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The Flexible Workplace

The Flexible Workplace

The Virtual Workplace: A Guide for Managers

The world has changed. Your workforce may now be global – more diverse as well as dispersed. Employees need more mobility to be optimally productive, and people think of work more as something they do, not somewhere they go every day.

For many managers, managing those they cannot see means change. Some are afraid it will mean a lack of control over performance. They fear a loss of productivity and believe it will make teamwork hard to achieve. It’s true that for many, managing virtual workers does mean managing in a different way.

This course addresses the ten core competencies you’ll need to be a successful manager of teleworkers.  You’ll have an opportunity to assess your current skill levels for all ten, and you’ll be guided through exercises and simulations to increase your skill level in each.

This course has four main modules:

I. Creating a virtual workplace

This module covers the core competencies that are critical for a manager of teleworkers. It tells the truth about some of the widely circulated myths about telecommuting and teleworkers, and explains the possibilities for each remote work arrangement.

II. Becoming a virtual manager
What does it take to manage people you may rarely see in person? This module explains that being a successful remote manager means giving employees as much control as possible over their work and their lives, working to eliminate obstacles and barriers, and – most important – making sure work goals are measurable and keeping the focus on results.  It covers the process for beginning a pilot, the skills to look for when choosing a teleworker, and how to say know when the person isn’t right for the job.

III. Getting off the ground

This module covers planning with staff, making jobs measurable, communicating for results, keeping remote staff linked to the office, and creating teams out of virtual workers.

IV. Planning for success

Involve all the stakeholders as you set measurable goals for your work, and decide how you’ll know success when you see it, says the first section of this module. The course then presents a collection of commonly experienced issues and alternative resolutions for each, inviting participants to choose the best ones. It ends with a reminder of the attributes and actions that will make a positive difference in your workplace, and a few additional tips that will ensure success.

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The Virtual Workplace: A Guide for Employees

This training is designed to help your staff decide if they’re good candidates for a remote work arrangement, and if they are, it will provide them with the guidelines and information to make their telecommuting experience a successful one.

It covers the steps through which they’ll need to progress in order to use the telecommuting experience to produce both maximum productivity and satisfaction. It covers the qualifications necessary for success, helps them prepare a proposal to request a telework arrangement and addresses many of the challenges they’ll face as new teleworkers.

The four modules:

I. First Steps to Success

They’ll begin by taking a test we call “The Core Competencies” – a list of the qualities that contribute to a teleworker’s success. They’ll explore what areas of their job make it appropriate (or not) for remote work, assess their own qualifications for working remotely, and learn more about the remote work options. Finally they’ll set some personal goals for their telecommuting arrangement.

II. Planning With Your Manager

In this module they’ll learn about each of the elements a telecommuting proposal must contain, have an opportunity to study a sample proposal, and will prepare their own proposal for submission to their manager.

III. Making Telework Succeed

In this module, participants will get some suggestions for keeping their career on track, discover some of the challenges presented by working remotely and practice resolving them. They’ll get some tips for success, practice setting priorities and learn new ways of ensuring that their arrangement will be a successful one for both teleworker and employer.

IV. Working from Home

Participants will plan their home office, create a communications plan for staying in touch with manager and staff, practice dealing with family, friends and neighbors and avoiding the temptations and distractions that accompany a home office. Participants will have a chance to test their knowledge with a short quiz after each module, and the results of a final quiz may be tracked and reported to employers.

The Flexible Workplace: A Guide for Managers

Course Description:

Why is workplace flexibility important? How do you manage people you can’t see, workers who are coming and going at different times of the day?  Managers will  learn how to choose the right person and communicate in a way that makes a difference. They’ll practice making jobs measurable, learn how to set clear goals, evaluate outcomes, and manage by the results produced. Participants will discover how to make flexibility work for everyone.

The course has four main modules:

I. Understanding workplace flexibility

In this first module your managers will learn some of the key facts about workplace flexibility that will raise new possibilities for success. They’ll have an opportunity to separate out the fiction – commonly accepted negative ideas about flexibility that have been shown to be false or exaggerated, and will learn exactly why workplace flexibility is critical in today’s workplace.

II. Becoming a flexible manager

The module includes the Core Competencies – ten proven managerial qualities that will ensure success.  It offers a clear picture of two kinds of managers, both of whom are good managers, but with decidedly different styles. One of them depends on keeping workers at least occasionally in sight – in other words,  hallway management. The other focuses on making jobs measurable and setting goals together.

III. The Process

Steps to success, choosing the right person for the right flexible work arrangement, how to ensure coverage, and creating a successful virtual team.

IV. Planning for success

Deal with common management challenges to flexibility. Learn to solve goals and resolve common challenges and issues that may arise. Ensure that visibility is maintained no matter where they’re working, and enjoy some additional tips that will help ensure success.

The Flexible Workplace: A Guide for Employees

Course Description:

Learn about workplace flexibility and decide if it’s for you. Discover the challenges of flexible work arrangements and practice resolving them. Create your proposal and work with your manager to create a framework for mutual success. And finally, plan your home office and experience the reality of teleworking.

The Modules . . .

I. The right person, the right job

Participants will learn the critical steps to a successful flexible work arrangement. They’ll assess their own capabilities and discover which of the “Core Competencies” they possess, and which they may have to strengthen.  Then they’ll learn the flexible work options your company has available to them, and decide which might work for them.

II. Making flexibility succeed

Participants will get guidance to help them choose the right flexible work option, set goals for their new arrangement and make sure their manager is in agreement with them, and work on keeping their career on track.

III. Planning with your manager

Participants will prepare their proposal and submit it, and then resolve any outstanding  issues with their manager. Then they’ll deal with the challenges that arise.

IV. Working remotely

In this section, participants will plan their home office, if appropriate, and learn the basics about working virtually. They’ll hear from one teleworker what can go wrong with a virtual arrangement, cover staying in touch with the office, and learn what it takes to make remote work succeed.

The Flexible Workplace: A Guide for Managers in a Unionized Environment

This version of the flexibility course for managers is especially designed for unionized organizations. A module entitled “Flexibility and Unions” includes sections on involving the union, addressing their concerns, meeting legal requirements, examples of contract language, steps for negotiating flexibility, and flexibility benefits, as well as a special section on flexibility for hourly workers.

The Flexible Workplace: A Guide for Managers in a Health Care Setting

This version of the flexibility course for managers is especially designed for those who manage others in a hospital or health care organization.

Illustrations are health care related, and this course includes a section called “Flexibility works in hospitals,” one called “Telework in a health care setting,” which describes the special challenges hospitals face in making remote arrangements available for staff, and the module entitled “Flexibility can work for hourly workers.”

The Flexible Workplace: A Guide for Employees in a Health Care Setting 

This version is also illustrated with health care-appropriate photos, and the text in each module has been adjusted to make it appropriate for health care workers. This course also includes the short module entitled “Telework in a health care setting.”

The Flexible Workforce: Guides designed for both employers and employees in a college or university

These courses are illustrated with photos appropriate for college and university staff, and include special sections on best work-life practices among colleges and universities around the country.

For more information about this and other WFC Resources e-courses, or to request a password to view them, e-mail Susan Seitel, Susan@wfcresources.com or Rachel Hastings, Rachel@wfcresources.com

 

View a Demo of Our Online Courses
  • The Virtual Workplace
  • Managing the High Performance Workplace
  • From Stress to Resilience
  • The Flexible Workplace
  • Introducing Flexibility: A Guide for Human Resources
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