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RETURN TO THE OFFICE

Caregiver caught between employer’s expectations and family’s needs

By Lynne Curry As managers require employees to spend more time at the office, they will encounter special circumstances that require special solutions. Consider the following situation of an employee needing to work from home to provide family care. Employee question: Since our schools no longer require masks, my husband and I decided to homeschool our youngest child. My employer initially made this easier by allowing me to work remotely. Although I needed to run into the office occasionally for an hour or two, it wasn’t a problem because my mother-in-law lives with us. Unfortunately, my employer now insists that all employees work a minimum of three full workdays in the office. I argued with my manager and he insisted it was a matter of fairness that I work onsite…. . . . read more.

PRODUCTIVITY

5 ways to say goodbye to the procrastination blues

By Lynne Curry The report’s good, but not good enough. You should have worked on it a week ago, but you put it off. Friday afternoon, you panicked. You killed a perfectly good weekend to get everything finished by the Monday morning due date. If you want to break the “put it off until nearly too late” habit, try these five strategies. 1. Decide you’ll start projects when you need to start them — even if you don’t “feel ready” Procrastinators hesitate to begin projects until they “feel ready.” Unfortunately, you may not feel ready until long after you should have started. The antidote? When you commit to a project, assign a “D” (no more delay) date. When that date arrives, start the project, even if your only action is… . . . read more.

YOUR CAREER

8 ways to make your meetings zoom by

By Lynne Curry If you dread meetings–attending them, hosting them–and long for meetings to become more than a necessary evil, you can make it happen. Not long ago, I hosted a two-day, 15-hour meeting that the 17 attendees said “zoomed by,” “was fun, kept me engaged the entire time,” and “made an hour seem like five minutes.” Here’s how we did it. 1. A “you” start We started with the “real,” with questions like “how is remote working for you this week?” 2. Real value Before I launched into the first topic, I asked everyone what they hoped the meeting focused on and what results they wanted from it. Everyone listens to the same radio station, WIFM, “what’s in it for me.” If your meeting attendees know from the start,… . . . read more.

MANAGING STAFF

7 things to require of your moonlighting employees

By Lynne Curry “One of our highly paid staffers works remote. We don’t want to lose his talent, but he used to work 45 to 55 hours a week and now half the time I can’t find him when I call. He always calls me back, but it’s hours later. Last year, he was the first to volunteer for special projects. He doesn’t anymore. I heard a rumor he’s working another job, and I’m wondering if we’re getting what we’re paying for.”     “I found this site, overemployed.com. It taught me how to work two or three remote jobs at the same time and attain financial freedom. It even shows me how to negotiate a severance if one of the employers finds out and gets nasty.1” In recent weeks, I’ve… . . . read more.

TECHNOLOGY

Clocked out or connected: What you need to know about after-hours group chats

By Paul Edwards “Quick question…” Those two words have become increasingly popular as our near-constant attachment to communication devices blurs the line between work and personal time. Whether by phone, laptop, or tablet—via Slack, WhatsApp, or Google Chat—it’s easier than ever for teams to stay in contact after the workday is done. But employers need to be cautious about how they approach group conversations outside of the workplace. Not only will you need to ensure that your employees are clear on the standards for professional conduct within a group chat or text, but whether or not you have to pay employees for the time they spend messaging will depend on several factors, including the content of the messages, how much time is spent messaging, and whether the employees are classified… . . . read more.

EMPLOYEE MENTAL HEALTH

Is it poor performance or a personal crisis?

By Paul Edwards Those in the healthcare industry are bound to be ahead of the curve in understanding that mental illness is not a character defect and can be a serious health condition that requires intervention. Despite having a good comprehension of the importance of good mental health hygiene, healthcare professionals tend to fare badly in terms of psychological self-care. While nurses and physicians are at a higher risk of suicide than the general population, this article is focused on employees and how can take the mental health of employees in crisis into account when talking to individuals about their performance at work. Given this past year, just about everyone associated with providing health care, when asked, will tell you they are burned out and tired. Overall, it seems most are facing… . . . read more.

PRODUCTIVITY

10 tips for a more efficient medical office

What healthcare provider doesn’t want to see his or her business run more efficiently? After all, a well-run practice usually means increased revenue and happier, healthier patients. In the past, providers relied on smart hiring and organized employees to ensure their practices operated smoothly. But today, it takes a thoughtful blend of solution-based technology and old-school morale boosters to really make your medical office more productive without sacrificing quality of care and patient experience. From better break rooms to online appointment scheduling, read on to discover 10 proven ways to boost your medical practice’s efficiency. Enable online scheduling There’s perhaps no better way to lessen the workload of your administrative staff than with on-demand, 24/7 online scheduling functionality. Here’s how a simple “Book an Appointment” button can streamline operations for your… . . . read more.

A manager tries to hold it all together during Omnicron surge

By Lynne Curry “I’m overwhelmed,” the manager said when he called. “Senior management pressures us to maintain high levels of productivity, but nearly a fourth of our employees call in sick every morning. On our last all-manager Zoom call, our CEO said our productivity is down and made it clear we’re expected to handle our employees’ anxiety and get them refocused on their work.” “What about my stress? Every time an employee pokes his head in my door, I know I’ll hear a complaint or get handed a resignation. Omicron sent us all into a tailspin. I supervise employees who fear they risk infection every day they come to work. And I’m supposed to convince them to work harder? Do you have a magic bullet?” Supervisors in the vise You’re… . . . read more.

PRODUCTIVITY

Increase your efficiency with these workday PC tips

By Ron Slyker Due to the limited number of hours in a workday, it is critical to maximize your time. If you’re having trouble getting work done due to distracting websites, disorganized files, or cluttered inboxes, use these methods to improve your time management and stay productive at work. Keep an eye on productivity levels. Begin by keeping note of the amount of work you accomplish on an ordinary day. There are numerous useful applications for this. For instance, Google Chrome includes a feature called RescueTime that logs your most frequently visited websites and the amount of time you spend away from your computer. This program will offer you with a productivity score and a complete account of your workday. If you realize that you are squandering a significant chunk of your… . . . read more.

MANAGING STAFF

Staffers push back about returning to work

By Lynne Curry Question: We’re getting enormous pushback from our staff to an email we sent out stating that billing and clerical employees need to return to the workplace. At the same time, our organization can’t survive if we let all the employees who want to work from home do so. It’s not fair to our patients or the employees who show up at work. Further, when I call those who allegedly work full time but at home during the workday, they often let slip the fact that they’re not working. I’ve been told, “let me turn down the TV” or “sorry I didn’t answer right away, I was out in the garden.” Those who want to work from home insist they’re afraid they’ll catch COVID if they return to… . . . read more.


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