Workplace Culture - Page 2

12 Work Trends To Keep An Eye Out For In 2023

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DigitalCFO Newsroom | 13 December 2022

As flexible working arrangements continue to be a focus, organizations should pay attention to the latest Future of Work trends that could determine the effectiveness of their strategies to attract, retain and secure quality talent in a tightening labor market.

The Great Resignation” and “Quiet Quitting” were the talk of the workplace off and online in 2021 and 2022, but what could 2023 hold when it comes to workplace vernacular? At Deel, we know a thing or two regarding work trends to watch out for. After all, we’ve onboarded with over 100,000 employees and contractors worldwide via our platform.

2022 saw a shift in the way we perceive the role of work and the importance of work-life balance – with more employees seeking flexible work arrangements such as fixed off-site days, 4-day work weeks, or flexible hours that empowers them to pursue their desired lifestyle and needs. As organizations continue to find the sweet spot between organization efficiency and employee expectations amid the hybrid work era, we’ve combed the internet, contacted contractors, and polled some people to compile 12 trends to look out for in the coming year:  

  1. Overemployed (by choice)

Remote workers are gaming the system by using flexible hours and asynchronous tools to juggle more than one job at the same time. For them it’s all work, more pay.

  1. A Chief Remote Officer

With remote work on the rise and here to stay, the title of CRO is popping up on job boards everywhere. Most job descriptions entail all the elements around remote team set-ups, including hosting in person events, how to work in different timezones, comp strategies, and internal comms tools.

  1. Workcation

Work while traveling the globe? Well it’s now a reality and more often than not, seeming to become the norm. New tools like Deel are enabling people to not only work from their couch, but even those gorgeous huts on the water in the Maldives.

  1. Flex Holidays

Not everyone celebrates Thanksgiving, and with more and more companies embracing distributed work, teams are leaning into the idea of flexible holidays. More workers are getting the power to decide what holidays they take off instead of a one size fits all calendar. After all, global teams are, well, global.

  1. Gen Flex

The latest generation entering the workforce is having one of the most unique experiences in decades. While some entered during a recession, the latest generation has never even stepped foot in an office for work. Virtual work is…well, their reality.

  1. Flexetariat

Today’s workforce is putting flexibility and freedom at the top of their working requirements (and life). Now more than ever teams are trading perks for the non-negotiable of being a Flexetariat.

  1. Talent Snatching – Another day, another offer letter

In the midst of ongoing layoffs, one interesting trend is bubbling up. A bidding war for talent. Some workers are finding themselves working at one company for only a few months before getting a more appealing offer elsewhere, oftentimes out of nowhere. Talent Snatching can be savage, but competitive offers sure do have their benefits.

  1. Sukima – extra time is extra money

In Japan, Sukima is something young people are embracing. They’re turning free time into extra cash with new apps, such as Jobcase, Timee and LINE Sukimani,  that help match them with jobs like waiting tables or making deliveries, so there’s no time wasted; just money earned.

  1. Casual E-Signatures

With apps like BeReal on the rise, Gen Zers are skipping the pleasantries for more… “authentic” sign offs and OOO replies. There’s been an influx of language like, “Lukewarm regards;” “Another day, another slay;” and “In case of emergency, dial 911; not an emergency, try Google.”

  1. Pick-up Parties – There’s a new type of tupperware party in town

Since less people are working from offices and together less IRL, people are finding new ways to connect at in-person brand events called Pick-up Parties. You order a product and instead of it being delivered to your home you collect it from an in person party event where you meet other like minded purchasers.

  1. Career Bouncing

Slightly different from salary bouncing (jumping from job to job in under a year to increase salary with each jump) – moving from one career to another, i.e teacher to marketer, to determine which career is preferable.

  1. Save-from-home

In a survey with Momentive Deel found that people are saving more than ever thanks to things like reduced travel, food expenses, and increased salaries. More than 59% have increased their salaries and 64% say they’ve increased their savings while working from home.


End Of Year Employee Wellness Program

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Fatihah Ramzi, DigitalCFO Asia | 29 November 2022

As the year draws to a close, it is critical that companies spend the time educating staff members about how to prevent the spread of diseases and urge them to get the necessary shots.

As the year draws to a close, it is critical that companies spend the time educating staff members about how to prevent the spread of diseases and urge them to get a flu shot, the COVID-19 vaccination, and booster dose in order to be prepared for the new year. With vaccines and flu shots, the company may see a decrease in employee absence, which eventually boosts productivity rates as fewer employees end up needing to take extended leaves of absence.

Employers have a responsibility to do their share to stop the transmission of disease in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the upcoming flu season. In addition to wanting a healthy workforce, employers must continue to ease the burden on the healthcare system. Because of this, a focus on employees’ health would be one of the most important employee wellness initiatives that businesses could provide.

Employers should motivate staff to finish preventative checks. When it comes to leading a healthy life, prevention is essential because early identification frequently results in effective treatment. Many workers may have put off going to their primary care physician and getting routine care as a result of COVID-19. Encourage your staff to arrange for their yearly physicals, mammograms, colonoscopies, and other standard exams right away. A smart strategy to remain on top of general health issues and risks for chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes is to see your doctor once a year.

Encourage them to consider their wellness objectives for 2023. Employers should be sure to include their workplace wellness goals and strategies while developing their company strategy for 2023. To make sure that these objectives are accomplished, think about establishing a wellness committee within the company. The committee will be able to assess the team’s requirements and create a wellness plan that best meets those requirements. Your employees will have happier and healthier lives if you plan wellness challenges, encourage healthier eating, and offer resources. This will also increase employee happiness at work.

A wellness challenge can also be added by businesses during the holidays. It’s simple to get caught up in the Christmas rush and bustle, which can have a detrimental effect on our health. People frequently endure improper stress management and unhealthy or excessive eating, so it might be a good idea to advocate for exercise, healthy food, or stress reduction measures during this time. 

One approach to achieve this might be by creating a challenge that focuses on one of the aforementioned subjects. To ensure that the challenge is on everyone’s mind, let the employees know about it and keep promoting it throughout the season. Consider an incentive-based challenge with prizes connected to health and wellness to encourage the team and get them participating.

Make resources for mental health available. To raise awareness of mental health during the holidays, companies can consider hosting a seminar. Employees frequently forget about the resources at their disposal or are unaware of their coverage. If it’s feasible, think about doing a virtual yoga or meditation class to make sure that staff members are allocating time for their own self-care. Do not forget to inform, assist, and serve as a resource for the team.

Companies may also think about running a biometric screening program. As the end of the year approaches, many people frequently prefer to put their health on the back burner. Offering biometric assessments to employees either on-site or off-site can assist them in understanding their baseline health and any potential problem areas.  Biometric screenings can convey to your employees that you care about their health and welfare by serving as a reminder to not let the efforts toward better health slip up.

Promote a fundraising occasion or activity. Since it’s the season of giving, many workers may want to volunteer but find it difficult to find the time or are unsure of where to begin. Think about a charitable opportunity they might participate in to lessen this burden. Employees will gain an appreciation for the company’s principles and have the opportunity to volunteer together.

Overall, one of your company’s end-of-year focuses should be workplace wellness. The primary driver of both production and employee happiness will be their well-being. Giving them materials they can use in their daily lives is the best approach to give them the sense of value and appreciation they need.


Regulatory Challenges Businesses Faced In 2022

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Fatihah Ramzi, DigitalCFO Asia | 29 November 2022

The three most significant problems that organizations have encountered in the year.

The difficulties faced by business owners never cease. To keep their businesses afloat and relevant to the situation of the market, they are always forced to come up with new strategies. The difficulties facing entrepreneurs in 2022 are considerably larger. Despite the pandemic’s slow economic recovery, it will take some time for businesses to fully bounce back. Numerous organizations continue to face challenges, including those related to recruitment, finances, and digital transformation.

However, business entrepreneurs have always been renowned for their tenacity and ability to consistently find solutions to any problems that arise. This is true whether we’re discussing businesses that are just getting started or ones that have been operating for a while. But what are some of the most urgent issues that entrepreneurs will deal with in 2022? In this post, we’ll take a look at the three most significant problems that organizations have encountered in the year.


1. Fairness & Inclusion 

Many businesses are being forced to increase their commitments to corporate social responsibility with an emphasis on equality and justice for underserved communities as a result of pressure from activist investors, the general public, and their own employees. Over the past two years, fairness issues have gone beyond DEI.

Through the use of regulations intended to eliminate unfair advantages in personnel decisions, businesses have historically attempted to promote fairness. To prevent hiring managers from judging candidates based on their supposed gender or race, recruiters, for instance, remove the prospects’ photographs from their resumes. To prevent employees from being paid more or less than their coworkers at the same level, a business may also establish stringent pay bands.

These regulations can reduce unfairness, but they are insufficient to produce a very fair working environment. And when employers paid more attention to where workers felt injustice occurred, they discovered that hiring, promotion, and pay accounted for only 25% of this view. The majority of these encounters take place during regular work hours. Organizations require new ideas, not simply rules, to handle these increasingly ubiquitous fairness concerns. Instead of eliminating unjust advantages, they ought to look for ways to lessen disadvantages so that most or all of the workforce benefits.

2. Climate & Sustainability

Simply put, many species won’t live through the 21st century if businesses do not behave responsibly as members of the global community. According to Environmental Sustainability, the rate of species extinction due to human activity now is hundreds of times higher than it was originally.

Given that corporations account for the majority of global emissions, sustainability has thus become a crucial problem for them. This is why companies will inevitably foster a dying planet if they do not contribute to the solution. The “Race to Zero” campaign, which aims to take strict and urgent action to halve global emissions by 2030 and deliver a healthier, fairer zero carbon world in time, has forced many businesses to make organizational changes in 2022 to implement effective sustainability strategy and initiatives.

In the long term, investors, clients, and consumers may be less eager to support businesses that do not make sustainable decisions in their processes. Sustainability must be prioritized if the company hopes to stay relevant in the long run.

3. Fraud & Financial Crimes 

As the globe recovered from COVID-19, criminals adapted and took advantage of possibilities. In 2022, supply chains are still disrupted, fraud is rising, ransomware assaults are commonplace, and digital payment systems are still under constant attack. The year also saw an increase in the amount of data breaches.

Among the most frequent outside offenders are hacker groups and organized crime networks. In the past two years, their activity significantly increased. With objectives, rewards, and bonus schemes, organized crime organizations are evolving to become more specialized and professional. Additionally, malicious actors are banding together, which raises the frequency and level of sophistication of attacks. Specialists in data breach, false ID creation, attack methods, and other complex areas may connect, coordinate, and transact inside a developing criminal economy thanks to chat rooms, the dark web, and cryptocurrency.

The use of new technology by businesses is widespread. Digital platforms like social media, services (like ridesharing or accommodation), and e-commerce provide hazards for fraud and economic crime that most businesses are only now starting to recognize. Four out of five businesses that experienced fraud in the past two years have a connection to the digital platforms they use. Undoubtedly, the pandemic increased vulnerability as organizations expedited the shift to digital operations; as a result, 2022 was a year in which many firms placed a high priority on cyber security activities.


In 2023, it is likely that these issues will still persist, but there will also be a new set of priorities. This is a result of the ongoing worldwide economic situation. The effects of high inflation and geopolitical concerns would be further issues of focus in 2023. In the face of unfavorable uncertainty, it is preferable for firms to maintain their flexibility and adaptability. Businesses should make continual infrastructure investments as 2022 draws to a close.


35 Filipino Companies Honored as Best Companies to Work for in Asia 2022

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DigitalCFO Newsroom | 29 November 2022

35 companies in the Philippines received the coveted HR Asia Best Companies to Work for in Asia 2022 awards.

With the theme, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the awards this year focused on the efforts of companies in promoting diversity and inculcating inclusion in the workplace, while retaining HR Asia’s stringent evaluation criteria.

In all, 11,800 employees from 185 Filipino companies took part in HR Asia’s proprietary Total Engagement Assessment Model – ranking their own employers on metrics ranging from workplace happiness and team cohesion to employee advocacy and continued job motivation. The top 35 companies who made the cut off point this year are then named HR Asia Best Companies to work for in Asia 2022 for the Filipino market.

“HR Asia Best Companies to Work for in Asia is the only award that is judged solely by the nominees’ employees – making this the most transparent award of its kind. Equally important, with 15 markets, and over 400,000 surveys done each year – the program is also the most extensive awards for employee engagement and workplace excellence across the region”, says William Ng, group publisher of Business Media International, the owner of HR Asia.

The top three workplace positive sentiments by Filipino employees are that employees are willing to help those who require assistance, the employees also believe that their job contributes to the success of their organization, and employees are willing to put in the extra effort to achieve the goals and objectives of the organization.

However, the survey has also turned up several concerns from employees, such as lack of communication with former employees, feeling exhausted at work due to the workload, and the lack of enthusiasm to return to work after the weekend.

This year, two companies are awarded the gold Harmonia statuette as they are recognized to be one of the Best Companies to Work for in Asia for five consecutive years, these companies are Monocrete Construction Philippines, Inc., and Puregold Price Club, Inc.

The WeCare awards are also given out to Cloudstaff Modern Workforce, Everise Philippines, Fedex Express Philippines, Monocrete Construction Philippines, Inc., Torre Lorenzo Development Corporation, and United Coconut Planters Life Assurance Corporation (Cocolife).

2022 Philippines HR Asia Best Companies to Work for in Asia credits Yo Manila! as the award’s supporting partner.

“The pandemic has placed extraordinary demands on business leaders and beyond. For some companies, a near term survival plan may seem to be the only agenda for recovery but by investing in employee engagement, employees will feel supported in their jobs and in return will contribute to the overall business operations and post recovery growth,” Ng added.

The HR Asia Best Companies to Work for in Asia Awards recognises companies that have shown world-class employee engagement and workplace excellence, while displaying demonstrable empathy and care for their employees.

The award covers fifteen markets across the region including mainland China, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Japan, Korea, Macau, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam making this the largest recognition programme and survey in the region for employee engagement.


APAC’s New Distributed Workforce Economy

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Fatihah Ramzi, DigitalCFO Asia | 14 November 2022

Pedro Barros, VP of Finance at Remote

The advantages and disadvantages of remote work were already being discussed before COVID-19. Although some businesses had already created their organizations with purely remote work in mind, many others remained wary. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, organizations that had not previously permitted flexible working arrangements were forced to quickly put up their remote working infrastructure, both technologically and culturally, in order to maintain operations.

Companies should build upon this new standard rather than revert to their antiquated ways since so much rigor and work went into refining remote working during that time. In many ways, businesses must accept this new standard because failing to do so will probably result in them losing their employees to other companies.

Remote is a company that believes in global talent employment and seeks to unveil the world of remote work for every person, business, and country. With over 900 internal employees, their entire team works remotely in their chosen locations around the world; passionate about what a game-changer it has been.

To find out more about remote work, DigitalCFO Asia spoke with Pedro Barros, VP of Finance at Remote.

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2022 Workforce Challenges In APAC

The ‘forced remote’ of the pandemic is now giving way to a permanent shift to flexible, remote work. Some companies are already there, but the transition could be challenging for some companies to navigate. The change is being driven in part by employees who have higher expectations for independence and flexibility. In Remote’s newest Global Benefits Report, people ranked flexibility as one of their most important employment benefits – and workers who are already remote actually ranked flexibility as more important than compensation. 

However, it is also being driven by companies that have discovered that remote work offers significant competitive advantages. They can tap into a much wider talent pool, especially for hard-to-fill roles. They can build a more diverse and inclusive workforce. They can achieve global coverage in servicing clients. All of these factors mean that remote work is becoming more than just a convenience. It is a way for innovative companies to attract and retain talent, and compete and win on a global level. Those who are unable to evolve as quickly as their competitors could end up being left behind. 

The Possibility of A One-type-fits-all Approach To Hybrid Work

“With the right approach, there’s an opportunity for any department to work effectively in a remote setting,” says Pedro Barros, VP of Finance at Remote.

This can be in hybrid or entirely remote models. Remote, has no physical offices, so their finance team is fully remote and distributed across multiple continents. In order to succeed as a remote team, especially one that is global, businesses need to view remote work not as an exception to the norm of daily working life, but instead think “remote-first.” 

To be remote-first means treating remote work, and the needs of remote workers, as the default way of working. Transparency, documentation, communication, and trust are all critical so that everyone is equally empowered to do their best. This does not mean that everyone has to be remote and no one can work in an office. It simply means that everyone learns to communicate in a way that makes it equally easy for co-located and remote employees to do their best work.

Obstacles In Hiring Remotely

Hiring and working remotely means that teams can become more distributed geographically, including across international borders. 

“It is no longer necessary for your entire team to live in the same city or even the same country or continent,” says Pedro Barros, VP of Finance at Remote.

The biggest obstacles that are preventing this from being more common are the practical challenges involved with employing someone who lives in a different country – how to pay them, how to provide benefits, and how to manage taxes and compliance. Each of these things can involve expensive, time-consuming processes. That’s why most companies choose to hire only in their own country, even for fully remote roles.

Remote was created to help companies solve this problem. The company serves as an employer of record so that its customers can legally hire full-time employees in more than 65 countries, and give them an easy way to hire, onboard, pay, and offer benefits and stock options no matter where their teams are located. 

The Productivity Rate Of Remote Employees

In Microsoft’s Hybrid Work Report, 80% of employees say they are just as or more productive since going remote or hybrid. Flexible work policies generally lead to positive effects on productivity, and they also have other benefits like allowing employees to prioritize their families, health, and wellbeing. 

“For remote roles, it may be necessary to rethink how productivity is measured,” says Pedro Barros, VP of Finance at Remote.

An unfortunate growing trend in remote work is the practice of monitoring employees to ensure they’re working on their assigned projects at particular times, and tracking how many hours they work in a day. This is completely unnecessary. In many cases, it doesn’t matter how much time someone spends in front of their computer or what time of day they’re completing their assigned work. What is important is that an employee’s output is what you expect from someone in their role. 

Challenges In Hiring Remote Finance Professionals

Similar to recruiting talent in other sectors, the challenges with hiring remote finance professionals comes from the competition for top talent. As remote work creates access to a wider pool of world-class finance professionals, companies must also remember that they are competing for the same talent on a global scale alongside the most successful multinational companies. 

One way to stand out beyond pay and flexible work policies is with employee benefits. In Remote’s recent report, 60% of employees say they have chosen one job over another because it offered a better benefits package. For global remote roles, that means offering localized benefits that are tailored to their specific needs.

Maintaining Employee Well-Being Through Virtual Means

Employee well-being and belonging are part of the foundation of great workplace culture, whether that culture is remote or not. Employers play a large role in the lives of their employees, especially their mental health, so creating a culture of acceptance and trust helps to support people to do their best work. There are a number of ways that a company can support their remote employees’ well-being, including letting people take time off when needed, providing resources and training, and implementing a flexible, asynchronous work schedule. 


Keeping up with the “S” in the ESG

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Fatihah Ramzi, DigitalCFO Asia | 11 November 2022

Wilson Ang, Partner, Head of Asia Regulatory Compliance and Investigations, Norton Rose Fulbright

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How can a business manage its interactions with its employees, the society in which it conducts business, and the political landscape? The “S” in ESG investing, the social component of sustainable investing, stands for this fundamental query. The financial performance of a corporation can be impacted by a variety of social issues, from short- to long-term difficulties. The company’s strengths and limitations in coping with social trends, labor, and politics are social aspects to take into account while making sustainable investment decisions. Concentrating on these issues can boost business success and corporate responsibility.

To gain a better understanding of the “S” component in ESG, DigitalCFO Asia spoke with Wilson Ang, Partner, Head of Asia Regulatory Compliance and Investigations, Norton Rose Fulbright.

The Current Trends In Social Factors That Are Greatly Affecting Businesses

ESG is an umbrella term that was coined by the United Nations in 2005 and relates to investments that go beyond typical short-term financial considerations. The concepts are focused on long-term, responsible value investing, and they cover environmental, social and governance issues. G, for governance, has always been top-of-mind for business and the E for environment is gaining prominence in recent years. 

“However, the social factor in ESG, or the ‘S’ component, tends to be a bit more difficult to grapple with as it spans across a wide spectrum of concerns,” says Wilson Ang, Partner, Head of Asia Regulatory Compliance and Investigations, Norton Rose Fulbright.

Some of these concerns can be quite egregious and may have criminal implications. Others that are less obvious, like workplace harassment, discrimination, and lack of engagement, are also important. CFOs need to be aware of the social issues that can have an impact on the company’s bottom line or potentially help to raise the top line, as there are financial advantages to getting this right. 

The range of social factors impacting a company is dependent on the types of business it engages in. On one hand, there are very serious social concerns that threaten basic, fundamental human freedom, which we should protect. These include human rights issues, modern slavery, forced labor and debt bondage. Other social concerns, such as workplace bullying, intimidation, sexual harassment and racial or religious discrimination, undermine human dignity that should be respected. 

“The protection and preservation of human diversity are also crucial in ensuring the equality of opportunities. Related workplace social factors include talent engagement and retention, learning and development programs, and ensuring responsible data use and protection. While these are historically perceived as “softer” social issues, they are increasingly taking center stage and will have teeth when they are eventually enshrined in legislation,” says Wilson Ang, Partner, Head of Asia Regulatory Compliance and Investigations, Norton Rose Fulbright. 

For instance, Singapore’s Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP) previously issued guidelines on driving fair and progressive employment practices and anti-discriminatory practices. This will soon gain the effect of law and be enshrined in legislation, thus opening doors for more quality opportunities. 

Ensuring A Safe And Equitable Workplace

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated several social concerns that had already been in existence. Lockdowns, travel restrictions, vaccinations and even contact tracing have affected individuals physically, mentally, and emotionally. It also disproportionately affected migrant workers and brought several underlying social issues to light. 

People who were not able to work from home due to their existing environment and circumstances were disproportionately affected in terms of their livelihoods and income. Those who were able to work remotely also had to adjust to the new environment and faced pressures trying to prove that they are equally productive while working from home. There have also been stories of employees being intimidated or bullied online with increased remote working.

In addition, the pandemic and economic downturn have resulted in a number of retrenchment exercises; supply chain disruptions have also caused severe economic pressures. These have all contributed to a rise in anxiety and stress among employees.  

So what can companies do to ensure a safe and equitable workplace? 

“There is a clear need for companies to stay ahead of the evolving work environment and changing regulations. While a lot of the new working arrangements were implemented to meet business needs during the pandemic, there is value for companies to retain and institute those policies that help to foster greater equality opportunities. For example, work-from-home arrangements can benefit working parents, who might be able to better care for their children,” says Wilson Ang, Partner, Head of Asia Regulatory Compliance and Investigations, Norton Rose Fulbright. 

Priorities Of Socially Conscious Companies

The shift to a hybrid work environment needs to be an ongoing conversation that companies have with their employees. The majority of the workforce has become used to working from home, and most would wish to retain and continue enjoying the flexibility and benefits of remote working. At the same time, employers who see the benefits of in-person team gatherings and collaborations may hold the view that working in an office outweighs a work-from-home arrangement.  

If return-to-office policies are implemented too quickly without consultation with broader teams, this might result in a mismatch of expectations and potentially impact team morale and confidence. Moving forward, organizations are expected to adopt a calibrated hybrid approach that balances out the expectations of the workforce with flexible working arrangements.  

“The social factor in ESG is fundamentally really about caring; caring about your employees and caring about the workplace environment that they are in,” says Wilson Ang, Partner, Head of Asia Regulatory Compliance and Investigations, Norton Rose Fulbright. 

Promoting Ethical Business In Daily Internal and External Interactions

When it comes to the promotion of ethical businesses and being socially conscious, companies need to first conduct a materiality assessment. This assessment can be conducted along 2 axes and will help businesses to form a view on the issues that are material to them. The first axis focuses on the importance of the issue internally, such as to business operations and employees. The second axis focuses on the importance of the issue externally, including stakeholders, investors, local communities, and customers. 

Depending on where the issues are plotted against the axes, companies are then able to identify overlapping, material factors that are critical to both their business and stakeholders. 

The outcome of this materiality assessment will form part of a company’s strategic governance. Any company will benefit from knowing the material factors that they need to focus on and prioritize, as there are just too many things under the sun. This will help them to better develop strategies that are ethically sound and socially conscious. 

“All cases from a social perspective, such as workplace discrimination, bullying, intimidation and harassment issues, will increasingly take center stage as we gradually return to the office and bring along an increased focus on mental wellness. Organizations need to take these issues seriously and should have in place a trusted and open channel for employees to speak up, and businesses need to address them promptly and appropriately. This will help to protect the diversity of thought, expression, conscience and religion,” Wilson Ang, Partner, Head of Asia Regulatory Compliance and Investigations, Norton Rose Fulbright. 

There will also be a greater focus on supply chain diligence given the spotlight on labor violations. In other words, modern slavery, forced labor, debt bondage, and more are issues that businesses need to be increasingly aware of and have policies for. These issues are especially prevalent in Asia, fueled by widespread poverty, migration, weak governance, and the abuse of cultural practices.

“That’s something that businesses in this part of the world need to be conscious of. Not just in their immediate employment workforce, but also the individuals and the companies that they work with up and down the supply chain,” says Wilson Ang, Partner, Head of Asia Regulatory Compliance and Investigations, Norton Rose Fulbright. 

Leveraging the Social Criteria in ESG to Attract and Retain Employees

The pandemic has led to the global workforce doing a lot of rethinking and internalizing the role that they play in a company. Many are now questioning the real value and impact of their work and some have even expressed the desire to do more than just drive bottom line growth. 

“I think a certain degree of trust has broken down and employees are looking for a purpose beyond profit,” says Wilson Ang, Partner, Regulatory Compliance and Investigations, Norton Rose Fulbright. 

These issues have led to what is known as the great resignation. In the aftermath of the pandemic, the great resignation has been followed by the great regret. People who shifted or quit their jobs and moved somewhere else, felt that the grass is not always greener on the other side. 

The great resignation is much like playing musical chairs with unsatisfactory jobs, and this is where the pandemic provides a good opportunity for companies to take stock, and give their employees room to search for purpose in their work so that they do not drift from one job to another.  

For employers trying to include social criteria into their ESG strategy, there should be meaningful workforce engagement opportunities for employees to be given a voice in major decisions and be treated as an important internal stakeholder. This allows them to have some involvement in crafting their own career path in conjunction with the broader corporate strategy. There must also be some investment in employees by providing training and upskilling them. As the saying goes, train them so well that they can go anywhere they want, but treat them so well that they want to stay. These are definitely opportunities not to be missed. 


Almost Half Of Singaporean Workers Threaten To Quit Their Jobs If Employers Force Them Back Into Office Full-time

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DigitalCFO Newsroom | 31 October 2022

88% of Singaporeans say they want to work remotely at least once a week.

Like other employees around the globe who have become accustomed to a hybrid work environment, Singaporeans are pushing back on employers who insist they return to the office full-time. According to a new study by Employment Hero, 81% of Singaporean workers are keen to take on a permanent remote position, and 46% of remote and hybrid workers would even consider leaving their jobs if employers forced them to return to the office full-time.

According to its 2022 Remote Work Report which polled close to 1,000 Singaporean knowledge workers, Gen Z and Millennials aged 18-35 were the main drivers of this trend, with 60% of those surveyed within this age group more likely to still work fully remotely.  

Location fluidity was cited as one of the main reasons for Singaporeans to want to work remotely, with 30% of Singaporean workers having moved further away from the office or taken a working holiday while working remotely. Additionally, the rise of remote work has also brought about fresh opportunities Singaporeans are keen to pursue. This was particularly prominent amongst Gen Zs who are 78% more likely to consider moving abroad. 

The Current State of Work


While 84% of employees worked remotely or in a hybrid style from 2020 and 2021, the return to a post-pandemic ‘normal’ saw 41% returning to the office full-time this year. Of these, 49% stated that their return was due to their employer’s directive.

With the rising cost of living and talks of an upcoming recession, over half of Singaporean knowledge workers have a secondary income stream to relieve some of their financial burdens. Although 48% agreed that sometimes their other income streams take away their focus from their primary job, 81% stated that their side income does not affect their productivity at work.

Additionally, respondents also said that remote or hybrid work has been better for their work-life balance, mental health, quality of work, productivity, and innovation. More importantly, Singaporean workers also believe that it supports diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), with 64% of workers from marginalised groups agreeing that remote work protects them from discrimination.

The Future Is Flexible

There is a clear preference amongst Singaporean knowledge workers for being able to work remotely, particularly in a hybrid model where they are able to enjoy the best of home and office settings.

“With a majority of employees having returned to the office full-time, work seems to have returned to some form of ‘normalcy’ – but employers need to be wary of pushing employees back into the ‘traditional’ model of work and be mindful that talent won’t forget the positive impact working remotely or in a hybrid setting had on their mental health and work-life balance,” said Alex Hattingh, Chief People Officer at Employment Hero.

“Companies looking to implement remote work should be ready to support their remote workers’ needs, being especially aware that these will differ across regions. In Singapore for example, better advocacy of work-life balance, additional financial support such as subsidising utilities, upskilling opportunities and the proper use of digital tools to maximise employees’ time and output are high on the list of priorities that employees look for in terms of support.

“We are in an era where employee working habits are shaping the employment landscape, Millennials and Gen Zs are driving working trends, and employers need to be willing to listen. The future of work is undoubtedly flexible; employers must adapt and engage with their workforce if they hope to successfully attract and retain great talent, or risk losing out,” Hattingh added. 


How to Cope with Burnout: Advice From The Experts

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By Denisse Garcia, first published on Porch | 27 October 2022

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Life can be stressful, and stress can rapidly turn into burnout. If you’ve ever felt extreme mental and physical exhaustion and overwhelmed by the pressure to perform your daily tasks, you may have experienced burnout. 

Finding the right balance between work and life is not an easy challenge, but it’s not impossible. Whether you are or a loved one is struggling, the following advice from experts will help you extinguish burnout before it’s too late. Qinthara Fasya, Assistant Editor from DigitalCFO Asia shares her insights on preventing burnout when remote working.

Which healthy habits can help us prevent burnout? and Which healthy habits can help us overcome burnout?

After interviewing dozens of functional medicine practitioners through our work at WebFMD, including some with expertise in recovering from burnout, we have learned how much of an impact lifestyle can have on the prevention of and recovery from this common, yet devastating condition.

Burnout occurs when you lose your excitement for life, you find yourself just going through the motions day-to-day. You feel like nothing matters, nothing is exciting, and there is no real reason to get out of bed in the morning.

The way to prevent and even reverse burnout is to find your creativity and zest for life again. Some of the functional medicine experts we have worked with recommend three ways to tap into your energetic spring again: regular reflection, daily play, and learning how to enter the creative flow state in any situation.

Reflection helps you identify aspects of your life where burnout is likely or has already occurred. It is also an opportunity to practice gratitude for what is going well, one of the best ways to prevent burnout. When you are busy being grateful, your perspective shifts. Gratitude leads to happiness with the present, rather than always reaching for more, which eventually leads to burnout.

The second aspects are play and creativity – these go hand in hand. Play is simply daily free time, even just 15-20 minutes, where you enjoy a hobby or do something fun for the sake of fun.

The time spent in play is where your creativity springs from, it gives you the mental and emotional space to enter the flow state, to tap into your creative power that is always there. When you give yourself time to unleash your creativity through play, you become more resilient emotionally, which bleeds into every aspect of your life.

While these three simple changes can get you started on the path to recovery, it’s important to remember you don’t have to take this journey alone. Speaking to a professional can help you get there faster. Having the right guide can help you regain your mental, physical, and spiritual health, so you can find your joy again.

– Amir Ginsebrg at WebFMD

Meditation can be a fantastic tool to use when you’re recovering or looking to prevent burnout, and is a very accessible practice that anyone can try. There are many different types of meditation, but one that can be very helpful in this situation is loving-kindness meditation, which aims to enhance feelings of compassion and love for others. Because one component of burnout is a feeling of depersonalization, or feeling disconnected from life, this form of meditation can be a great choice to help you reconnect with your emotions. In fact, there have been studies showing that a compassion-focused meditation practice helped people recover from burnout and improved their wellness.

Social connection is also vital when it comes to burnout. When people experience burnout, they often withdraw socially and become more isolated. Reaching out to others who you trust is therefore extremely important. They can remind you of your own positive qualities, which helps you deal with the burnout-induced feelings of low self-worth. You can then reconnect with positive emotions like joy and gratitude. Seek support from friends and family, instead of trying to go through this alone. Doing so will only strengthen your long-term bonds with these people, which will continue to support your health and well-being in the future.

Burnout is complex, and every person is different. Your recovery plan will likely include more than these two techniques, but these are essential components that can both help prevent and support your recovery from burnout, not to mention, enhance your quality of life for many years to come.

One more thing to consider about burnout. Burnout not only sucks the enjoyment out of your days, it can even rob you of years of healthy life. A number of studies have shown that burnout causes the telomeres at the end of your chromosomes to shorten more rapidly, meaning that it increases the rate of biological aging. If you want to live a long and healthy life, it’s essential to recognize and address any feelings of burnout.

– Dr. Patricia Shelton, MD at LongevIQ

What are some uncommon signs of burnout?

Some of the more uncommon symptoms of burnout are not so much uncommon as they are not typically associated with burnout. Be on the look out for things like “phantom” physical aches and pains, GI distress, difficulty sleeping, and increased substance use. People often self-medicate their stress with alcohol and other drugs. And stress-related burnout often manifests itself in our physiology. Hence, GI distress, aches and pains, and trouble sleeping. Talk to your doctor if these symptoms persist for more than a couple of weeks.”

– Randy Withers, LCMHC at Blunt Therapy

Why does burnout occur even when we love our jobs?

Burnout occurs even when we love our jobs, because business owners often wear many hats and put business and client obligations before personal health. There are many things one can outsource but health is not one of them. No one will benefit from sleep you don’t get, but everyone around you, including family, employees and customers will be affected by the lack of it when it shows up as sloppiness in your work and missed obligations.

No one but you gain advantage from your nutrition, and there are no benefits from fruits and vegetables or vitamin supplements you don’t consume on a regular basis. Eating crappy foods may be convenient especially during a burnout period, but your health will pay the price and the way crappy foods make you feel will extend the burnout period.

The same is true for exercise, movement is a huge contributor in mental and physical well-being. You can hire a fitness trainer, but unless you show up for the workouts and do the reps, you don’t get toned, or reap the benefits that exercise provides. Skipping or ignoring personal health is one of the biggest factors in burnout.

Oddly enough, when you take of yourself, you are better equipped overall to take care of those around you. Loving your job is only part of the equation, you also have to love and take care of yourself.

– Angela Brown, CEO of Savvy Cleaner

How can individuals tell the difference between burnout and depression?

From my experience working with business owners for over a decade, burnout tends to occur when someone has been pushing through a lot of internal resistance (i.e.: stress, confidence issues, and other conflicts in the mind), overworking, and feeling emotionally unfilled for a period of time. Whereas, depression is typically caused by either an acute sense of loss (i.e.: grieving), or a chronic sense of unfulfillment in life. Both require some mindset shifts, but depression caused by a chronic sense of unfulfillment often requires some deeper emotional healing.

– Alicia Cramer at AliciaCramer.com

When is it time to ask for professional help when you are burnt out?

Burnout can be a very debilitating condition if left untreated. The reality is that as the days go by, individuals encounter very stressful situations that overtime can lead to significant mental and physical fatigue in the form of burnout. In particular, with the ongoing pressures associated with workplace related stress the cases of burn out have increased dramatically and even more so with the pandemic. With that said, if your burnout is leading to physical impairment, suicidal thoughts, apathy towards relationships, and or social anxiety then it may be time to consult with a professional for help. Essentially, it is important to be proactive about your mental health and if you feel like you are struggling with burnout, it is definitely time to seek out professional help. A therapist can help you understand the root cause of your stress and work with you to develop healthy coping mechanisms. If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts, they can also provide you with the necessary support to keep you safe and get you the help you need. If your burnout is impacting your work, it is also important to seek out professional help so that you can create a plan to prevent further deterioration of your condition. To assess whether or not you have burnout try asking yourself the following questions:

  • How often do you feel overwhelmed by your work?
  • Do you find that you are unable to focus on tasks or complete them in a timely manner?
  • Do you frequently feel exhausted, both mentally and physically?
  • Do you often have difficulty sleeping or find that you are not getting enough rest?
  • Do you find yourself withdrawing from social activities or hobbies that you used to enjoy?
  • Do you feel like you are not living up to your potential?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, it is time to seek professional help. There are many resources available to individuals struggling with burnout and seeking help is the first step in managing your condition. Remember, you are not alone and there is help available. Don’t hesitate to reach out for support.

– Maya Ahmed at Cedarway Therapy

How can business owners contribute to prevent burnout from their employees?

I firmly believe that everyone in your business in equally responsible for the well-being of work colleagues. When it comes to employees it is not just about providing them with a job and a salary but also ensuring they have the time and space to do what makes them happy.

If you are an employer, you should provide your team members with opportunities to develop their skills and grow professionally. You can do this by providing multiple tasks that need to be completed and letting the employee choose which one they would like to work on first. Doing this will benefit everyone in the long run.

I think the most important thing to remember when dealing with employee burnout is that it is not always something that can be prevented. When one of your employees become burned out, it is usually because there was too much work or the person did not receive enough support on the task they were given.

Your goal as an employer is to figure out why the employee feels so overwhelmed and then take steps to address those issues. For example, if your employee has been working on a project for several weeks and still hasn’t finished it, they may need extra help. Or maybe the employee needs more training on how to complete specific tasks.

Whatever the case, it’s essential to listen to your employees’ concerns and offer solutions instead of ignoring them.

– Kyle Crisp at kcwebdesign.com.au

How can we cope with burnout?

Creating healthy and sustainable boundaries is an important piece of preventing burnout and reversing its effects if you’ve already hit that wall. Boundaries that can help include beginning and ending all work communication at a specific time every day to make room for other life experiences. Not working during lunch. Designating 1-2 days where you do NO business related activities. Getting a virtual assistant to handle mundane tasks, filter emails, and manage your meeting calendar.

There are various ways to set up boundaries that work for your situation, and the key is trying them out with an open mind.

Maintaining those boundaries can be difficult, especially if this is a new practice for you. So it is important that you practice positive self-talk. This is something you should practice for overall mental and emotional well-being, but it can also help you maintain these boundaries.

A big enemy of maintaining boundaries is our feeling that we’re not working hard enough, and the fear of regret for not seizing the moment. So as you step away from work to hang out with friends, play a game, watch a movie or go walk around outdoors, continually remind yourself that this play time is recharging your batteries to be more effective and efficient at work. And during those times where you’ve slipped in maintaining your boundaries, don’t beat yourself up about it. Chuckle and set the intention to begin those boundaries again tomorrow.

– Chris Colbert, Founder and CEO of DCP Entertainment

What is the difference between stress and burnout in the workplace?

Every person has stressful days at work. Between looming deadlines, difficult projects, and disagreements with colleagues, it’s no wonder why we sometimes feel mentally exhausted. Employee burnout can affect anyone, especially people who consistently feel stressed, frustrated, or anxious.

A common misconception is that stress and burnout are the same. Stress is a response we all feel from the daily stressors of life. Work, family, money, health, relationships, and difficult situations can all cause different levels of stress. Burnout happens when prolonged stress makes us feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet life’s demands.

Employees who feel burned out may find it difficult—or even impossible—to be their best selves at work, especially when they feel pushed to a breaking point. Stressed employees also tend to have higher turnover rates, feel less motivated, and take more time off due to work-related exhaustion.

The truth is that stress is part of the human experience. Certain people, situations, and events are bound to make you feel overwhelmed. However, the key to keeping stress levels in check and avoiding burnout is to practice constant self-care, set boundaries, and schedule time in your week to do things you enjoy.

At work, advocate for yourself by asking “How can I make my workplace a healthy and enjoyable place for myself?” This could take the form of adjusting your work hours, rearranging your space, or scheduling quiet hours on your calendar. Discuss these non-negotiables with your supervisor and colleagues so everyone understands what you need to be successful.

At home, schedule time to rest and recover. Spend at least 30 minutes per day enjoying the things that bring you happiness and help you to feel recharged. When in doubt, seek outside support from a therapist, counselor, coach, or mental health resource.

– Meaghan Maybee, Content Marketing Specialist at pc/nametag

What can we learn from entrepreneurs that have overcome burnout?

Elon Musk once compared launching a startup to “chewing glass and staring into the abyss.” For Musk — and countless legions of Type-A business types — the need to address burnout before it becomes problematic is self-evident.

That being the case, the recommendation to seek out “effective self-care” shows up in the No. 1 slot on the list of priorities for numerous successful businesspeople. However, the meaning of that phrase will vary widely. Some people unwind and refresh through regular exercise. For others, it’s meditation. 

What works well for someone else may not work for you. The two key concepts to keep in mind are identification and amelioration. Both require a deep level of self-understanding undergirded by some form of external accountability.

  • Identification: Common symptoms of burnout include reduced productivity, mental fog, changes in sleep or diet patterns, high blood pressure, and mood swings. Often these shifts occur imperceptibly, which is why heading off burnout will necessitate at least one voice outside your head that you have “deputized” to call changes in behavior to your attention. Of course, this presupposes you will pay attention when a trusted friend or coworker waves the warning flag.
  • Amelioration: Once the warning flag has gone up, it’s time to shift the workload, start clearing other priorities off your weekly planner, and intentionally pursue those activities that restore and revitalize you. In one of his blog posts, Sir Richard Branson encourages others to feel no guilt when it’s time to stop work. After all, if you don’t allow your mind and body to rejuvenate, you might win the immediate battle to complete specific tasks. Still, you will likely lose the capacity to work steadily over years and decades.

You are a unique individual. Pay attention to people, places, and things that drain you. Likewise, make a note when you find yourself refreshed and ready to go. The entry fee for victory over burnout is simply acknowledging that you are finite and limited. Take steps to ensure that you catch yourself trying to be all things to all people all the time!

– Kimberly Zhang, Editor in Chief at Under30CEO

How do you cope with burnout?

I started my career in the bustling “ad world” in NYC. I loved the city life, my colleagues & was learning skills that helped me grow as a designer, but the toll the hustle culture was taking on my mental health wasn’t worth it. So I created HIYO DESIGN. I now set my own boundaries & have found it produces more effective & affordable results for my clients, without the late nights or burnout.

– Cristi, CoFounder & Design Director at Hiyodesign.com

How can essential oils help with burnout?

It’s no secret that essential oils can have a powerful effect on our mood and overall well-being. But what many people don’t realize is that essential oils can also be extremely helpful in managing burnout. For those who are struggling with the effects of burnout, essential oils can provide much-needed relief from stress and fatigue.

Essential oils are natural compounds extracted from plants. Each oil has its own unique scent and therapeutic properties. When used aromatically or topically, essential oils can help to promote relaxation, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve mood.

Essential oils can be a great way to help with burnout. They are a natural and safe way to boost your energy levels, reduce stress, and restore peace and clarity.

There are a number of essential oils that are known to be particularly effective in managing burnout. Lavender oil is one of the most popular essential oils for burnout and relaxation, as it’s known for its calming and soothing properties. It can help to reduce the physical and emotional symptoms of burnout.

Other essential oils that can help with burnout include chamomile, eucalyptus, and rosemary. Simply inhaling the scent of these essential oils can help to calm your nervous system and ease stress. You can also add a few drops of essential oil to an aromatherapy diffuser, or create a relaxing aromatherapy massage by combining essential oils with carrier oils like jojoba or coconut oil.

For those requiring an energy boost, oils that are known for their energizing effects are peppermint, rosemary, and lemon. You can diffuse these oils or inhale them directly to help revitalize your energy levels.

Geranium and frankincense can help to promote feelings of peace and clarity. You can diffuse these oils or inhale them directly to help you clear your mind and bring peace.

By taking some time for yourself and using essential oils, you can help combat burnout, ease symptoms, and restore balance to your life. With their calming and rejuvenating effects, essential oils can help you get back on track and find your footing again.

If you’re feeling burned out, essential oils can be a helpful way to ease your symptoms and help you relax. For more guidance on burnout relief essential oils visit: https://www.lovingessentialoils.com/blogs/essential-oil-tips/essential-oils-for-burnout


– Jennifer Lane, Certified Aromatherapist and owner of Loving Essential Oils

In what ways can we support a loved one going through burnout?

Before giving a hand to someone experiencing burnout, I want you to know they might be in an emotionally vulnerable state right now.

Any conversations could make your loved one feel low or defensive, and they might push you away anytime. However, don’t let your ego come in your way and force you to give up. Just be patient with them.

Here are the seven simplest ways you can provide the best support to your loved ones struggling with burnout:-

1. When they ask you to give them space, don’t ask questions or forcefully accompany them. Let them enjoy solitude for some time. It would help declutter their thoughts and refresh themselves.

2. Don’t be their daddy and speak up generic bullshit that everyone already knows and says. For example, statements such as, “burnout is a part of life. Just keep going, and you’ll get rid of it.” would frustrate them even more.

3. Convince them to take a recovery break from work because they may be working too much for too long.

The quote by Michael Gungor, “Burnout happens when you try to avoid being human for too long,” would massively help you while you would be convincing them.

4. Do fun activities with them to keep them distracted from pondering over their work. You could try watching movies, playing games, or hanging out with them.

5. Don’t start any conversations that might trigger their burnout feelings. For example, if they experienced burnout because of working their ass off in their business, asking them “how’s their business going” every day won’t be a good idea.

6. Suggest them to spend time doing the things they love. Forcing them to do something against their will may end up frustrating them even more.

7. At least, for now, prevent your “loved one” from pushing past their limits. If you see them working too much again, pull them back.

– Varun Pahwa at Uprisehigh.com

How can remote workers prevent burnout?

  1. Having an Agenda before you start the day

We easily mix up our priorities as remote workers because stuff is always floating around. Even writing down the things we still need to complete from the previous day would greatly aid us in preparing the schedule for the next day. For remote workers, prioritizing duties will undoubtedly be helpful because it streamlines the day’s schedule. We should plan out how long each task should take by include the virtual calls on this schedule as well. When we have a streamline plan for the day, we’ll always have things to do in steady pace, giving us allowances to plan in the breaks as well.

  1. A dedicated Workspace

As long as there is an obvious separation between the work area and the rest area, a dedicated workstation can be found anyplace. Many people assume that since the majority of employees are required to work from home or have a hybrid work style, they will need to upgrade their home offices with more peripherals. However, the truth is that our minds would naturally adjust to it as a single workstation as long as there is a distinct boundary between the work and play areas. In that we would be able to take breaks and leave our office for a brief period of time to decompress, this would help to prevent burnout.

  1. Take sufficient breaks especially when facing a digital screen for the whole day

When we interact with co-workers or go to the pantry to get a snack, we naturally take breaks from the screen as opposed to in an office setting. This promotes mental health and gives our brains a little period of rest. This paradigm ought to be used when working remotely as well so that we can rest our eyes and renew our mental faculties. Long-term health benefits from this would likewise be favourable.

– Qinthara Fasya, Assistant Editor for DigitalCFO Asia

How can remote workers set boundaries to avoid burnout?

Remote workers are frequently disconnected from the rest of their team, both physically and culturally. It is easy to fall into the habit of working excessive hours or allowing projects to expand beyond the scope. Both of these are examples of boundaries being compromised. Boundaries should be set cooperatively between your management team and yourself. What are your expectations, and what are those of management? For example, if your management team expects you to be available 24×7 because you are remote, that’s just unreasonable. Likewise, if you want to work on agreed-to projects that only require 25-30 hours of your time per week, is that fair to your company or to you? Boundaries should include a reasonable amount of work time and space for lunch, breaks, and family events.

Further, remote work should allow you some flexibility of schedule, including time off for special events. On the occasional times where you have to work more on a project, you should be able to ask for compensating time off. Remote work should be a benefit to you, the company you work for, and your mutual customers or clients.

– Randy Johnston at k2e.com

What are your 3 top tips to stay productive even when we’re on the verge of burning out?

1.) Lower your expectations for yourself. Remembering that good enough is good enough gets me through many low periods. Not everything needs to be 100%, and some things can wait until you feel better. 

2.)Reprioritize. Make a list of all your responsibilities and see which ones are crucial and which ones can wait. Identifying the most critical task and downgrading the less time-sensitive will take a lot of stress off your plate. 

3.) Remember that you are your own most valuable asset. Burnout is a mental health condition and a sign that your environment might need some changes. When you’re feeling better, look at what might be ramping up your anxiety and see if you can make some changes. Do what’s best for you without shame, and take the time you need to get better.

– Maria Black at MySoulBalm

Why is being kind to yourself essential when we’re experiencing burnout?

There’s a misconception that kindness is meant for others. 

Most of us know how to be kind towards others — to be considerate towards service staff, compassionate towards those in need, and gracious towards the people around us. For some, it’s as natural as breathing; for others, it’s more of a work-in-progress. 

Nevertheless, the majority of us would at least understand the fundamentals of kindness and how it can be applied to others. Yet, we often struggle to extend this same grace towards ourselves.

While we might baulk at the idea of forcing others to work until they reach physical or mental exhaustion, many of us have no qualms about pushing ourselves to do that. We work long hours, building stress and ignoring our own needs in favour of doing more.

The end result is, of course, burnout. 

No matter how we justify it to ourselves, reaching the point of burnout is a sign that we’ve been significantly unkind to both our minds and bodies. That is a problem — if we aren’t able to take the first step of treating ourselves with the kindness and respect that we deserve, then we can’t extend that same compassion to others.

So how can we be kind to ourselves during burnout?

The first step would be to slow down and understand our needs. Without knowing why we’ve burnt ourselves out, it is difficult to help ourselves exit that state. Take some time to figure out what exactly caused the burnout and then address it. 

In the meantime, do some things that make you happy — take a walk, watch a movie, or curl up with a good book. Being kind to yourself isn’t very different from being kind to others — the aim is still to extend graciousness and compassion to be a positive force in life.

Being kind to ourselves also brings us many health benefits. Research has found that people who practise self-love and compassion not only experience less stress but have a lower heart rate and blood pressure and a stronger immune system.

Keep practising kindness on yourself, even when you’ve overcome your burnout. 

Being kind is a way of making our own lives and the lives of others meaningful. It allows us to communicate better with others, be more self-compassionate, and also be a positive force in other people’s lives.

– William Wan, JP, PhD, General Secretary at Singapore Kindness Movement

What tools can people use to identify if they are burnt out?

First of all, people can use the 3 factors I described in my article we already talked about:

  • Occupational exhaustion
  • Depersonalization/loss of empathy
  • Personal accomplishment assessment

This is important because burnout is not a binary thing, but a spectrum or a scale.

Common signs are (but are not exclusive to burnout):

  • exhaustion – it feels like one can never recover from being tired mentally/emotionally
  • a long streak of lack of motivation
  • cognitive issues – e.g. finding it hard to focus and pay attention
  • regularly feeling frustrated and/or cynical – one might feel what they do doesn’t matter anymore, and they get disillusioned
  • having regular negative thoughts and/or anxiety about work even when not at work
  • burnout can lead to physical symptoms, such as headache or intestinal issues (but of course, there are many other potential causes for these)
  • reduced performance – mostly because of the negative thoughts, exhaustion and finding it hard to focus
  • messed up sleep cycle
  • no/low satisfaction from one’s achievements – even when doing a fantastic job, you’re not getting the satisfaction you used to.

– Csaba Okrona at Leadership.Garden

How can we benefit from therapy when we are fighting burnout?

Burnout can manifest in many different forms. Physical, emotional, spiritual, relational, political, etc… It’s a buildup of stress, tension, and intense demands that takes its toll over time. 

Whether you’re feeling emotionally and/or physically exhausted, dread going to work, or find yourself isolating or avoiding the people, places, and things you used to love, you may be struggling with burnout. 

Burnout has been even more prevalent over the past few years while we all experienced the shared trauma of navigating life during a pandemic. This added level of stress has contributed to higher levels of burnout than usual. 

Regardless of where you fall on the level of heightened stress, anxiety, and full-on burnout spectrum, there’s no doubt that therapy with a licensed mental health professional can help.  

Since the pandemic started, counseling has become much more mainstream and accessible with telehealth (online counseling). The stigma about seeking mental health services has finally begun to decrease allowing more people to seek counseling when needed. 

Many counseling offices (like ours in South Florida – Bayview Therapy) provide in-office appointments and telehealth options, which are convenient for professionals with demanding schedules, stay at home parents, and people who travel a lot 

There are many benefits from seeking counseling. It’s important to find a therapist that you feel comfortable with so you’ll be open with them and they can help you create a plan to attain your goals. 

Your therapist will help you learn the skills to better manage life’s challenges such as anxiety, stress, depression, trauma/PTSD, substance abuse, and relationship discord. You’ll gain more insight into your behaviors and how to create more preferred behaviors moving forward. You’ll learn strategies to attain greater peace, balance, happiness, and fulfillment in life and your relationships. 

The benefits of counseling are endless. Give it a chance if you haven’t already, you’ll be glad you did!

– Kate Campbell, PhD, LMFT at Bayview Therapy

How can we explain burnout to someone who has not experienced it?

Burnout is a workplace phenomenon resulting from chronic stress due to one’s occupation. Although the experience of burnout differs from individual to individual, it is often likened to a state of absolute exhaustion, feeling defeated, and emptiness.

Burnout symptoms vary; however, there are three main classifications; exhaustion, cynicism, and ineffectiveness. Those experiencing burnout may feel a sense of overwhelming exhaustion, feelings of cynicism and detachment from the job, or a sense of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment in their role.

As burnout is often exacerbated by repetitive stressful activities, it can be prevented through the balance of practicing repetitive positive behavior, getting adequate sleep, exercise, nutrition, and self-reflection. Talk-based therapy is often very effective, and it can be encouraged to chat with your peers at work, friends, family, a coach, or a therapist similar to those offered on Frankie. 

Frankie Health is a workplace mental health platform assisting employees tackle burnout through personalizing their support journey and offering support via therapists, coaches, and tailored exercises.

– Seb Poole at Frankie Health

How can switching off help with burnout?

Over 80 percent of the worldwide inhabitants own a smartphone. Mixed together with your laptop computer, monitor, and TV, you most likely spend extra time in the entrance of a digital display than sleeping. That’s not hyperbole: Work it out. Mockingly, iOS does it for you (at the very least on your Apple units). Evaluate these hours of time spent sleeping and I feel you’ll be shocked.

“What’s the issue?” you may ask. Other than poorer eyesight, complications, and insomnia, know-how habits can be related to anxiety and depression. You may suppose your always-on connectedness helps your clients or staff, however, you’re setting yourself up for failure and worse. Logging further screentime isn’t a badge of honor: it’s a wellbeing threat.

Schedule common breaks away from units. Most docs counsel a five-to-ten minute break each hour, go additional, and take a complete day (or extra) on occasion. Switching off might be laborious at first – you may even really feel irritable – however, in the long term, releasing your thoughts from the clutches of your units will assist sharpen your ideas and bolstering your psychological wellbeing.

– The Top Daily News

How can we find motivation amid burnout?

Staying motivated is no easy task in our culture. We are trapped by demands, responsibilities, commitments, and self-imposed ideals of success. Motivation is a desire or willingness to do, what we perceive to be, a worthwhile task. We do this task despite the anxiety that may come with it, despite the temptation to distraction, despite the sacrifice of pleasure in the present moment we press on. Burnout makes motivation harder because we don’t have the optimal energy reserve to overcome the anxiety or distraction that hinders motivation. When we are burnt out we feel depleted and exhausted. It is difficult to summon the necessary energy to keep our attention on the task. Our technology-infused world offers endless opportunities for distraction and burnout makes it harder to resist their appealing allure.

Burnout is caused by chronic stress, a loss of interest in life activities, low energy, or feeling overwhelmed. Fundamental to all of these challenges is our finite and limited world. We only have 24 hours in a day and we must sleep and take care of ourselves during that time. That leaves 10 to 15 hours of time to be productive and motivated. The human brain also has limits on how long it can stay focused. Highly trained brains can focus for up to two hours, yet the average attention span is less than 10 seconds in our modern world.

Staying motivated amidst burnout must first start with the acknowledgment and acceptance of life as framed in the previous paragraphs. It is at this point that questions can be asked on how to engage this reality, how to set boundaries, and how to live a more intentional, informed life. And the most challenging task is making decisions about what to let go of and how to surrender to a future that we all have limited control over.

– Dr. Thomas Lucking at Silicon Valley Therapy

What is the future of the non-stop hustle mentality after this pandemic burnout era?

With the lines between working and personal life becoming blurred as a result of the pandemic, many working professionals have found it hard to switch off and enjoy downtime with their loved ones. This can take many forms, including not having a dedicated and separate workspace in the home (for remote/hybrid workers) and not switching off workplace notifications on their phones. This has created a workforce made up of individuals experiencing extreme levels of burnout.

And while businesses are doing all they can to combat burnout, it’s not quite enough; they need to tackle the source – of which burnout is simply the outcome.

The digital era has facilitated a space where the world is non-stop, with FOMO becoming a real issue for every generation. The ability to switch on any device and be instantly connected with millions of other people around the globe irrelevant of the time of day is as empowering as it is exhausting. And with remote/hybrid work becoming prevalent in the workplace, professionals are often finding themselves working with disparate teams, meaning if they log on at 2 am, they’ll be able to converse with a colleague in the middle of their working day on the other side of the globe.

But the danger of this approach is the inability to switch off which can lead to much more serious issues than burnout. It can have long-lasting impacts on mental health and wellbeing, including impacting personal lives and leaving individuals feeling despondent.

So how can businesses combat this non-stop hustle mentality? While the simplest approach might be to instill set working times and encourage individuals to only work within specified hours, this can be difficult to monitor. The reality is that organizations need to reassess the expectations they have of their employees; how many in their workforce feel they’re under-resourced and unable to complete their required tasks? How many feel like they need to work additional hours in order to meet deadlines and deliver on expectations? These are the true causes of burnout: understaffed, under-resourced departments that can’t keep pace. And while the global skill shortage may be contributing to this additional pressure, businesses should be looking at the bigger picture to determine where there are weak points in their workforce and how they can support current employees.

– Natasha Vickery-Orme, Editor in Chief at Insights For Professionals

How can work-life balance help us avoid burning out?

There are Big Benefits to Beating Burnout 

Much like a plant needs the sun to grow, burnout needs chronic stress to develop. Therefore, if we prevent or reduce stress by balancing our personal and professional lives, we eliminate burnout’s ability to develop or deepen. All in all, work-life balance is not only the best preventive measure; it is the actual cure. 

Between work, children and family, people have a lot on their plate, and balancing it all is no easy task — if it were, everyone would be doing it, because the benefits are undeniably fantastic. Work-life balance improves physical and mental health and enables people to cope better with stress. In addition, those with balanced lives are generally happier and more productive and successful.  

Unfortunately, burnout has reached epidemic proportions. The World Health Organization declared burnout an official diagnosis in 2019 and labeled it an “occupational phenomenon.” This is why companies are increasingly investing in work-life balance benefits for their employees. They realize it is in their best business interests to join the battle against burnout. Around 95% of companies deal with the negative impacts of burned-out employees. However, organizations that prioritize work-life balance can cut turnover by upwards of 50%. Their employees are also happier and more productive — working 21% harder. 

In the battle against burnout, work-life balance is the proverbial armor we should all be wearing.  

– Kelly Crotty, Marketing Content Manager at BestUponRequest.com

The Bottom Line

We hope this article helps you recognize, combat, and prevent burnout. There are a variety of actions we can take as individuals to reduce stress before they become overwhelming. Tackling home projects can be a sore spot that can add unnecessary stress to our lives. We are here to help whether you need to renovate your kitchen, fix that annoying leaky sink, or replace that broken window you’ve been avoiding, Porch has got you covered.

Author’s Note:

This article is still being edited as experts submit their advice.


Employee Wellness At The Forefront Of Today’s Workforce

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Fatihah Ramzi, DigitalCFO Asia | 11 October 2022

Employee performance directly affects a company’s profitability, therefore it’s critical for them to be in top physical and mental condition to carry out their responsibilities to the fullest.

The success of an organization and a business depends on employee wellness. It has an effect on a workplace’s culture, resources, performance, and, inevitably, its financial performance. As a result, employee well-being—both physically and mentally—is a bigger concern than HR. In actuality, it serves as the cornerstone for a company’s expansion, stability, resilience, and sustainability. However, any company or organization must first comprehend what employee wellbeing is in order to appreciate its significance and effectively address the issue.

Wellness includes both physical and mental health. Its popularity as a notion in the workplace has developed over the last 30 years or so. It concentrates on assisting employees in taking control of their own health, quality of life, and mental wellbeing, which in turn affects how well they perform at work. As a result, employee wellness considers proactive ways to cultivate and encourage better lifestyles and attitudes in addition to reducing time lost from work due to illness.

Employee wellness takes a personal approach and motivates people to lead healthy lives. This is done for their benefit and the good of the workplace culture. It includes a broad range of topics, including health promotion, disease prevention, and the elements that contribute to an individual’s physical and mental well-being. Most importantly, it’s about empowering people to take charge of their own health and make better decisions for it.

Employee wellness is significant to company executives because of the high costs of stress and absenteeism as well as the obvious advantages of enhancing efficiency and recruiting and retaining talent. Businesses need to develop workplace regulations to decrease the number of burnouts and medical leaves taken by workers. Here are some suggestions for improving your employee wellness program.

Physical Wellness

Helping workers attain good physical health entails assisting them in reducing their chance of chronic illnesses, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding other problems like headaches or persistent fatigue. In fact, encouraging physical wellbeing among employees can lengthen their lives. Through yearly biometric exams, yearly corporate flu shot clinics, and the provision of wholesome workplace snacks in the pantry, employers can include the physical aspect of wellness in their employee wellness program.

Emotional Wellness

Although it can be more difficult to talk about emotional wellness at work, companies must do so. Being conscious of being in touch with one’s emotions, thoughts, and feelings is referred to as emotional wellness. A healthy mental state and well-being are supported by positive emotional wellness. Stress reduction, emotional intelligence, and good mental health practices are included (like meditation or mindfulness).

Employees are unable to perform or feel their best at work without good emotional health. Employers can include the emotional aspect in their employee wellness program by implementing stress management techniques, group relaxation exercises, on-site meditation sessions, and more.

Social Wellness

Another facet of employee wellbeing that is frequently disregarded is social wellness. Employers are growing more and more conscious of the detrimental effects of loneliness at work. For employees to be happy at work and feel general satisfaction, there must be strong working connections and possibilities for social engagement. Actually, lonely employees are considerably more likely to feel cut off from their occupations, which can result in subpar work output.

Employers can strengthen employee relationships by incorporating the social aspect of wellness into their employee wellness program via team excursions and activities as well as work celebrations. Even setting up social spaces in the workplace can foster a sense of community among your staff. 

By educating, empowering, illuminating, and inspiring employees about the health difficulties they face today, health dangers they may encounter in the future, and how to prevent them from happening, wellness’ main objective is to promote employee health. You will undoubtedly boost worker morale and produce consistently good work if you take note of some of these activities and incorporate them into your employee health program.


Humanforce Accelerates Growth And Strengthens Market Leadership With Latest Acquisition

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DigitalCFO Newsroom | 3 October 2022

Humanforce, a global provider of workforce management (WFM) solutions, today announced the acquisition of Ento.

 Humanforce, a Sydney-based global provider of workforce management (WFM) solutions, today announced the acquisition of Ento, a WFM solution used for rostering shift management, time & attendance, leave and onboarding. The acquisition represents a significant step in Humanforce’s growth journey and will strengthen and scale its market leadership position with frontline, roster-driven, shift-based workforces in the mid-market and enterprise segments, across a wide range of industry verticals.

Ento is used in 10,000 workplaces by more than 100,000 employees in key markets like retail, hospitality, facilities management, labour hire, child care, leisure, and more. Companies that utilise Ento WFM solutions include World Vision, Medibank, Mecca, Bambini Early Learning Centres and Monash University.

Clayton Pyne, Chief Executive Officer of Humanforce said, “The acquisition of Ento expands our scale and reach, reinforcing our commitment to the vision of making work easier and life better for deskless workers. We remain laser-focused on innovating in workforce management by bringing a modern, employee-centric solution to deskless workforces, which places the employee experience and talent at the core. Humanforce wants to play a critical role in helping businesses not only improve productivity, optimise costs and realise compliance confidence, but also help them strengthen their employee value proposition (EVP) in order to attract, engage and retain talent in an extremely tight labour market.”

The acquisition of Ento was borne from Humanforce’s second round of funding received from leading technology-focused private equity firm, AKKR in May 2022, to fuel company growth through acquisitions. Since AKKR’s incremental investment into Humanforce in May this year, the company has accelerated its growth rate further, delivering fiscal year-on-year SaaS bookings growth of 67%.

Ento founder and CEO Aulay Macaulay stated “Ento has always been focused on supporting businesses with frontline workers to maintain compliance and keep their employees engaged and productive through effective workforce management solutions. We’re excited for what the future holds for Ento as they now become part of the Humanforce community.”

Humanforce is fully committed to helping Ento customers achieve improved productivity, compliance confidence and cost control while fostering a more positive employee experience with workforce management technologies which are purpose-built for shift- and roster-driven (‘deskless’) workforces.


It’s More Important Than Ever For Leaders To Speak Up Around Social, Environmental & Political Issues

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DigitalCFO Newsroom | 30 September 2022

More than half of respondents considering quitting because of mismatched values with their employer.

A new survey by Qualtrics, the leader and creator of the experience management category, found that 60% of respondents in Singapore believe it is more important than ever for leaders to speak out about social, environmental, and political issues. The survey also found that 54% of employees want leaders to speak out more about these issues, and half (50%) wanted their company to take more action to help address them

Findings from the study – based on 1,015 respondents from full- and part-time employees in Singapore – highlight the significant importance of shared purposes and values to a healthy employee-employer relationship, as well as how they are impacting retention and productivity.

More than half of respondents (54%) to the study said they are considering leaving their current employer because it does not exemplify the values they hold. Nearly two-thirds of respondents said they would likely look to leave their employer if the company did not prioritise work-life balance (62%) or well-being (60%). Others said failure to prioritise diversity and inclusion (39%), social responsibility (34%), and environmental sustainability (26%) could make them look for a new job.

In contrast, 86% of respondents said they feel motivated to go above and beyond what’s expected of them when their employer’s mission, values, and vision align with their own.

Managers asked to talk the talk and walk the walk

Alongside a shift toward speaking out, leaders must demonstrate they are living the values themselves – particularly around health and wellbeing. Respondents said leaders were better at exemplifying respect, integrity, and advocating for diversity than they were work life balance and mental health.

For organisations wanting to attract, retain, engage, and enable talent – against a backdrop of the rising cost of living, heightened rates of burnout, and evolving employee attitudes, such as quiet quitting – the Qualtrics findings outline the value of tuning into the unique needs and expectations of their workforce. Equipped with a deeper understanding of what’s important to employees, companies can identify shared interests and prioritise the actions that will have the biggest positive impact on employees and customers.

“Many people are looking at their jobs, their companies, and work in general through a completely different lens than they were before the pandemic. For employers, this new perspective represents a significant opportunity to strengthen relationships with their teams, which can lead to improved wellbeing, higher engagement, greater retention of high-performers, and better outcomes for customers,” said Lauren Huntington, EX Solutions Strategy for Qualtrics in Southeast Asia.


Heidrick & Struggles Continues Advancing on ESG Journey

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DigitalCFO Newsroom | 28 September 2022

Focuses on Placing Diverse Board Members and Executives, Promoting DE&I in the Workplace and Reducing GHG Emissions

Heidrick & Struggles’ second ESG report details ongoing focus on addressing ESG priorities, including diversity, equity and inclusion, governance and sustainability for its clients, employees and the firm’s own operations

Heidrick & Struggles, a premier provider of global leadership advisory and on-demand talent solutions, today released its 2021 ESG Report. Referencing both Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) frameworks, the firm’s second ESG report highlights how it has advanced on its ESG priorities and initiatives through its client work and for the firm’s own employees and global operations.

“In our role as trusted leadership advisors, we have the privilege of working with the world’s leading organizations on their most important talent, leadership, culture and organization needs,” said Krishnan Rajagopalan, President and CEO, Heidrick & Struggles. “ESG priorities are moving to the top of our clients’ agendas, and we are partnering with them a number of different ways, from placing Chief Sustainability Officers to working with Boards and companies that want to attract experienced ESG executives, and more. In addition, we are committed to being leaders in our own industry on the ESG front. We are intently focused on attracting and retaining great talent, living our firm’s purpose and values, building a thriving workplace, and incorporating best practices on sustainability, governance, leadership, culture, and DE&I across our own organization, and for our own employees.”

Key highlights from the 2021 report include:

Our Client Services

  • Globally, 67% of our cumulative slate of Board candidates initially proposed to our clients were diverse, exceeding our annual Board Diversity Pledge
  • 73% of our Board placements were diverse in the United States, and 68% globally1
  • 51% of our overall placements in the United States were diverse, and 49% globally1
  • Our work in our Sustainability and Social Impact Practices continued to grow and expand in scope
  • We published a report in partnership with INSEAD’s Corporate Governance Centre on how Boards are responding to climate change
  • We added on-demand talent to our service offering, addressing the growing demand for more fluid ways of working by independent consultants and companies hiring them

Our People and Culture

  • Women represented 69% of our new hires and 65% of our promotions, globally
  • People of color accounted for 35% of our new hires and 21% of our promotions in the United States
  • We offered work from home flexibility for our employees under our Flexible Workspace philosophy
  • We delivered more than 12,800 hours of learning and development to our employees globally through virtual, in-person and hybrid formats
  • As part of our ongoing commitment to support our employees’ mental health and wellbeing, we began recognizing World Mental Health Day as a holiday
  • We organized our third Global Day of Service with 35 offices participating around the world, continuing our commitment to give back to our communities where we live and work

Governance

  • We have a diverse and experienced Board of Directors; in 2021, 37% of our Board of Directors consisted of women, and 25% consisted of people of color
  • Our Board is committed to ongoing refreshment to meet the evolving needs of the firm, and the average tenure of our directors was 4.5 years
  • As a leading global professional services firm, we have developed a set of corporate values and a Code of Ethics that guide our firm’s culture, ensuring we hold ourselves to the highest professional ethical standards
  • In order to maintain the trust of our clients, candidates and employees, we have a comprehensive set of data protection and privacy programs, policies and practices deployed and maintained throughout our organization

Environmental Sustainability

  • For the first time, we measured and disclosed our full Scopes 1, 2 and 3 carbon footprint
  • We reduced carbon emissions by over 21% versus 2019, primarily due to a reduction in employee commuting, business travel and office footprint
  • We decreased global office square footage by 26% versus the previous year

“With this report, we are maintaining our commitment to holding ourselves accountable and measuring our ESG progress publicly on an ongoing basis, establishing key areas of focus and showing what we have achieved so far, and how much opportunity lies ahead,” said Tracey Heaton, Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary, Heidrick & Struggles. “To best serve our employees, communities and stakeholders’ interests, we will continue being transparent about our progress on ESG metrics, including advancements in our DE&I, governance and sustainability efforts internally, and our progress supporting our clients on their ESG journeys.”


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