Hey Compliance Warriors!

This weeks podcast is on the topic of working from home. It’s becoming a practical option as the threat of COVID continues through the workplace and beyond. Working from home involves quite a bit of mental discipline, however, and we’ll get into the pros and cons of the subject. Below is also the supplied transcript, so either Read on or listen on…



Lisa: It really has been a minute!

Mason: It really has, with COVID breaking out and the business world kind of falling into a dark hole. It seems like we had some other things that took precedence and, helping employers, in their businesses and things like that. So, this kind of got pushed to the wayside.

Lisa: Yeah, it did. And with so many people working from home that also included us to an extent. And so now we are able to sort of get back in the studio and, hopefully start getting back on track and with bringing really good, helpful spoonfuls to our listeners. So, thanks for hanging in there with us. We’ve seen that you guys are listening to replays and you’re in there and you are still downloading, and we love you for that. But we are going to really try to get this back on track now and come up with some ways that if we do go under lockdown again to keep it on track.

Mason: Yeah, and this is kind of a lighter platform, we get into the heavier stuff on our Boss Calls, if you’re not a member, check that out.  This is a lighter platform, a shorter form for people to just kind of listen, to get some tips, things like that. So, we’re not going to be getting into really heavy topics with COVID and different things on this podcast. This is more of our fun and bring a lighter note and help people out in the same manner.

Lisa: Yeah and we do talk about serious stuff here, but yeah, you’re right Mason. I mean, if you want to get into the total breakdown and think through, you really need to come see us on Boss Calls. So, but anyway, that’s something, that we’ll be talking more about as we go, but today in this topic, I was looking through an article on accountingtoday.com and they were talking about how a lot of people have enjoyed the work from home scenario. We’ve always heard in the past, people say, I want to work from home and big boss saying, no, we can’t work from home in our organization. It doesn’t work that way. Well, now we’ve all pretty much figured out that with a few exceptions, a lot of us can work from home. And that does that automatically mean it’s a good thing?

Mason: I don’t know, it can go either way, with this whole pandemic thing, we have a smaller office and, you took the turn in working from home as well as some of our other employees. And so, I had the whole office to myself, so it was kind of a give and take kind of situation. For me I have to go to an office to be really productive, working from home is really hard for me because I have small children and things like that. So, it can kind of go either way.

Lisa: You make a good point with the children. So, maybe your spouse is home and your kids are home. And now you’re trying to get some work done and big boss is still paying you the wages. So, they still expect the work to get done. So, I mean, that can be a very trying situation. It can be mentally very upheaval for some folks who really struggle maybe on a good day. And then now we have all this added pressure not to mention that just the uncertainties of fear and protests and, just the things that are going on in the world right now, it can really be a lot. And so, we were asked to go home during the crisis. And as we can see in this article from accounting today, employers across the board, no matter how big the employer was, 41% have mandated work from home, at least for a part of this crisis so far.

Mason: Yeah, which is unheard of that is the biggest number it’s ever been in history of people working from home.

Lisa: It is really crazy. So, you see that and for some people, it was a great arrangement. They love being at home and, they don’t have to get out as much and so forth, but, for other folks it’s been really hard not to mention the fact that, we’re looking forward now to are school’s going to reopen or not? And many areas they’ve already said, no, we’re not reopening. Or we’re only reopening two days a week, or there’s been some arrangement like that. So, your kids still have to be taught. And if you’re not teaching them, who’s teaching them? And so you’re supposed to be at home with them teaching them, but also working. This is not an easy pressure cooker.

Mason: Yeah, exactly. It’s a balance between being productive and taking care of your kids or whatnot. Also for people who don’t have kids,  the mental health aspect of working at home, if they’re by their self all the time or whatnot, if they’re used to being around people kind of thing, so there’s a lot of aspects that come into play, with people, with families and then with people, without families, there’s a whole different ballpark of things to consider there.

Lisa: Yeah, we did a Boss Call a week or so ago and one of the whole focus areas on it was personality styles and how different personalities handle the issues that we’re dealing with right now. And so, we basically broke it down to introvert versus extrovert just for the starting gate of it. And the introverts are just having a party at home. They’re loving it. The extroverts are having a really hard time with this. And so, if you’re already locked up at home, you can’t go see your friends. You can’t go maybe to meet with your congregation or whatever it might be that you do in your life. And now you’re having to work from home now too. You’re not even driving through the Starbucks drive through every morning on your way to work.  I mean, little things like that, people miss. And so, in the past, we thought of working from home as a perk, as a benefit. And I really feel like moving forward, employers are going to be forced to not view work from home as a perk. So, employers need to sort of shift the mindset and instead of saying, what are you griping about? You get to work from home. It might be like; I understand where you’re struggling because you have to work from home.

Mason: Yeah, for sure. And it’s like you said, where the struggle is there. And also, talking with your employees about, you’re still at work when you’re working from home, this isn’t just a free play, I’m giving you free money for hanging out with your kids all day, so you gotta figure out ways to be productive and, what are some of those ways that we can be productive when working at home? and having this balance.

Lisa: Yeah, I mean, and that is going to be different for every organization. Like there are some organizations that just center themselves around at home workers and they’ve got it figured out. Other organizations are really going to struggle with this. And so, when you see low performance coming from an at home worker, we can’t automatically assume it’s just because they’re watching their stories all day. They’re sitting around eating Bon bons, watching soap operas. It may be legitimate struggles they’re having. And we may have to look into, the expectation of 9 to 5. Now, maybe that expectation is going to be off and on spotty 9 to 5 with a whole bunch of after 7:00 or 8:00 PM. It may be something like that, which is also going to be taxing on the person to help. So we’re going to see a lot and I think training people, making sure there’s a good, employee assistance, maybe doing Zoom calls where you can see each other’s faces lots of good communication, even bring on a mental health professional, and have them sit in on an employee, Zoom call and give some feedback, but let that mental health professional listen to the struggles the employees are having. Cause big boss is not always equipped to handle those struggles.

Mason: Yeah And if you’re there as HR manager or even the boss of the situation, get ready for some constructive criticism, but that’s good for you. And, throughout this whole pandemic I think communication is key. As we’re saying here, it’s like we see the funny jokes on Saturday night live where they’re doing the work Zoom calls and things like that to kind of keep everybody up to speed. But having those type of meetings is more than ever important now. More communication now than probably there’s ever been in a regular workplace kind of thing when you’re having at home type workers that really need to be in the office, in a productive manner kind of thing. There’s a difference between a remote worker and a pandemic at-home worker.

Lisa: Oh yeah, And it can’t be just  for bosses, HR managers, managers, owners, whatever position you’re in of leadership, it can’t be that thought process of my way or the highway, or again, you’re just at home playing. We got to get that stuff out of our heads. And we’ve got to start thinking more like Stephen Covey who wrote the seven habits of highly effective people. One of his big habits that I appreciated was, seek first to understand then to be understood. So really if we’re all working hard to understand each other, and then we’re putting our own self second as wanting to be understood ourselves, well, then we’re going to be showing more compassion to one another. And so, I think that there are a lot of principles we could use to balance that out, but that says it in a nice, neat little package.

Mason: Yeah, exactly. At the end of all this, I think it is important we remain aware of these challenges, heightened our census, to them. And then don’t assume we are in a new normal, this new normal, everybody talks about that’s working for everyone. So, some people love it, some people don’t right. There’s just going to be that balance and mix of people who are super productive all the time at home. And they love being at home and they’re in their element and all that kind of stuff. And then there’s the people who need a 9 to 5 come to your desk like me, in a situation that they have to have, their environment in a work space to really categorize the things. And now in this quote on quote new normal, that’s been totally disheveled and trying to find that new work environment.

Lisa: Yeah. No, it’s not easy and it’s not going to get any easier as we go forward. Given the fact that school is probably never going to look the same again. So, we’re just going to have to play it all out and see what happens, but it’s going to be a thing. So anyway, thanks for all your feedback on this, Mason. I really appreciate being able to hear where you’re coming from. And I think a lot of people can relate to that. Well, I guess we’re done for today. So until we see you next time, be sure and listen in, like, subscribe, come join us on a regular basis, check out our website helpdesksuites.com and look under our section a for Boss Calls, because I think you’ll really enjoy coming to our 90 minute, twice a month Zoom calls.

Mason: And it’s not a part of Help Desk. And I know a lot of our members listen to this but Boss Calls is a separate thing, but we are offering it at a price that nobody can beat for 24 webinars a year and a few extras sprinkled in here and there. That $299, that’s just unheard of. And it’s a really open discussion. It’s a different format. We’ll bring our lawyer in sometimes. We’ll have different guests and things like that. And it’s a round table discussion. It’s not just, we’re talking to you beating it into your head, like a lecture. It’s like, we want to hear what you have to say and all that kind of stuff. So that’s where, it’s like this platform just heightened to a billion percentage of like good information. And it brings a little light fun to this whole thing as well.

Lisa: Our bosses, our whole thing is we get together and we learn how to do HR, like a boss. So that’s where the name comes from. But anyway, so hopefully we’ll see you there. Hopefully, we’ll see you back here again. And until next time I’m Lisa Smith Be Audit Secure.

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