Work Management

JobsCentral Survey: Singapore employers confess to bad work habits that they are guilty of

By Jonathan Tay

In this study, JobsCentral explores employer-employee work relationships and the common bad working habits bosses commit.

75 per cent of employers say it is important that employees work over the weekends or after office hours. In addition, over two-fifths (45.7%) said they would contact their employees on leave. 58.2 per cent maintain it is important their employees remain contactable, regardless of whether they are on vacation.

The online survey was conducted from August to October 2012 and included the responses of 256 hiring managers and 3,299 employees.

INFOGRAPHIC: Click here to view

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Top Career Tips of 2012

By: Alythea Ho

So you survived another year of work. You've met your targets, got a nice appraisal, and managed to dodge a couple of flying 'knives' in the office.

You even braved a Mayan apocalypse. Well done, you.

As people around the world dust off 2012 and prepare for another exciting new year, we decided to share some of our top career tips with you to help you get a headstart.

Disclaimer: Tips for the next end-of-the-world not included.


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Q & A: Over-drinking at company events

Question: I drank too much at my company’s D&D. Let’s just say I’m not sure what I did that night. Now when I’m at work, I noticed my colleagues laughing about something, but when I approach them they stop immediately. I’m paranoid that I did something really bad. What can I do to restore my reputation at work?

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JobsCentral Survey: More than 60% of Singapore workers complain of heavy workload and work stress

By Juliet Soh

66% of Singapore workers say that their workload has increased when compared with six months ago, according to a survey conducted by Singapore’s leading online job portal, JobsCentral. Of them, 83.3% said that their work stress has also increased in the last six months, while 1.1% said that stress level has decreased and 15.5% indicated that it has stayed the same.

A total of 2,281 respondents took the survey and respondents consisted of employed individuals from all levels of occupation and income groups. The survey has an error margin of 2.05%, at 95% confidence level.

60% of the respondents reported that they stay in the office for at least an hour after work hours at least three days a week. One in three (32%) say they bring their work home to complete, 22 per cent say they have worked from home while on sick leave and close to one-fifth (18%) say they have worked while on vacation.

“Singapore’s workplace environment is a tough and demanding one. Workers place career as one of the top priorities in their lives and often make personal sacrifices for job advancements. On the other hand, employers faced with increasing manpower cost, embark on the unending quest for higher productivity. It is not surprising that our workers are feeling more stressed and working longer hours,” says Michelle Lim, Chief Operating Officer of JobsCentral Group.

“Technology such as 3G and wifi on smartphones, tablets and laptops means that you can take work with you wherever you may be. And it also means that employers have the expectation that you are available even after office hours. However, both employees and employers should learn to respect after-work hours and reasonable allocation of work in order to avoid burning out in the long term,” she added.

Higher earners display more “workaholic” tendencies

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The new grad’s guide to understanding what the boss wants

Graduation was only a few months ago and yet your alma mater is already sending you alumni donation requests, it’s been less than ideal moving back in with your parents and any graduation money you got was burned through a long time ago (why did that new collector’s pack of DVDs seem so cool at the time?). However, the upside to all this is getting your first job after graduation, and along with this new life comes some challenges–one of the biggest being understanding your new boss.

Whether you’re working for a control freak or someone more hands off, there are ways to figure out what your boss is asking of you and how to impress her. From learning the communication style of your boss to becoming a star employee, here are some insider tips for starting your new job off on the right foot.

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How to tell your boss he's wrong

Question:
Bosses are human too and they make mistakes. I know mine does – sometimes a bit too often. How do I tell him that he’s wrong?

Answer:
Yes, bosses make errors too but because they determine whether you’re going to get promoted, pointing out their mistakes is a touchy issue that you should carefully plan for before you do.

Of course, you probably already know you have to be polite and professional about it. We have these other tips to share:

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Slackers are more productive

By Juliet Soh

I brought my boyfriend to work recently. Oh, I don’t mean it literally. I mean, I’ve put up photos of us on my work desk, and insist that they help with my productivity.

Let me explain. You see, human beings are wired to get distracted. Creativity researchers say that we need to take periodic breaks to alleviate pressure and to help us see issues through fresh eyes. “People are more successful if we force them to move away from a problem or distract them temporarily”, says the authors of Creativity and the Mind, a literature that delves into the psychology of creativity.

And so, dear readers (and my boss), taking a minute’s break off work to look at photos of my boyfriend brings about happy emotions and help me work better. Scientists say it helps with my problem-solving skills – so, there you go!

If gazing at your loved one’s photo is not your idea of “taking a break”, I have other suggestions:

Get a cuppa
If you can, go to the nearest coffee joint to grab a beverage when you feel like you need to clear your head. Sugar from the drink helps boost your energy level and the 10-minute walk should give you a perk-me-up because exercise helps improves brain power.

Get moving
Did I say exercise can help improve brain power? So, get your body moving. You can schedule regular intervals for some stretches at your desk, and if your work space allows it, you could even do a few sit-ups or run on the spot. If it’s weird to work out in the office, then go for a walk around the office building. Trust me, a five-minute workout will give you the push to help you stare at the excel spreadsheet for another two hours.

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Are you too essential at your job?

It’s nice to feel valued by your boss. It’s especially rewarding to be told by her that you’re so good at what you do, you’ve become indispensible. You know you’re lucky to have job security, so you don’t want to complain. But what if you’ve become so essential at your job that you’re no longer growing professionally?

Sometimes, workers find themselves in a situation where they are so specialized that no one else can do what they do. Or, the boss becomes so dependent on them that they can’t seem to move out from under her shadow. If you’re experiencing this, and you’re happy with how things are, that’s great. Some workers prefer to remain specialized and have a lateral career path, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. But if you’re missing out on promotions because of it, or you aren’t able to work on interesting projects outside of your scope of work, it’s time to speak up.

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How to wiggle out of frequent expensive lunches with colleagues

By Juliet Soh

Question:

My colleagues always head to mid- to high-end restaurants for lunch. Each meal sets me back by at least $20 every time – that works out to more than $100 per week! I am saving up for my wedding and find it hard to keep up with my lunch expenses. What can I do to stop them from visiting expensive eateries?

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