Reduce Workplace Stress and Improve Productivity

Reduce Workplace Stress and Improve Productivity

While it might not be possible to remove every degree of stress from work, it’s important to understand how you can take action to feel happier and more productive in your role. Establish work-life boundaries It can be difficult to separate your professional and personal life but it’s crucial in managing your level of workplace stress. Forgetting work when you leave door or at least setting boundaries to stick to are helpful. For example, don’t check emails after 7:00pm. By enforcing rules that separate your home life from work life, you’ll give you a stronger chance to take a break from what’s causing you stress at work. Get active Getting active is proven to enhance your mood. If you’re stressed at work, taking a walk each lunch break could reduce feelings of nervousness and boosts enthusiasm. Get enough sleep Make sure you’re getting enough good quality sleep in order to keep stress at bay. Switch off electrical items or leave them outside your bedroom to enhance your chances of a good night’s sleep. Getting enough sleep each night will help manage stress and avoid drawbacks such as a lack of focus. Speak up Discuss your workplace stress with your boss. Arrange a meeting to discuss your concerns. Be honest about any tasks which bring on stress and determine how both parties could work to reduce this. They could modify your duties to help you perform more effectively. Also consider presenting some potential solutions. For example, if an increased workload is the cause of your stress, perhaps suggest delegating some duties to other team members to help you regain control....
A Benefits Package – What Does This Mean to You?

A Benefits Package – What Does This Mean to You?

While salary still remains the most important motivation for job seekers, you should always consider the benefits package on offer. A decent benefits package can be a major incentive and go a long way in boosting your morale. Flextime Flextime is a scheme whereby your company allows you to have a flexible working hour arrangement.  There is normally a core period of the day when you must be at work, whilst the rest of the working day is “flextime”. You must work between the basic core hours and have the flexibility to clock in/out between the other hours. Bonus structures Bonus structures provide compensation as performance incentive or reward for your hard work. Organisations usually base it on clear objectives that are tied to the business goals. You can be awarded shares or a monetary amount based on profits. This can be a great focus and aim for you with the satisfaction of personal reward. Health insurance Employer-provided health insurance policies offer employees many different options for insurance coverage. Different employer-provided policies vary in their approaches to coverage. Some companies pay in full, while other companies may offer a subsidy towards the cost. It’s worth considering that a discount incentive towards health insurance is better than no health insurance. Pension There are various competitive pension providers in the market place which offer tailored solutions. However, the benefits of a pension plan through your employer can often outweigh choosing to do it yourself. Group pension plans can have several advantages for members including; lower management fees, increased savings through payroll deductions, access to leading investment managers and tax savings. Other...
Brand Considerations to Attract Top Talent

Brand Considerations to Attract Top Talent

Your brand strategy shouldn’t just be limited to what you represent or how you are identified. Here we show you how to integrate your employer branding into the interview process. Have a clearly defined vision for your business and a set of values that underpin this vision. All employees should be aware, understand and own these visions and values all the time. Have well thought-out recruitment plans and processes in place with these visions and values filtering the whole way through the recruitment cycle. Take pride in how you advertise all roles and ensure that they promote your employer brand and vision. Only use language that aligns with your brand values. Take the time to respond to all job applicants. If they have taken the time to apply for the role, they deserve to hear back from you one way or other. Provide a time frame around the recruitment process. If the process is going to take three months then make sure the job seeker is aware of this in advance. Never leave someone waiting without an explanation regarding the hold up. Allow the job seeker to sell themselves to you and be prepared to sell your business to them. It should be a two-way street. Always provide feedback. If a job seeker has taken the time to meet you and your company, they deserve to know why they have not been successful. Building your employer brand into the interview process can be quite simple; have clear channels of communication and most importantly, treat potential employees as you would like to be treated. Contact Staffworks for all your talent...
Work-Life Balance – Is It Possible?

Work-Life Balance – Is It Possible?

Do you spend more time in the office than you do anywhere else? Are the lines between your home life and your work life becoming blurred? Is balance truly possible when it comes to work? Technology is disrupting the norms of the traditional work environment. In terms of striking a balance between your work and home life, the two are becoming intertwined now more than ever before. The fact that technology is readily accessible is disrupting the boundaries normally associated with work, making it more and more difficult for you to leave your work at your office desk. Similarly, being able to work from home has its advantages. The flexibility to work from your own home rather than travel to the office is undoubtedly convenient for a number of reasons. Unfortunately, with those conveniences come blurred lines between working time and social or family time. A lot of new companies like tech start-ups offer “unlimited holidays” but is this really a perk? The offering of unlimited annual leave will bring an increased expectation from you to bring your work on holiday. When given an unlimited choice, employees often decide not to take advantage of it because it’s too hard to quantify the right amount of time to take off. Without a doubt it’s definitely hard to have extra time for your own personal life if you’re on a path to the peak of your career, but perhaps you still have that balance because you live and breathe your work and might not value your time elsewhere as much? Equally, you could be happy making a living and not taking...
Improve Productivity at Work

Improve Productivity at Work

Not all of us are able to effectively manage our time so as to increase our productivity. Putting in the same amount of effort, some people can complete all their tasks within their working hours, while many others are forced to work overtime to get everything done. Try the following to increase productivity: Make waking up early a habit An early morning routine often helps setting people up for the rest of the day. Exercise and enjoying a nutritious breakfast may contribute to you working towards the best of your ability. Fixed habits throughout the day can aid your productivity. Prioritize current tasks Allocate a small amount of time each day to determine what tasks are most important that day. Make a plan for your work each day; list specific tasks you need to complete and organize them in order importance and urgency. Grouping similar tasks together will help you prioritize. Simplify your tasks, turning a mountain into a series of small hills. This will make everything seem so much clearer, allowing you to get twice as much done with half the effort. Remember to complete tasks in order of urgency. Increase your sense of urgency Work requires a certain sense of urgency. Keep in mind how long it takes others to complete tasks. If a colleague only took one hour to complete a task that took you the whole day then it’s important to reinforce your sense of urgency.  Remain aware of time constraints and remember – once you start, it’s easy to keep your momentum going. Balance Human brains require rest – we are not able to...
Thinking of a Career Change?

Thinking of a Career Change?

A career change can be one of the most difficult decisions you make, and so a carefully thought-out plan is required before making a move. Evaluating the following aspects can help you determine what is important to you, and how you should move forward. Culture Evaluate the culture of the organisation and carefully determine if you would be a “good fit”. The working environment is a key area in attracting the right people. Identify what type of working culture best suits you i.e. fast-paced, good work-life balance, promotion opportunities etc. and examine what working environment you consider yourself to thrive in. Scope of the role You may have accumulated an amazing array of experiences throughout your career.  It is important to make sure your new role is going to leverage your experiences while also exposing you to new challenges that would continue your learning. Find out the scope of the role if personal development is important to you.  If the expansion of scope is instrumental in pushing you to make the jump find out everything you can at the initial stages of the process and be honest with all stakeholders throughout. Financial and benefits People often make ill-informed career moves when they place too much weight on financial reward.  For many, it is important that the package on offer is progressive, but should never be the greatest influence in making your decision. Reflect on the scope of the role and investigate that the package is fair, given the level of responsibility. Location Location can influence people to change careers.  Equally, an employment option can initially be ruled out based...
Your Greatest Weakness? How to Answer this Question

Your Greatest Weakness? How to Answer this Question

You have expertly walked through your experience and highlighted why you’re the ideal candidate for the job. Then comes the tricky question: “What is your greatest weakness?” What do you say? There are a number of approaches that you can take here. Whichever approach you take, make sure you have thought about your answer as well as the pros and cons of each before the interview. Discuss non-essential skills Carefully consider the skills and strengths required for the position you are interviewing for, and provide an honest shortcoming that is not essential for success in that job. Keep in mind that your answer to the question needs to be as relevant as possible the role. You don’t want to frustrate the interviewer and leave them thinking that you have deflected from the question at hand. The way you answer the question matters just as much as what you say is your greatest weakness. Turn a negative into a positive Some default answers are; “sometimes I work too hard” or “I can be a perfectionist” Turning weaknesses into strengths can be a positive thing, but if the panel accepts that answer, then they should have just asked you for your strengths and left it at that. Be mindful that the interviewer may ask you to give an example that demonstrates this weakness to understand if “working too hard” really means “I’m inefficient” or “I can’t set boundaries”. Try and demonstrate your self-awareness and motivations in order to move the conversation into a positive discussion about your career. Frame your weakness area for development within your career goals Establish what your...
How to Set SMART Goals

How to Set SMART Goals

Do you struggle at the beginning of a new project? Do you find it difficult to keep structure and stay guided throughout? SMART goal-setting brings structure and trackability into your goals and objectives. The SMART criteria are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely. Here are specific ways to use SMART goals for success in your career. S – Specific Make a goal specific so that you can easily recognize it when you get there. Use positive words when setting your goal. For example, instead of; “I want to get out of my job,” try saying, “I would like a job where I work 35 hours a week and I get paid $45,000 a year.” Try moving towards something first of all and acknowledging it when you get there. M – Measurable Make it measurable so that you can keep track of successes. This way you’ll know you’re moving closer and closer towards your end goal. For example, every single application that you make brings you closer to that job that you’re looking for. AR – Attainable and Realistic Are your goals attainable and realistic? Are you trying to work 14 hours a day to complete a project? If you’re trying to do something that realistically is beyond all capacity, you’re setting yourself up for failure before you ever begin. T – Timely Setting goals that are timely is key. This ties in with setting goals that are attainable and realistic as well. Make sure you give yourself enough time. For example, schedule time slots in your diary for work. Creating space in your diary creates space for you to create...
What to Consider Before Accepting a Job Offer

What to Consider Before Accepting a Job Offer

You have secured a new job offer. You should be happy and give yourself a pat on the back for doing so. However, you don’t need to accept an offer for a new job just because someone offered it to you. It’s worth weighing up the pros and the cons when considering an offer. Here’s how: Documentation What has been verbally offered can differ from the offer that is in writing in front of you. Make sure everything adds up. Details you need to look out for are job title, department, location, reporting line, working hours, annual leave entitlement, salary, benefits and start date to name a few. Clarify any discrepancies with the HR representative sooner rather than later to make sure you have the correct offer in front of you to now consider. Is the remuneration fair? How does your remuneration package benchmark against your peers and industry? Does the package reflect fairly against the duties and responsibilities of the job? Don’t sell yourself short. Make sure your experience, skills, the level of responsibility are getting rewarded for – fairly and what is in line with your industry norm. Location Is the commute to work realistic to do and affordable? You need to take in to account duration of the commute, expense of the commute and ways you have to get there. Think long term and visualize yourself travelling in and out from work day to day. Company culture and people Is the corporate culture in line with your own values and ideas? If you connect with people, they are likely to have the same feeling for you...
How to Stand Out in an Interview

How to Stand Out in an Interview

With so much advice on how to succeed in interviews, how can you make sure you will stand out from the crowd? Attitude Without a doubt, the right skills and experience are required to land the job. However, the majority of candidates called to interview may have similar work experiences and skillset as you. So, what can you do to really make an impact? The right attitude can instantly separate you from other candidates. Candidates with the right attitude will embrace change and keep a positive frame of mind even when under pressure. Keep this in mind and make a lasting impression that really stands out in any interviewer’s mind. Self-awareness Good self-awareness shows that you, as a candidate, know what direction you want to steer your career in and are focused on doing so. Self-awareness is not a trait that everyone has, especially at the start of your career but excellent candidates show this trait from an early stage. Make a conscious effort to reflect on what it is that you want to get out of your career and what direction you see yourself heading. A strong sense of self is admirable in an interview. Be human The interview process is not as logical as most people think. The person interviewing you will base a large part of their decision on how they feel about you. In order to stand out amongst a bunch of names on paper you need to build a rapport and make an emotional connection with the person you’re interviewing with. You want them to think of you as much more than just qualifications...