LONDON—With the summer vacation season officially ending, Brits are buckling down at work. But Allergy UK warning that the office could actually be bad for our health. Could virtual offices be a better choice for people with allergies?
Allergy UK estimates that at least 5.7 million people could be allergic to their workplace—5.7 million people. Call it “work fever.” From nasal problems, eye conditions, dry throats, breathing difficulties, lethargy, headaches and skin irritations, 95 percent of participants in Allergy UK’s survey suffer from allergies. And 27 percent said their office environment makes their symptoms worse.
Specifically, 62 percent of respondents had experienced itchy or watery eyes, and 27 percent breathing difficulties over the last year in their office. And overall, more than half of the group surveyed had experienced an allergic reaction while at work. Read more... top ▲
ATLANTA—If you have kids, flexible work is important to you. After all, when little Johnny gets sick or Susie has a recital in the middle of the afternoon, they need mom or dad there.
With that in mind, it’s no surprise that a recent Moms Corp. survey reveals that more than four in five—a full 81 percent—of working parents feel that flexible work options, which include telecommuting from a virtual office—allow them to be a better parent to their children.
Indeed, 71 percent agree that flexibility is one of the most important factors they consider when looking for a new job or deciding what company to work for. These results on flexible work as it relates to employees with kids are consistent with last year’s results.
“Today’s marketplace has produced unending options that make us more efficient and allow us to spend time in ways that best fit our lives at the moment,” says Allison O’Kelly, founder and CEO of Mom Corps. Read more... top ▲
ATLANTA—Does your boss give you any flexibility in your job at all? Can you leave a little early when Johnny has a soccer game or come in a little late after you worked a late night? Does your boss let you telecommute from a virtual office one or two days a month?
Workplace flexibility can manifest in many different ways. Of course, the virtual office is my favorite, but there are many flavors of alternative workplace strategies. And there are many other ways beyond shifting workplaces that employers can offer flexibility.
According to a Moms Corp. survey on the flexible workplace, there is good news to report. Sixty-eight percent of working adults report having at least a little flexibility at their current job. And in even more good news, that’s a 4 percentage point increase over last year. Read more... top ▲
ATLANTA—Flexible work options are a growing priority for working adults when choosing career. So much so that they are willing to sacrifice nearly double the salary percentage from a year-ago Mom Corps survey. A virtual office can drive new heights of flexibility for working moms and others seeking work-life balance.
According to the survey, nearly one in two working adults (45%) are willing to give up some percentage of their salary for more flexibility at work. Specifically, working adults are willing to give up about 10 percent, on average. That’s nearly double the amount of last year’s survey. The 18-34 age group, on average, would be willing to give up almost 14 percent of their salary for more flexible work options. But you don’t have to give up any of your salary to telecommute from a virtual office. Read more... top ▲
CHICAGO—Bullies are every where, but you are less likely to encounter them in a virtual office. A CareerBuilder survey offers new insights into office bullies and how to deal with them.
According to the survey, the most common way workers are being bullied is getting blamed for mistakes they didn’t make, followed by not being acknowledged and the use of double standards. You can’t avoid all of this in a virtual office but at least you have a digital paper trail. Here’s the full list:
42% are falsely accused of mistakes top ▲
39% are ignored
36% said bosses used different standards/policies toward them than other workers
33% are constantly criticized
31% said someone didn’t perform certain duties, which negatively impacted their work
28% are yelled at by boss in front of coworkers
24% said belittling comments were made about their work during meetings
26% said they are gossiped about
19% said someone stole their credit for work
18% said they were purposely excluded from projects or meetings
15% were picked on for personal attributes Read more...
CHICAGO—Have you ever encountered an office bully? Apparently, the number of workers dealing with office bullies is on the rise. When you work from a virtual office, you can avoid face-to-face encounters with bullies.
According to a CareerBuilder survey, 35 percent of workers said they have felt bullied at work. That’s up from 27 percent last year. And that’s a pretty high number. I believe virtual office workers would probably report a much lower instance of bullying. After all, it’s tougher to control someone when they aren’t scared of running into you at the water cooler.
The survey also reports 16 percent of these workers say they suffered health-related problems as a result of bullying and 17 percent decided to quit their jobs to escape the situation. Virtual offices are known to reduce stress, usually through not facing the morning drive and raising productivity. But not having to face a bully is also a stress buster a virtual office can provide. Read more... top ▲
BOSTON—Lawyers are not connecting telecommuting with the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA.
An article in Lawyers.com points to a ruling by a federal court in Ohio that says employers are not required to allow their employees to telecommute, but at minimum they have to consider the possibility of telecommuting for employees with disabilities.
“The focus has shifted from what qualifies as a disability. It’s fair to assume that most if not all medical conditions are going to be covered as protected disabilities,” Jonathan Hyman, a labor and employment attorney in Cleveland, told Lawyer.com.
“Conventional wisdom has always been under the ADA, telecommuting is not a per-se reasonable accommodation. It was a very high hurdle for an employee to overcome, that allowing telecommuting work wasn’t an undue burden on the employer.” Read more... top ▲
LOS ANGELES—With virtual office technologies, employees can work at home—and more are choosing to do so.
According to new infographic from OnlineDegrees.com’s entitled “Clocking In From The Couch,” telecommuting is a growing trend. If you’ve been reading this virtual office blog for any length of time, of course, you already know that. But the engaging infographic also offers insights into what employees are really doing when they work from a virtual office on the homefront.
The infographic is based on a study from Wakefield Research, which reveals that workers would consider giving up lunch breaks, alcohol and coffee in exchange for the flexibility of working from the comfort of a virtual office in their home.
To meet employee needs, 33 percent of companies now allow personnel to work from home on a regular basis. Altogether, the research reveals that 10 percent of Americans have the freedom to telecommute at least once a week. Read more... top ▲
CHICAGO—Employees may have more than heavy traffic to contend with on their way to work. According to a CareerBuilder survey, 58 percent of workers who drive to the job site admit they sometimes experience road rage while traveling to and from the office. Another 9 percent have gotten into a fight with another commuter while on the road.
A virtual office could help workers avoid road rage by slashing the stressful commutes. Taking into account that 83 percent of participants in the CareerBuilder survey say they typically drive to work—and 12 percent reported taking a job with a longer commute during or post-recession—it’s easy to see how allowing employees to telecommute from a virtual office at least one day a week could reduce the stress. Read more... top ▲
LOS ANGELES—What stresses you out about the workplace? Is it the paltry paychecks or the annoying coworkers or something else?
C’mon. I know it’s something. More than three quarters of Americans are stressing out about something job-related. I am betting a virtual office can help, at least with some of the more common stressors.
“We’ve seen numerous surveys that confirm workplace stress has increased during the last several years, and this time we wanted to rank from top to bottom some of the root causes,” says Wendy Cullen, vice president of employer development for Everest College. “Most employers are becoming well aware of the need to address rising employee stress, and those who don’t address it are likely to suffer lower morale and productivity.”
According to the 2011 Work Stress Survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Everest College, 77 percent of Americans are stressed by at least one thing at work. Let’s see what they are stressed about and where a virtual office might be able to help. Read more... top ▲