Work Management

Fengshui in the Office

By Koh Wanzi

As the Chinese New Year rolls around, it’s time to bust out the firecrackers and crimson-coloured trappings in the name of auspiciousness again. And as we celebrate and usher in a new year of prosperity, it’s a good time to re-examine some of the cultural practices that are thought to facilitate the accumulation of both luck and wealth. (Read More Here!)

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3 Counterintuitive Tips for Setting Better Work Goals for your Team

Do you know that being too specific could actually harm your work goals' success? We suggest three (possibly) counter-intuitive tips to help you set better goals for your team.

By: Alythea Ho

The ability to set good work goals is essential for any manager who wants to effectively manage his or her team. Clear, well-defined goals help your staff see where they’re headed towards and what each of them needs to do to get the desired results.

When it comes to goal-setting, most people know the usual how-tos – be specific, stretch your team, keep them measurable etc. Yet it’s possible to go overboard in goal-setting, and you end up with a series of goals that demotivate your staff and achieve far below their intended purposes. (Read More Here!)

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3 Guilt-free Reasons for Taking Time-off from Work

Struggling to decide whether you should take leave and risk being perceived as a 'slacker'? Here are some guilt-free suggestions to help you get the rest that you deserve.

By: Alythea Ho

Holiday season may be just around the corner, but not everyone’s jumping onboard the vacation wagon like sleep-deprived bunnies. In fact, nearly half of Singapore workers say one of their biggest work fears is offending the boss.

John de Graaf, executive director of Take Back Your Time, an organization focused on challenging the epidemic of overwork, says many employees often fear their workplace absence will be judged negatively.

"You have this kind of fear of not wanting to be seen as a slacker," says de Graaf to the BusinessNewsDaily.

However, studies show that long-term chronic stress will negatively affect your health and performance. So how do you go about overcoming the false guilt of being accused as someone who doesn't earn his or her keep at work? (Read More Here!)

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Q&A: My Colleague Just Got Promoted. Should I Befriend Her?

Question: My co-worker’s a nice bubbly gal and we're pretty good friends. We even hang out after work and do things like booze together. Then last week she was promoted and now I report to her. She keeps assuring us we can still hang out but I’m not sure if things are still the same. So how?

Answer: Before we go into that, ask yourself first: Are you happy for her? Sometimes people resent the fact their colleague had been chosen for promotion over them and start shutting their new boss out. This is probably why your co-worker seems anxious to assure you that things are the same. (Read More Here!)

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How to Avoid Repeating Your Parents' Career Mistakes

Stuck in an unsatisfying career? Face those skellies in the cupboard and regain control over your career – you might just be living out your parents’ career mistakes.

By: Alythea Ho

People often feel mortified when they realize they’ve started behaving like their parents. You know, stuff like nicking extra napkins from restaurants and the rest of those awful habits you swore never to do when you reached their age. It’s annoying but quite understandable -- our parents are our first teachers. We adopt many of their thinking patterns subconsciously, whether we want to or not.

So if you’re stuck in an unsatisfying job, have a think first over a potential source of your career values -- your parents. Did your father make a mess of his career and placed all his hopes of success on you? Or maybe your mother insisted you should always stay safe by avoiding challenging (but more rewarding) jobs? (Read More Here!)

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Q&A: My colleague asked me for feedback. He's smart and efficient, but can be a real dominating ***** during meetings. Should I tell him the truth?

By: Alythea Ho

Question: Recently my colleague pulled me aside and asked me to give feedback on how he conducts meetings. He's smart and efficient, but during discussions he can be a real dominating *****! I told him I'll think about it, but should I tell him the truth? While we’re not from the same team, I don't want to cause awkwardness in the office.

Answer: Good question. Feedback has gotten a bit of a bad rap among employees. You give feedback in your company and it either a) vanishes into the great bureaucratic unknown, or b) becomes the prelude to the next office Armageddon.

In this case however, your colleague has actively sought your feedback. This shows he has some level of trust and confidence in your opinions. Perhaps he heard what people have been saying about him and wants to change, which is commendable. Most people would rather justify their behaviour than seek improvement.

So here’s a tip: be Constructive, not Critical (Read More Here!)

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Q&A: I'm afraid I can't meet my year-end KPIs. What should I do?

By: Alythea Ho

Question: Help! Ok I know this sounds paranoid but I think I can’t meet my KPIs for this year. My boss and I have quite an OK working relationship, but I’m afraid after this I’ll have no chance for a promotion. It’s almost year-end, so what do I do now?

Answer: Ah yes, it’s that time of the year again when the terrors of missed-KPIs start crawling out of the woodwork. First, calm down. You’re not alone in your worries. In fact, not meeting performance goals and targets was voted the top workplace phobia among Singapore workers.

While we cannot help you magically hit your KPIs in a few weeks, here are a few things you can consider to help in ‘mitigating’ a potentially negative performance appraisal: (Read More Here!)

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Survey: 10 Strangest Requests from Singapore Bosses

Would you bear your boss’s traffic offense? 40% of Singapore workers say their bosses have asked them to do tasks unrelated to their main job scopes -- with some requests bordering on the downright absurd.

By: Alythea Ho

You know how it is. You join a new job, all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and eager to prove you're the best person for the job.

Then the Boss asks you to buy a cup of coffee for him. And another. And one day you wake up and realise ‘The Boss’s Personal Coffee Assistant’ has unceremoniously appeared in your job scope.

If it's of any comfort, you're in good company. Nearly 2 in 5 Singapore workers (39%) say they've received requests from their bosses that had nothing to do with their job scope. In addition, 21% of respondents say the requests were downright absurd. (Read More Here!)

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Q&A: My Company is Encouraging Me to Retire Early. Should I?

By: Alythea Ho

Question: I've been offered the chance to retire early by my company. And I'm not the only one. I'm not upset at all, but I'd like to know if it's a good idea to accept the offer? Thanks.

Answer: Good question. The main thing to consider is whether you can afford to retire early. A recent JobsCentral poll shows that the majority of our respondents (37%) would accept an early retirement offer if the retirement package is attractive enough. (Read More Here!)

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Help, My Colleague Can’t Stop Whining!

Question: My colleague is an incessant whiner. In fact, she often comes streaming in at half-rant the first thing in the morning. Her complaints revolve around everything, such as the amount of workload she has, how her morning went and even the office stapler that won’t work.

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