Beth Braccio Hering

Tele­­commuting can offer employers some potential advantages, but successful management of off-site employees takes some special consideration.

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A common belief is that who you know influences your level of business success. But Alan Gregerman, PhD, author of The Necessity of Strangers, makes the case that who we don’t know may be more important. Here, Gregerman explains to Managing People at Work’s Beth Braccio Hering why it’s so important to connect with strangers.

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You wake up with a stuffy nose and body aches. Going back to bed sounds appealing, but there’s a staff meeting today, you’re already behind on that big project, and you have 20 emails waiting for responses. This is a tricky situation.

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When it comes to giving criticism, many managers have been taught to use the “sandwich” approach: Start with a positive statement, present the problem or concern, then finish with another upbeat sentence or bit of praise. But because the technique is so familiar, workers often view such conversations as insincere. Learn a better way to give constructive criticism.

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Is the elevator speech an outdated approach to networking? Not a chance. Every professional needs to be able to effectively answer the question, “So, what do you do?” In that short but valuable piece of time you’re given to respond, sparking interest is key.

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Sure, every worker dreams of his or her manager handing out a large raise, but there is more on an employee wish list than money. Here’s what else employees would choose if they could.

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Employees often fear that disclosing a health issue to management may change others’ perceptions and limit career opportunities. Providing a supportive environment in which such matters can be discussed, however, is vital to maintaining productivity and reaching solutions.

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Since the back is involved in almost every move a person makes, discomfort there can be particularly annoying. Relief for back pain is the second most common reason Americans head to the doctor.

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Team-building activities help workers learn about one another and bond. The hope is that the information gained and camaraderie created will positively influence daily office life. But not all employees are willing participants and may see “forced fun” as manipulative or a waste of time. Here’s how to get more workers on board:

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Learn how to create health incentives that work.

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