Category Archives: Employee Benefits

7 Tips to Managing HR in Off-site Locations

Technology alongside the pandemic has combined to encourage the number of off-site or teleworking employees and contractors. Most mobile aspects of businesses operate from off-site locations, and with the same productivity objective.

Working off-site encourages contactless management. In the same manner, HR managing becomes even challenging as HR managers do not meet the workforce. Since they can’t meet the workforce, it is tough to tell the difference between a satisfied and dissatisfied workforce.

Fortunately, HR software brings the reality of stringent man-management despite operating from off-site locations. A typical reliable HR software features 24/7 support, more comprehensive employee-manager communication, advanced assessment tools, and trendiness.

Upon implementing preferred HRIS, the next thought in line is effective off-site management. So, what are the tips for managing HR in off-site locations?

1. Schedule Employees

Managing and balancing schedules when dealing with multiple off-site teams in various locations can be challenging. However, implementing staff scheduling and management systems can be organized to enhance management.

To make scheduling seamless, HR software must be user-friendly and accessible by everyone. Of course, it must be app-based online systems that support instant adjustments sending notifications and reminders to the workforce regardless of their location.

When the workforce is scheduled in this manner, it also enhances regulatory compliance in your jurisdiction. Moreover, neither work overtime nor under-time, which creates balance.

2. Bring Technology to the Workforce

HR managers must bring technology to the workforce to enhance off-site management. In this regard, employees and contractors must be open to self-service and partake in the digital culture of the company for collective progression. A characteristic of off-site management is contactless working. It means that managers and employees will find it difficult to rapport effectively.

So, why not give your workforce technology? It is simple; configure a portal and provide the employees with self-service access. The HR tool must be such that employees can lodge complaints, make suggestions, enter updates, etc. Most importantly, employee HR software must support HR administration before changes and suggestions are deployed.

3. Delegate Tasks

Managing HR in multiple off-site locations should not be a one-person task. Your HR team may be the best, but you can configure the HR system to delegate responsibilities manageable from one system.

Suppose the company is under pressure to deliver, what becomes of the lone-working HR? In a bid to satisfy the company or clients while managing off-site location HR, you may burn out. Seize the capability of human resources management software to delegate tasks, even onto the workforce. HR assistants should not be exceptions either.

Meanwhile, depending on the nature of certain HR functions, HR can delegate activities to employees. The idea is to task employee supervisors with simple objectives. They become responsible for managing sections of the workforce that may be tedious to reach out.

4. Ensure Collaborations

Modern HRM software allows shared docs that ensure tracking of company activities. It will enable HR managers to remain apprised of the team’s activities. The most intelligible aspect is that it helps managers refine responsibilities and employee expectations while operating from off-site locations.

Moreover, you must agree on the acceptable behaviour for virtual collaboration. Professionals, note, for instance, that sending quick messages such as “Busy. I will return the call soon” and “Busy, please” are a decent virtual collaboration behaviour. It is imperative while focusing on a task when another employee reaches out.

Reliable collaborations are also dependent on the quality of the HRMS. Getting in touch with colleagues virtually would be best if the HR tool offers extended features, which necessitates selecting HR software carefully.

5. Implement Similar Management Options

Every working site is unique, regardless of whether the functions may be similar. First, you ought to understand how each location is structured by contacting supervisors to report what you know. Secondly, you need access to the database, except for the organisation that integrates all-employees-in-one databases.

Understand that implementing consistent and uniform operating standards across various locations can enhance convenience. Of course, the HR would have no need reinventing the wheel for each site.

Regarding employee management, endeavour to maintain a similar employee handbook across the various locations. Each employee must experience the same shift structure, training, assessment, and reward system. Moreover, this practice simplifies moving the workforce to other branches at short notice to replace shifts.

6. Welcome Feedback

It is vital to be open to critical feedback from your team irrespective of their opinion. You can encourage sincere feedback by configuring the HR software to maintain staff anonymity. It means you provide the room for the team to commend or rule out the management’s effectiveness. Make sure to encourage feedback that suggests changes instead of critique only.

To encourage your team to feel comfortable, have an open-door policy and explain to your team the need for their contributions.

Regardless of their views, your reaction must not be retributive. If you have reasons for implementing particular policies that feedback lash, give detailed explanations to your team. It is also advisable to adjust to demands rather than impose relentlessly.

7. Engage Virtually and Commend

The biggest secret for managing HR in off-site locations is to engage your team virtually and commend deserving individuals. First, ensure that your HR virtual tool is reliable, whether for an all-employee team-building event or custom leadership development.

Get the team to connect from the various off-site locations and seize the time to commend top-performing staff or branches for challenging the workforce. You must, however, commend everyone while singling out top-performing talents or groups.

If you are looking for office space, coworking space or traditional, for your company or employees, we can help. Contact us today to find out about our no cost service.

When and How to use Drug Test Kits for Your Office Employees

Drug test

For employers, drug testing is an important way to determine if an applicant has a substance problem or not. When a drug is detected during a background test, it usually results in an immediate denial of the application.

The main purpose of drug test kits available today is to test drug use in the workplace. An individual’s ability to get a job is often affected by their past drug use, which makes it crucial to have an accurate drug test kit on hand. 

When To Use Drug Testing For Employees

A drug kit is often an ideal solution for pre-employment measures against drug use in the office. Drug test kits, such as urine drug test kits, include a sample kit and instructions, are affordable, user-friendly, and offer quick results. 

Most drug test kits usually test for the presence of certain illegal drugs in an individual’s blood by utilizing a saliva sample. This sample can then be analyzed by a trained laboratory technician who can determine the drug’s concentration within minutes. An employee may also receive a notice that their application has been denied, as an employee failing to produce a reliable test result could put their job in jeopardy. 

Here are some basic facts about when and if employees should be tested.

  • Each state has different legal requirements. Some states require employees to be tested for a drug at the start of employment, while other states only allow testing after a notice has been given to the employee. 
  • For employers, drug testing kits come in handy when hiring new employees. Employers need to ensure that drug abusers don’t have access to sensitive information within the company, such as sensitive documents, computers, and other devices that could potentially expose company secrets. Drug test kits can help catch employees who are using drugs, giving the employer peace of mind.
  • Most states don’t require employees to submit to random drug testing.
  • When a person first starts to take the drug tests, they’re usually asked whether they had used illegal drugs in the last year. However, many employers don’t require drug tests for employees who have not used drugs in the previous year. This is especially true if the employee has taken a drug-prevention class or has shown a willingness to follow an anti-drug program.

How To Use Drug Testing For Employees

As a general rule, employers who want to drug test their employees should consider taking a sample of urine or blood. Since urine contains more concentrated substances than blood, an employer may receive more reliable results. 

However, there are a few factors that determine whether an employee will be positive for a drug. 

  • First of all, the test may be able to detect recreational drugs. In addition, certain types of drugs can have a delayed effect on an employee’s response. Therefore, if an employee has a problem with drug use, the test can often give false negatives because the employee has no prior problems or is using the drug for the first time.
  • Once an employer decides to test employees, there are a few questions that should be asked before administering a drug test. These questions can include: Are there any physical signs of abuse that cannot be ignored? Is the employee willing to let their doctor know about drug use? Are there any signs of withdrawal? Does the drug make the individual feel nervous or anxious? Are there any negative changes in the way that the person acts?
  • Many of these test kits will also include instructions on how to prepare the employee’s urine samples. Therefore, the employee will know when and how to use a test kit for their own urine and will know what to do when they’re ready to test their urine. 

In some cases, the employee will be able to send a urine sample home with the employee kit, but they’ll only be able to do this if they have had a chance to get a hold of the kit before it’s time for the test.

  • There are many different drug test kits available on the market today, some of which are very accurate. However, it’s essential to know how these kits work before you actually decide to purchase one for accurate drug test results.

Conclusion

Regardless of the reason that an employer decides to test for drugs, it’s important to know when employees need to take their tests. By understanding when and if they should be tested, employers can avoid having an employee suffer the consequences of drug addiction as well as keeping the office running smoothly.

Employee Rights Every Employer Should Know About

Can you imagine finishing four years of university, getting a dream job, and realizing that working is not what you imagined? Well, a lot of people feel this way, but luckily, there are employers who are aware of how it was when they were at their first job. Many first-time employees are told never to settle for a bad workplace that don’t treat them well and and grant them their basic employee rights. Here are some of the most important employee rights all employers should be familiar with if they want to keep them for many years to come.

Wage and Hour Law

For many inexperienced employees getting their first job can be exciting, but also terrifying because they don’t know their basic rights – they might even settle on the horrible treatment – like working overtime ALL the time and not getting paid, or not having paid leave days. Experts at ECLaw state that employees can file a claim if your company is unable to provide them with their basic rights. But you as an employer have a duty to provide them with a strict schedule of set working hours and a minimum wage. This is both for full-time workers, and part-timers such as interns.

Discrimination Law

A workplace shouldn’t be like going to high school, with the only difference being that the adults are bullying you. If your employees are faced with any form of discrimination due to their race, sexuality, age, religion, or disability at the workplace, this is breaking the basic human rights law. In no circumstance can a colleague or an employer make remarks or treat one employee differently than the rest simply because they are different. If this happens, they have the full right to take this matter to court, so try to always be aware when such issues occur and listen to your employees when they reach out to you with such sensitive matters.

Workplace Safety Law

Regardless if you are working in an office or if you are working with hazardous chemicals – you as an employer have to provide your employees with a safe environment! It’s too common for workplace injuries to happen, but some are more preventable than others. This is especially for those who work in a dangerous field, having faulty or old gear can double the level of danger you can face. So it’s up to the company to provide the employees with the best possible equipment to do their jobs properly, and on top of that to be safe. Nobody would like to work in an environment where they are terrified for their safety all the time! If you can, gather your colleagues and discuss this with them, see if they suffered any workplace injuries, and try to figure a way to prevent these problems from reoccurring.

Privacy Law

Your employees are human beings above all, and if there’s something they deserve –  it’s privacy over their personal information. Just because your employees had to disclose details about their personal lives to get a job, that doesn’t mean that you as an employer can spill that information around. Their personal information should stay between you, them, and your company. Private information is not required for a job in every state, it also all depends on the type of job you are applying for, but regardless of that, any confidential information like someone’s physical or mental health should not be disclosed to anyone.

The Freedom to Make a Claim

Working in a giant corporation, employees might feel like an ant compared to the company itself. But you shouldn’t let that scare them away from voicing their opinions and asking for better treatment at your workplace. You, as an employer, have an obligation to protect your employees, while they have full right to sue the company if they don’t follow the basic employee rights and regulations have been respected. Many such huge cases have been happening over the years, regardless of a business being small or a giant company. Employees can make a personal claim, or even go one step further and gather all their colleagues to file a class action case against your company. At the end of the day, you want to be the one on their side, not the one they wish to sue.

When candidates apply for a job, they are devoting their time and energy to it, and with that, they expect the bare minimum when it comes to their rights. These include a safe environment to work in, but many companies seem not to care when it comes to these types of things. That’s why it’s up to the employee to speak up and know their rights, and why your job as an employer should be to protect them. No job is worth the discrimination and suffering, jobs are hard on their own and you want to experience a safe space around you. So speak up for your employees and never let yourself be associated with bad treatment!

And if you want to find a great office space for your great emloyees, that is what we can help you with. It is what we do with our network of over 450 local tenant reps. All at no cost to you. Contact us today for your no obligation consultation.

 

How to Make Better Coffee at Your Office

Does your office coffee taste terrible or not as good as you’d like? Find out the mistakes you’re making and how to make better coffee at your office.

Better CoffeeLet’s face it, office coffee is never the best coffee.

It’s bleak, it’s bland and for whatever reason, it just never tastes as good as the coffee shop down the street. Despite its bad reputation, we find ourselves drinking cup-after-cup and depending on it to power us through tiresome afternoons.

But, what if office coffee didn’t have to be so bad after all? In fact, what if office coffee could somehow transition into an enjoyable drinking experience?

As it turns out, office coffee doesn’t always have to resemble a sad cup of Joe. If you’re interested in learning how to make better coffee at your office, you’ve come to the right place. We’re showcasing five simple tips and tricks for turning your office coffee experience into a pleasant one.

Let’s get started!

  1. Opt for Fresh Ground Beans 

Is your office stuck in the sixties with instant coffee?

You know, the ground coffee beans that dissolve when placed in hot water? Sure, it’s utterly convenient and it can be made anywhere with hot water. Perhaps this is why 34 percent of retail brewed coffee around the world is instant.

Regardless of convenience, we all know that fresh ground coffee produces superior coffee. So, if you have the time and the budget, why not spring for the better option?

With this, you can either ground your coffee beans yourself or simply buy freshly ground coffee beans. While this does involve using a coffee machine or a device such as a french press, it’s always going to make for a more enjoyable experience.

  1. Buy a French Press 

A french press is one of the most simple and effective means of making great coffee.

Unlike a coffee machine, it doesn’t have to be plugged in, use energy or take up prime counter space. Instead, you can simply store it in the office cabinet without the fear that it’s going to take up too much space.

A French press works through steeping coarse ground coffee inside of a beaker. Once the coffee has steeped, a mesh filter will be pushed to the bottom of the beaker and separate the grounds from the liquid coffee. It takes about 4 minutes to brew, but is worth the wait.

Of course, it’s your decision whether you opt for a single-use french press or a large, group-size french press.

  1. Use Filtered Water 

It’s time to up your water game!

Who knew that filtered water could make such a difference in your day-to-day coffee routine? This is especially the case for those locales in which simple tap water doesn’t taste the best.

Sure, filtering your water for your coffee but sound silly at first. But, remember, coffee is 98.75 percent 98.75 percent water. When we consider this fact, it’s easier to see why the quality of your water matters so much.

At the end of the day, water is not supposed to have a distinct taste. In a way, water is supposed to taste like nothing. This means that you’re going to be enjoying the pure taste of coffee rather than the lake down the street.

  1. B.Y.O.M.

Let’s be honest, the mug in which we drink can make or break our coffee experience.

Do you find yourself drinking out of a sad, uninspiring styrofoam cup at work? Or, what about a red plastic cup that was leftover from the work party last Thursday? Not only do disposable cups make for a bad drinking experience, but they’re also incredibly harmful to the planet.

If you don’t think a reusable mug is going to make a difference, it’s time to think again. Let’s consider that just one disposable coffee cup contains 0.24 pounds of carbon greenhouse gas emissions. It’s easy to see how utilizing even one disposable cup per day will get out of hand.

Instead, make a point in bringing your own mug from home every single day. You can opt to leave it at work throughout the week to make this easier.

Of course, there’s no denying that this is way better for the planet. But, it’s also sure to elevate your coffee drinking experience! With such a simple transition, you’re going to feel more relaxed and enjoy your cup of Joe all the more.

  1. Start a Workplace Coffee Rotation 

It’s officially time for all coffee lovers to unite!

If you seriously want to make a point in bettering your office coffee, why not start a coffee club or coffee rotation with your co-workers. This could entail each person bringing in different types of coffee beans each week.

One month could feature all local roasteries and serve as a way to get to know the coffee roasters in your neighborhood. The next month could feature coffee beans from one specific coffee-producing country such as Costa Rica.

This will be a fun way to try different types of coffee and to encourage a better coffee atmosphere amongst your work environment!

How to Make Better Coffee 

If there’s one thing the majority of co-workers can ususally agree on it’s this: The coffee machine at work sucks.

As a result, this coffee machine often sits in the corner of the office seemingly untouched. To get their daily caffeine fix, employees jaunt down the street to the local cafe. Here, they spend their hard-earned money on overpriced and underdelivered coffee.

So, what can be done about sad office coffee, you ask?

It’s time to make office coffee great again.

If you’re wondering how to make better coffee, be sure to use this guide to lead the way. Not only will you have the privilege of good quality office coffee, but your co-workers are going to be eternally grateful.

All hail the coffee Gods.

 

Small Business Tricks: Best Health Insurance Plans for Your Employees

Small businesses officially have more options for health insurance than ever before. In the past, health insurance has been costly for small businesses especially. This led to many businesses choosing to opt out of health insurance coverage altogether, leaving employees unprotected.

The good news is that times are changing. Health care is becoming easier for small businesses to navigate, and this is a benefit for both employees and companies. Employees today value health insurance over a lot of other benefits.

Today, 88% of employees consider the quality of health benefits important when choosing a job. If you want to stay competitive and attract top candidates, you need health benefits. In this guide, we’ll discuss the best health insurance plans for your employees and your business.

employee workstation

Image via Unsplash

Small Business Health Insurance Program

The first option is to get coverage through the Small Business Health Insurance Program (SHOP) marketplace. This is a marketplace for businesses that have under 50 full-time employees, and at least 70% of your employees need to enroll in the chosen plan.

Any small business that chooses this option has to pay a fixed premium for the policy, though a portion of these costs can be passed along to employees. Like most employer-sponsored plans, the employee will be responsible for copays and deductibles when seeking services.

Reimbursement Arrangement

A reimbursement arrangement is just what it sounds like. This option was created in 2016, and it’s officially known as the Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement (QSEHRA). With this program, businesses with under 50 employees can offer a monthly allowance of tax-free money.

Employees can use this money in a number of ways. They can purchase their own health insurance through a private insurer or the federal marketplace. They can pay out-of-pocket for health expenses. Basically, it allows a lot of employee and employer flexibility.

employees meeting

Image via Unsplash

Self-Funded Insurance

Sometimes it doesn’t make sense to go through a third-party insurance provider. In these instances, the small business itself acts as the insurance provider. This means the small business pays for any health care claims with money that’s kept in a secure trust.

This might sound risky, but there are a lot of limitations in place to make this a much more formal, secure arrangement. Most businesses pair the fund with a stop-loss policy to ensure there’s not too much risk when paying employee claims.

Association Health Plans

A recent option that just became available for small businesses is access to association health plans (AHP). WIth an association health plan, small businesses can band together to purchase large-group coverage or self-insure. Generally, small businesses group by profession, geographic region, or industry.

These plans work similarly to a normal group policy, and they’re much more affordable. However, it’s important to note that these AHPs don’t need to cover the essential health benefits like Affordable Care Act compliant policies need to.

Supplemental Health Insurance

Finally, consider offering supplemental health insurance to your employees. Many people don’t realize that most traditional plans don’t offer coverage for “extras” like dental, vision, and so on. These are must-have services, so a bit of supplemental coverage goes a long way.

You can find supplemental health plans from most private insurance providers, and they’re very low in cost compared to traditional medical coverage. This is a great perk to offer employees that won’t break your budget. Find out more about vision insurance fast quotes at HealthMarkets.

How to Choose the Best Coverage

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to healthcare. As a small business, it’s up to you to understand your budget and employees’ needs. The right coverage is one that takes all of these things into account and makes you a competitive employer in your area.

It’s easy to overlook the importance of health insurance, but now’s the time to find the best option for your business. Are you ready to take this step to bring your business to the next level?