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Workplace Possibilities Q&A: Future leaves, wellness programs and consultants

As Workplace Possibilities’ program manager, I help implement and coordinate numerous programs to help employees get back to work and be productive. There are a few questions I hear from HR managers again and again. Although these might seem like complex issues at the surface, you may be surprised what a difference a second opinion can make.

Four apps, sites and devices for healthy, productive employees

Reducing presenteeism and disability leaves is a focus for you. Maybe you’ve created a worksite wellness or smoking cessation program. Or maybe you’ve worked with an on-site consultant to help with an employee accommodation. But did you know that you might not have to look further than your phone or computer for additional ways to help employees?

Three traits of happy, productive employees

Not long ago, happy employees were seen as a pleasant — but not essential — byproduct of a productive, optimally functioning workplace. Today, research in positive psychology shows us employee perceptions of their well-being and satisfaction are essential to workplace productivity and employee retention.

Address disability issues before they happen

We talk a lot about the importance of return-to-work and stay-at-work services on our blog. With the possible recent changes to your health care coverage, programs that help prevent and manage employee absence are becoming increasingly important to employers. That’s because a robust return-to-work and stay-at-work program can help curb the number and reduce the duration of disability leaves.

Telecommuting can work as a reasonable accommodation

Telecommuting has been under the microscope in recent years, with several companies making headlines for reversing decisions to allow employees to work remotely. Until recently, employers were not obligated to offer the option to telecommute, or work from home, as a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA). However, a recent decision in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit may have brought a change to the reasonable accommodation landscape.

Managing employee absence through third-party administration

Do you ever feel as though there aren’t enough hours in the workday? Authorizing, coordinating and monitoring Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)-protected time away from work can be time-consuming, let alone challenging. To gain back time, have you considered outsourcing absence management to a carrier?

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