how, when, and where an employee works if you can. One of the significant benefits of work-from-home models is that employees have more satisfaction, better productivity, and better work-life balance with more control over their schedule.
For example, an employee may be more productive early in the morning before the kids get up, or a creative type may prefer to work in the evening (as many do). Providing this flexibility allows your employees the opportunity to manage their time and motivation as it suits them.
One of the trade-offs of remote work is that employees may experience social isolation from a lack of face-to-face interaction with other employees. Managers can combat this by structuring ways for employees to interact socially while working remotely.
When Do You Have Social Hour? Facilitate the Social Aspects of Remote Employees
In practice, interacting socially means time allowed for employees to have informal conversations about topics not related to work. This can be done by setting aside time at the beginning of team calls to “catch up” with each other, or by hosting virtual video conference parties that include care packages sent to each team member.
While it may seem a bit odd to facilitate social events in a virtual space, remember that it works well for concerts and other forms of entertainment. Furthermore, managers who use this type of social interaction have seen reduced feelings of isolation and greater collaboration with their remote employees.
Up Your Communication Efforts With Hybrid or Fully Remote Workforces
In a startling shift to remote work, employees can experience higher levels of stress, concerns, anxieties, or insecurities — but it can happen with a seasoned remote team as well. Therefore, it’s vital for virtual leadership managers to listen, connect, and empathize with the employees.
What Changed in Communication With Managing a Hybrid or Fully Remote Workforce?
Active listening is essential when the business has sudden changes or a crisis. Research into emotional intelligence reveals that employees refer to their managers for signals about how to react to situations in the workplace. If the manager seems stressed or unsure, the employee will too.
Effective managers should address communication by checking in on the emotional state of employees and listening to their concerns and fears. During that conversation, it’s important to provide encouragement and show appreciation to ensure the employee that everyone is part of the team.
Managing a remote or hybrid team isn’t as scary or stressful as it seems. Once you oversee the challenges effectively and adapt to the changes — you’ll enjoy a better work-life balance. In addition, you’ll likely see flexibility, engagement, and better productivity from your employees.
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The Benefits of Standing Desks for Office Workers
Standing desks have become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason.
In this article, I’ll discuss the benefits of standing desks for office workers.
The Dangers of Prolonged Sitting
Sitting for extended periods can be harmful to your health.
Prolonged sitting has been linked to various health problems, including obesity, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes.
It can also increase the risk of certain types of cancer, such as colon and endometrial cancer.
The Benefits of Standing Desks
Standing desks offer a range of benefits that can improve the health of office workers.
This is not to say that you have to stand the entire day — but forcing oneself to stand several times during the workday will significantly improve your health.
One of the most significant benefits of standing desks is that they can improve posture. Sitting for long periods can lead to slouching, which can cause neck and back pain.
By standing at a desk, you can maintain a more upright posture, which can reduce the risk of neck and back pain.
Tips for a Good Posture
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
- Ensure your feet are flat on the floor and your shoulders are relaxed.
- Keep your head straight, eyes looking forward, and chin parallel to the floor.
- Keep your arms loosely at your sides, with your elbows bent at 90 degrees.
- Take regular breaks to move around, stretch, and relax your back, neck, and shoulders.
Increased energy levels
Standing desks can also increase energy levels, helping you to stay alert and focused throughout the day.
It’s because standing desks can improve blood circulation, which helps to deliver more oxygen and nutrients to the brain.
Standing desks can also improve mood, helping to reduce stress and increase feelings of well-being.
Having a good mood in the office can have a significant impact on the productivity and overall morale of the workplace.
A good mood has been linked to improved performance, higher levels of engagement, and even better physical health for office workers.
Increased Focus and Productivity
Standing desks have also been shown to increase focus and productivity. When we sit for long periods, our bodies tend to become sluggish, and our minds start to wander.
It can lead to a decrease in focus and productivity.
In contrast, standing desks keep us alert and focused, as they require us to maintain an upright position for a while — and maintain a constant state of movement.
Here are some tips to maximize your productivity while at a standing desk:
- Listen to Music.
- Take Breaks.
- Use a Footrest.
- Keep it Clean.
Reduced Risk of Health Problems
Another benefit of standing desks is the reduced risk of health problems. Sitting for long periods has been linked to a range of health problems, including obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
By using a standing desk, office workers can reduce their risk of these problems and maintain a healthy weight.
Additionally, standing desks have been shown to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, including colon cancer and breast cancer.
Promotes Weight Loss
Weight loss is a benefit (from bestdesksgeek dot com) of standing desks that often goes unnoticed. Standing desks offer a great way to burn extra calories while working.
Studies suggest that standing at a desk can burn up to 50-110 extra calories per hour compared to sitting. This can add up over time and contribute to weight loss.
Finally, standing desks can also help improve the quality of sleep. Sitting for long periods has been linked to poor sleep quality, as it can cause discomfort and stress.
On the other hand, standing desks promote good posture and reduce stress, which can lead to better sleep quality.
Additionally, standing desks have been shown to reduce the risk of sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea.
Cost-Benefit Analysis of Implementing Standing Desks in the Workplace
While the benefits of standing desks are numerous, they do come with a cost.
Below is a cost-benefit analysis of standing desks:
Cost of Implementation
While the benefits of standing desks are numerous, they do come with a cost.
The cost of implementation can vary depending on the type of standing desk you choose and the number of employees you need to accommodate.
It’s important to consider the cost of the desks themselves, as well as the cost of any necessary modifications to the work environment, such as electrical and plumbing upgrades.
Return on Investment (ROI)
Despite the upfront cost of implementing standing desks in the workplace, the return on investment can be substantial. Improved employee health, increased productivity, and reduced absenteeism can all lead to improved bottom-line performance.
How Incorrect Posture Can Lead To Health Issues While Using a Standing Desk?
If you work at a standing desk, it’s important to be aware of the potential health risks associated with incorrect posture.
Poor posture can lead to several health issues, including musculoskeletal problems, headaches, and fatigue.
One of the most common problems associated with incorrect posture is a pain in the neck, shoulders, and back.
This is often caused by slouching or hunching over, which puts unnecessary strain on the spine. Poor posture can also lead to tension headaches and migraines.
Fatigue is another common problem caused by incorrect posture. When you stand for long periods, it’s important to maintain good posture to avoid fatiguing your muscles.
If you slouch or hunch over, you’ll likely start to feel tired more quickly.
Incorrect posture can also cause problems with circulation. When you stand, your blood flow should be directed downwards towards your feet.
However, if you slouch or hunch over, your blood flow can be restricted, leading to dizziness, lightheadedness, and even fainting.
Are standing desks more comfortable than traditional seated desks?
Yes, standing desks are more comfortable than traditional seated desks. Standing desks offer several comfort benefits, including reduced risk of pressure injuries and improved focus and motivation.
How often should I use my standing desk?
It’s also important to use your standing desk regularly to get the most benefit from it.
Is a mat necessary when using a standing desk?
No, a mat is not hundred percent necessary, but for standing for long periods — it provides a non-slip surface for added safety.
Standing desks offer a range of benefits for office workers, including improved posture, increased focus and productivity, reduced risk of health problems, increased energy levels, and better sleep quality.
With so many benefits, it is no wonder that standing desks are becoming a popular choice for office workers around the world.
In this article, I’ve discussed the benefits of standing desks for office workers.
What benefits have you seen from your standing desk? Let us know!
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What is a Divorce from Bed and Board?
If you are considering filing for a divorce from bed and board, it is important to understand what it entails. Commonly known as a “legal separation,” this type of dissolution of a marriage involves much more than just the two parties not living together anymore; instead, it may include property division and child custody rights, among other things.
In some cases, obtaining a bed and board divorce can even be difficult to obtain in certain states due to the laws related to separations. Regardless of your motive behind wanting or needing one, knowing all that goes into such an arrangement can help you make informed decisions regarding your future.
Overview of divorce from bed and board
A divorce from bed and board is a type of divorce that involves two parties legally separating but never actually getting divorced. It’s not uncommon for couples who want to pursue divorce proceedings to first consider this option, as it allows them to maintain the legal benefits of being married without having to endure the heartache and stress associated with an actual divorce.
What are the benefits of divorce from bed and board?
The main benefit of divorce from bed and board is that it allows couples to divide assets, establish custody rights, and make arrangements pertaining to support payments in a way that’s agreeable to both parties. This means they can move on with their lives while still enjoying many of the benefits of marriage, including being able to file jointly for taxes and having access to health insurance.
Are there downsides to divorce from bed and board?
Though divorce, from bed and board, may seem like the perfect solution for some couples, it is important to understand that it can be difficult or even impossible to obtain in certain states due to the legal definition of divorce. Additionally, some couples may find themselves stuck in a limbo-like situation if they remain legally married but live separately.
Couples should also be aware that divorce from bed and board does not dissolve a marriage — meaning the two parties are still technically married and can’t remarry without getting an actual divorce.
Filing for divorce from bed and board is a serious decision that should not be taken lightly. It’s important to consult a lawyer experienced in family law before deciding if this option is right for you. With the right guidance, you can decide what’s best for your situation and move forward with confidence.
What are the grounds for a divorce from bed and board?
In order to file for divorce from bed and board, you must have a valid reason, such as:
- Adultery – Adultery is one of the most valid grounds for divorce from bed and board. It is voluntary sexual intercourse between two married people, one of whom is not the other’s legal spouse. But in many states — the judges don’t care either way.
- Abandonment – Abandonment involves one spouse leaving the marital home without any intention to return or provide support for at least one year.
- Cruelty – Cruelty can be defined as any physical or mental abuse suffered by either spouse.
- Separation – Separation occurs when spouses have lived apart for at least a year due to disagreements or other factors.
- Habitual Intemperance – Habitual intemperance is the excessive use of drugs or alcohol by one spouse.
- Excessive Spending – This involves one spouse spending money in a way that is detrimental to the other spouse’s financial interests.
Understanding divorce from bed and board can help you make an informed decision when considering your legal options. Before making any decisions, it’s important to consult a lawyer to ensure this is the right choice for you. With the right guidance, you can move forward with confidence.
What are the consequences of a divorce from bed and board?
The consequences of divorce from bed and board depend on the agreement reached between the two parties. Additionally, they may have difficulty remarrying in the future without obtaining an actual divorce.
Overall, this type of divorce can be a viable option for couples who are looking to divorce but wish to maintain some of the benefits of marriage. It is important to understand all of the legal implications before making any decisions, so it’s always best to consult an experienced family law attorney. With the right guidance, you can make informed decisions that are in your best interests.
How can a divorce attorney help you with this?
A divorce attorney can provide invaluable assistance, especially in cases where you’re going through a divorce from bed and board (garrettandwalker dot com, same title). They will advise you on the best course of action and ensure that all legal requirements are met. They will also work with you to create a divorce agreement and represent your interests in court if needed.
With the right guidance, you can make informed decisions that are in your best interests. If this is the right option for you, a divorce lawyer can help you to understand all the legal aspects. With a divorce attorney by your side, you can move forward with confidence.
Divorce from bed and board is a viable option for couples who wish to divorce but remain married. It can provide some of the benefits of marriage without many disadvantages. Before making any decisions, it’s important to understand all of the legal implications and consult an experienced lawyer. With the right legal guidance, you can make informed decisions that are in your best interests.
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The Top 7 AI Podcasts You Need To Hear Now
With artificial intelligence now being used to write everything from college homework to Congressional speeches, it’s more important than ever to stay on top of the latest advances in machine learning, natural language processing, and all things AI.
We’ve brought together a list of seven of the top podcasts that track and explain the newest developments. They look behind the scenes at the technology behind the platforms, and they discuss how artificial intelligence is already upending business, marketing, data analysis, and more.
The TWIML AI Podcast
The TWIML AI Podcast used to be known as This Week in Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence. The new name is shorter and snappier, but the content is just as deep and complex. Hosted by Sam Charrington, the podcast has produced more than 630 weekly episodes featuring interviews with a host of guests — usually technicians and scientists—working in the field of AI. The subjects of the discussions are often fairly complex. If you want to understand the human thinking behind artificial thinking, the show is essential listening.
The Bad AI Show
If interviews with Stanford professors aren’t your thing, try the Bad AI Show. Hosted by Joel Comm and Travis Wright of the Bad Crypto Podcast. The pair take a fun, laidback approach to new technology, explaining clearly — and wittily — the latest developments in artificial intelligence and its practical effects. Think of the TWIML AI podcast as a Stanford lecture and the Bad AI Show as the lounge next door. It’s a fun, relaxed chat with smart people about AI topics that get everyone thinking. The show is released as both an audio and video version.
The AI Podcast
One of the biggest challenges that a discussion of AI generates is how the new technology will be applied in the real world. Noah Kravitz’s The AI Podcast has already generated almost 200 answers. Each episode features an interview with experts using artificial intelligence to further their work. They’ve included a wildlife biologist tracking endangered rhinos, an astrophysicist analyzing starlight, and language learners grappling with Arabic pronunciation and even the delivery of sports highlights.
As you listen to those interviews with people applying AI to such a broad range of fields, it’s worth asking about the effectiveness of AI in solving those problems and whether they couldn’t be solved in an easier way. Claims for the benefits of artificial intelligence will grow, so make sure you’re also listening to Kyle Polich’s Data Skeptic. The podcast has already produced more than 470 episodes with interviews that take down the hype and take a realistic view of what AI can and can’t do.
The AI in Business Podcast
One area where both the hype and the expectation will be highest is in business applications of artificial intelligence. Each week, on the AI in Business Podcast, Daniel Faggella, the CEO of Emerj Artificial Intelligence Research, interviews AI executives from leading firms and startups to explore how business is adapting AI and exploring the opportunities the new technology offers.
The Marketing AI Show
Business is a broad topic. The Marketing AI Show tries to narrow things down with a focus specifically on the way marketers are using artificial intelligence to improve sales. The podcast is created by the Marketing AI Institute and the Marketing AI Conference (MAICON), and it’s essential listening for anyone wondering how the new technology can help their business identify leads and improve conversions.
Eye on AI
Finally, Eye on A.I. takes a broader, more journalistic approach to the developments of artificial intelligence. Out every two weeks and hosted by New York Times correspondent Craig S. Smith, each episode features an interview with a leader pushing AI into new ground. Episodes have discussed AI in supply chain optimization and finance but they’ve also delved behind the scenes to look at issues surrounding privacy and the future of AI itself.
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