Remote work

2020 Workplace Trends #2 Remote Work

Some weeks ago, we talked about training and upskilling as 2020’s #1 workplace trend. We also highlighted both micro and macro upskilling and concluded that talents remain and are loyal to organizations that take their training and development needs into consideration and make adequate provision for it.

This week, we are looking at the second workplace trend for 2020 – Remote Work.

Remote work is on the rise.

You may have heard some people refer to themselves as Digital Nomads, or mention that they are working or would be working remotely. The idea of working at a location other than one’s corporate office has been practicable since the last decade but is only recently becoming pervasive and 2020 will see it in the mainstream. 

The substantial advancement of multiple facets of workplace technology has given remote work an upper hand. Besides, the rise of new generations is impelling firms to redefine the modalities of work, and the odds are clearly in favour of remote working.” – Finance Online, 2019.

What is remote work?

Simply put, it means working at a location that isn’t your office, it is a work style that allows people to work outside a traditional office environment or corporate office setting. Remote work hinges on the notion that work does not need to be done in a specific place to be carried out efficiently.

Remote work eliminates productive time wasted commuting to and from work every day to sit at a designated desk or workspace to work; Instead, individuals can execute their tasks, smash their targets and exceed expectations from any location at all. 

Remote work gives professionals the flexibility to order their days in such a way that their professional and personal lives can be meaningfully experienced while coexisting in a way that one complements the other instead of impeding it as popular opinion erroneously suggests.

How to work remotely

“There has been a cultural paradigm shift in what society deems to be an appropriate workplace – and remote work has capitalized off of that newfound freedom.” – Finance Online.

The beauty of remote work is being able to choose from a wide range of options, the one that makes the most sense to an individual and aids their personal and professional goals. It also gives individuals the freedom to set their schedules to work at a time they are most productive.

Professionals can work remotely on workdays and only visit the office to attend in-person meetings and strategy sessions. On the other hand, certain days of the week could be set apart for talents to work remotely, maybe two or three days a week.

There is also the option of working out of coworking spaces which essentially act as hubs of technology, productivity and community. Coworking spaces provide a platform for networking, learning, sharing and business opportunities.

Benefits of remote work

Remote work offers professionals a more flexible lifestyle in which they can maximize every moment they have to do better. It also promotes better health and well-being; commute to work and back could be exhausting, to say the least, remote work provides recourse for exhaustion brought upon by daily commute and time spent in traffic. it saves money, especially because you no longer bear the cost of commute. It encourages employees to be resourceful, proactive and expand their knowledge base. It provides escape from office politics as well as a toxic work environment.

Remote work does not only benefit the employees; it also benefits the employer as it saves cost by reducing company overheads leading to more revenue.

2020 WORKPLACE TRENDS

Workplace Trends for 2020

The modern workplace is not static, it is in motion, constantly evolving and expanding to accommodate emerging technology, digitization and globalization. These incessant changes reflect in the way organizations engage and retain talents.

It has become imperative to look closely at workplace trends in a bid to understand the different initiatives that are creating significant disruptions in workplaces all over the world; in the next 12 weeks, we will be considering 12 workplace trends that business leaders, as well as professionals, must be abreast of in order to redefine workplace ethos and create a positive, flexible, and collaborative culture tailored to the needs of the modern worker.

TRAINING AND UPSKILLING

The provision of programmes through which an employee can learn, upskill and advance on the job is what determines whether or not, or how long that employee will stay with the organization. It is important to be cognizant of the fact that training spurs personal development and plays a fundamental role in retaining top talent which is why the first 2020 workplace trend we are looking at is training and upskilling.  

The importance of training and upskilling cannot be overemphasized, it is what nurtures top talents and help maintain high-performance teams.

We know what training is, but what exactly is upskilling?

On the micro level, upskilling describes the process by which individuals learn new skills, but in the macro context, it refers to a paradigm shift in the workplace caused by the introduction of technology. As we all know, technology has created new possibilities that can be fully realized only by a trained workforce. This development has necessitated the acquisition of new skills to engage with the technology.

Why is upskilling suddenly taking centre stage?

Digital transformation is largely responsible for this. Technology has transformed business operations by providing tools that make it easy to transact, and at the same time created a skills gap; some technologies have a steep learning curve while others are user-friendly. To thrive in the modern workplace, talents need to acquire technical skills regardless of their discipline or industry.

Beyond a great welfare package, conducive work environment and fat paycheque, one way to retain competent employees is the prioritization of training and upskilling of the workforce.

workplace-trends
workplace-trends
Building New Habits

Building New Habits In The New Year

We put up a post last week about making new habits. This week we would like to elaborate on it.

Habits are important parts of our lives, they determine a lot of things about us, ranging from our health to our success; and ultimately, who we are. 

Good habits are important because they make you a better person. Good habits when accustomed to, become good behaviors, lifestyle, ethics, and practices that consequently result in making you the best version of yourself.

On average, it takes more than 2 months before a new behavior becomes automatic — 66 days to be exact. However, how long it takes a new habit to form can vary widely depending on the behavior, the person, and the circumstances.

Today, we will talk about the steps to follow in building a new and good habit.

You can change any bad habit you already have by following these steps.

Take Baby Steps

A very important part of new habit development is to make micro-commitments and focus on small wins. Start small, don’t set big goals and targets when creating new habits, it can get overwhelming and discouraging.

The idea here is to create very little commitment that can be done easily and then consistently build on your success. It’s more important to stay consistent with a little commitment needed than it is to hit a huge target. 

Examples of baby steps in your habit changing journey include: taking a five-minute walk every day, drinking a glass of water, writing a paragraph of your book, taking one short course in line with your career, reading a page of a book you’ve always wanted to read.

Commit For A Minimum of 30 Days

Some people say it takes three weeks (21 days) to build a habit. Others claim it takes up to 66 days. The truth is, how long it takes to make something habitual depends on the habit, the person in question, and a few other things.

In all of these, we believe a minimum of 30 days, which is well in-between all other claims should do justice to any new habit you’re trying to create.

However, just ensure you are disciplined and consistent.

Have An Accountability Checker

There will be days when you see no point in continuing your journey towards building a new habit. There will be days when you are not naturally motivated to carry on with your task. Your accountability checker’s job is to check your level of progress and consistency.

Your accountability checker could be a person, an activity or even a reward. However, your best option here would be another person, as this is a factor that is outside your control and can check you effectively.

Reward Your Small Wins

Building a new habit should not be a boring journey. You can make it fun! Ensure you reward your small wins after each one. This will help you realize how much progress you’ve made and keep you a lot more motivated to carry on.

Fix Your Mind On The New And Forget The Old

As you keep winning, your challenges will keep growing. You will need to change your state of mind about yourself, the environment, and the people that relate to your new habit.

It doesn’t get easier, you get tougher. Your mind will be your greatest asset, you have to keep your mind on growth.

Straying from an old habit is not an easy task. Consistency will be your greatest weapon.

Finally, you should know that you don’t need a new year or season to bring changes to your life. You can change and create new habits whenever you want.

So go all out and win. You have our permission.

How to stay productive when you’re between jobs

How To Stay Productive When You’re Between Jobs

Sometime in your career, you will find yourself between jobs, in other words, unemployed. It happens to the best of us for diverse reasons.

A gap in your resume does not have to be a red flag to your new employer.

So, what should you do when you’re between jobs? How should you spend your time?

Productivity is a habit, and it cuts across disciplines and fields of work. In essence, you don’t have to be employed before you are productive.

If you read up to here, it means you will eventually learn how to fully maximize your unemployed phase.

Any two of the tips below will help you use your unemployed-phase productively:

Take a Class

Acquire a skill. Learn something new. Learning something new gives an immeasurable advantage. It broadens your knowledge base; it can even get you a new and better job by adding to your skillset.

The advent of E-learning has made learning a lot easier to accomplish and more efficient. You can now take courses online and get certifications your new employer will recognize.

Here are some of the platforms you can take online courses EDX, Udemy, Cousera, Shaw Academy, Hubspot Academy, Skillshare.

Volunteer

Most people think volunteering means you’re desperate. On the flip side, volunteering does better to you than harm when you’re between jobs.

The worst that will happen to you is that you will have a low income. As a matter of fact, the workplace is more humane now than before, any organization that will accept you as a volunteer will take of your basic needs. Even if that doesn’t happen, volunteering gives you the needed experience and fills the gap of unemployment.

Follow a Job Platform

Job platforms increase your opportunity of finding a job. They keep you posted with new jobs that might be beneficial to you. Some even do as good as notify you of jobs around you. Job platforms to follow and register on include Recruiterng, Jobgurus, Myjobbag, Jobberman.

Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn is a platform where a lot of employers scout and search for talents for employment. A lot of candidate selection takes place on LinkedIn. Optimizing your LinkedIn will increase your chances of being found when there is a search.

Start a Business

Not everyone is cut out for being an entrepreneur. However, your unemployment window is a great time to find out.

To us, it is a win-win situation. If you start a business and discover you are not an entrepreneur, you would have gained certain negotiation and communication skills that will aid your new job; then the business can transform into a ‘side-hustle’ and become your extra source of income.

The whole idea of using your unemployment window for the above and more is to stay productive, it is to use that space of time of being out-of-job for something that will not just fill the space in your CV, but make you a better version of yourself.

So, ensure to do what you can!

Fatigue refers to the feeling of exhaustion, drowsiness, or weariness that is brought upon by a lack of sleep, stress resulting from long periods of mental or physical activity, repetitive tasks or anxiety

FATIGUE IN THE WORKPLACE

A lot of organizations invest money in creating a conducive workplace for their employees, making available to them good seats, tables and computers too. They go as far as providing dining areas furnished with microwaves and refrigerators so that meals can be refrigerated and microwaved during lunch breaks, they do this believing that a conducive and work environment will bolster productivity.

However, there are some issues that the ambiance of the office is unable to shield employees from; one of such issues is fatigue in the workplace.

Fatigue refers to the feeling of exhaustion, drowsiness, or weariness that is brought upon by a lack of sleep, stress resulting from long periods of mental or physical activity, repetitive tasks or anxiety.

Causes of fatigue

The primary cause of fatigue is lack of sleep, but other factors such as long work hours, exposure to high temperatures and loud incessant noise have also been known to cause fatigue.

Types of fatigue

Fatigue can be acute or chronic. While acute fatigue occurs from short-term sleep loss, such as not getting enough sleep before going off to work the next day, chronic fatigue on the other hand results from a rather prolonged absence of sleep.

How does fatigue present itself?

Tiredness

Drowsiness

Memory lapses

Attention deficiency

Combating fatigue in the workplace

  • The first step is to create a work schedule or rota that give workers enough time to rest and recuperate between shifts.
  • For jobs that require employees to work long hours or overtime, consider that your workers will need enough time for other daily activities, such as commuting, preparing and eating meals and relaxing; And provide such amenities as meals, on-site accommodations and facilities where workers can nap either during the shift or before their commute back home.
  • Provide a work environment that has good lighting, comfortable temperatures, and reasonable noise levels.
  • Have your staff collaborate with different teams on a variety of projects to curb boredom arising from repetitive tasks.
  • Be flexible when assigning tasks.
"People who dress better are typically treated better at work," says David McKnight, a New York City-based image consultant. "They are usually given more responsibility and are shown much more respect."

THE RULES OF WORKPLACE STYLE

In today’s business-casual workplace and organizations operating from co-work spaces, suits and ties and formal dresses no longer seem to be the standard, not even in financial institutions; however, the way a person dresses to the workplace still matters and to a large extent determines how they will be spoken to and treated.

“People who dress better are typically treated better at work,” says David McKnight, a New York City-based image consultant. “They are usually given more responsibility and are shown much more respect.”

Here are tips on what to wear and what not to wear — so you can make the best impression on your boss, colleagues and clients.

Business casual isn’t a fashion free-for-all,” says Susan Bixler, president and founder of the Bixler Consulting Group. The Atlanta-based consultant has created guidelines for business-casual dress for those just starting out, workers at mid-career and those eyeing the executive suite.

The “baseline” look starts with the three Big Nos

  1. No flip-flops
  2. No jeans
  3. No visible tattoos

Yes to:

  1. Tailored trousers
  2. long-sleeve shirts or tops

The “midstream” look is similar but with an emphasis on higher-quality fabrics while the executive version ups the sartorial ante by recommending jackets for men and trouser-style suits for women.

“Any time you want to add authority, put on the jacket,” says Bixler, the author of seven books, including The New Professional Image: From Business Casual to the Ultimate Power Look.

The General Rule:

In journalism, the editor would always as you “leave out”, if you’re unsure; the rule is different when it comes to dressing and style. If you are to attend an interview or a business meeting and are unsure about the dress code, you should ask in advance, then again, you can’t possibly be faulted for appearing in a jacket or suit. Wearing a suit to an interview, meeting or work is a nonverbal way of communicating the fact that you are in for serious business.

Curb excesses.

Clothes that are too tight, overly generous makeup, too much jewelry, and accessories as well as ‘loud’ fragrance.

Never show up to work in shorts, ripped jeans (not even on a Friday)

Avoid wearing dusty, unpolished shoes to work.

When it comes to dressing, women have more options while the playing field for men is quite narrow and straightforward.

Too Much Skin

“Edgy looks, especially those involving the baring of cleavage, skin or tattoos, rarely cut it at the office, unless you happen to work in a trend-conscious field like advertising or fashion.

“When you’re not sure whether something is appropriate for work, then there’s a 98 percent chance that it’s not,” McKnight says.

The Whole Look

Choosing the right clothing is just one component of your professional look, which includes good grooming and hygiene, as well as being well-rested and mentally ready to face the day.

“There are so many things we don’t have control over, but what we can control is the image of professionalism we show to the world,” Bixler says.

Choosing a career path As interesting as it may sound, choosing a career path can be daunting as well as confusing for some people. The endless ‘what ifs’ that accompany deciding which field to go for or against could sometimes be exasperating.

Choosing A Career Path

As interesting as it may sound, choosing a career path can be daunting as well as confusing for some people.

The endless ‘what ifs’ that accompany deciding which field to go for or against could sometimes be exasperating. However, choosing a career is one of the most important decisions any individual would have to make at some point in their lives.

To make the right decision, careful consideration and meticulous planning is required, especially if one desires to land the job of a lifetime. To help you chart a course, we have outlined several tips.

Tips for Choosing a career path:

1.    Determine Your Skills
According to Career Advisor, Shay Nolan, there is a four-stage model of competence that aids skills to determine a person’s skills.
•    Unconscious incompetence
When a person does not know what they are good at, this is mostly, because they haven’t taken the time to evaluate their skills.
•    Unconscious competence
They are good at something to the point that they almost do it on autopilot. There is also a danger that they can become complacent here.
•    Conscious incompetence
They are not good at a particular thing and they know it! At the very least though, there is an awareness which can lead to skills development.
•    Conscious competence
They know what to do, though it takes some effort. This is where they want to be as there is both competence and awareness. This means that a person’s skills require a lot of consideration if they are to make well-informed career decisions. Ask some key questions:
What do I do really well?
What areas for development do I have?
What are the skills that I really enjoy using?
The final question represents an excellent starting point in terms of looking at how a person’s skills can help to inform what career path they should consider.

2.    Take Opportunities to Play the Field
A footballer who remains on the bench will never make a mark. Do not shy away from seizing opportunities whenever they present themselves, do not hesitate to participate in team-building activities that require you to put your skills to use.

3.    Aspire and Work to Reach Your Goal
Dream big, have confidence in your ability and constantly put your skills to work. Set goals for yourself – daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals and keep moving.

4.    Seek Career Contentment
When you love your job and work with a reliable team, you are more innovative and productive, your level of confidence soars and you are filled with a sense of purpose because you know you are adding value. This feeling of contentment does wonder for your morale, you will hardly get tired or bored with your job, instead, you will find yourself constantly exploring innovative ways to better your performance and outdo yourself.

The African Woman and her strength The African woman’s wrapper, this piece of cloth like a prized jewel encapsulates her feminine essence.No event – formal, religious, traditional or casual seems out of place for her to appear enveloped in her flowery wrapper.There is of course a variation to her appearance as dictated by age; while young and adventurous, she would wrap herself around with a single sheet of wrapper, barely covering her knees and revealing long, dark legs and beautifully shaped calf but as she gracefully ages, she would lengthen and double same fabric to show maturity and decorum

THE AFRICAN WOMAN’S WRAPPER

The African woman’s wrapper, this piece of cloth like a prized jewel encapsulates her feminine essence.

No event – formal, religious, traditional or casual seems out of place for her to appear enveloped in her flowery wrapper.

There is, of course, a variation to her appearance as dictated by age; while young and adventurous, she would wrap herself around with a single sheet of wrapper, barely covering her knees and revealing long, dark legs and beautifully shaped calf but as she gracefully ages, she would lengthen and double same fabric to show maturity and decorum.

The African Woman’s wrapper, this highly prized possession often serves as her lingerie.

If you have had the privilege of gazing upon her narrow waist, then you know how the wrapper flows and stretches to accentuate her broad hips and expands downwards to accommodate her round, protruding behind.

Have you seen her with her wrapper knotted at the middle of her chest? The way it hugs her firm, full, voluptuous twin mounds. Look a moment longer and you would see how the wrapper slightly parts around her knees to lend you a peek at fat chocolate thighs, unaffected by the sun or any harsh element. If you have been privy to any of these sights, you would treasure the African woman’s wrapper even more than she does.

The African woman’s wrapper is one subliminal wonder of a fabric that can be tweaked to offer a lot more than it was originally designed for especially with a creative owner.

It is not uncommon to see how it functions particularly for the market woman as a safe – yes, the ultimate safe.

At the right or left tip of her wrapper is a special knot which holds an unbelievably large amount of naira bills surreptitiously deposited there for contingencies. This safe is one that can only be ‘opened’ when all else fails as not even natural disaster, the threat of hunger or death can get her to unknot that part of her wrapper.

Trust me, it is almost impossible to get her to dip into that particular storage facility. The African Woman’s wrapper, this piece of cloth is highly sought after and can be used as a kerchief.

The African woman tormented by the heat of the sun would loosen one end of her wrapper, bend her head and use it to wipe the sweat off her face and that of her offspring.

Oppressed by the scorching heat, she would leave her bed, spread her wrapper on the floor, use her headscarf as a pillow and serenade herself to sleep.

With her maternal instinct in full swing, she would gently unwrap her wrapper from her waist and rest it on her sleeping child to shield it from the cold night air.

To refer to the African woman’s wrapper as a mere piece of clothing would be tragic for the culprit who dares… Her wrapper is not just an apparel, lingerie, safe, kerchief or blanket, it is the symbol of her femininity, versatility, pedigree, and belief.

George Wonah, Content Writer TWPC

Building a great workplace structure

DEVELOPING A GREAT WORKPLACE CULTURE

There was a time when the brand value of an organization and remuneration paid to workers made an organization a desirable place to work.

However, today’s workplace has evolved to the extent that fat pay cheques, generous tips, and bonuses can no longer attract or keep employees, especially when the workplace is toxic. Sadly, organizations lose great talents because of their failure to put a premium on developing a healthy organizational culture.

A healthy workplace culture is what attracts talents and imbues them with a sense of loyalty which binds them to the organization and makes them continually give their best to ensure the company stays in business and is profitable.

What constitutes workplace culture? you might ask; Workplace culture refers to those intangible attributes of an organization that makes it a great or toxic place to work in, these attributes are largely defined by the ideology that drives the organization.

These ideologies are often reflected how employees related to management as well as one another. Inclusivity Consultant and Behavioural Scientist, Dr Pragyal Agarwal maintains that positive workplace culture improves teamwork, raises the morale, increases productivity and efficiency, and enhances retention of the workforce.

Job satisfaction, collaboration, and work performance are all enhanced. And, most importantly, a positive work environment reduces stress in employees. The following are simple ways an organization can improve their workplace culture:

1. Communication and collaboration: a workplace culture that values and encourages open and honest communication, feedback and teamwork are all vital for improving workplace culture.

2. Continued learning opportunities: knowledge sharing, brainstorming sessions as well as social interactions within the office all add up to improve the workplace culture of an organization.

3. All-inclusive work environment: value, support and encourage all employees regardless of gender, ethnicity, social or religious orientation. All employees should have equal access to growth and advancement opportunities, bonuses and general goodwill.

4. Establish trust: employees should be able to confide in management and have honest conversations with one another without fear of being judged. Again, trust that you have a good and dependable team.

5. Make onboarding of new staff easy and warm: get an old and friendly team member to take the new staff around and acquaint them with the rest of the team, answer their questions and help set up their workspace. A great workplace culture takes time, effort and dedication to develop, but it is worth it. The first step is to have frank a conversation with your team and communicate your vision for the company to them in clear terms and ensure they identify with it; once this is achieved, the rest will easily fall in place.

Teamwork In The Workplace

“Teamwork is the process of working collaboratively with a group of people in order to achieve a goal” – Business Dictionary - workplace, teamwork, career tips, career success, recruitment tips, work, office tips, corporate behavior, workplace ethics, soft skills, workplace skills

(3 Minutes Read)

There isn’t a more concise phrase that captures and explains teamwork better than the adage “Two heads are better than one”, every other explanation simply puts the adage into perspective, lending it more credence.

For argument’s sake, we should perhaps visit a few of the existing definitions.

“Teamwork is the process of working collaboratively with a group of people in order to achieve a goal”Business Dictionary.

Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishment toward organizational objectives”  – Andrew Carnegie.

There is also no phrase that expresses the need for collaboration as adequately as the adage “No man is an island”. This adage translates to the fact that no single individual has a monopoly of knowledge, thereby necessitating the adoption of teamwork.

Efficiency is bolstered where there is knowledge sharing through brainstorming sessions, which introduces fresh ideas as opposed to dated ideas resulting from working alone. Again, there is also a pool of creatively unique as well as diverse viewpoints to be engaged with.

Benefits of teamwork in the workplace

Working together allows team members build on the skillset of their teammates, while one person’s strength may be in IT, another may be in critical thinking, content creation, project management or even public relations, when each team member’s talent is exploited, there is a resultant blend of complementary strengths from which individual members of the team can benefit.

Teamwork promotes a wider sense of ownership mentality where each employee begins to see themselves as co-owners of the business. This, in turn, reflects on the growth and ultimately the profit margin of the business as new business strategies are introduced, refined and executed.