Telework: How to manage labor conflicts

Published on 27/02/2024

Telework: How to manage labor conflicts

Published on 27/02/2024
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Telework: How to manage labor conflicts

Labor conflicts are inevitable, especially in critical and uncertain situations, so it is essential to learn to manage them by adapting to the situations generated by each work modality, in this case, telework. To achieve this, we provide different strategies that, when implemented, will help you solve the conflicts that may arise during telework and provide guidelines for dealing with them.

Managing telework can be challenging. It is true that new technologies, teleworking software, and various tools for organizing remote teams allow us to stay in touch with workers and adequately monitor their activity. However, it is impossible to prevent difficulties, misunderstandings, and conflicts that affect team productivity. But to avoid them, it is necessary to know how to address them. Below, we present the most common conflicts in companies that have implemented telework and the key strategy for their resolution.

Keys to managing labor conflicts during telework

  • Is the teleworker working?

This question sparks many debates among executives and managers regarding their collaborators’ productivity and how to measure it. It is clear that productivity does not depend on physical presence and that telework is based on professional trust. However, understanding the performance indicators and how employees are working to achieve these objectives is essential to preventing conflicts.

  • The solution? Telework software or measurement system

With telework software, the intention is not to control but to understand where the results, positive or negative, of a team’s work come from. It helps measure productivity and performance, identify improvement actions, and understand the dedication and work hours on specific projects, as well as the schedule and availability of workers, without them needing to be in the office. These systems offer a panoramic view of the company’s work activity, performance, organization, and time management. Without a doubt, implementing telework software will greatly reduce labor conflicts by promoting transparency and trust among work teams.

  • Limited availability: It takes too long to respond!

When we were working in the office every day, it was easier to receive immediate responses from the team. During telework, communication issues may arise due to the absence of immediate responses or not receiving immediate feedback from project managers on certain activities.

  • The solution? Communication channels and a coordination figure

Lack of information, misunderstandings, and the feeling of isolation are the main reasons for conflicts during telework. It is essential to establish communication channels among all workers that allow constant and fluid communication during the workday. There are numerous tools available for video calls or instant messaging: Skype, Slack, Google Hangouts, Google Meet, Webex, or Zoom.

In addition to a communication tool, some telework software, specifically EffiWork, has a panel that shows whether the worker is available or not, if it is possible to call them, or if they are in a meeting.

Furthermore, to avoid misunderstandings about “who requested what and who did it,” it is necessary to have a figure that coordinates the telework team in each department. This person will have an overview of the team’s tasks and will know how to achieve smooth and organized work each day.

  • 24/7 availability: Not disconnecting from work

Many teleworkers lose track of their workday by spending the whole day in front of their computer and responding to emails, calls, and chats about work topics even during their break times. Not respecting disconnection periods increases stress, overwhelm, and decreases professional motivation, resulting in decreased productivity levels, dissatisfaction, and labor conflict.

  • The solution? Promote digital disconnection

The fact that a worker performs their workday from home does not mean they must be available 24 hours a day. According to Royal Decree-Law 28/2020 on Telework, employers must respect their employees’ right to digital disconnection, so they are not allowed to send emails, text messages, or make calls to workers outside of working hours, whether during in-person work or telework.

Regarding the respect for the tele worker’s right to digital disconnection, technology plays an important role, as some telework software, such as EffiWork, has an alarm system that alerts the worker, through a pop-up, when they have exceeded their working hours limit and recommends immediate disconnection. All of this also promotes work-life balance.

  • Telework expenses

Teleworking means bringing the office to a home space. This generates certain expenses, from the consumption of services to the acquisition of technological equipment and digital tools. Teleworkers may claim these expenses, leading to great conflicts of interest due to misunderstandings.

  • The solution? Telework agreement

The telework agreement, mandatory by law, solves most misunderstandings that may arise during telework. According to the new telework regulations, this is where all the expenses that a teleworker may have and how the company will compensate them should be determined. So, signing this agreement between the worker and the employer will resolve any conflicts regarding telework expenses.

As you can see, technology is telework’s best ally. It is the fundamental tool for solving any labor conflict, adding to this the communication and problem-solving skills of the professional. Furthermore, now that telework has increased, so have the facilities provided by technology. So invest in it, avoid conflicts, and improve the management of your telework team.

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