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Operational Performance

By Madison Hanscom, PhD Learning organizations are those that acquire information, share it, process it, and use it for continual improvement. All teams must develop mechanisms and buy-in for supporting this knowledge-sharing cycle, though it is particularly important that companies utilizing a flex work model do this well in order to succeed. Without a strong collective knowledge bank, it is likely your company will spend a lot of time taking one step forward and two steps back. When working in a virtual or remote team, knowledge will be dispersed. It is no longer an option to stop by someone’s office to ask

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By Madison Hanscom PhD As more individuals are working from home than ever, this raises interesting questions and important considerations regarding ethics. When working remotely, there are more circumstances in which employees and leaders alike operate under little surveillance. There are several ethical perspectives that should be considered in a flexible work environment. Two important ones are the ethics involved with employee work and the ethical situations leaders might encounter. Employees Performing Work Duties When employees are performing their work from home, it is important to remember that regulations and contracts with employers should still be upheld. Some of these expectations are clearly

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By Eric Johnson Further into the future as the pandemic has waned for some time, the idea of flex work as a normal aspect of business operations may become permanent as organizations grow accustomed to the cost savings and flexibility offered to workers. With several considerations, organizations can plan around the culture shift and assist employees by creating purposeful guidelines and norms for the future. Communications Training Currently, many individuals in offices may have their own conference number that they can use to create conference calls through their own setup. As we move into the stable future, we expect individuals to have a

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By Madison Hanscom, PhD An interesting study was published recently in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology exploring the effects of standing desks. Employees who worked in sedentary jobs were randomly assigned to a control group (no change in their usual behavior) or an intervention group (were provided with adjustable sit-stand desks and instructions on how to use them). Do Sit-Stand Desks Work? After 6 months of using the sit-stand desk, the intervention group reported significantly fewer musculoskeletal problems in the neck, the back, and the shoulders than the control group. They also reported significantly less psychological tension, less mental tiredness, and more

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By Madison Hanscom, Ph.D. Researchers who study telework argue that successful virtual teams are determined more by successful or unsuccessful leadership rather than other factors such as technology (1). Poor leadership is poor leadership. If you take a substandard leader and move them into a flex work environment - they won’t do any better. There are foundational leadership competencies that help all teams succeed - whether the team is in an office or working remotely. These include leading with a big picture goal and supporting the company’s vision, building interpersonal connections and collaboration, walking the talk, demonstrating ethics and integrity, managing

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By Madison Hanscom, Ph.D. As many businesses are considering (or have already decided) moving some employees to a permanent telework model after the COVID-19 outbreak, the question comes up often — will flex work change my culture? So, yes, the culture can change when entering a more flexible environment. Though the extent to which the culture will change depends on several factors. For example, how large is the change? If the company is moving to a 100% remote model, this will have different implications than if moving to a 50% telework model. How strong was the culture to begin with? If the

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