Telework as a Recruitment Tool

Employers in the US, Europe, Japan and numerous other countries are finding that one of most valuable tools for recruitment and retention is offering work options – compressed workweeks, flextime and telecommuting. More and more employees are working 9 day 80 hour 2 week schedules, changing their start or finish times from the usual rush-hour 7-9 am and 4-6 pm commute times, and working from home or satellite office locations.

Telecommuting is increasing exponentially, with an estimated 32 million US employees now teleworking, at least on a part time basis.
Why the popularity of telework? Employers consistently list retention as their number one reason, with recruitment a close second. There are a number of reasons why telework is a benefit for employer, employee and society as a whole. Let’s take a look at some of them:

  • Ecological advantages such as reduction of air pollution and gas consumption
  • Reduction in governmental expenses for infrastructure and road maintenance
  • Competitive advantage in attraction of employees, especially high-tech
  • Increases in employee satisfaction, resulting in increased employee retention
  • Reduction in facility costs for expansion and new real estate
  • Reduced parking requirements
  • Expansion of the labor pool
  • Reduction of non-productive (water cooler) office time
  • Expansion of service hours
  • Improved productivity
  • Improved work quality through faster processing, fewer errors, and shorter response time for communications
  • Reduction of absenteeism and tardiness
  • Enhanced peak performance due to telecommuters working during their most productive hours
  • Maximizing potential by broadening responsibilities
  • Work accomplished with fewer interruptions
  • Assistance in compliance with clean air, ADA and other statutes
  • Reduction in traffic congestion
  • Increased electronic communication with decrease of paper consumption
  • Reduced business disruptions due to natural disaster, bad weather, power outages, transit strikes and other unforeseen events
  • Reduction in traffic accidents
  • Reduction in health insurance costs due to reduction in traffic and stress
  • Safer communities due to more people at home during the day
  • Enhanced rural development
  • Better balance of economic activity between rural and urban areas, bringing economic revival, employment and population stability to remote and rural communities, including to tribal areas
  • Economically struggling former manufacturing areas such as the Mid-Atlantic United States or seasonal/resort areas might be able to retain or attract numerous year round residents and some of their tax base formerly lost to high-tech or service industry areas
  • Reduction of juvenile crime


While telework is not for everyone – many employers affirming that those who are continually tardy, not sufficiently self-motivated, or needing the constant interaction of their peers are not well suited for this option – job seekers and employees continually mention that a firm offering this and other work/family options goes to the ‘head of the line’ when they are job searching. Telework can also be a great tool for widening your pool of candidates, not only geographically, but also by being able to include the homebound disabled.

As one employer put it, “This is the way the world is going. If you’re not offering telework, you are losing candidates to me.”

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4 Killer Ways to Kick Toxic People Out of Your Life

Toxic attitudes in the workplace are contagious and can affect company morale in a negative way. Here are a few steps on dealing with toxic attitudes in the workplace.

1. Don’t Engage
Negative people feed off of an audience. If you find yourself on the receiving end of a negative tirade in the break room, don’t add fuel to their fire by engaging their negative ideas (even if you agree with them). Simply nod your head, say “that’s interesting” when they’ve finished and then go back to eating your sandwich. Your toxic coworker will sense that you’re not going to give them the attention that they want and they’ll move onto someone who will.

2. Turn the Tables
If you have a particularly attention hungry coworker who doesn’t go away after you show disinterest, turn the tables on them and be positive. Whatever situation your coworker is complaining about, find a positive aspect to it and interject that positivity into the conversation. Positivity is repellent to negative people. By turning their negative rant into a positive conversation, you’ll completely turn them off and they’ll leave you alone.

If you’re able to define yourself in your office as a positive person, negative attitudes will avoid you and you’ll be able to work in peace.

3. Give Them More Responsibility
If you have an attitude problem in your office and a few bad apples are spoiling the bunch, you may want to give them more responsibility. Now, no one is suggesting that you give them a promotion or make them department head. The goal here is to give them enough responsibility that they’ll have to produce productive ideas but not enough that they would be able to have power over anyone else.

Create a project for them that will make them accountable to everyone in the office. You could have them be the editor of the office newsletter, organize the next luncheon, select the snacks for the next meeting or decide how to organize the office supply closet.

By giving these toxic personalities a taste of accountability, you force them into a situation where they have to come up with ideas, implement them and others will judge their decisions. It’s a humbling process and in most cases will completely extinguish their negative tendencies.

4. Set Up Ground Rules
If you’re experiencing negativity in specific situations like in meetings, conference calls or brainstorming sessions, it’s important to set up ground rules before hand. Negative personalities will find roots wherever they can. Don’t create a situation where negative tendencies can go unchecked.

Make sure that before your meeting begins you lay out what rules you expect your team to follow. Typically, negative people don’t like breaking rules and by setting up positive parameters to your meeting, the toxic attendees will either stay silent or actually become product members of the group.

Toxic personalities don’t have to run rampant in your office. By understanding how to effectively manage the negative personalities on your team, you’ll be able to take back control of your work environment and your workforce’s morale.

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Three Ways an Employer Can Use Vision to Motivate Employees

Vision is a clear concept of a better and brighter tomorrow. An effective vision inspires passion and excites people. Steve Jobs of Apple Computer lured John Scully from Pepsi by asking, “Do you want to spend the rest of your life making sugared water, or do you want a chance to change the world?” (Abcnews.go.com/Technology/steve-jobs-death-20-best-quotes/story?id=14681795#18). Jobs was referring to the home computer revolution that was transforming the everyday lives of so many people. He definitely had an exciting vision.

Having an exhilarating vision can be a big advantage for an employer who is trying to motivate employees. Methods for motivating workers are potentially more effective if connected to a vision. Here are three ways that can be done.

  1. Cheerleading. A church pastor once said that people can easily lose a vision in 30 days. The leader must constantly reaffirm the vision. Therefore, cheerleading and rallying the troops are absolutely necessary. The employer is a far more effective cheerleader if he or she has a clear and compelling vision. If the vision is exciting the employer and the employees should be excited.
  2. Implement employee ideas. Often an effective idea is one that a worker suggested and the boss promoted. A good idea that contributes toward fulfilling the vision is extremely helpful. The employer should implement employee ideas that make a positive impact. When that happens workers will tend to feel like they are part of the vision and are helping to make it a reality.
  3. Affirm employees. Let them know when they have done a good job, or made a good suggestion, and explain the value of their work in light of the vision. A stimulating vision gives the basis for affirmation and shows why the employees’ contributions are important. Encouraging also helps create ownership. The workers are more inclined to buy into the vision and claim it as their own when their efforts are affirmed.

An employer with a thrilling view of the future is more likely to motivate employees. Workers tend to be excited if an exciting tomorrow awaits them. Cheerleading, implementing employee ideas, and affirming employees are more effective if related to a powerful vision.

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