Tag Archives: Management

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Travel2020: Sustainable meetings resonate with socially conscious attendees

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CWT Meetings & Events says that sustainability will continue to be an even more important business consideration for the $840 billion industry in 2020. The company’s research is outlined in a feature included in a report, “The Future of Sustainable Events.”

As activists protest in some of the world’s best-known destinations demand action on climate change, companies are increasingly taking notice.

“The sustainability of the meetings and events industry, in fact of the entire travel industry, is at the forefront of companies’ and planners’ minds in 2020,” said CWT Senior Vice President and Managing Director Derek Sharp.

“It’s driven by news coverage of climate change but, more importantly, it’s supported by the next generation of travelers — the millennials who are poised to become the biggest group of business travelers globally from 2024 onwards, and the centennials who are right behind them.”

“These are people for whom travel has become commonplace and accessible in a way that it wasn’t for older generations,” Sharp added. “They want to continue meeting in popular destinations, but they are also hyper aware of the need to adopt sustainable practices that respect the environment and local communities wherever they go.”

Major millennial-focused surveys are finding that climate change is the greatest concern for this generation. Deloitte’s Global Millennial Survey 2019 has found that climate change is the greatest concern for this generation. Millennials are skeptical of business’ motives and do not think highly of leaders’ impact on society, their commitment to improving the world, or their trustworthiness.

Only 37% of millennials believe business leaders make a positive impact on the world, and more than a quarter (26%) said they don’t trust business leaders as sources of reliable and accurate information. Leaders’ commitments to helping improve society (45% said they generally are) and behaving ethically (49% said they generally do) also divide opinion.

In response, companies and meeting planners are adopting various initiatives, including offsetting air miles with carbon, eliminating plastic waste, opting for locally sourced and produced food and drinks, or choosing ethical suppliers.

The trend of carbon offsetting for air miles is becoming more prevalent.

Highlights of the report underscore that consumers and employees around the world are seeking out companies and brands that reflect their values. Sustainability is no longer an add-on to business practices. It encompasses a holistic way of doing business that creates positive and meaningful change.

Major international initiatives such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are helping to drive home the message that, in 2020 and beyond, sustainability and responsible business are no longer just a feel-good item on HR’s agenda, but have real consequences for a company’s brand and bottom line.

Image: Harvard University

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How to keep association sprawl in check

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Urban sprawl is described as unplanned growth. Little thought is given to how the elements combine to add value. A gas station next to a hospital and apartment complex does not add value. Instead, a planned community increases quality of life and value by strategically integrating components.

Sprawl can affect associations. Components are often added by successive boards and strategic planning retreats. How the elements integrate or add value are not considered.

No Surprises!

Orientation informs directors of their roles and responsibilities for the association. The complexity of the organization is sometimes omitted.

A foundation, a political action committee (PAC), and a for-profit service corporation may have been added by prior boards. These elements have a subsidiary relationship to the association.

Associations are unique. For example, an organization with a “PR Council” that holds significant funds they dole out to committees, or a network of local chapters, some organized with a federal ID number while others act like clubs.

Add to the mix a dozen committees and special interest groups. Top that off with an advisory body called a House of Delegates or Council of 100.

Most of the organizational elements fall under the purview of the board. Directors should to be certain they know their relationships to the subsidiaries. Purposes, risks and finances must be considered in making decisions that include all the elements.

The governing documents associated with each element can be daunting; a lot to read. Governing documents should not conflict. Directors are asked to understand budgets, bylaws, policies, and strategy.

“Being a new board member is not intuitive and is a process that must be nurtured. Directors need to be informed of the complete picture. The time spent mentoring and orienting new board members is a gift with lasting results,” says Marti L. Wangen, CAE, co-executive director at the Montana Optometric Association.

Association Integration Plan

Add strategy and structure to tame association sprawl. Nobody wants to hear halfway through the year, “I didn’t know we have responsibility for the foundation, too.”

The aim is to create a lean, mean machine. There must good reasons to maintain each of the elements. They should complement the parent association. Members will recognize when disorganization slows efficiency.

Create an org chart to identify all the elements and their relationships. The chart clarifies lines of authority, hierarchy and communication channels. No board wants to find out a committee, chapter or subsidiary improperly spoke for or contracted on behalf of the board without authority.

Be especially mindful of finances. For instance, a conference planning committee that sets up its own checking account. The board should be aware of all finances.

Staffing Integration

Some of the subsidiary components may want to establish their own staff, board and finances. Too often they operate in a silo, preferring their own bylaws, logo, mission, and office space.

In most cases the components should cooperate and collaborate. For example, a foundation created to support education in the association should work together to raise funds and undertake research in the foundation, in turn supporting education and scholarship.


Directors may be surprised to learn they have joined a board that has multiple parts and components requiring oversight. Provide a complete image of the organization and how it works.

Don’t let them learn as issues arise, “We forgot to tell you we have a for-profit corporation that has been dormant for years.”

“Alignment in an association to ensure all parts are advancing the mission will lead to efficiency and a clear message of value,” said Ryan L. Dunn, executive director, Virginia Dental Association.

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5 Cs for why we should include opportunity in risk management

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Many of the pieces are now in place to support widespread adoption of inclusive risk management that addresses both threats and opportunities.

International standards define risk as double-sided, and this is supported by professional bodies, recognized thought-leaders, expert practitioners, and leading-edge organizations. All that’s needed is for more people to start doing it! But why should we?

Here are five reasons (and No. 5 is the best):


International risk standards use a double-sided definition of risk, and organizations wishing to align with these standards will have to follow suit.


Some clients require their suppliers to use formal risk management, and if you want to do business with them you must have risk processes in place. If your client includes opportunity management within the contractual requirement, you’ll have to do the same.


Many leading organizations use an integrated risk process to identify and capture opportunities proactively as well as to deal with threats, including those who are role models or “best of breed.” This may influence other organizations to adopt a similar approach in order to keep up with the leading players in their industry.


Fear of failure is a strong motivation for many senior leaders, and anything that offers the possibility of improved performance or increased success is likely to be grasped.

Concrete benefits

This is the best reason to implement an integrated risk approach. Inclusion of opportunities in the risk process will only become widespread and accepted if there are demonstrable benefits. These include:

More realized opportunities. A broad risk process ensures that we spend structured time looking for opportunities and addressing them proactively. This means that opportunities that might have been missed can be tackled, and some of them will be captured.

Improved chances of project and business success. As opportunities are identified and captured, we will gain the associated benefits that would otherwise have been missed, leading to achievement of objectives and delivery of value.

No new process. The use of a common process for managing both threats and opportunities ensures maximum efficiency, with the same activities being used for both types of risk. There is no need to develop, introduce, and maintain a separate opportunity management process, because one risk process will suffice.

Cost-effectiveness. The use of a single process to achieve proactive management of both threats and opportunities will result in avoidance or minimization of problems AND exploitation and maximization of benefits.

Extension from the familiar techniques. Most of the techniques currently used to manage threats can be adapted with only minor changes to deal with opportunities. Additional opportunity-specific techniques are not complicated and are simple to adopt.

Minimal additional training. Because inclusive risk management uses the familiar risk process, staff will only need training in new techniques for identifying and capturing opportunities.

Better contingency management. Inclusion of potential upside impacts as well as downside means that contingency calculations are likely to be more realistic, taking account of both potential overspend and possible savings.

Increased team motivation. Encouraging people to think creatively about ways to work better, simpler, faster, more effectively, etc. is a great motivator, and teams will enjoy looking for opportunities and making them happen.

Enhanced professionalism. Clients who see supplier or contractor organizations and project teams working to maximize the benefits on their project will be impressed at the display of professionalism, leading to increased reputation and business growth.

We should include opportunities in our risk process because we can gain concrete benefits, as well as making us compliant with standards, meeting contractual obligations, conforming with leading-edge businesses, and providing increased confidence in our ability to succeed.

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On-demand pay: A budding phenomenon

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In an era of instant gratification, the concept of on-demand pay couldn’t be timelier.

Payroll technology plays a huge role in this desire for instant satisfaction. The vast majority of American workers can immediately access their wages on payday via direct deposit or payroll cards. They can also retrieve pay stubs, update their payroll data, and make payroll requests at the touch of a button, thanks to employee self-service.

So, getting paid on demand seems like a natural fit.

What is on-demand pay?

On-demand pay enables employees to receive their earned wages as soon as the same day they perform the work or the day after — instead of having to wait until their next regular payday.

How does on-demand pay work?

Access to on-demand pay is delivered through a downloadable app.

If an employer processes payroll in-house, it can purchase the app directly from the technology vendor. In this scenario, the app is integrated with the employer’s in-house payroll system.

More often, employers obtain on-demand pay apps through a payroll processing company, sometimes as an add-on service.

Generally, the app is synchronized with the employer’s payroll and timekeeping systems to facilitate tracking of accrued labor.

In most cases, employees can get instant payments to their bank account, payroll card, or prepaid card. When the regular payday rolls around, employees do not receive any wages already obtained via on-demand pay. However, they still get a pay stub showing their hours worked, wages, and deductions.

What’s fueling the need for on-demand pay?

The main rationale behind on-demand pay is that it helps alleviate the financial anxiety that comes with living from paycheck to paycheck. As a result, on-demand pay is typically geared towards low-income employees or those with no (or minimal) savings — which happens to be a significant number of people.

In a survey by CareerBuilder, 78% of American workers say they’re living from paycheck to paycheck, and 3 in 4 workers report being in debt. Moreover, an article published by SHRM states that “4 in 10 Americans can’t cover an unexpected expense of $400.”

Consequently, several employers are leveraging on-demand pay to help employees better manage unexpected expenses — thereby limiting the need for payday loans and credit card cash advances, which are notorious for having high interest rates.

How does on-demand pay benefit employers?

Studies show that most millennials and Gen Xers prefer to work for employers who care about their financial health. Offering on-demand pay can be a viable tool for recruiting these (and other) generational cohorts.

On-demand pay can also boost retention among existing employees who enjoy being able to access earned wages whenever they want. Further, employers who offer paycheck advances may see a drop in such requests, as more employees opt for on-demand pay.

What is the growth outlook?

In the aforementioned SHRM article, Ron Hanscome, an analyst for Gartner, Inc. refers to on-demand pay as a “growing phenomenon.”

According to Gartner’s research, on-demand pay is projected to grow swiftly. Currently, fewer than 5% of large employers with hourly workers offer on-demand pay. However, the adoption rate is expected to reach 20% by 2023.

Are there any drawbacks?

Though a convincing argument can be made for on-demand pay, there are potential barriers to consider.

First, the employer has to deal with the administrative burden that comes with managing the expedited-pay program.

Second, there’s the issue of cost. Vendors often charge employers a fee for using the app, or employees a per-withdrawal fee. Some employers cover the cost of using the app and give employees up to a certain number of free withdrawals per year. Depending on the vendor and service, additional costs may apply.

Third, employers must monitor the effects of the program on employee attraction, retention, and work behaviors. They should also be careful of the employment relationship seeming like a contractor agreement, where the person gets paid right after doing the work.

Fourth, employees who frequently receive wages on demand risk becoming even more financially unstable, as this pay method tends to encourage more spending and less saving. As suggested in an article published by Business News Daily, waiting for the regular payday can force employees to save.

Despite these possible downsides, industry observers believe on-demand pay will maintain its rising trajectory.

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Shopping at the board store

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In La Crosse, Wisconsin, I passed an interesting shop. In bright lettering, the awning read, “The Board Store.”

The U.S. has 1.5 million exempt organizations. Each has a board of directors.

I wondered what tools and equipment the board store sold. Here are the tools, planks and signage the store could sell to support good governance.

Board Governs, Staff Manage: The most important distinction in board roles. Directors govern by being strategic and setting a vision. The staff and committees will work to advance that vision. The board does not micromanage or supervise.

Gavel to Gavel Authority: Directors have authority to govern at duly called meetings of the board. When the meeting is gaveled to order, it is expected that directors have prepared and will speak up as a fiduciary of the membership.

As the meeting adjourns, they no longer have authority to speak for the organization unless the chief elected officer has granted that authority. After a meeting they may wear different hats such as committee volunteer, ambassador or chapter visitor.

“The biggest misnomer is that an individual director, regardless of position, has power in between board meetings. The governing body has the authority to act as a body and not singularly. It is important to get this point across as it prevents a director from calling the executive director and making a request that shifts the focus of the professional staff team,” said William Pawlucy, CAE, chair at www.associationoptions.com.

Squirrel! Directors are easily distracted from the agenda at hand and the strategic plan. Squirrels or bright shiny objects divert from the agenda and business at hand. The board store should sell squirrel traps.

Brief is Better: Presenters need to read body language. As ideas and reports are presented, directors are quick to lose focus.

You can see it as they pick up their phones or make their own to-do lists. Volunteers seldom read past page two of a report. Use bullets and graphics to get across highlights.

We are in the Weeds: Directors should be empowered to ask, “Are we in the weeds?” Delving into how to do something is dangerous.

One board made a motion to improve member engagement through a robust listserv. The discussion dived into who will manage it, how often will topics be posted, etc.

Boards Don’t Do Committee Work at the Board Table: A sign on the wall should remind directors they are focused on governance, a vision and advancing the strategic plan.

Committees are assigned work from the strategic plan. Leaders should not be doing lower-level committee work at board meetings.

“I just have a question?” This is the most frequent distraction at meetings. A director asks an innocent sounding question and two or three people respond with, “I know the answer.” The board chair has lost control of the meeting.

50,000 Feet: The board needs tools to maintain altitude. Leaders work at 50,000 feet, committees at 25,000’ and the staff administer at 10,000’. A sign on the wall might read, “What altitude are we at in this discussion?”

No Volleyball: A lot of good ideas are served up at the board meeting. They are often debated until the discussion tires.

At that point, the volleyball falls to the floor and a new idea is spiked. By recognizing this style of discussion, it is easier to stick to the agenda and monitor how each idea is processed.

These are the tools, planks, and platforms needed for building good governance. There should be a sale at The Board Store!

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Will 2020 be the year you quit your job?

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Quitting has often been thought of as a negative: a result of an inability to handle the pressure or requirements of the job. Now, however, quitting is becoming the hallmark of success.

The tight labor market has afforded more and more of us the ability to quit our jobs for better opportunities. We are doing so across regions and industries and at a steadily increasing rate. The question is: will 2020 be the year you quit your job?

Flying with the Riddler

Recent data also show that while we are more satisfied with our jobs, we are less satisfied with the most important aspect of our jobs: the potential for future growth. While the chance to make more money, improve our benefits or relocate to a better geographic area offer tangible reasons to make a change, the idea of potential growth, promotion prospects or learning opportunities may not be tangible enough to inspire us to quit.

We have previously written about the importance of asking questions and doing so properly. In this case, by asking ourselves what would have to happen in order to quit my job in 2020, we shift our focus away from the prospects associated with moving on to the practical reality of our current situation.

Asking in this manner exposes weaknesses in our current position over which we may not have any control (the boss leaves; the company is sold or relocated, etc.). It also highlights any potential related personal issues (spouse getting a new job; kids moving out or going to college, etc.).

Facing these potentially uncomfortable answers will helps us address them and determine whether we are still on the best professional path.

KonMari it

Asking what would have to happen helps us look at the external factors; asking what would it take for me to quit my job in 2020 shifts the focus back to our professional ambitions.

By asking a number of different questions around the idea of quitting, we can air out all the potential issues associated with leaving our jobs, start to identify ways to protect ourselves against risk and manage our fears and our expectations.

Then, from that clean place of confident clarity, we can begin to prioritize our reasons to look for another job and appropriately weigh them against opportunity.

Next steps

We have also written here before about the importance of the side hustle, becoming an entrepreneur, and quitting while you are ahead. The common idea behind all of them is that in this moment, with a strong, employee-friendly job market, we must get to the bottom of what drives and inspires us and set about a plan for getting it.

This can best be done if we clean out our old beliefs and honestly and thoroughly examine them to determine whether they still serve our professional goals.

By understanding what it would take for us to quit our jobs and why we have not already, we can set ourselves up for professional success in 2020.

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Fair Pay to Play Act promises a better deal for the black college athlete

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It is no secret that the black male has been the engine for collegiate sports for many decades now. African American athletes make up about 60% of all college football and college basketball teams. Football and basketball are the two revenue sports that dominate college sports.

That dominance has created an incredible source of revenue for the biggest schools. Last year, the University of Alabama collected $177.5 million in athletics revenue, and the University of Texas clocked in at more than $219 million.

As part of the podcast “Gangster Capitalism,” a program dedicated to examining the college admissions scandal that has rocked the news this year, sports journalist Kevin Blackistone examined the racial overtones existing in the matter of high-level college sports.

Blackistone, a frequent guest on ESPN and columnist for The Washington Post stated, “On college campuses, there are two sports, and it’s not football and basketball. It’s basketball/football and everything else. Basketball and football are known as revenue-generating sports and every other sport — sailing, wrestling, rowing, softball, tennis, golf — those sports are known as expenditure sports.

They cost the university money to run and they don’t bring in any revenue. Who or what funds those sports? The what is football and men’s basketball, and the who are the black male athletes that predominate the rosters in football and basketball. Without them, you wouldn’t have the excitement that attracts the television contracts and the advertisements that turn into revenue.”

In 2017, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) listed its revenues at $1 billion dollars, over $800 million dollars of which came from television rights and marketing fees during the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship, or March Madness.

With so much money being made on the backs of black college football and basketball players, there have been swift denials up to now whenever it is suggested that college players be monetarily compensated — until now.

On Sept. 30, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 206, otherwise known as the Fair Pay to Play Act. The bill guarantees California college athletes the opportunity to market their name, image, and likeness.

While SB 206 does not force universities to directly pay the athletes, and the bill is valid only for players attending schools in California, it is a dramatic step in allowing the athletes to make money in a system that has historically paid them nothing.

Appearing on LeBron James’ show “The Shop,” Newsom praised the bill, saying, “The interest of the athletes is finally on par with the interest of the institution. Now, we are rebalancing that power arrangement.”

While SB 206 will not go into effect until 2023, the ramifications of it are gigantic. According to Sports Illustrated, the players could negotiate to appear in video games, be compensated at an autograph signing show, and turn up in car commercials. The athletes can also hire sports agents for representation in gaining more marketing opportunities.

While the argument of college athletes being paid has always been a fire starter, the legal root of the battle began with Ed O’Bannon. An All-American UCLA men’s basketball player who was a leader on the school’s 1995 National Championship team, O’Bannon brought a suit against the NCAA after seeing his likeness in the Electronic Arts video game “NCAA Basketball 09.”

O’Bannon wrote in Sports Illustrated, “I saw myself featured in a college basketball video game that sold for $60. I hadn’t asked to be in the game. And no one had offered to pay me, or any other current or former players who were ‘in the game’ as the game’s advertisement boasted.”

Seeing a player that matched his likeness in the video game, O’Bannon brought a lawsuit to the NCAA, which resulted in a seven-year battle that he won. Electronic Arts halted production on both NCAA basketball and football video games.

Reflecting on his victory and seeing how SB 206 can help, O’Bannon wrote, “Treat college athletes with basic dignity. Fans will still watch games. Schools will still make a lot of money. And the scales of justice will tip in the right direction.”

The reaction to the legislation was mixed, to say the least. For every sports figure such as Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, who supports the act, there were just as many questioning it.

Former University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow worried that it will ruin the integrity of the game, saying, “Here is one of the issues, I think, if you get to paying them for their name and likeness, is where does it stop? Does it go to high school, does it go to Pop Warner? Are you continuing to have agents all in the game?”

At the recent Chicago Sports Summit, DePaul Athletic Director Jean Lenti Ponsetto commented on SB 206, saying, “It would be the demise of intercollegiate athletics as we know it.”

While the debate of whether to pay college athletes or not is one that has been around for years, when two sports dominated by black men are highlighted, the animus becomes more visceral.

It is not lost on many that race is at the center of this issue. The black male body has historically been used for its strength in many different types of labor: from share cropping, the prison industrial complex, and sports. The black male body is never looked at as a human being, but a thing to produce capital.

It is exploited and almost never compensated properly. We are forever slaves, so when there is a chance to change this, America balks. Any kind of proposal or act to level the playing field for African-Americans, such as the GI Bill, affirmative action, or Affordable Care Act has been met with hostility. It’s as if there is a need for us to be slaves.

If America is committed to righting the wrongs of the greatest sin and all the oppression and racism which has emanated from it, then we have to be honest about our opposition to the Fair Pay to Play Act.

Ask yourself, “Why am I opposed to college players making well-needed money from their likeness?” Many of these players come from poverty; their families have not had the resources to help them out as they attend school.

I have heard so many stories of athletes living destitute while on campus, barely able to afford food or necessities needed to go to college. We have to ask ourselves, “Would it be this big of a deal if the majority of college athletes in football and basketball were white?”

College sports are a multibillion-dollar industry with no end in sight. The cash machine of collegiate basketball and football is too big to fail.

SB 206 does not stop this nor divert any of the monies made from the schools. It just says that players will get a chance to profit from who they are.

Even conservative states like Kentucky have begun to look into their own version of SB 206. It is time for players to be compensated. More specifically, it is time for black college athletes, whom the industry is built on, to be paid.

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Survey: Toilets cleaner than kitchenware, other supplies at UK offices

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According to the findings of a new survey by GCC Facilities Management — a commercial cleaning services company in the United Kingdom — office parks and facilities are downright filthy. The 650-person study found how often or not workspaces are cleaned.

One of the most interesting takeaways found that in communal kitchenware, people tend to stay away. If you’ve ever wondered just how clean those utensils are, perhaps it’s better to bring your own from home. More than one-third of workers surveyed say they avoid communal kitchenware because they fear these items are not clean.

Regarding cleanliness in general, only about a quarter of the respondents say they have used personal cleaning supplies in the office to maintain cleanliness. Perhaps not surprisingly, only 35% of respondents said their desk is cleaned daily. More than 30% of respondents said their keyboard is not cleaned at all (which may be a personal responsibility), and 36% said their computer mouse is not cleaned.

Their telephones are no different. More than a quarter (28%) of respondents said they’d never cleaned their phone, despite it harboring 760% more bacteria than the keyboard and being the dirtiest item surveyed.

Other than the phone, perhaps the dirtiest place in the office is your desk. Researchers found the office desk is 400% more unhygienic than a toilet.

Of the respondents to answer, 35% of workers said their desk is cleaned every day; 28% did so weekly, but individual desk items are often the most neglected for cleanliness. Researchers also found that only 9% of surveyed employees cleaned their desk monthly; 11% didn’t clean it at all. This can lead to the harboring of Heterotrophic bacteria, E. coli, Helicobacter pylori, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Staphylococcus aureus.

Individual desktop items like the mouse and keyboard were not cleaned with much frequency either. Thirty-seven percent said they mouse was never cleaned; 31% said their keyboards are never cleaned. Twenty-eight percent didn’t answer the call to clean their desk phones.

This might be slightly important to an employee’s overall health, researchers said, because they can harbor up to 25,127 germs per square inch, or more than 3,295 grams per square inch.

Ironically, the mouse was the cleanest of all three items with 1,676 germs per square inch.

Surprisingly, toilets were considered the cleanest of all apparatuses.

Other than what people considered to be dirty kitchenware, the kitchens themselves did OK, with 38% of respondents saying they were satisfied with the upkeep. The fridge scored 37% on satisfaction.

“The findings show that desk cleanliness is easily neglected, despite the health risks that it carries and the knock-on effects it could have for businesses in terms of sickness, reduced capacity, and absences,” researchers said. “More needs to be done to raise awareness of the health risks that dirtier working surfaces can have amongst office workers, and businesses should take more action to ensure that their staff is working in a clean and healthy environment.”

As may be obvious but overlooked is that surfaces and equipment can harbor dirt, viruses, and bacteria, which can remain active for months. Thus, regular cleaning is required, as is good personal hygiene, like handwashing. Otherwise, surface germs transfer throughout the environment.

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Survey: Almost one-third of workers have left a job due to lack of flexible work

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Flexible work used to be a “nice-to-have” benefit, but it is rapidly becoming a requirement for workers. In fact, according to a recent survey by FlexJobs(the company’s eighth annual report), 30% of workers reported leaving a job because it did not offer flexible work options.

The survey findings were not a revelation to Sara Sutton, founder and CEO of FlexJobs. “I wasn’t necessarily surprised because so many of the people we help every day are in that exact situation — they’re working in a job that lacks the flexible work options they need or want, so they’re in search of a better way to work.”

What is flex work?

Working remotely is one type of flexible work, but that is not the only definition of this term. “We see flexible jobs that are 100% remote, partially remote, or have the option for remote work,” Sutton explains.

“We also see jobs that offer part-time schedules, flexible schedules, and alternative schedules.” In addition, the jobs could be categorized as freelance or employee jobs. Sutton says most of the jobs they list have a combination of these types of flexible arrangements, which allow people to find what works for them.

Some of the reasons people want flexible work

FlexJobs has been conducting this annual survey since 2013, and the top four reasons (in order) that people want a flexible job have been consistent:

  1. Work-life balance (75%)
  2. Family (45%)
  3. Time savings (42%)
  4. Commute stress (41%)

“The option to work remotely, at least some of the time, saves workers three of their most precious commodities: time, money, and their sanity,” explains Kate Lister, president at Global Workplace Analytics in Carlsbad, California.

“In terms of time, the average half-time remote worker saves the equivalent of 11 workdays a year, time they’d have otherwise spent in traffic.” That’s assuming a 30-minute round-trip commute, but many people travel much further.

“In terms of money, a typical half-time remote worker saves between $2,000 and $7,000 a year in just transportation, clothing, and food/beverages,” Lister says. And some workers are also able to move to a less expensive area.

“In terms of sanity, this survey and a large body of other research shows the biggest reason people want to work remotely is because it helps them better balance their work and personal lives,” she explains. It also reduces stress and helps them get more work done.

In fact, the survey reveals that 65% of workers believe they’re more productive working from home than working in a traditional office environment. Among other benefits, 70% cite fewer distractions, 72% enjoy few interruptions from colleagues, and 64% say they can avoid office politics.

Rhere are other benefits. For example, 78% believe flexible work allows them to be healthier (eat better, exercise more), and 44% believe it improves their overall quality of life.

Population groups more likely to want flexibility

All professionals can benefit from flexible work arrangements, but Sutton says this option is especially important to some groups of people. “We work with a lot of working parents — moms and dads, caregivers of friends and family members, people with mental or physical health issues, retirees who still need or want to continue working, and people living in rural areas where the local economies are not strong.”

Personal and geographical circumstances would make it impossible for some of these people to maintain a traditional, on-site job, but flexible and remote work allow them to be active in the workforce.

How companies/employers are responding to this trend

Flexible and remote work is becoming more popular among workers. “For example, new data we’ve analyzed with Global Workplace Analytics shows that there has been a 159% increase in remote work in the U.S. since 2005 — and it’s continuously increased every year,” Sutton says.

As a result, more companies are offering flexible work options. “It’s a bit of a ‘snowball effect’ — the more people work remotely, for example, the more companies become comfortable with the concept and therefore allow more people to work remotely,” Sutton explains. “It’s a cycle that supports growth.”

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How to stop being a stressed-out, compulsive micromanager

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Do you find yourself hovering over your employees to make sure the task, project or job gets done right? If you have to hover and micromanage, then you either have the wrong employee or don’t trust anyone but yourself. If the latter is the case, then do it all yourself. See how that works for you.

Micromanaging and trying to control every action of an employee, colleague or a family member is exhausting. Do you really have the energy? Don’t you need to use your time better?

Compulsive micromanaging and having to be in control of every detail is a great way to get nothing done, burn yourself out and say goodbye to sanity, serenity and success.

There’s another way. Try this. Learn to let go. As an ex-micromanager and control freak, I can testify that this works.

I had to discover that when I tried to control other people, I ended up with extreme stress and carried it with me. I got the headaches, back pain and general uptightness. The people I tried to control went home and hardly gave me a thought once they left the workplace.

Compulsive micromanaging is annoying to other people. It impedes productivity and causes other people to rebel. It wrecks a team because other people don’t want to work with us. They feel like we’re always looking over their shoulder and being critical.

It’s not just at work. We take ourselves with us wherever we go. If we overcontrol at work, we do it at home with our families, friends and even our pets.

Try taking a few deep breaths next time you want to micromanage. Remind yourself that you gave someone a project because they are capable.

Change the message from “only I can do it and it’s up to me,” to “There are different ways to achieve results. I’ll give other people a chance to show what they can do. Maybe someone will have an even better way to get results than I did.”

Remind yourself over and over that you can’t control people every second, but you can talk with them to find out how they will accomplish a task, set a time to check-in and follow-up, and create a process together.

A coaching client told me she was worried that her employees would show her up in meetings with customers, so she told them to let her do the talking. After one meeting a customer said he wanted to hear ideas from the other people on her team. My client was scared that the customer would want to only do business with her employee and “steal” him away.

Instead of allowing employees to do their best work at what they were hired to do, she would “assign” them tasks. Her employees felt like she was treating them like children.

By the time she called me, two members of her leadership team had left, and several employees were on their way out. Social media was not being kind after that.

When we started working together, I taught her the techniques I had been taught and that I still practice. Gradually, she began to trust the ideas and abilities of other people.

She stopped taking herself so seriously, started laughing more and found humor in her old ways. In adopting the practices of letting go and using conscious self-talk, she had more time to do her own work and take the company to a new level of innovation and profit. One of her former employees rejoined the organization the following year.

If you hover over your employees and stop them from making decisions on their own, you’ll kill your business. Your micromanaging can be very expensive when employees leave and take their great ideas to your competitor.

I’ll always remember these words from the CEO of a Fortune 500 company.

When I asked what made him so successful, he said “I’m smart enough to hire people who are smarter than me.”

Three Ways to Stop Micromanaging

Deep breathing

Learning to take a deep breath (or several) when you have the compulsion to micromanage is a great technique for letting go. Start practicing now. Try it next time.


Remind yourself that you hired this employee for their talents and skills, and that you trust your judgement.

Be willing to change perspective and focus on results instead of obsessing on details

Instead of thinking that there is only one way to achieve results, consider that there may be other ways.

Letting go is a process, and there’s more to giving up compulsive micromanaging than just these three techniques. I worked with this client for six months and we do quarterly check-ins, but if you start by practicing these three techniques, you and your employees will notice the change.

When you let other people shine, become willing to listen to and implement their suggestions, and sometimes admit that your idea might not be the best, you will be seen as a true leader.

As Lizzo says in her recent song, “Juice,” “If I’m shinin’, everybody gonna shine.” when you help your employees shine, the whole organization, including you, will have the glow of success.

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