If you’re like many American workers, you collaborate with colleagues who work remotely on a regular basis. In the U.S. alone, 3.7 million employees now work from home at least half the time. New data suggests that this scenario will only become more common—80 to 90 percent of the American workforce expresses a desire to telework at least part-time, according to globalworkplaceanalytics.com.
A flexible teleworking policy can be a great way to recruit talent, improve morale and boost employee engagement. However, there are real quality of life challenges to take into account for those looking to implement or improve a work-from-home policy. Teleworkers can experience professional isolation, which is a perception of both social and professional seclusion from the rest of the company. Missing out on workplace camaraderie and being overlooked for input on important decisions can make it difficult for telecommuters to feel heard and involved in their organizations. Here are a few steps you can take to implement a telework policy that works for both your company and your employees.
Make it official. Provide official guidance resources to set remote workers up for success. When implementing a telework policy, it can be tempting to deal with rules and issues on an ad hoc basis. However, legitimizing teleworkers with official and easily accessible policy documents will help them understand their role in the company and empower them to advocate for themselves.
Engage in-office staff. Often, companies don’t teach on-site staff how to effectively work with telecommuters. It can be challenging to manage a direct report that telecommutes, so offer trainings for managers on topics like how to perform a yearly review over the phone. In a conference with both teleworkers and in-person staff, it’s easy to overlook people not in the room. Brief meeting facilitators on how to engage teleworkers during brainstorms and meetings. For major company announcements, remind high-level executives to consider questions and comments gathered from remote employees.
Create a “telecommunity”. Teleworkers can feel especially isolated when the rest of the office is together for a fun event, like an office party. As a general rule, when spending company time or resources on on-site staff, consider how you can provide a similar experience for the teleworking community. For instance, in lieu of an on-site holiday party for remote employees, use a similar per capita investment to deliver a special holiday gift. Then, offer a teleworking-community-exclusive platform to encourage employees to share photos and stories from their holidays at home.
How do you engage teleworkers at your workplace? Tell us in the comments.
Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation
SVP & Chief Human Resources Officer,
Sodexo North America
On February 26th movie fans all over the world tuned into the 89th Academy Awards ceremony, better known as the Oscars, where the best films of 2016 were honored. La La Land has received a record 14 Oscar nominations, but it’s another film and its story that is gathering much critical acclaim and popular following.
Hidden Figures tells the true and inspiring story of three African American female pioneers –Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson — who played an integral role in NASA’s space-race success in the 1960s. Since its release the film has received 25 industry awards and 61 nominations. And earlier this month the film became the highest grossing Best Picture nominated film, beating out La La Land with a box-office total of $119.4 million. (more…)
Sodexo Government North America
General Lucian Truscott, a highly decorated U.S. Army officer who was recognized for both his leadership and service during World War II, stated in his 1954 memoir Mission Commands: A Personal Story, “The American soldier demonstrated that, properly equipped, trained and led, he has no superior among all the armies of the world.” I could not agree more! During my tenure leading Sodexo’s Government segment in North America, which is the nation’s largest federal foodservice contractor, I have seen firsthand the tremendous work our brave service men and women exhibit each and every day, and it never ceases to amaze me. (more…)
Sodexo North America
Watching R2D2 and C3PO in the Star Wars series performing heroic tasks to assist Luke, Leia and Han Solo (and their predecessors) in their battle against the Empire seemed very natural to me. We saw them as real characters and an integral part of the world they participated in.
Given that sourcing caregivers to care for our elderly citizens is a major issue for the senior living industry globally, the development of robotic solutions is well underway. Dependency ratios – the proportion of working age people to the elderly – are growing. And, for the first time in human history, people aged 65 and over will outnumber children under age 5 before 2020. These two age groups will then continue to grow in opposite directions. By 2050, the proportion of the population aged 65 and older (15.6 percent) will be more than double that of children under age 5 (7.2 percent). This unique demographic phenomenon is unprecedented. (more…)
You may have watched this weekend’s NBA All-Star game, but do you know why those players were picked to play? It’s not about points scored or minutes played, and it’s not about the dollars they earn for team owners. They’re chosen by the people most touched by their work. The NBA lets fans pick half of the starting players — and the rest are picked by fellow players and the media who cover them. Coaches pick the reserves. The stars are brought into this national spotlight because their work has made an impression on the people closest to the game — and it’s the fact that fans, peers, reporters, and coaches are responsible for the selection that makes the occasion even more special for the players. (more…)
National Organization on Disabilities
For the 57 million Americans living with disabilities, the largest barrier to Quality of Life is finding employment. There are 30 million Americans with disabilities of working age but only 20 percent of them participate in the workforce.
The barriers to employment usually stem from stigma about what individuals with disabilities can achieve and contribute to the workforce. A survey that we worked on with PwC found that many people try to hide their disability out of fear that stigma will keep them from getting a job or limit their job options. (more…)
What’s your favorite office snack? Is it candy, chips, cookies, or other treat?
It’s very easy to eat unhealthy while at work. Further, many people may eat breakfast, lunch and snacks at work. Add in a midday gourmet coffee drink, treats provided at meetings, and an office drink fridge, people can easily tank their diets while on the job.
With this in mind, here are three Quality of Lifehacks to eat healthy at work. (more…)
Senior Manager, Health & Wellness
Senior Registered Dietitian,
It’s Valentine’s Day – a day that’s synonymous with love and chocolates. Universally, people love sugar. It is a main ingredient in Valentine chocolates, candies as well as other comfort foods. With this in mind, sugar overindulgence might seem inevitable. Multiple studies show that eating too much sugar is directly correlated to obesity, which can lead to health problems. When it comes to sugar, moderation is key. Reducing the amount you eat is healthy, but that doesn’t mean you have to cut it out completely. (more…)
CEO, Universities East,
Sodexo North America
The purpose of academia is to nurture and strengthen the next generation of leaders through research and critical analysis. Additionally, higher education aims to encourage individuals to investigate their interests and pursue a greater understanding of the world surrounding them. Today’s college students, many of whom are members of Generation Z, are some of the most inquisitive and confident scholars who demand campus communities built on the theories of peaceful coexistence and safety for all. (more…)
Schools, Sodexo North America
Every year, about 13 percent of the nation’s 3.4 million teachers transfer to different schools or leave the profession altogether, according to the Alliance for Excellence in Education in collaboration with the New Teacher Center. It’s estimated that over 1 million teachers move in and out of schools annually, with 40 to 50 percent of teachers quitting within five years.
This issue doesn’t just impact schools, it impacts the entire community, including parents, local companies, and other stakeholder groups. Teacher attrition costs state governments between $1 billion and $2.2 billion annually. (more…)
Not only is Valentine’s Day around the corner, but February is also American Heart Month. Heart disease remains the No. 1 cause of death in the U.S.. What better way to show how much you love your heart than by making heart-healthy food choices? Here’s a simple checklist to help you eat for a healthier heart. (more…)
February is National Hot Breakfast Month. And while chilly February is the perfect time to start your morning with something warm, there are benefits to eating a cooked breakfast year-round. Like all home-cooking, homemade breakfasts are likely to be healthier than any prepared food you could buy at the coffee shop near your office. And while it can be hard to find the time to cook in the morning, there are plenty of things you can make in a few minutes. Making time to prepare them can make your morning a more pleasant experience. (more…)
SVP, Corporate Responsibility &
Global Chief Diversity Officer
Early this year McKinsey and LeanIn.org released their Women in the Workplace report, which found that women remain underrepresented across organizations—especially at senior levels of leadership. According to the report, women “experience an uneven playing field, with their odds of advancement lower at every level; there is a persistent leadership gap in the most senior roles; gender diversity is not widely believed to be a priority; and while employee programs designed to help balance work and family are abundant, participation is low among both sexes due to concerns that using them will negatively affect their careers.” (more…)
CEO, Universities East,
Sodexo North America
On Sunday, Americans will gather around their televisions to watch the biggest football game of the year. We’ll see teammates forge relationships on the field, work together, and take home the title. At work, we want our teams to succeed, too. We want our entry-level employees to make a big impact just like the rookie on our favorite team did. And we hope our senior executives lead as effectively as the veteran QB does. In fact, by studying leadership on the field, we can learn great strategies for leadership in the workplace. (more…)
Sodexo North America
Snow, ice, cold, slippery roads – and isolation. And that’s on good days, when an ice storm or high winds haven’t knocked down the power lines. No senior in this situation is singing, “Hello, darkness, my old friend.” (more…)
Vice President – Mid-Atlantic Region
During the month of February, the United States celebrates National African American History Month, a time to commemorate the many contributions and accomplishments of African Americans nationwide. It’s also an opportunity to highlight the impact that African Americans have had on everything from technology to medicine. Taking time to reflect on these often hidden figures, who have changed our country for the better, reminds us of why diversity and inclusion continues to be such an important part of both our history and our future. (more…)