The Perks of a Being a Flexible Workplace

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Across the country, as well as right here in Northeast Ohio, flexible work arrangements are continuing to grow in popularity. According to a national survey administered in 2013, nearly one-third of employees indicated that they “do most of their work from a remote location.”

The Perks of Being a Flexible Workplace

Locally, the 2013-2014 ERC Policies & Benefits Survey reports an almost identical percentage for exempt employees that are telecommuting as part of their regular work schedule. Both studies indicate double digit growth in the percentage of remote workers over the past several years and with ever evolving technologies that will help keep remote workers connected to their colleagues at the office, this isn’t a trend that is likely to reverse itself any time soon.
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Workplace Wellness: Tobacco Cessation and the CVS Caremark Tobacco Sales Ban

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Workplace Wellness: Tobacco Cessation and the CVS Caremark Tobacco Sales Ban

CVS Caremark’s recent announcement that they will eliminating all tobacco products from their retail stores as of October 2014 has prompted much discussion in the news over the roles that a growing pool of employers are playing as they systematically leverage their place in the business world to eliminate tobacco from their organizations.

From bans on hiring to financial penalties on health insurance rates to offering tobacco cessation programs to controversies over e-cigarettes, employers are playing an increasingly prevalent role in regulating tobacco use both inside and outside of the workplace.

State Law

From bans on hiring to financial penalties on health insurance rates to offering tobacco cessation programs to controversies over e-cigarettes, employers are playing an increasingly prevalent role in regulating tobacco use both inside and outside of the workplace. Here in Ohio, state law dictates tobacco prohibits smoking in all public places and places of work, with some specific exceptions.

The American Lung Association gives this Ohio statute an “A” grade for encouraging “smoke free air,” but in terms of the other measures graded, i.e. “Tobacco Prevention,” “Cigarette Tax,” and “Cessation Coverage,” Ohio doesn’t fare so well in the rankings. This leaves tobacco use prevention efforts largely in the hands of private employers.
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Evaluating Workplace Wellness Programs for the Future

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Evaluating Workplace Wellness Programs for the Future

With Northeast Ohio well-known nationally as a hub for the healthcare industry, it comes as no surprise that local employers are largely keeping up with or exceeding many of the national trends involving workplace wellness programs.

Using a recently released study published by RAND Health and ERC’s own Wellness Practices Survey, we explore the current state of workplace wellness programs in order to gain a better understanding of what this research has identified as the likely next steps to move these programs forward into the future across the country or right in our own backyard.
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E-Cigarettes: Implications for the Workplace

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Electronic cigarettes, otherwise known as "e-cigarettes," are becoming a hot issue in the workplace these days.

Increased usage of e-cigarettes, is leading employers to review their policies with regard to smoking in the workplace. According to Crain's Cleveland Business, the rise in usage of these devices and expected increase in demand for these devices is causing local companies in Northeast Ohio to have concerns over how to handle these devices with their employees.

Experts suggest that employers should include e-cigarettes among tobacco-use products, as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not consider them to be tobacco cessation devices, and they aren't regulated.
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Religion at Work: A Guide for Employers

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In 2013, there had been a number of charges filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) involving religion in the workplace. As workplaces become more religiously diverse, it may be a good time for your organization to review its practices relative to the issue.

Religion as Defined by the Courts

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits religious discrimination in the workplace which includes hiring, firing, compensation, training, advancement, and other terms or conditions of employment.
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7 Ways to Create a Happier Workforce

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One of the most popular topics in the workplace these days is employee happiness. Happier employees are more successful employees, and as a result, researchers are finding that happiness makes business sense. Fostering both personal and professional happiness in the workplace can help your organization become more effective.

Research points to the fact that happier employees are more productive, creative, and committed (Lyubomirsky & King, “The Benefits of Frequent Positive Affect: Does Happiness Lead to Success?”). Additionally, 2010 studies show that happier people tend to receive better performance evaluations and higher compensation. Happier employees are also more likely to stay at their organizations. In his book, The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work, Shawn Anchor finds that happiness among employees and organizations gives them a competitive advantage.
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A Complete Guide to Workplace Flexibility

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Flexibility has grown to be more commonplace in the workplace in recent years; however, managing flexibility remains a challenge, as evidenced by the 2013 decisions by Yahoo and Best Buy to overhaul their flexibility programs.

To help your organization with similar challenges, we've developed a short guide to instituting and managing flexibility in the workplace.

Step 1: Create a business case for workplace flexibility.

Many HR professionals have to "sell" the concept of flexible work to their leadership team. In doing so, we recommend gathering reliable benchmark data related to how common flexible work options are in your industry and size, and among your competitors.
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Workplace Culture: What It Is, Why It Matters, & How to Define It

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Workplace Culture: What It Is, Why It Matters, & How to Define It

Culture is the character and personality of your organization. It's what makes your organization unique and is the sum of its values, traditions, beliefs, interactions, behaviors, and attitudes. Here's an overview of why workplace culture is important, what affects it, and how to define it.

Why is workplace culture important?

Culture is as important, if not more important, than your business strategy because it either strengthens or undermines your business and the objectives it is trying to achieve. Culture is significant, especially because…
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Telecommuting: Should You Allow It?

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Telecommuting

Yahoo's ban on telecommuting and work-from-home arrangements has sparked an interesting debate in the workplace. Should your organization follow suit?

The issue of whether or not to allow telecommuting or work-from-home options in the workplace is hardly a new problem. In fact, organizations have been questioning whether or not to offer it and the pros and cons of such arrangements for the past few years as this flexible work practice has become more common.

Before you change your policy, here are some important considerations.

1. Telecommuting can be attractive and beneficial as a flexible work option.

Offering telecommuting or work-from-home options can help attract talent, especially employees in segments of the workforce that traditionally need or want more flexible arrangements (i.e. women, disabled workers, Millenials, etc.). Allowing telecommuting to be used as an option for the following can be advantageous.
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