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Is Your Work At Home Policy Spurring Jealousy?

work at home policy

Do you let your employees work from home at least some of the time? That’s great. Dozens of studies have shown that the ability to work remotely is one of the biggest perks employees of all ages desire. But is your work at home policy inciting jealousy and resentment in the ranks?

That’s not so great. But chances are, according to a recent survey by Kona, that’s what’s happening.

Seven in 10 workers in the Kona survey say they would rather telecommute than work in the office. Among those between the ages of 35 and 44, the number is even higher at 81 percent.

But the majority of employees (57 percent) in offices that allow remote work say the policy spurs jealousy among those who don’t get to work at home.

How can you make sure working at home makes your employees more productive, not more resentful?

Your Work at Home Policy

Set a Work At Home Policy

You should write a work at home policy as part of your employee manual. Every employee should read and acknowledge it.

The work at home policy should cover issues such as hours to be worked per day or week, how the person will protect the business’s confidential information, liability issues, what equipment will be provided and how the employee will be monitored when working at home.

Be Sure Your Policy Can’t be Construed as Discriminatory

Clearly, not all jobs can be done at home. For instance, your accounting clerk might be able to work from home, while your retail sales clerk can’t. What’s important is that you treat all employees in the same job classification or with the same duties the same when it comes to working at home.

If you let one accounting clerk work from home because she has children and don’t allow a childless accounting clerk to do the same, you could be at risk of a lawsuit. And you’re likely causing gossip and resentment.

The only reason to treat employees in the same job differently is if one has a legitimate reason for needing to work at home that is not discriminatory. For instance, if one worker has a disability that requires working from home. As you can see, this area can be tricky, so it’s best to consult an attorney to review your work at home policy.

Communicate Clearly

Communication is key for businesses with virtual workers. When employees who work in the office feel they can never reach the work at home staff, or don’t understand why certain people are working at home, resentment grows.

Everyone on your team should know the expectations for work at home employees, including what hours they are supposed to be available, multiple ways to reach them (email, phone, IM, etc.) and what tasks they are working on.

Emphasize to work at home employees the importance of keeping a high profile so others on the team see that they’re working.

Monitor Work At Home Employees

There are many ways to do this, from having them check in with status reports every few hours to using time-tracking software like Toggl to using software that monitorswhat they’re doing on their computers.

Assess Results

Resentment occurs when employees feel that others are taking advantage of your work at home policy. To ensure employees aren’t abusing the privilege of working at home, it’s crucial to regularly review their productivity, progress and results. This can be done differently depending on the job and the person, but you might want to set daily or weekly goals or quotas.

Check in with remote employees quarterly or even monthly to make sure that everything is still working out. Remind workers that telecommuting is a privilege that must be earned, not a right, and you’ll get better results.

Reserve the Right to End the Work At Home Policy

Speaking of privileges, your work at home policy should state that you have the right to forbid telecommuting at any time. Otherwise, you may find yourself in legal hot water if you want to pull a Marissa Mayer (or Tony Hsieh) and have everyone work in the office.

Address Jealousy Openly

Despite your best efforts, it’s inevitable that people will get jealous—they’re only human.

When these issues arise don’t push them aside. Be alert for resentments that are brewing. Address these issues with the person who’s expressing jealousy. You may find the root cause is something completely different than someone else working at home – and that you can nip it in the bud to create a much happier employee.

Jealous Photo via Shutterstock

 

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Silicon Stetsons?

7067809213_2597fe6d3aWhen it comes to the high tech, high fashion companies in the USA, there is no denying that California is home to some of the biggest brands in the world. Companies like Google, Adobe, Hewlett-Packard and Apple all grew up in the area known as Silicon Valley, close to San Francisco. It’s the spiritual centre of the world’s computer industry, but it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that other parts of the United States are home to equally innovative businesses. One of these places is Dallas in Texas, a location more associated with oil barons, ten gallon Stetson hats and cowboys than with high-tech industries.

Telecom Corridor

As well as being home to JR, Bobby, Sue Ellen and the rest of the Ewing clan, Dallas is home to the University of Texas, a high prestige university with a great reputation for training scientists and technological innovators. So many businesses working in the telecoms and computer sectors have sprung up in the area surrounding the university campus that it has become known as the Telecom Corridor. Over 600 high tech companies have made the Telecom Corridor their home. At the centre of the corridor is the small town of Richardson, which has been rated as one of the 20 best places to live in America, according to Money magazine.

Major Employers

As the name Telecom Corridor suggests, this small corner of Texas is home to more than its fair share of telecommunications companies. Names such as AT&T (originally the American Telephone and Telegraph company), Verizon and MetroPCS are not particularly well known in Europe, but are household names across North America as providers of landline telephones, mobile phones and internet services. They have chosen to locate in Telecom Corridor due to the local expertise and access to skilled staff.

Technology

There is a huge crossover between telecommunications and other sorts of technology, so it’s no surprise that other companies such as Ericsson, Cisco Systems, Samsung and Fujitsu have chosen to make their North American bases in Texas too. Other companies which are longer established in the Richardson or Dallas area include Texas Instruments, well known for their semiconductors and calculators, and Fossil, an accessories manufacturer which produces high-tech watches like their ladies Fossil ceramic watch and fashion items such as handbags or shoes. Fossil and Texas Instruments continue to innovate with new products, and products like the Texas Instruments’ TMS320 semiconductors and the ladies Fossil ceramic watch are just the last in a long line of innovations.

Working in America

Although there are many job opportunities in the Dallas area for innovators and technology experts, working in Telecom Corridor is not as simple as booking a one way flight to Dallas and handing out CVs. In order to work for one of these companies you’ll have to secure a job first, and they will have to prove you have skills that they can’t get from Americans for you to qualify for a working visa. It’s not impossible, but it is a lengthy and expensive business.

Morag P writes for a large range of websites on a variety of subjects including technology, finance and music.

 

 

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Failed CEO Carly Fiorina, with $40m retirement package, says union pensions too high

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Carly Fiorina Wants Stuff

The other day it was the CEO of a bailed out bank demanding cuts to Social Security.

But nobody whines about the fake “fiscal cliff” better than failed GOP candidate and “19th Worst CEO of All Time” CEO Carly Fiorina.

Carly Fiorina

Carly Fiorina in São Paulo, Brazil. Photo: Antônio Milena/ABr.

You might remember Fiorina from the days when she worked at HP, and was sent packing in 2005 with a whopping $40 million severance benefits package. Was that “fair,” Carly?

Fiorina is widely considered one of the worst CEOs in recent years, though that didn’t stop her from receiving millions in cash, stock, benefits and pension when she was fired. It rarely does.

Carly Fiorina Says You Can’t Want Stuff Too

But no, in her entitled little world, the problem is not the fat cats like her, but the unions.

“It is not fair that public employee union pensions and benefits are so rich now that cities and states are going bankrupt, and college tuition is going up 20 and 30%… There is a lot that isn’t fair right now.”

Failed investments and drastic tax cuts by governments have nothing to do with the problem. Imagine that. As Think Progress noted, Fiorina whined on TV that she “only” received a $21 million severance, though she somehow overlooked the rest of the redundancy plan. But to be fair to Fiorina, what Republican candidate hasn’t overlooked another $20 million plus?

She starts at about 2 minutes into the video below.  More from me after the video.Other than being an expert on living off of a platinum parachute and failing as a political candidate, it’s not clear what special expertise Fiorina has to offer for NBC News or any other media outlet. She’s certainly not even considered to be a corporate jobs creator, the way Jack Welch is (wrongly) considered by the media. She has a pretty good agent though if she can get TV spots despite her awful record.

 

So tell me who is really part of the moocher class that corporate CEOs and 1%-ers keep talking about? Are they the people asking for basic healthcare or the people who have enough money to build moats and personal golf courses around their mansions? Another tip off sign of a moocher is that no matter how much they have, it’s not enough and they want more of your money.

Damn if these Republicans don’t always want stuff.

The other sign of who belongs to the moocher class is to listen to who actually believes in the so-called fiscal cliff. Anyone who believes it’s for real is probably a moocher, but a moocher who grabs a lot more money than anyone who actually needs Social Security or Medicare.

As we get closer to the end of the year, expect the moocher class to be in your face a lot more, explaining how the situation is dire and the world will end if we don’t address the “fiscal cliff” but cutting everything we hold dear while leaving the GOP tax and war machine firmly in place to kill the budget yet again another day.

Ignore them and remember, it’s not a fiscal cliff, it’s an austerity bomb.

 

 

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Facebook Opens Data Center Info to Public

Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal

Date: Thursday, April 7, 2011, 11:03am PDT

Facebook Inc. on Thursday launched the Open Compute Project to share technology from its first dedicated data center in Prineville, Ore.

Palo Alto-based Facebook said the technology used there “delivered a 38 percent increase in energy efficiency at 24 percent lower cost for Facebook, and the specifications and best practices behind those gains will now be available to companies across the industry.”

Jonathan Heiliger, vice president of technical operations, said Facebook and its development partners “invested tens of millions of dollars over the past two years to build upon industry specifications to create the most efficient computing infrastructure possible. These advancements are good for Facebook, but we think they could benefit all companies.”

Facebook is publishing technical specifications and mechanical CAD files for the Prineville data center’s servers, power supplies, server racks, battery backup systems and building design.The company will release the designs as open hardware, aiming to encourage industry-wide collaboration around best practices for data center and server technology.

Sunnyvale-based Advanced Micro Devices Inc., Round Rock, Texas-based Dell, Palo Alto-based Hewlett-Packard Co. and Santa Clara-based Intel Corp. are among the companies that co-developed technology with Facebook.

 

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