Workplace Culture

How The Open Office Will Have To Change To Accommodate The "New Normal"

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My office knows me as the open-air office evangelist. I saw our group go from a team-derived clique system to a cohesive family unit over the first month we acclimated to our open-air office, after years of being in cubes, separated by department. It was the eavesdropper in me, I couldn’t help myself but involve myself in conversations being had in front of my face, and that, in turn, became team synergy, camaraderie, and a fair amount of heckling.

I do miss the heckling, to be honest, but we’ve all been rightfully grateful to have the ability to stay healthy and keep working apart these past few months. As states move from yellow to green, and from phase to phase, we are starting to think about how the office will change—and what, if anything, can stay the same?

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Why You Should Take A PTO Day When You’re Working from Home

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While we are working from home week in and week out, the lines between personal and professional time blur together like the days of the week. In the last few weeks, I’ve found myself thinking “Oh great it’s Monday” only, surprise! it’s actually Thursday! (this has happened more than once). I find myself logging in earlier, and sending emails later, and checking my inbox when I’m walking the dog, reading the chats from my Microsoft Teams app on my phone while making a meal, and overall just obsessing about work way more than I should.

Now, like most Americans, I have nowhere to be at the moment. The only place I can be is home. But after overthinking if I should ask for a day off while simultaneously thinking about what I would even do with the time, I logged 8 hours of paid time off (PTO). Let me tell you, dear reader, it was a well allocated resource, and I hope I can inspire you to put your time off to good use too.

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Can Employers Trust Employees to Work Their Own Way?

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The modern-day workplace requires a lot of flexibility. Employees want more than a regular paycheck. They want to have autonomy, work-life balance, make meaningful contributions through their job and, most importantly, they want company trust.

Running a high-trust company means leaders are respectful, reliable, flexible, communicative and authentic with their employees. They understand and highlight individual strengths, challenge and encourage employees, and know that their team is qualified to complete the job.

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Why Talent Sourcing is a Never-ending Job

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If your company is such a great place to work, then why does talent sourcing continue to be an ongoing challenge? In a job market that was just flipped upside down—went from hard to source talent to not so much, but it could easily change again, and regardless of the job market, sourcing talent should never end. Technology and generational factors all play a part in attracting—and retaining—talent at your organization. Here are some possible recruiting blind spots your team may not be aware of.

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Best Practices for Conducting Virtual Interviews

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I remember—way back in the 1990’s—watching Star Trek: Next Generation and thinking “Yeah, right! As if there’d ever be a time in the future when people regularly talk via video screen!” Boy, was I was wrong! It is now more normal than ever—and growing in popularity with every passing day. With the overall impact of COVID-19, many employers are utilizing video interviewing in their hiring process, and if you’re looking to hire someone—a virtual “face-to-face” interview is likely in your future.  While we haven’t reached the age of spaceships yet, there are plenty of ways to ensure that you get the most out of conducting a virtual interview.  Here are some helpful ways to harness this newfangled normal to your advantage!

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The Keys to Creating a Good Work from Home Space

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Before we launch into what makes a good work from home space, I want to thank all of those working essential jobs who are keeping everyone who is staying home safe and fed. And yes, I’m at home, not sure what day it is, but I’m here, day in, day out, so I’d figured I’d talk about how to set up an effective work from home strategy.

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The Benefits of Boomerang Employees

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Once upon a time, employees and employers mated for life. Anything less would have been seen as disloyal - perhaps even traitorous. But with Millennials comprising such a large portion of the workforce, the shift from job to job has become far more commonplace. Additionally, the exit of Baby Boomer employees has the potential to create 10,000 jobs per day. Factor in the thousands of dollars it takes to recruit, hire, and train a new employee and the future of the workforce starts to look bleak.

Fortunately for hiring managers and cost-cutters everywhere, there is a relatively untapped market and I’m not talking about the incoming Gen Z. Behold the Boomerang. A boomerang employee is one who left amicably in the past and now is considering, or being considered for, a rehire. In the bygone times of eternal loyalty, many companies actually implemented policies that prohibited boomeranging. But the fact is, acquiring a brand-new employee is both time-consuming and expensive. It might be time to consider the value of the former employee.

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Coronavirus Will Test How Well Companies Will Function with The Increase of Telecommuters

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With the mass hysteria about the outbreak of the COVID-19 aka the Coronavirus, a lot of major companies are asking their employees to work from home in an effort to try and lessen the spread of the virus.

Microsoft recently asked its employees in Silicon Valley and Seattle to work from home, as did Facebook and Google. Amazon asked its employees worldwide to stay home if they can. Even schools and universities are closing and asking students and teachers to carry on with online-courses instead of meeting face-to-face.

Given the mass amounts of employees now working from home, the effectiveness of telecommuting is being tested for the first time on a large scale. It has been talked about for the past 20 years as being the next new wave of work culture, as telecommuting has been found to have a lot of benefits for companies and employees. Even though the amount of those who work from home has increased immensely (in recent years with around 43% of American’s work remotely) the world has never seen this number, until now.

So, how exactly does telecommuting benefit not only companies but also employees as individuals? Here are some ways telecommuting has been proven to be beneficial.

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Is Not Hiring Smokers Discrimination?

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To hire a smoker or not to hire a smoker? That is the question! But is it discrimination not to? The answer is surprisingly yes and no, and primarily depends on where you happen to live. It’s a debate that has been recently reignited as U-Haul—the company best known for renting you a truck to help you move—has implemented a nicotine-free hiring policy. As of February 1st of this year, if you a candidate submits an application to work for U-Haul and they smoke cigarettes; they may be in for an unpleasant surprise. While this isn’t the first time a policy like this has been implemented, U-Haul (with its 30,000 employees) is the first major company in its field to do so. Let’s take a closer look at what’s really going on here, shall we?

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