Flex Work: The Need for a Long View in a Remote Workspace

The Need for a Long View for a Remote Workspace

By Dale Lawrence

While most leaders have adopted a plan of not bringing every employee back to the physical workplace, what is unclear is “how long?”, “how is this impacting my strategy?” and “what impact will this have on my business, partners and customers?”. Without a clear understanding of the long-term impacts of Coronavirus on society and specifically the economy, many leaders are unable to project far into the future business planning. Not only does this impact budgetary planning for capital and operating expenses, it changes how leaders look to growth, partnerships, supply chains, business improvements and customer experience initiatives.

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Providing autonomy in a flexible work environment

Providing autonomy in a flexible work

By Madison Hanscom, Ph.D.

Autonomy is a beneficial job characteristic. Research has shown when you give employees more control over their work, it is related to a host of great outcomes like job satisfaction and higher performance (1). An advantage to remote work is the opportunity for individuals to enjoy more of the autonomy they desire — but are flex workers always getting this autonomy in reality?

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Crucial factors for a culture of accountability

Crucial factors for a culture of accountability

By Brie DeLisi

One of the main concerns we hear from our clients is that they want their employees to be accountable when it comes to safety – to follow the safety requirements, to own their mistakes, to speak up in unsafe situations, to look for opportunities for improvement, etc. Accountability and safety ownership is, after all, a sign of very mature safety cultures. In these cultures, there are typically fewer injuries and increased levels of productivity.
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Is a fair workplace also a safer workplace?

Is a fair workplace also a safer workplace


By Madison Hanscom, PhD

Attitudes influence behavior.

There are a host of reasons as to why justice perceptions should be of concern to companies. They influence the employee experience, the brand, the reputation of the company, and the customer experience. Justice perceptions are also related to important organizational outcomes like job satisfaction, organizational commitment, job performance, citizenship behavior, trust, turnover intentions, health and stress (1,2). This begs the question —
Does the extent to which workers perceive their organization to be fair have a meaningful relationship with occupational safety?
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The balance between discipline and positive reinforcement in your safety culture

The balance between discipline and positive reinforcement in your safety culture


By Brie DeLisi

In any strong safety culture, both positive recognition and discipline are valuable. However, often organizations find the discipline piece is often considered an ‘easier’ method to drive change. Unfortunately, a focus on discipline without positive reinforcement and recognition will keep an organization at a ‘Compliant’ level of maturity – in which employees will solely focus on how to avoid punishment, rather than owning safety to keep themselves and others injury-free.
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Boundaries are blurry. Be a safety champion at work and at home

Be a safety champion at work and at home

By Madison Hanscom, PhD

The boundaries between work and home can sometimes feel blurry. For instance, it is not uncommon for us to bring work home with us — whether it is psychological or physical. If you have a negative confrontation with a manager, you might come home in an awful mood to your spouse. If you pull your back picking up something heavy on the job, you might not feel well enough to toss the ball with your kids on the weekend. This also happens in the opposite direction of course, too. If you are stressed or hurt at home, it can spill over into the work domain.
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The Power of Peer Feedback to Prevent SIFs

The Power of Peer Feedback to Prevent SIFs

By Josh Williams, Ph.D.

Peer-to-peer safety feedback is an integral way to improve safety culture and prevent serious injuries and fatalities (SIFs). Unfortunately, employees often fail to speak up when they observe coworkers’ risky behaviors even though they want to. Survey research shows that more than 90% of respondents believe employees
should caution others when they’re operating at-risk. And yet, only 60% say that actually do provide this feedback. Ironically, people underestimate others’ willingness to receive safety feedback. Specifically, 74% of respondents confirm they welcome safety feedback from peers but only 28% believe their coworkers do. This is an enormous misperception that may cost lives. Most SIFs occur with other employees around. If someone had simply spoken up, lives could have been saved.

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Managing a virtual workforce? Employees want to know your expectations

Managing a virtual workforce


By Madison Hanscom, PhD

When it comes to doing the job well, people need to know what is expected of them. Ambiguity can be a very stressful experience, and a great deal of individuals are in a working situation where they would like to know precisely what they should do to be considered a high performer. Unfortunately, for those working in remote positions, this is particularly difficult.
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Fires and other natural disasters – are you prepared?

Fires and other natural disasters – are you prepared


By Madison Hanscom, PhD

When it comes to natural disasters, companies with mature safety cultures have robust emergency preparedness plans that are specific to every scenario imaginable. These plans are accompanied by all the resources needed to carry out the action (e.g., training, practice drills, water supply, shelters, power supply).
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How Are Your Safety Systems? A Short Quiz

How Are Your Safety Systems


By Josh Williams, Ph.D.

One of the most important aspects of safety leadership is providing effective safety management systems and a safe work environment. Employees are more likely to be injured if the organization has safety management system failures such as inadequate manpower, unreasonable production pressure, excessive overtime, faulty equipment, insufficient safety training, unclear safety policies, non-existent safety meetings, poor safety communication, and blame-oriented discipline procedures. Leaders improve safety culture by optimizing these key safety management systems:
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Safe working and job autonomy

Safe working and job autonomy

By Madison Hanscom, PhD

Research has shown time and time again that when you give employees more control over their work, they are more satisfied, perform at a higher level, and are safer.

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Be a safety champion – and do it loudly!

Be a safety champion


By Madison Hanscom, PhD

A safety champion embodies the notion that safety comes before everything else. These individuals always have safety on the mind. They understand how safety connects to the big picture both inside and outside of work, and they are the backbone of a strong safety culture. Those who work with a safety champion know it, because it feels like someone always has your back.
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Work from home experiences: Findings from a multinational survey

Work from home experiences



By Madison Hanscom, PhD


Covid-19 has contributed to a larger number of individuals working from home than ever before. Researchers at the Technical University of Denmark were interested in the experiences of individuals working from home across several European countries. They surveyed over 4,640 employees (mainly knowledge workers and managers) between March and May of 2020. The authors are still analyzing the large amounts of data that were collected, but initial findings were shared. Interesting results included:
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Do your employees have variety in their work tasks?

employees have variety in their work tasks

By Madison Hanscom, PhD

Let’s say you are about to start your workday. Imagine two scenarios:
• A day in which you will be doing the same task repeatedly for 8 hours
• A day in which you will rotate between a variety of tasks for 8 hours

Which would you prefer? Although it feels great to get really good at a particular task, over time this can take a toll on motivation. Research has shown that individuals with variety in their work tasks are more satisfied with their jobs (1). Repetitive tasks with little variation can also contribute to complacency and attentional issues, which can be detrimental to safety.
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What is associated with someone having greater resilience during the COVID-19 lockdown?

greater resilience

By Madison Hanscom, PhD

Researchers collected data from over a thousand adults in US to get a sense of what factors were associated with an individual having greater psychological resilience during the first few weeks of the COVID-19 lockdown (Kilgore, Taylor, Cloonan, & Dailey, 2020). They defined resilience as the ability to withstand setbacks, adapt positively, and bounce back from adversity. Although there are a great deal of factors related to resiliency (e.g., see our blog on
leadership and resiliency here), the researchers focused solely on factors related to sleep, emotional state, exercise, and daily activities.
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What do leaders have to do with employee resilience?

employee resilience


By Madison Hanscom, PhD

The extent to which individuals can “bounce back” to how things were pre-crisis describes their resiliency. It is beneficial to have a workforce of resilient employees who can recover quickly from difficult times. Not only is this better for the company (e.g., financially), it is better for the people (e.g., psychologically).
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