Telework in the midst of the Coronavirus

telework Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably are already aware that the Coronavirus otherwise known as covid-19, has been rearing it’s ugly head in a number of different ways affecting both small and large businesses alike.

Indeed, with 1.4 million of cases in the US alone, it is no wonder that politicians, small business owners, and everyday people alike, are all making adjustments to their day to day routine to prevent the spread of the virus.

The workplace is not immune to this phenomenon. Many employers are requiring that their workers continue their jobs at home. Even companies that were at one point thinking twice before considering telework are now not only welcoming the idea, but have taken swift measures to make remote work a reality.

Even as companies are offering remote work as an alternative, questions abound: how productive will teleworkers be? Is there any cause for concern? Do feelings of isolation on the part of remote workers arise? What are some best practices that are research based? Well I’m glad you asked.

Below are some tips your organization can employ while many of your staff are forced to work from home:

TIP 1: Set up regular meetings with distant workers and keep them up to date on current issues.

Hear the idea is to make sure there’s enough social interaction among teleworkers as working from home can be socially isolating. Having the opportunity to interact socially with one’s peers or supervisor through instant message or email can replace the social interaction that a worker typically has when they come into the office.

TIP 2: Encourage open dialogue among staff members as sharing and exchanging information is key to the health of any organization.

In a virtual environment, open communication between management and staff members or peer to peer becomes all the more important. This sharing of information can help generate ideas to improve processes and spark innovation. Therefore, from a management standpoint, it is important to invite participation from all staff members during virtual round tables or staff meetings.

TIP 3: Provide technical support to reduce the impact of technology failure as a source of stress.

With this tip, the idea is to remove any unnecessary stressors that can negatively impact your telework staff. In the course of working from home, technical glitches or snafus can arise. If and when they do, it’s important to have a technical support staff in place to give your telework crew the help and assistance they need. Having access to technical support can put your team members at ease even when a technical problem comes up.

Posted in coronavirus, psychology, telework, Uncategorized

Getting I/O Psychology Out of the Shadows

After stumbling upon an APA article found through my Twitter feed, I felt the need to post some content related to it as I am a newly minted Industrial and Organizational Psychologist.

The article focused on how the field of Industrial and Organizational Psychology is getting short shrift nowadays as it is not being included in many psychology 101 courses at colleges across the country.

I recognize that I may be biased as an Industrial and Organizational Psychologist, but I must say that when giving an overview of the study of psychology and it’s various perspectives and dimensions, I/O psychology must become a part of the course curriculum and larger discussion.

Indeed, we spend a significant amount of our lives at the workplace and hence it is highly important that we have an understanding of what drives organizational effectiveness, both from an organizational standpoint and from the perspective of employees.

I/O Psychology addresses fundamental workplace questions such as, what tests or assessments can be used to hire, select, and promote individuals within an organization? The field of I/O Psychology also addresses questions regarding training, performance evaluation, job satisfaction, stress reduction, and the like.

As individuals that are for the most part going to enter the workforce as employees, today and tomorrow’s college students will need an understanding of these types of issues and concerns. For instance, if you’re wondering how selection and promotion decisions are to be made in a fair and legal fashion, at the organization you work for, I/O psychology has got some data and information for you.

On top of this, studying I/O Psychology can help students understand best practices for training individuals on work tasks and what factors are considered when workplace policies are designed or created.

What are your thoughts on this issue? Do you think I/O Psychology needs to be incorporated into general psychology courses? Why or why not?

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Mission Accomplished: PhD Edition

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, drum roll please…. I, Anwar Salandy, now officially hold a PhD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology as you may already be able to tell from the picture taken above.

Yes indeed, after years and years of research and writing, I am now done with my PhD program at Capella University. Believe you me, words can’t describe the sense of euphoria, relief, and excitement I feel all at once, as a result of this accomplishment.

But alas, even as I reflect upon and savor this moment, I recognize there is wisdom in the saying that, “after celebration comes work”. Indeed, after obtaining this degree, I understand that now is not the time to rest on my laurels and become complacent with these prestigious letters by my name. Oh to the contrary, now is the time to put my foot to the plow and do the real-world work of helping others with the gift of education that I have been given.

That is no small task ladies and gents, but just because its not easy, does not mean not I should not go out swinging and do my best. Stay tuned for more details to come.

But while you wait for those details, I want to thank you all for your continued support and bearing with me as I went through my educational journey.

A special thanks or shout out goes out to my mother and father, who taught me in their own ways the importance of never giving up despite setbacks. Another shout out goes out to my brother, who taught me in his own unique way the importance of pursuing truth no matter where it leads you. To my row dog and quasi-brother, I thank you for teaching me that neither the ending nor the beginning of your journey tell you the complete story of who you are, but rather it is what you do during your journey that is most important. To my soul sister, who passed away just before I reached this educational milestone, thank you for teaching me about authentic kindness and being a true friend. To a dear friend that always showed me love and taught me to plan and “just get it done” because “it ain’t that serious”. Your sense of humor and encouragement was much needed, thank you! Lastly, to the one I consider my kindred spirit, thank you for teaching me that if I want to achieve anything worthwhile, things will not come easy, but rather that if I want to achieve something of value, it will only come about through patience, hard work, and dogged determination.

Once again, thank you all!

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Posted in capella university, doctor of philosophy, industrial and organizational psychology, Uncategorized

30 Self-Care Tips: How to Avoid Sickness, Burnout, and Exhaustion

In today’s hectic and busy business world, the problem of stress and occupational burnout have become pervasive.

Indeed, in today’s context, many workers feel overworked and underpaid and at the same time they are striving to better cope with the stress they are experiencing as they know this stress can easily deteriorate into burnout if their occupational stress is not kept in check.

Burnout is a debilitating stress reaction that is marked by emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and sensing a lack of accomplishment.

Even as burnout predominately affects or impacts members of the helping professions, stress is no stranger to other occupations as well.

For more information on self-care and how you can combat burnout, stress, and exhaustion at work, click here. The article provides some helpful tips such as listening to music or practicing gratitude that can aid you as you strive to keep the debilitating effects and symptoms of burnout at bay.

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Dissertation Conference Call

pivcLadies and Gentlemen,

I have great news. My dissertation is now complete. The final conference call has occurred. My committee has approved my work. At this point, I just await Dean Approval (which is ultimately a formality at this juncture).

As you might already be able to guess, I’m very excited about this accomplishment as I am the first one in my family to complete their PhD and earn a doctorate.  Thank you for following my work and my overall journey toward dissertation completion.

Now that the dissertation is complete, another journey has begun. A big world awaits me. Student loan debt, career challenges, and other obstacles are just but a few of the issues I and other recent college grads may face. But amidst these challenges are hidden opportunities that one can capitalize on.

Stay tuned for more details on my post-dissertation journey.

For more information on my dissertation, please see below:

My dissertation explored how seasoned human service workers i.e. teachers, social workers, and nurses, etc. create and sustain passionate commitment even though their occupations are typically known to be stressful or burnout-inducing. A qualitative grounded theory research design was used to investigate this research problem.

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7 Ways Managers Motivate and Demotivate Employees

motivationHello Dear Readers,

Just stopping by today to give you some content related to industrial and organizational psychology. Below you will find an interesting article by Dr. Travis Bradberry that I stumbled upon while reading through my timeline on LinkedIn.

The article is on how to motivate or demotivate your employees from a management perspective. From my experience in working with different organizations, I find that motivation is very important because it can lead to greater job satisfaction. And I would venture to say that happy employees lead to happier organizations.

And what I mean by that is that if your employees experience job satisfaction, they may be less likely to voluntarily leave you organization, which means less turnover. Moreover, happier employees may also lead to your employees providing better service to your clients or customers, thereby creating a virtuous not vicious cycle within your organization.

Please feel free to leave a comment or share your opinion on this important piece. Stay tuned for more content.

7 Ways Managers Motivate and Demotivate Employees

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Posted in Dr. Travis Bradberry, industrial and organizational psychology, linkedin, organization, Uncategorized

Dissertation Tip: Trust the Process

Lapatiencedies and gents, just wanted to check in and provide you with an update on what’s happening with my dissertation. Thankfully, I am coming to the tail end of my dissertation journey and cannot wait to run the bases and engage in a proverbial victory lap, but I am not completely done yet.

Recently, I obtained School Approval for my dissertation and am now awaiting Doctoral Publications Approval before doing my Final Conference Call where I will present the findings of my independent research.

Stay tuned for more details as they come in. But as you wait for those details, I wanted to share with you one key insight that I discovered along the way during my dissertation journey. The pearl of wisdom I am referring to ladies and gents is what I will call quite simply patience or as well-known Philadelphia 76er center Joel Embiid would call ‘trusting the process’. Sidenote: ‘Trusting the process’ originated with 76er general manager, Sam Hinkie, whose plan was to bring in superstar talent to the storied ball club from the City of Brotherly Love, after acquiring young players and draft picks, but I digress.

Patience and Trusting the Process

If you didn’t already know, the length of time it takes to complete one’s dissertation really depends on a variety of factors. According to Donna Kjellander, completion of your dissertation typically takes 12 or more months and is contingent upon the amount of time one invests in completing it, the quality and speed of feedback provided by mentors, one’s dedication, and school’s respective requirements.

Anyone who has gone through the process of writing a dissertation knows all too well that there is a lot of editing and rewriting after receiving feedback from one’s mentor(s). If you are not patient and do not trust the process of continuously taking in mentor feedback and making necessary adjustments to your manuscript on a regular basis, you are bound to slow down or delay the process even further, thereby making a difficult situation worse. But if you stay the course, remain patient, and trust the fact that progress does not happen overnight, you are better equipped to deal with the inevitable roadblocks and setbacks during your dissertation journey.

Indeed, as the saying goes, Rome was not built in a day. The same goes for your dissertation. Be patient. Develop a plan of action and execute that plan everyday, and before you know it, you will have finally pushed that metaphorical rock up the hill and finished your dissertation.

Stay encouraged! Trust the process! Keep pushing!


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Posted in capella university, dissertation, doctor of philosophy, Donna Kjellander, industrial and organizational psychology, Joel Embiid

Dissertation & Organization

Image result for evernote imageLadies and gents, boys and girls, how are you doing? I hope this blog post finds you well. For those that don’t know, I am still inching away at this dissertation in the hopes of  being Dr. Anwar Salandy. The good news is that I am getting much closer to finishing as I am currently wrapping up Chapter 5 (the final chapter…wooohoooo!)

Nevertheless, the journey toward obtaining my PhD has been neither straightforward nor linear. Indeed, on more than one occasion, I had to go back to the drawing board and re-do several chapters in light of my school’s continuously changing dissertation standards. This, coupled with life, and its day to day obligations can sometimes get in the way of putting the finishing touches on a massive manuscript otherwise known as a dissertation. But dear reader, I have some key advice for you that may help you if you are on a similar journey. This advice has helped me tremendously on my PhD journey even though I am a thoroughgoing scatterbrain.

The key word here, ladies and gentlemen, is organization. If you are not organized, you will inevitably get lost in the huge assortment of journal articles that you have accumulated during the research phase of your dissertation. Indeed, during my journey, I have accumulated over a hundred sources. Can you imagine sifting through that much content without a sense of organization? Trust me, you don’t want to as this process will force you to scrape and scramble to find crucial information that could have easily been at your fingertips, with the help of a nifty organization app or website.

Through my dissertation journey, I have found some helpful organization websites or apps that have been extremely useful. One of those sites or apps is Evernote.

Evernote allows you to save notebooks with various types of content (audio recordings, scanned pictures, handwritten notes, etc.). This website/ app allows you to easily search within those notebooks to access information that you need instantly. With this website/app, you can also instantly save articles you find online through your smartphone, tablet, or desktop, that are helpful.

I hope this information helps. For more information on Evernote, click here.

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Dissertation Progress

images-1Ladies and gents, boys and girls, here I am. I find myself at that dreaded yet pivotal point where the pen and pad do not see eye to eye or align perfectly. Indeed, I am at that point where all of the words, phrases, or scientific terminology I need do not come easily.

Alas, dear reader, I have come down with what writers typically call writer’s block. I know what you may be saying, how is it that you have all the time and writing skill one needs to draft a blog about writer’s block and still have writer’s block, but dear reader, trust me, for some odd reason, I can’t for the life of me finish this dissertation. Indeed, in the world of academia, this dissertation is considered a critical rite of passage that every individual has to go through if they ever aspire to become a Doctor of Philosophy, also known as a PhD holder.

Ladies and gents, I didn’t think that it was going to be this tough finishing a dissertation, but quite frankly it is. Writing then rewriting. Revising then getting approval from your dissertation committee is a handful to say the least. Now I know what you may be saying, STOP making excuses and get it done, but if you could walk a mile in my moccasins, you’d realize its hard too.

But at the end of the day, I am hanging in there, I finished chapter 3  of five a little while ago. I now need to simply complete the remaining two chapters of my dissertation to get my PhD. Wish me luck and stay tuned for more details of my dissertation journey. I’ll keep you posted.

Here are some tips that may help you with your writer’s block. First things first, write something, anything. Indeed, if you can’t write what you aspire to write, write something at least. I found in my past that if my writing wasn’t pitch perfect or without flaw, then I wasn’t going to write. However, this approach or attitude is foolhardy. Armed with this approach, I got nowhere quick. In writing as in life, sometimes you have to make a move even if it isn’t perfect. It is said that a thousand mile journey begins with one step. I think it is the same way with writing. Don’t be afraid to make the first move. Write something….anything. Get the pen moving.

The second tip is to write in a piecemeal fashion. Indeed, you don’t have to write the great American novel on the first shot. Start with a solid page, paragraph, or perhaps even just a sentence. Writing becomes easier when it is done in chunks. Space out your writing material, it makes it easier and more manageable, trust me.

Lastly, it is important to reward your self for making a move and writing something even if it isn’t perfect. The reward will give you momentum and confidence to keep writing. Momentum silences the critics (at least temporarily) and arms you with confidence to keep the pen moving. So dear reader do not be dismayed by writer’s block, it happens. The more important question is how are you going to deal with it when it occurs. I hope this post helps you in this regard…

Posted in dissertation, doctor of philosophy, phd, writer's block

IRB Approval

irbDear Readers,

I have some good news to share.  Recently, I was informed by my school (i.e. Capella University) that I have obtained Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval.

Indeed, a highly important part of the dissertation process is to obtain Institutional Review Board approval from your school to ensure that the human subjects involved in your research are protected and not mistreated.

A PhD learner cannot begin the data collection process until IRB approval has been awarded.

Please see the attached approval letter for my dissertation.

Approval Letter – 2015-Dec-10 (2) (1)

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