Finding out that you have been offered a job is exciting, especially if it's the job that you have been dreaming of. But before you sign anything to accept employment, take some time to review the information provided to you.

Consider this: As an employee, what do you want from that company? According to a Gallup survey, there are other significant factors to take into account besides salary, such as:

1) Greater work-life balance

It all comes down to finding a balance where one gives their personal and professional obligations equal priority. Work-life balance and well-being have also grown in importance over time, with 53% of employees describing them as "extremely important" in 2015, rising to 61% of today's workforce. It’s unfortunate that many previous Gallup workplace evaluations found many staff is stressed, overworked, and burned out. Nonetheless, the considerable increase in remote work has increased awareness of the significance of workplace flexibility alternatives, possibilities that are largely here to stay, even among workers who aren't suffering from burnout.

2) The ability to do what employees do best

It's good to be able to use the talents and skills that each person possesses to their greatest advantage. When given the chance to perform something they are good at, people find their work more stimulating and enjoyable and look forward to going to work. Therefore, it's not surprising that 58% of employees believe that this matter is still very essential for employees. It has been discovered that workers who are not permitted to use their strengths often seek employment where they can, while workers can use their abilities frequently seek jobs where they can use them even more.

3) More stability and job security

Job security is the assurance that one's position will not be terminated. It guarantees that you will be able to continue working in your existing position for the foreseeable future. Basically, employees feel safe from things like layoffs, economic downturns, and other variables that may have an impact on employment. This item's significance hasn't changed since 2015; About half of workers (53%) are looking for jobs that offer more stability and security than their current positions. However, since the beginning of the pandemic, what security means (and what seems secure) has probably shifted. Furthermore, stability and security are predicated on expectations for the future; if these expectations evolve, what job security entails is likely to do the same.

4) Inclusion and diversity

Although diversity and inclusion are related ideas, they are not the same thing. Diversity has to do with representation or how something is put together. Inclusion describes the extent to which the contributions, presence, and perspectives of different groups of people are valued and incorporated into an environment. Gallup asked survey respondents about this for the first time, and it scores at the top for employees at 42%. This demonstrates that societal advancement is evident in the growing support for establishing more inclusive and equal workplaces. Additionally, as many businesses have learned, today's workforce needs real, genuine change in these areas, not just platitudes. In order to discuss these shifts and commitments, recruiters must be ready.

The Benefits/Compensation Are Also Extremely Important! What Does This Mean?

Whenever someone mentions compensation, they frequently consider their annual salary or an hourly wage. However, remuneration or compensation involves much more than that. It's essential to understand the definition of compensation, the different types of compensation, and how it's determined, especially for those searching for new employment.

So, what is compensation? The Cambridge Dictionary define compensation in three ways:

  1. “Money that's paid to someone in exchange for something that has been lost or damaged or for some problem.”
  2. “Something that makes you feel better when you have suffered something bad.”
  3. “The combination of money and other benefits (= rewards) that an employee receives for doing their job.”

In terms of employment, the third definition is most relevant because many businesses provide pay awards for employees' service and contribution. In addition to receiving a good basic salary, employees may be offered a variety of non-monetary or monetary compensation. These are the kinds of incentives that should be considered while deciding on a job offer.

6 Reasons Why Compensation Should Be Very Important To You As An Employee

Finding work should include more than simply accepting a job for the sake of having one. For individuals to be productive at work, they must feel inspired and content with what they are doing, achieving, and receiving. That's why getting compensation and benefits are among the factors that can either make or break employees.

Let's look at some of the primary reasons why this is important for any employee:

1) Maintain your loyalty to the company

Two-thirds (66%) of workers believe benefits have become a more essential element of how they evaluate their overall salary. It stands to reason that three-quarters (75%) of employees consider benefits when deciding whether to stay or leave a job. 44% of workers are more willing to consider choosing a similar job at a different company that offers superior benefits (Compaas)

2) More motivated to complete tasks

Personalised wellness programmes, along with a variety of non-cash incentives such as paid time off, would motivate 80% of employees to participate in company programming (Welltok). Similarly, 90% of workers think that receiving recognised motivates them to perform more (Achievers)

3) Increase your workplace productivity

According to research, employees who receive low compensation are more likely to start their own businesses or take on side jobs. The side business will interfere with the quality of work and concentration of employees. The study also emphasises how evident it is that salary has a significant impact on employee productivity. Employee productivity would increase if it provided more appropriate compensation to employees. Conversely, if it provides lower compensation to employees, the employee's productivity suffers.

4) Satisfied with the employer and the workplace

72% of employees responded that having greater work benefits would boost job satisfaction (Zoro), and 84% of employees who are satisfied with their benefits are satisfied with their jobs (Business Community). On the other hand, dissatisfaction is caused by employees' need for more benefits (57%), desire for benefits they do not yet have (24%), benefits they can’t use (22%), and benefits they feel pressured not to use (8%) (Clutch).

5) Having a positive attitude toward everyone and everything at work

According to EBRI, almost two-thirds of employees who rated benefits satisfaction as extremely or very high rated their morale as outstanding or very good, while Healthcare Trends Institute found 68% of businesses believe health benefit plans have an impact on their reputations and can boost employee morale and satisfaction.

6. The sense of being treated fairly

59% of those who discovered they were paid less than peers with the same experience or rank sought a new job within a year. In comparison, only 23% discussed it with their bosses, and 12% went to HR. Nearly half (46%) of those who did not take action did so because they believed speaking up would be futile, and 23% were afraid of retaliation. 66% of men who met with their supervisors or HR had their salary changed, compared to 43% of women (Compass).

What Are The 8 Different Types Of Work Benefits/Compensation?

Since compensation meaning any benefits or incentives provided by employers to employees, the possibilities are countless. Compensation may be anything from a commission to a housing allowance and medical benefits. Some firms might provide some of the best benefits, such as Adobe, which ranks first in the Comparably Best Compensation Award.

Depending on where and which industry you’re entering various elements can make up an employee’s compensation package, including:

How Will Employers Determine The Benefits And/Or Compensation You Receive?

Companies may choose from a variety of approaches to determine an employee's compensation. Some examples are provided below.

1) Market standard comparison

According to Christy Pruitt-Haynes, head of Performance Practice at the NeuroLeadership Institute, a global neuroscience-backed consultancy, employers consider "how much similar positions are paid within this company, and how much competitors are paying for similar positions" when making a pay offer to a prospective new employee.

In other words, an employer strives to strike a balance between making an offer that's equivalent to or more desirable than those made by other businesses and abiding by the restrictions placed on how much current employees can be paid.

2) Basing on the individual's experience

When giving job offers to candidates, employers typically have a range of options at their disposal; seasoned applicants or those with appropriate experience typically qualify for the higher end of the range.

Pruitt-Haynes advised using a statement like, "I am certain that my five years of experience dealing with your specific client base will allow me to make an immediate positive impact on sales," if you have a strong work history to rely on. These assured and unambiguous claims may aid in raising the total compensation proposal.

3) According to skill sets

The skill set of a candidate is another aspect that affects pay. Do you have any extra abilities that will help you in the position, or will you require some training to be effective?

According to Pamela Mattsson, Outreach's SVP for People and Organisational Development, having desired abilities and competencies may justify extra consideration for an offer.

Even if they weren't requested, highlight any specialised abilities you have, such as being bilingual. Pruitt-Haynes noted that you can never be too sure that they won't make you a more appealing prospect.

4) Depending on the supply

Whether or not qualified candidates are competing for a position as opposed to a candidate shortage affects compensation. In so-called "job-seeker markets" or highly sought-after industries like technology, employers must increase their pay packages. However, if there are a lot of applications, employers don't have to worry as much about letting a few walk away.

(Source: The Balance)

The 4 Strategies For Negotiating Better Benefits/Compensation

Companies can frequently still negotiate some benefits and compensations with you in the early stages before you take the employment. It doesn't harm to attempt because many people missed out on opportunities because they were too hesitant to ask or even begin to negotiate. Here are some suggestions for negotiating higher perks and remuneration.

1) Be creative with asking

Don't let other ideals be compromised just because there may not always be much leeway available in terms of pay or perks. Professional development expenses are an important perk that many people often overlook. You may, for example, suggest that your company pay for a certification or training course to help you execute your job more efficiently.

2) Demonstrate your worth

Remind your prospective employer of your value and the reasons they wanted to recruit you during the bargaining process. Describe how you expect to add the same value to their company while highlighting your professional accomplishments. Therefore, the benefits you earn should reflect that. Employers might be more willing to adjust to your demands if they are aware of the skills and advantages you provide.

3) Provide detailed justification

Giving the justification for your demands can help your case. Explain why certain benefits are required and how they would improve your work performance. You may cite how having more vacation time or the option to work from home occasionally could prevent burnout in the office. Employers may take this into account since it can help them achieve their corporate objectives.

4) Get the final offer in black and white

A written offer should be obtained once the bargaining process has been completed. Save the document somewhere safe after reviewing it to be sure it contains everything you both agreed upon. Keep all additional correspondence, including emails, that are pertinent and contain information about the bargaining process. Having this proof on hand can help avoid future misunderstandings and guarantee that you obtain the benefits you agreed to.

Why Do Benefits/Compensation Motivate Employees (Apart From Salary)?

While a better salary is an obvious component in increasing employee motivation, other sorts of remuneration and benefits have also been identified as key aspects of an employee's motivation to work. Compensation such as bonuses, incentives, stock, share-sharing, and gain-sharing has been utilised by employers as a motivator for superior job performance.

When employees are fairly compensated, they feel appreciated as both employees and as people. They will consequently feel better about going to work as a result of this. The motivation of employees to produce greater results is also increased when they are aware of potential bonuses or commissions.

Furthermore, plans for bonus and commission earnings become a target goal for employees’ achievement. The best part of it all is that general company morale improves and people are motivated to show up for work and perform well.

What Can Employers Do To Create An Attractive Benefit/Compensation Package That Stands Out From The Rest?

With an attractive compensation structure, employers will be better positioned to attract and retain top talent. Although developing a compensation plan is not a simple task, adopting the measures outlined below may promote business growth and morale in the workplace.

(Source: CheckMark)

A Competitive Pay And The Right Benefits/Compensation Package Can Help Retain Employees

When an employee is being paid fairly, they are more likely to stay with your business and are less inclined to hunt for other career opportunities. A poll by Indeed found that 39% of people hunt for jobs because they would like to earn more money. This demonstrates that salary has a significant impact on how long employees stay with a company since satisfied employees are more likely to feel that their needs are valued by their employer.

Paying well helps businesses retain employees for extended periods and recruit better talent. In fact, according to 66% of the companies surveyed, having a solid remuneration strategy is essential to ensuring employee retention, which is followed by stronger hiring practises and compensating for in-demand talents. A high retention rate is crucial because it ensures employees remain with the company for a long time, saving time and resources on training new hires and demonstrating the loyalty needed to manage a business.

Keep in mind that attracting new employees and keeping them on board depends on employers’ ability to comprehend the nuances and create an effective plan. The remuneration package provided to employees plays a significant role in luring and keeping talent. In addition to improving retention, a generous compensation plan may help boost brand advocates and engagement.

What do employees look for in a job? Besides fulfilling career goals, the essentials on the list are now focused more than ever on decent remuneration, better work-life balance, remote working opportunities, and (a modern favourite) good company culture.

While it may seem like an afterthought, corporate culture is a strong indicator of how one’s everything-related-to-work will be: Work life, environment, colleagues, processes, hours, the list is endless.

Company culture is dynamic, and isn’t ‘one size fits all’. Organisations across the continent have distinct values, objectives, and even working environments, so a good company culture is one where you fit in the most and belong!

What Is Company Culture?

If you’ve ever wondered what kind of company culture a business practices, head to the ‘Values’ page on their website (if they have one). While it's most often a culmination of shared values, traits, goals, and leadership styles, it's also about the experience at work.

Corporate culture forms the daily experience of an organisation; a guideline for how employees should feel about their work, perform their tasks, and carry their business beliefs. One example is Zoom, which values care – for their customers, employees, community, etc.

An organisation’s leading values (that make up company culture) are typically a variation of these and more:

  1. Transparency
  2. Passion
  3. Integrity
  4. Compassion
  5. Commitment
  6. Innovation

With a strong culture, employees have greater assurance, objectives, commitment, engagement, and the ability to act based on their company values. They're also inclined to enjoy their work and form better work relationships with their colleagues, as they resonate strongly with the culture and values they're exposed to every day.

Identifying The 8 Types Of Company Culture

The big picture of what corporate culture is, is based upon these 8 styles:

StyleWork EnvironmentEmployeesLeaders
CaringCollaborative, inviting, prioritising support for one another.United by loyalty.Emphasise positive relationships, teamwork, and genuinity.
PurposeCompassionate and prejudice-free, fueled by ideas and selflessness.United by a goal of sustainability and worldwide communities.Emphasise idea-sharing and working for a better cause.
LearningFull of exploration, innovation, and open-mindedness.United by curiosity, stimulating new ideas and thoughts.Emphasise the pursuit of knowledge, adventure, and endless ‘what ifs’.
EnjoymentLighthearted and fun-filled, freedom of expression and to be happy.United by mutual excitement and stimulation.Emphasise spontaneity and humour.
ResultsHeavy importance on results and achievements.United by a will to succeed and prove their capabilities.Emphasise accomplishing goals.
AuthorityHighly competitive to gain personal advantages.United by unyielding control.Emphasise dominance and confidence.
SafetyAdvanced planning and preparation, plus considerable risk consciousness.United by a feeling of safekeeping and acting on change.Emphasise long-term planning and being realistic.
OrderRule-abiding and striving to fit in.United by cohesive teamwork.Emphasise structured procedures and time-honoured traditions.

The styles a company chooses to adopt would reflect its business, and influence how stakeholders view the organisation. Internally, it can create an environment of independence or interdependence, and flexibility or stability.

Certain styles can coexist naturally and compliment each other (eg: results and authority), but those on opposing spectrums require work to maintain. For instance, combining enjoyment and order may cause strife because of the latter’s rigidity, so leaders must apply the best methods to calibrate and integrate the two.

How Does Company Culture Work In Modern Settings?

Whether purposely fostered or as a result of decisions over time, good corporate culture is one where employees are well-versed in their expected outcomes, and take action accordingly. Most obviously, it's evident through an organisation's daily tasks and goals.

Netflix practices judgement, selflessness, courage, communication, inclusion, and integrity – values that employees uphold and apply to all aspects of the business. With selflessness, employees are encouraged to seek the best for the organisation as a whole, not just for themselves or their team.

By applying company culture practices to work, employees experience significantly better motivation and working environments, as they feel like they’re working towards a common purpose and with people who are just as driven.

What Shapes Company Culture?

Organisational culture doesn’t transpire overnight. It can take years to nail down the exact shared principles and beliefs. Some factors that contribute to shaping it are:

  1. How employees are treated: Environments where employees are highly-valued and appropriately credited will have completely different cultures than one where managers take all the credit.
  2. The company mission: A powerful mission statement can shape culture by providing a shared sense of purpose. According to Deloitte, a compelling aim to work towards leads to better business results, and mission-oriented companies are proven to outperform those without one.
  3. The decision-making process: How things are decided determines workplace culture wholly, especially when talented employees are just as valuable as managers.
  4. Communication between people: At a basic level, communication influences how employees form work relationships and company culture. Hostile tones and indecent language may be acceptable in private settings, but their presence in the workplace can create dissonance.
  5. Work style expectations: Does the organisation stress high performance and surpassing KPIs, or does it practise a free-and-easy culture? Working arrangements apply too, like remote-working options and clocking in overtime hours.

5 Benefits Of A Strong Company Culture

1) Employee retention and productivity

Just a glance at the values of a company is enough to have prospective candidates feel if they fit in or not. And it’s important because employees who belong are not only more likely to be happier, but productive too. Satisfied employees will also want to stay on longer, which makes for better retention and lower hiring costs.

2) Employee engagement

When your company culture is part of your employee’s usual culture, it can make them feel excited, involved, and form better coworker relationships, which develops positive business outcomes. Engaged employees were 17% more productive and had lower absence rates compared to lesser-engaged colleagues, reported the Gallup State of the American Workplace Report.

3) Positive innovation

Besides company values that lead with innovation, an established organisational culture affects the entire workplace experience – from leadership to growth, systems, and risk-taking. Employees are more confident and proactive in sharing their ideas, letting their voices heard, and being flexible during challenging times.

4) Clear company branding

Not only does company culture affect the people inside, but those looking from the outside like customers and the media. Building a resilient organisational culture bridges the gap and enforces what you stand for, creating a culture that aligns and integrates with your brand identity.

5) Conflict resolution

There's no avoiding corporate conflict, but a positive organisational culture can mitigate it. At times, an optimum level of conflict can boost organisational performance and employee morale, which in turn contributes to company productivity.

How To Develop And Sustain Company Culture At Work

There are no two same cultures, which means neither is superior to the other. The benefits of a robust organisational culture far outweigh the downsides, making it a solid factor in a company’s success. For that to happen, here are some ways to develop company culture:

  1. Have clearly defined values: These values will pave the way for your company culture, setting the building blocks of how people should treat each other, what is expected of work, and how success is measured.
  2. Gather feedback from your team: Your employees are the ones who live, breathe, and embody company culture, so what kind of culture would they like to work in, or how can existing ones be improved?
  3. Plan how to incorporate it into daily work: From shared presentations to action-taking processes and requests, identify how to assimilate your culture into daily work tasks and achievements.  
  4. Empower performers: In a sea of employees, recognise your best sailors for their dedication and spirit as champions of your company culture. Not only will this encourage them and others to follow in their footsteps, but it highlights their hard work and your appreciation for it.
  5. Hire the right people: A resume and hard skills will get you through the door, but soft skills are what make people thrive. Hiring people who align with your organisation’s ideologies is a great company asset as they work towards the same end goals.
  6. Build a diverse and inclusive workforce: People from different backgrounds can offer vastly different opinions and ideas, which is what organisations need to move forward and keep up with fast changes.

Company Culture Is More Than Just Words

For small and medium businesses, corporate culture may seem like the lowest priority to establish compared to things like overhead costs, supply-and-demand needs, managing resources, etc. But they're important to take care of existing employees if they want to retain and bring in top talent.

Singapore, in particular, has been struggling with talent shortages – so much that unconventional methods like rehiring older employees and greater salary adjustments have been considered. Hong Kong faces similar issues too, as companies race to hire top talent.

These case studies solidify the importance of good company culture: to retain valuable employees and drive productivity. On paper, it may look like words strung together to evoke a fancy business image, but it's a direction for employees to work with, taking action and bringing change to the organisation, and the greater community.

People often say that the first job you have is the one that will determine your next course of life. If you want to make movies, join a filmmaking company. If you have the next best idea for an app, apply as a junior application engineer to some of the cutting-edge start-ups.

But when you’re looking for your first job, what comes to the top of your priority list? Putting aside the basic requirements like salary, paid time off (PTO), and the nature of the job itself, what would working in your dream company look like?

For some, it’s joining the ranks of the top industry leaders (think Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple) and rubbing shoulders with the most brilliant minds; for others it could be starting small and finding your footing in a small- or medium-sized enterprise (SME).

An SME is a business with less than 500 employees, whereas a big company is categorised by its size and ability to dominate in their industry. Think of it as a David vs Goliath situation (size-wise), where SMEs are David, and big companies are Goliath!

Career opportunities are plentiful across all industries, from entry-level roles right up to managerial. Truthfully, you’ll find that the job descriptions are the same across all industries and businesses, no matter how big or small the company is.

Regardless of how many employees a company has or its annual profits, a writer is going to write, a designer is going to design, and an IT analyst is going to be the default go-to person for any IT-related issue (like helping people figure out why they can’t connect to the WiFi)!

So if the job scope and salary range are all the same, would jumping into a big or small company be more beneficial for your career? Ultimately, it all boils down to your preferred management style, benefits, career growth, and work-life balance. Let's take a look at the pros and cons for both to help you make a more well-informed decision.

Big Businesses, Big Benefits

The advantages:

1) A good benefits package/resources

A big company will have better access to valuable resources for each of their employee's learning and career development, and therefore in the long-term, it's their company and people who will benefit. Some corporate benefits may even extend to family members and go beyond, like the Campbell Soup Company, which provides kindergarten, daycare, and after-school programs for employees’ children under 12 years old.

2) The brand’s reputation adds value to your resume

Big companies are usually already well-known and successful in their respective industries, so having them on your resume could help boost your chances of obtaining future significant roles with other big players. Coupled with working alongside well-connected colleagues and bosses, it could also provide you with better exposure to a network of industry peers and leaders.

3) Structured, organised work

Every person has a clearly defined set of responsibilities and hat to wear (read: only a specific role you have to focus on), and the work is distributed equally to highly-skilled people who specialise in that field. Big companies often have established a clear-cut way of doing things, and there are guidelines and SOPs for everything, which ensures that there's little room for misunderstandings in who does what.

4) A competitive salary

Big companies usually have big pockets (how else would they be able to grow to that size?), and everyone loves a nice year-end bonus, including ample salary increments. The salary range can be very competitive too, to retain existing talent and attract valuable candidates. Case in point, a report by Bloomberg which found that in 2021, crypto people who wanted to changed jobs can command pay rises of 50%!

5) You can change careers without leaving

A big company provides more options for a career change, without you ever having to leave the company. As soon as there's a more promising job role made available, and assuming that you're suitably qualified for it, you can thus make the decision to switch up. The recruiter saves time, and you’ll also already be familiar with how the company operates and its culture – all that changes is your job scope and teammates!

The disadvantages:

1) Lack of exposure to other facets of the business

Although you have a clearly defined role and the luxury of switching careers within the company, you might not be able to explore other projects beyond your scope of work, or even to pick up new skills. For example, it would be difficult for a graphic designer to explore the role of relationship management because those shoes have already been filled, and big companies are less likely to select someone who's never been trained in that field before.

2) Hierarchical, top-down communication

Even as the world embraces a hybrid working environment or even fully-remote positions, the upper management still has the final say, which can be challenging for employees who prefer autonomy in decisions. Your boss says that you need to follow that 20-step manual on how to complete a project, even though you can do it in 3 steps? Your boss insists that you travel 3 hours to physically be in the office even though you’re much more productive at home because you have to follow company policy? All we have to say is: Stay strong!

3) Too many employees, too much competition

If you want to make your mark and be recognised for your achievements, it can be quite tricky to do so in a competitive talent pool, where everyone is fighting for the same thing (i.e. the attention of the boss!). Others may even try to tear you down in their climb to the top. Nobody likes catty co-workers, but unfortunately, it’s not against (most) company policies to be ruthless.

Read more: High Employee Turnover: 10 Toxic Workplace Issues That Cause It, And How To Manage Them

4) Change happens slowly

With multiple layers of stakeholders and managers, implementing change can come slowly because of all the necessary clearance and red tape it needs to go through. The project may not even receive the green light at all, or with much different results than what was originally planned for.

5) Stuffy and tight security

By security, we mean the IT side of things: Computer passwords, VPNs, two-factor authentication, RFID badges, biometrics, etc. When employees work from home or in public spaces, there’s a heightened risk of top-secret internal information that could accidentally be leaked or hacked into – a definite nightmare for any big company.

Small Establishments, Smoother Decisions

The advantages:

1) Flat/bottom-up communication

In a small company, you can expect to have more straightforward communication, where decision-making and feedback flow faster (read: everything is a lot less bureaucratic!). Because there are few barriers to communicating with your superiors, talking to them will feel like you're chatting with any other regular colleague.

2) Small and close-knit team

We know you might just hate us for saying this, but a small team can really feel like a family. In the sense that everyone has the capacity to get to know each other better, there’s stronger camaraderie, plus struggles and accomplishments are shouldered and acknowledged equally.

3) Greater learning opportunities

This may mean that you end up having to do the job of 2 to 3 people, but on the bright side, it's a whole lot of new valuable skills you get to learn! For young adults who are just getting started in their careers and still aren't sure about their path in life, this is one of the best times to develop, grow, and utilise new skill sets that could put you on the right track for your future career to come.

4) High-impact achievements towards the company

When the company you work for is small, your achievements will have a bigger impact on the company's overall strategy, direction, and goals. Plus, you may be more likely to experience a high level of recognition and ownership for what you do. In fact, each time someone in a small company were to accomplish something, it usually calls for a small gathering and celebration!

5) Better creative freedom

Little to no upper hierarchy means greater creative liberty to experiment with new ideas and projects. Seeing your work come to life and watching people interact with it is fulfilling to say the least. You may even have the opportunity to offer personalised touches to clients who will appreciate the kind gesture and the fact that you're willing to go the extra mile.

The disadvantages:

1) Fewer perks and benefits

Compared to a big company, a smaller company may not be able to offer as many employee benefits, except for the bare basics. If some of your employment terms seem to be more different than usual, do cross-check the details with your local labour laws to ensure that the company isn’t cutting corners, like discreetly giving you less paid time off.

2) Remuneration may not be worth the number of hats

With many hats to wear and responsibilities to juggle, you’re bound to feel overworked and underpaid – which is the truth because you’re doing the job of more than one professional. In such cases, you would want to negotiate for a higher salary or added manpower before you burn out!

Read more: 11 Signs That You’re Having Job Burnout, And Ways To Treat It

3) Difficulty obtaining promotions or higher positions

A small company has a small organisational chart, which makes it challenging for you to get a promotion. Once you reach a senior position, the next best might probably be the CEO's seat, and would they really step down?

4) A lack of structure requires quick thinking

While you can try your best to implement SOPs and guidelines where necessary, not everyone will be on board. The words 'ad hoc’ and ‘urgent’ will crop up so often that it becomes the new deadline, replacing anything you’ve planned before. This calls for (sometimes extreme) flexibility, and an ability to change courses immediately, even if you’re halfway through something else equally as important.

5) Limited resources

This could be a major barrier for small businesses, as you may need to work with outdated technology or systems for the company to operate. Personal growth-wise, smaller companies place a lower emphasis on this, so any professional training or additional learning would need to come out of your own pocket.

Does Size Really Matter?

The company you’re attached to could have 50, 500, or 5,000 employees, but that really doesn't matter; your decision should come down to your own priorities at the moment, as well as your career goals for the next few years.

Do you enjoy the rush of working in a high-paced environment and learning something new every day? Or do you want to develop and hone your skills better, in addition to focusing on your immediate responsibilities?

Regardless of the company's size, one thing that will get you through any door is your attitude: Be proactive, sharp, patient, and willing to learn. Even if your first few jobs are in a small company, a strong attitude can carry you forward and onwards into the company of your dreams. Good luck!

With the Covid-19 pandemic seemingly turning into an endemic, we see large numbers of people leaving their current ‘security of employment’ for greener grass.

A lot of these people leave due to low wages and perceiving a sense of unwantedness in their current job. It’s a shame that after years and years of loyal service to a company, they're forced to make the hard choice to leave.

Think about this: You spend an average of 6-9 hours (or sometimes more!) a day at your job. That's half or most of your day dedicated to your boss and daily duties. So, if you’re going to work feeling like you really don’t want to be there, well, consider that a clear red flag!

Covid-19, And The Workplace Afterwards

After surviving the dreaded Covid-19 pandemic, we see a shift in employer-employee dynamics. Previously, it wasn't common for bosses to pay much heed to the well-being of their employees nor care much about them, save for the work that they're paid to do. 

If you were one of those on the short end of the stick, you had to suck it up, and try to make the best of the situation. These days however, people are realising their true worth, their capabilities, and most importantly, what they will and will not stand for. If they feel like they aren't valued at their place of work? Most probably they wouldn't hesitate to pack up and seek employment in a place where they are!

Now, this can be good news indeed if you’re a fellow competitor. It'll be in your best interests to poach workers from rival companies in order to get the best talent for your own company. Nonetheless, you still have to do your best to retain them, otherwise, you might just end up like those companies. Apart from giving out the obvious perks like much higher salaries, unlimited career development, supplemental insurance programmes, and generous paid annual leave... what else can you do?

Why The Need For A Sense Of Belonging?

According to a 2021 poll involving over 11,000 employees, the number one driving factor to retain staff is by fostering a deep and strong sense of belonging to the company. When they feel like they're truly included, they would then perceive that the company cares for them as individuals (their authentic selves), without fear of different treatment or punishment.

A strong inclusion has a major impact on performance – it motivates employees to shine in their contributions with regards to the company. Staff would naturally gravitate towards an empowering work culture that values its employees. Happy, motivated, and valued employees can result in up to a 12% increase in productivity.

In other words, if you make them feel at home in your company, they’ll want to give you back more. This is explained in motivation theories, especially Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. This theory places 'sense of belonging' as a need in the third level, and it's described as a person's emotional need for interpersonal relationships, and being part of a group.

Since we spend a lot of our days at work, it's a no-brainer that we try to feel like we're included at the place that takes up so much of our precious time. According to research, having that sense of belonging was 12% more important to workers during the pandemic. The same research also found that employees who obtain belongingness at work would reach their potential 3.5 times faster.

Another study done by Harvard Business Review found that a sense of belonging resulted in a massive 56% increase in productivity, a 50% reduction in risk of turnover, and a 75% drop in applications for sick leave.  

Simply put, if you're capable of creating a supportive environment and culture of belonging in the workplace, you can expect happier, more productive, and motivated employees. All good leaders, do take note!

How To Foster A Sense Of Belonging In The Workplace?

Here are a few ways that you can adopt in your workplace to try to inspire the sense of belonging in your workers:

1) Build up trust

Don’t be overbearing and end up turning into a 'helicopter boss' (hovering closely around your staff); let them do their work, it's what you brought them onboard for. If you chose them for the job, it means they have something of value to offer to the company.

You need to reassure your staff that you trust them and their capabilities, using consistent and thoughtful ways. Think: Carefully giving up control in measured amounts, sharing information to signal transparency, and investing in employee development.

In addition, if you can create an air of trust among your fellow staff, expect an atmosphere of positivity and productivity to follow! Remember, the key is to foster an open, honest environment where employees won’t be afraid to challenge the status quo. Make it clear that you’re seeking for honest opinions and/or feedback, and you could even give them an incentive or reward for speaking up.

Leaders can also promote a more candid environment by practicing it themselves – speak openly, and your team will follow. Let them know that they're appreciated there, inspire them to bring out the best in themselves and one another, as well as invite them to share their ideas and thoughts about work, duties, or even some casual office banter.

2) Create inclusiveness

“A diverse mix of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone.”
Sundar Pichai

Don’t leave anyone out and inadvertently cause a culture of 'outsiderness'! Doing so is actually a painfully personal experience, which may cause your employees to further suppress the parts of themselves that makes them unique. Allow people the freedom to feel comfortable with their true selves – emphasising on individuality that would then lead to an improvement in diversity and company culture.

For example, leaders could have a little game during orientation week for newcomers: Questions are asked to determine the newcomers' personalities and perspectives that makes each person unique, then given merchandise with their respective names rather than the company name.

Giving employees the opportunity to have a say on work matters and providing routine opportunities for check-ins can and will make them feel like they're part of a team (which then fulfils Maslow’s third level). It's even better when their collective ideas actually solve the problem! Why not try this: Create a game plan that involves the input of your staff and hear what they have to say. You’ll see some amazing results when many brilliant minds come together to brainstorm.

3) Encourage recognition

Let your employees know that you and the company value their work and ideas. Make them feel seen and heard by appreciating the creative ways they use to solve work problems or colleague conflicts. There's no point bragging about your productivity if you don’t include the people who made it happen!

You could opt for small gestures and simple rewards that are still impactful, like allowing your employees to announce big wins, honouring their work anniversaries, and unique award programmes that are based on a merit-point system. There's also the classic ‘Employee of the Month’ celebration where the top performer will be given additional attractive bonuses.

You should bear in mind that not all employees are motivated the same way; some prefer being recognised in public and visible ways, where others are satisfied with a more private and personal affirmation. Whatever the method, leaders should aim to always speak intentionally in order to show their employees how their individual contributions are irreplaceable to the company, in addition to challenging them and emphasising their unique skills.

"A few good words don't just make your day, but they also give the sense of belonging and confidence to take the next big step forward."
Ravi Shastri

4) Cultivate social bonds

Let's face it, if you feel like it's you versus the world, you'd probably want to retreat into a safe cocoon when things get too overwhelming for you to face on your own. Which is why people who are brought together in a favourable and positive environment can encourage them to feel like they have a place they belong.

One way that leaders can do so is to start the practice (both for themselves and all co-workers) of regularly checking in with those in the company, both personally and professionally. This can be as simple as dropping a message in the work chat to see how someone is doing, and then intently listening to their answer and asking genuine follow-up questions. This is a great way to make people feel seen and valued.

In the workplace, leaders can further explore opportunities to create social bonds through how teams are structured, whether each one has a diverse mix of people from all walks of life. They can also look at how the offices are designed to create opportunities for social interactions, for example, having an open-plan floor layout (breaking down walls and grouping employee workstations together). This type not only fosters better communication within teams, it also boosts the 'chance collisions' between employees that are conducive to creativity, support, and creating a sense of community.

Inclusion, Exclusion, Conclusion

What happens if you exclude any of your staff?

For starters, an experiment conducted by Harvard Business Review established that workers who feel left out would start to deteriorate in terms of giving back to the company. This deterioration slowly evolves to a sense of wanting to leave, and thus, those employees may leave within a short period of time after being employed. 

HR and management executives should adopt some (if not all!) of the above methods in order to seek and retain their good, valuable staff. This initiative has to be done in a ‘top-down’ manner, which involves the higher-ups taking the first step.

CEOs, heads of departments, and the management team can start by practising the above suggestions with their immediate subordinates, and seeing the results for themselves. Making yourself to be an example is a sure-fire way to get your employees jumping on the inclusionary train!

"At GRIT, we place service, relationship, and partnership at the cornerstones of our company. You have the opportunity to impact people positively or negatively every day, through every interaction, and how you make them feel. All that will be how they remember and perceive you."
Paul Endacott

Have you been keeping track of the number of hours you've spent at work? According to Gettysburg College, the average person will work for 90,000 hours in their lifetime. That's the equivalent of being trapped with an organisation and colleagues for a little over ten years of your life!

With such long hours, it's reasonable to assume that you spend more time with coworkers than with family or friends on workdays. How does that make you feel? Do you get along with everyone at work? It's understandable if you face a little rough patch here and there, because there are so many different types of people you'll encounter.

It's no surprise that colleagues can affect you, just as work can have an effect on your overall health. According to these findings, more than 65% of employees find it difficult to concentrate due to their work environment, and 58% have left or would consider leaving a job due to negative office politics.

Although not all jobs are created equal, job-related stress is fairly common. Many of these factors are related to work-life balance, difficult communication with co-workers, and poor relationships with management or leadership.

This demonstrates that you'll be dealing with a wide range of people at your workplace. Not all, of course, are negative. Some people make excellent employees and can make work more fun and productive!

So, Let's Take A Look At The Top Ten Types Of Colleagues At Work

1) The Nice One

This person seems to easily gets along with everyone in the office without having to try too hard. Work colleagues simply know that they're nice people. Always positive, polite, and avoid gossiping. You won't hear much from the nice one because he/she only speaks when necessary to make everyone feel at ease, and may even go out of their way to assist those in need.

2) The Complainer

Nothing seems to float this person's boat. Whatever happened at work, whether good or bad, there's always something negative to say about it. For example, if it's a quiet day, the complainer will rant about how the company isn't productive or profitable. Then, on hectic days, it's a different story, with the company attempting to burn out employees with all of the workload. Nothing seems to be enough, and there's always an air of dissatisfaction about them.

3) The Ancient

They say that "old is gold." In most cases, that's correct. It can be beneficial to have senior colleagues at work because you can learn from their vast experience and know-how to improve. However, if they become so old-school and grumpy, there might just be a problem popping up in the working culture, especially if there are other employees who are considerably younger. Or perhaps you'll hear about how he/she did their job 10, 20, or even 30 years ago – over and over and over again!

4) The Gossiper

This can be found in any office in any industry. You're bound to come across (or perhaps you might've even participated with!) the gossiper(s). Somehow, it appears that this person is the first to know about everything that occurs, not only in the office but also in the personal lives of their colleagues and bosses. Worse, you're not sure if what they say is true or not, and you know your name is part of their list too!

5) The Know-It-All

This person will always have something to say, object to, correct, or argue about – regardless of whether he/she is in a discussion, meeting, or just having a plain ol' watercooler talk with colleagues. This know-it-all frequently believes that they own the world, and are always correct. Woe betide whoever dares to oppose them!

6) The “MIA”

You know this person works with you (there was a company-wide email announcing their arrival)... but when is he/she ever in the office? The MIA (missing in action) is never at the desk when you walk by, and never responds to meeting invitations. So, what exactly do they do at work? Maybe a secret agent? Only they know the answer. Oh, this person may be the type who's taking medical leave quite often as well.

7) The Hot Stuff

Every time this person walks by, everyone's attention is drawn to them. The "fashionista at work" is another term for someone who's hot stuff. They would always dress up and never show up to work looking like they had just gotten out of bed (as some of the not-so-hot ones may be wont to do!) And yes, they're well-known for being one of the best looking employees, probably winning "Best Dressed" at every single annual dinner.

8) The Office Clown

All this person seems to do on a daily basis is make everyone in their vicinity laugh, or make jokes at the expense of everyone else in the office. It's difficult to tell when they're serious. It can turn out to be a good thing because it makes the workplace more enjoyable to work in. The disadvantage is that it may irritate other colleagues, especially those who are the brunt of the jokes, and lead to an argument.

9) The Bootlicker

Also referred to as the boss' pet and the "yes person". Whatever they do or say at work is primarily to please the bosses and stay on their good sides. They're the ones who you will see being favoured to do coveted work, attend exclusive events, as well as may even be allowed to enter the office later and/or leave earlier than their peers. One of the worst things that the person could be doing is sabotaging other co-workers to get ahead, and lying to get what they want.

10) The Drama Queen/King

The kind of colleague who believes that the office, the other coworkers, and even the world, revolves around them. They simply want to be the centre of attention, and they're usually those who are always loud, controlling, and of course, full of "drama"! Simply being in their presence can sap your time and energy at work.

Read more: High Employee Turnover: 10 Toxic Workplace Issues That Cause It, And How To Manage Them

Of course, there are many more types where that came from. Some people may even combine two, three, or more of the types above! It would be ideal to get along with everyone at the office, but that isn't always the case. You're bound to meet some co-workers who, no matter how hard you try, you just can't stand.

5 Steps You Can Try If You Are Faced With Annoying Colleagues

If you feel that some colleagues are getting on your nerves, please don’t resort to violence. Here’s what you can do instead:

Take It Easy And Don’t Be Too Harsh On Others

Rather than putting yourself in a bad mood and sending negative vibes to those around you, simply learn to accept your colleagues as they are. No one is perfect at work, and what matters is that everyone can get along. If not, then talk about how to resolve the problems that are arising among colleagues. Even better would be if everyone can work together to make the workplace a fun place to be. Otherwise, make sure you protect your inner peace and mental well-being, and keep a respectable distance from those who wish to disrupt the office harmony!

Cryptocurrency is getting a lot of attention, and is being discussed more than ever these days. This type of digital currency is popular not only among investors but also among people who have become acquainted with NFTs (non-fungible token). While some are sceptical of its popularity, others believe it's the future of money and will eventually replace traditional centralised currency controlled by governments.

It was first introduced by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009, and Investopedia defined it as “a digital or virtual currency that is secured by cryptography, which makes it nearly impossible to counterfeit or double-spend. Many cryptocurrencies are decentralised networks based on blockchain technology – a distributed ledger enforced by a disparate network of computers. A defining feature of cryptocurrencies is that they're generally not issued by any central authority, rendering them theoretically immune to government interference or manipulation.

With the freedom that crypto provides, interest in it has undoubtedly skyrocketed. Today, the most popular cryptocurrencies are bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin, but other cryptocurrencies are gaining popularity as well. Remarkably, the global cryptocurrency market is projected to grow from US$910.3 million in 2021 to US$1,902.5 million in 2028 at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 11.1% in the forecast period, 2021-2028.

It has also been reported that “Cryptocurrencies have surged so much that their total value has reached nearly US$2.5 trillion, rivalling the world’s most valuable company, Apple, and have amassed more than 200 million users. At this size, it’s simply too big for the financial establishment to ignore.”

Many must be asking the important question of all – Is cryptocurrency really the future we are moving towards to?

As it is, this digital currency has been approved and used by a wide range of businesses, and it’s the only currency accepted for transactions in the Web3 world. With the increasing number and usage of cryptocurrencies, it appears that it'll be around for a long time, possibly forever. A survey found that 88% of institutional respondents and 75% of retail investors believe that crypto will see mainstream adoption within a decade.

What Is Cryptocurrency In Business Like?

Never in our wildest dreams would we imagine the business world transacting in anything other than fiat currency. However, according to a late-2020 estimate, approximately 2,300 US businesses accept bitcoin as a form of payment for transactions. This demonstrates that businesses are beginning to recognise cryptocurrency as a viable source of revenue.

Why do they do it? Most likely due to the digital payment system, which does not rely on banks to verify transactions, making financial processes quick and easy. Businesses globally can use cryptocurrency not only for transactions, but also for investments and operational costs. In fact, many are waiting for the price of cryptocurrencies to stabilise so that companies can develop more import/export services.

Introducing crypto now may help raise internal awareness of this new technology within the respective companies. It may also help the company position itself in this important emerging space in preparation for a future that may include more central bank digital currencies (there are already nine!). We could say that crypto transactions in businesses are still in their infancy, so companies that join now may be among the first, and far ahead of competitors while reaching new customer groups and increasing profits.

It's also advantageous to businesses in the sense that certain alternatives are available with crypto that are just not possible with conventional currency. For example, programmable money can ease back-office reconciliation by allowing for real-time and precise revenue sharing.

Furthermore, cryptocurrency may serve as an effective alternative or balancing asset to cash, which may depreciate due to inflation over time. Companies are now discovering that key clients and vendors want to engage using cryptocurrency. As a result, businesses may need to be prepared to receive and disburse cryptocurrency to ensure smooth exchanges with key stakeholders.

Of course, the evolving crypto transactions will not be the same as those that all businesses are accustomed to.

What Are The 2 Main Paths That Companies Can Use When It Comes To Doing Business With Cryptocurrency?

When businesses first consider incorporating cryptocurrency into their operations, they must decide whether to include cryptocurrency on their balance sheets or simply accept crypto-enabled payments. They must be cautious in determining which would best meet the business objectives. As that company embarks on its crypto journey, it has two options:

Option #1: Enabling payments – “Hands-off”

This way, cryptocurrencies received by businesses do not appear on their books because the payment is converted to fiat currency. Companies can pay a fee to have a third-party supplier operate as their corporate agent, receiving or making crypto payments, and then converting them to fiat currency.

The third-party vendor will handle the majority of the technical questions and will manage various risk, compliance, and controls issues on the company's behalf. Companies must, however, abide by any restrictions imposed by the agency in charge of administering and enforcing the government's economic and trade sanctions.

For businesses that are unfamiliar with the cryptocurrency market, this is a relatively secure solution. This method does not alter the company's existing internal functions. It may necessitate the fewest changes across the board of corporate functions and may achieve immediate goals such as attracting new customers and increasing the volume of each sales transaction.

Option #2: Enabling payments – “Hands-on”

Companies can opt for this path when ready to expand crypto usage in operations and treasury. This entails doing more than just accepting crypto payments. This strategy will significantly increase the company's profits, but it’s fraught with technical issues that must be addressed first.

Before deciding on this route, consider the following questions:

  1. Why would the company need to accept and initiate cryptocurrency transactions?
  2. Has the company conducted sufficient research before deciding to invest in the cryptocurrency market?
  3. Is the finance department well-equipped and adequately trained to conduct, monitor, and handle crypto transactions?
  4. Should the company hire an external third party to help with cryptocurrency self-maintenance and monitoring, or should it rely on its own finance department?

Choose this path only if the company is truly prepared to face the challenges and risks that come with it.

How Would Companies Go About Using Cryptocurrency In Their Business?

Companies that are considering using cryptocurrency in their operations should have a clear understanding of why they're doing so. Businesses that want to start using cryptocurrency must first understand how to do so. To ensure a smooth transaction, the following steps should be taken:

Once the company has determined the best cryptocurrency and wallet to use, it can also be used for other purposes other than as a mode of payment for customers. For example, using cryptocurrency to pay employees or suppliers.

Nonetheless, it’s important to note that the use of crypto for business purposes presents a number of opportunities as well as challenges. As with any unexplored territory, there are both unknown dangers and strong incentives.

What Are The 10 Benefits And Setbacks Of Using Cryptocurrency In Your Business?

The advantages of using cryptocurrency are substantial, particularly in the realm of virtual businesses. Here are some of the benefits of cryptocurrency:

Read more: Crypto Winter Is Here: What Does This Mean For The Market, And Will There Be Any Job Opportunities?

Although cryptocurrency has numerous benefits for businesses, there are a few potential downsides to be aware of, such as:

To recap, here are the benefits and drawbacks of businesses using cryptocurrency.

The BenefitsThe Drawbacks
1) Decentralised
2) Private and anonymous
3) Company growth
4) Fast transactions
5) Low transaction fee
6) Investment and income potential
1) No established bodies
2) Highly volatile
3) Sole responsibility
4) Complex set-up processes
5) Not widely accepted
6) Susceptible to scams  

What Impacts Can We Expect From The Use Of Cryptocurrency In Business?

Regardless of investment stance, there's a strong possibility that cryptocurrency will have an impact on companies around the world and the future of business transactions. Let's take a look at some of the ways cryptocurrency will affect business and essentially answer why the cryptocurrency is the future.

It's no surprise that more businesses are beginning to accept cryptocurrency as a means of conducting business. Let’s look at some real-life examples of formerly-traditional businesses which have already adopted cryptocurrency.

  1. Mastercard: Mastercard has granted its network partners the ability to allow their customers to buy, sell, and hold cryptocurrency using a digital wallet, as well as reward them with digital currencies through their loyalty programmes. Customers would be able to earn and spend rewards in cryptocurrency rather than loyalty points as a result of the change. To offer the new crypto services to its customers, the credit card giant will collaborate with Bakkt Holdings Inc, the digital assets platform founded in 2018 by NYSE-owner Intercontinental Exchange.
  2. Pavilion Hotels & Resorts: The Hong Kong-based Pavilion Hotels & Resorts group has become the first international hotel chain to accept virtual currency payments as the latest company to allow crypto transactions. The group, which has properties in Amsterdam, Madrid, Lisbon, and Rome, as well as Bali and Phuket, will begin accepting bookings in 40 different tokens, including bitcoin and Ethereum, in July as part of a partnership with payment platform Coindirect.
  3. AXA Insurance: Customers in Switzerland will be able to pay their bills in bitcoin beginning in early April, according to the insurance broker behemoth. The company's decision to embrace cryptocurrencies has been in the works since 2019 market research found that nearly a third of respondents aged 18 to 55 had either already invested in them or were interested in doing so. Customers will now be given a reference code on their bills for non-life insurance policies to pay their premiums through the cryptocurrency exchange Bitcoin Suisse, which will then convert them into Swiss Francs.
  4. Microsoft: Microsoft's acceptance of bitcoin payments, as one of the world's leading software businesses, is crucial in terms of instilling trust in the use of cryptos. Bitcoin can be used to pay for a variety of services, including Xbox Live and Skype, when redeemed for credit in topping up user accounts. The company's interest in crypto technology isn't limited to that. In late March 2021, Microsoft launched ION, a two-layered authentication platform based on blockchain, on the Bitcoin network. Instead of accepting payments, the technology generates digital IDs that can be used to verify online identities.
  5. Starbucks: Starbucks customers may now use the new Bakkt app to pay for drinks and merchandise using converted bitcoin after a successful trial. According to the app's makers, 500,000 individuals signed up for the invite-only early access programme to try out the digital wallet as a payment option.
  6. Tesla: Elon Musk, the CEO of electric carmaker Tesla, has had an up and down relationship with bitcoin. Initially, the company stated in 2021 that it would accept bitcoin payments for vehicle purchases in the United States. It follows Elon Musk's company's $1.5 billion (€1.2 billion) investment in the cryptocurrency in February. This has now been turned on its head by Tesla's announcement that it will halt bitcoin transactions until more than 50% of tokens are mined using renewable energy.
  7. Amazon: It was reported earlier in 2021 that Amazon was following in the footsteps of other tech behemoths such as Facebook in laying the groundwork for its own exclusive cryptocurrency. However, the e-commerce company does not currently accept cryptocurrency payments. You can, however, purchase Amazon vouchers through the crypto-only company Bitrefill, a platform that makes cryptocurrency living easier by converting bitcoin into gift cards, refilling phones, and so on.
  8. Visa: Visa confirmed at the end of March 2021 that it was testing a scheme with cryptocurrency platform Crypto.com to accept cryptocurrency to settle transactions on its payment network. It will now accept USD Coin (USDC), a stablecoin cryptocurrency whose value is tied to the US dollar.
  9. PayPal: PayPal users in the United States can now buy, sell, or hold a limited number of cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin, following an announcement in October of last year. In addition, the PayPal app will allow you to track cryptocurrencies. The only disadvantage is that money cannot be transferred from the company's digital wallet. Users in the United Kingdom can now trade Ether, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash on PayPal's website and mobile app, the company announced in August. So far, PayPal has remained tight-lipped about plans to expand the service to other countries.
  10. airBaltic: AirBaltic, a Latvian airline, was the first in the world to accept bitcoin as payment for fares in 2014. Since launching the payment option seven years ago, the company claims to have processed over 1,000 bitcoin transactions. Following its decision, another eastern European airline, LOT Polish Airlines, followed suit the following year.

(Source: euronews.com)

Always Be Cautious When Dealing With The Crypto Space

Cryptocurrency has the potential to be one of the most significant disruptors in the global business process due to the technology that powers it. One thing is certain: anyone can get involved with cryptocurrency. There are few to no restrictions on investing in or trading cryptocurrency. And as more people become involved in this space, events in the physical realm may slow down.

Another method of disruption is the use of cryptocurrency, which has the potential to destabilise the traditional banking system. This is because transfer fees are minimal when sending cryptocurrency coins since authorisation and authentication of transfers are no longer required. In this regard, banks also can’t compete with the anonymity and privacy provided by cryptocurrencies.

Cryptocurrencies provide features and functions that are changing (and possibly improving) the way we do things, but there are risks to consider, particularly as cybersecurity evolves. It’s worth noting that cryptocurrency is not immune to security breaches. Some cryptocurrencies have already been the target of ransomware attacks and other security breaches perpetrated by hackers. Both ZenCash and Ethereum Classic have lost millions of dollars due to blockchain security problems.

The use of keys and transactions on the blockchain is the source of the security issue. The key is a combination of letters and digits that serves as one’s bitcoin's unique correspondence. It’s safe and secure, but once it is placed in a bitcoin wallet or on a trading platform, the security of that platform becomes critical. If someone obtains access to the key, they can obtain the crypto money.

So, just as you would exercise caution with your online banking account, you should make certain that no potentially exposing data is compromised!

As an adult, time is everything to us. Our lives are segmented based on it: What time to wake up, how much time we have to ourselves before we begin work, what we do with our free time, etc.

It has become so precious to us that we become calculative with it. Ask yourself, what can you do with two hours? Probable answers: Commute to work, take a good nap, clean your home, cook dinner, or watch a movie?

Regardless of how you spend your time, everyone needs some form of escape from life. For some, it could be exercise, arts and crafts, hitting the latest restaurants, or just channelling your inner couch potato with Netflix.

Since each episode of a TV series is 30-60 minutes, it’s the perfect length of time to escape and lose yourself in the fictional TV world of McDreamys. Consider them bite-sized movies, split into many different parts so you never need to think about when’s the best time to run for a toilet break.

Catch an episode during your lunch break, on your commute to work, or right before bed. Be warned, though, some of these TV shows about life at work might be too good to watch just one episode per day!

*Disclaimer #1: The availability of these shows are subject to the platforms’ discretion.

1) Aggretsuko

By day, Retsuko the Red Panda is a gentle, diligent office worker. By night, she unleashes work stress in the most therapeutic way possible: Singing death metal songs with a few drinks in hand. With a colourful cast of characters in tow, this Japanese anime tackles common workplace issues young adults face, like snobby colleagues and pushy bosses.

Where to watch it: Netflix

2) Atelier

Atelier follows the life of Mayuko, a fabric geek working in a boutique lingerie design house, Emotion. When Mayuko’s colleagues leave for a more established competitor, Emotion faces bankruptcy, and Mayuko takes it into her hands to save the company while coming to terms with her own dreams. We're getting distinct 'Devil Wears Prada' vibes here!

Where to watch it: Netflix

3) Brooklyn 99

Taking place in Brooklyn’s 99th Precinct (hence, the apt show title), this long-running cop-comedy show is the one to tune in to when you need a mix of clever jokes, seriousness, workplace camaraderie, and motivation. As Gina once said, “Captain, turn your greatest weakness into your greatest strength. Like Paris Hilton.”

Where to watch it: Amazon Prime, Hulu, NBC, and Netflix

4) Billions

How do you turn millions into billions? In the financial world of Billions, leave it to Bobby Axelrod to make that happen – even if it means through acts of aggression and illegal tactics. As United States Attorney Chuck Rhoades strives to prosecute Axelrod, a game of cat-and-mouse ensues that will make you question who the real cat and mouse is.

Where to watch it: Amazon Prime, Hulu, Netflix, SHOWTIME, and YouTube

5) Cells At Work

Like employees working together to keep a business up and running, the cells in your body do the very same! From curing wounds and defeating germs and bacteria to ensuring the safe passage of reproductive cells, this Japanese anime is a light-hearted take on how the human body works and what teamwork means.

Where to watch it: Amazon Prime, Crunchyroll, Netflix, and Viu

6) Claws

Behind the shiny manicures and pedicures lie the secrets of the underworld. Equal parts comedy, drama, and action, Desna and her posse of manicurists fall deeper into the world of organised crime and money laundering until they emerge at the top, but at a cost to themselves and their friendship.

Where to watch it: Amazon Prime and Hulu

7) Empire

Combine music and heir/heiress drama, and you have yourself a show to keep you entertained for days. Watch as the members of the Lyon family fight each other ruthlessly for control over the patriarch’s Empire Entertainment, proving that the blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb.

Where to watch it: Amazon Prime and Hulu

8) Girlboss

Reworking preloved and vintage clothes into new fashionable wear, Girlboss is the story of Sophia’s entrepreneurship journey to the owner of her company, Nasty Gal. It captures the business decisions one must make – like placating angry customers, industry etiquette, and the line between friendship and business partners.

Where to watch it: Netflix

9) How To Get Away With Murder

What would you do to protect your colleagues or bosses? Would you murder someone? In this TV series, murder is the overarching theme – coupled with the wit and cleverness of lawyers to outsmart the law, legally.

Where to watch it: Amazon Prime and Netflix

10) Kim’s Convenience

Revolving around the lives of the Kim family, this show will be relatable for anyone who has ever worked in a family business and tough-love Asian households. A mix of comedy and real-life, the dynamics of a family-run convenience store are endearing to watch as the characters grow beyond their comfort zone.

Where to watch it: Amazon Prime and Netflix

11) Miracle Workers

If you think your boss is God-like, wait till you get the chance to actually work for Him – like Craig and Eliza, angels in Heaven Inc. After years of civilisation, God has had enough and intends to destroy the world. To save humanity, the two angels make a deal with God to pull off the ultimate miracle: Help two humans fall in love with each other.

Where to watch it: Amazon Prime and YouTube

12) Misaeng

When Geu-Rae fails to become a professional ‘baduk’ (an abstract strategy board game) player, he becomes an intern at One International, despite only having graduated high school. Featuring eclectic colleagues, office politics, and million-dollar international business deals, Misaeng captures the highs and lows of the inner workings of a white-collar corporation.

Where to watch it: Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Viki

13) Move To Heaven

There are bound to be challenges when working with new or differently-abled colleagues. But with it are a set of learnings: Patience and understanding.

Born with Asperger’s, Geu-Ru and his estranged uncle are trauma cleaners, cleaning out the belongings of dead people and uncovering their life stories. While learning more about each other and their clients, this show will tug on some heartstrings no matter how stone-cold your heart is.

Where to watch it: Netflix

14) Parks and Rec

Comedy and satire find a home in Parks and Rec, where a town’s public officials take up new projects to make their city better. With a diverse cast, excellent camerawork, and well-delivered punchlines, this award-winning series provides some humorous respite from the everyday stresses of work and life.

Where to watch it: Amazon Prime, Hulu, Now TV, and YouTube

15) Search: WWW

The theme song for this show should be Beyoncé’s Run The World (Girls) because it’s all about women in charge and leading the corporate world!

After being fired by Unicon, Ta-Mi joins rival company Barro and teams up with Cha-Hyeon to make Barro the new ‘in’ thing, surpassing Unicon. With women taking the reins in this Korean drama, it's a breath of fresh air that many K-drama fans will be invigorated by.

Where to watch it: Netflix, Viki, and Viu

16) Superstore

If there could be anything else super about Superstore, it would be the fact that it’s super relatable for anyone who’s ever worked in customer service or as floor staff. At the Cloud 9 chain store, employees make the best of their workday through teamwork, friendship, and plenty of hilarious moments together.

Where to watch it: Amazon Prime, Hulu, and NBC

17) The IT Crowd

British humour may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it doesn’t hurt to give The IT Crowd a try. In the basement office of Reynholm Industries, Moss, Roy, and Jen form the IT support team as they bumble through work, everyday tech problems, and their careers. Their personas cook up comedic drama anywhere they go, from friendships to work and romance.

Where to watch it: All 4, Amazon Prime, and Netflix

18) The Office (UK/US)

Ah, the good ol’ argument of who does it better – the United States or the United Kingdom. We’ll let you be the judge of that. The Office follows a similar format to that of Parks & Rec, with simple camerawork, comprehensive characters, and smart, humorous quips that will have you chuckling as you press play on each episode and the next.

Where to watch it: Amazon Prime, Hulu, and YouTube

19) Ugly Betty

Hired as a personal assistant to editor-in-chief Daniel, Betty and Daniel face internal rivalry from creative director Wilhelmina and her team who are eager to replace them. Beyond the workplace, Ugly Betty dives into each character’s struggles, showing the many hats a person can wear – employee, friend, lover, daughter, sister, and aunt.

Where to watch it: ABC, Amazon Prime, and Hulu

20) Every Other (Serious) TV Show About Emergency Services

That includes the fire department, anything to do with law enforcement and criminal investigation, medical and healthcare workers, and even all the seasons and spin-offs of the classic TV shows – CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Law & Order.

Here are some viewing recommendations:

Fire & RescueLaw Enforcement & Criminal InvestigationMedical & Healthcare
Chicago Fire, Rescue Me, Station 19, Trauma, 9-1-1Blue Bloods, Chicago P.D., Criminal Minds, Hawaii Five-0, Mindhunter, NCIS, Rookie Blue, The Alienist, The Rookie, The ShieldGrey’s Anatomy, House, New Amsterdam, The Good Doctor, Private Practice, Royal Pains

TV Shows To Show You A Good Time

Not everyone has the luxury to sit down and focus solely on their favourite show. In this case, multi-task with simple tasks that can be done leisurely. Let an episode play while you fold the clothes, have a meal, conquer the gym treadmill, or even while in the shower – just make sure you and your device are not in harm’s way.

Besides being entertained, pop culture such as TV shows, movies, and music can make good conversational topics with your workmates. It allows teams an opportunity to bond, learn more about each other, and nobody has ever said no to TV or movie recommendations.

*Disclaimer #2: We highly encourage our readers to watch these shows on websites that do not breach any media copyrights or legalities.

Employees leaving their jobs is not uncommon in the world of work. In fact, the United States is currently undergoing Great Resignation which shows no sign of slowing down. Just in February, the U.S saw 4.4 million Americans quitting their jobs with an average of more than 3.98 million workers quitting each month since last year. That’s more than the whole population of Wales!

Nonetheless, resignation should not come as a surprise. You've seen colleagues leave their jobs at any company you've worked for, or perhaps you yourself have resigned from certain jobs. According to the Pew Research Center, the top three reasons why U.S. workers left a job in 2021 were low pay, no advancement opportunities, and feeling disrespected at work. What were your reasons?

While Profile Resourcing, a UK-based recruitment company said the top 10 reasons employees leave their jobs are:

Although it’s completely normal for companies to have employees leave them for a variety of reasons each year, what happens if the situation becomes out of control? For example, when a large number of employees leave at the same time, as is the case in the United States, it's nearly impossible to fill all of the vacancies.

A high rate of employees leaving may also cost the company could cost the company in terms of decreased productivity, lost sales, and increased recruitment costs. On the other hand, some businesses may decide not to hire new workers to reduce their workforce and expenses. This brings us to one of the most contentious issues in the workplace: Company attrition.

What Is Attrition?

If we look at the meaning of 'attrition' on The Britannica Dictionary, it’s defined as “a reduction in the number of employees or participants that occurs when people leave because they resign, retire, etc., and are not replaced.”

This term is frequently confused with turnover, which refers to "the rate at which employees leave a company and are replaced by new employees." While both of these terms relate to employees leaving a company, they’re not the same.

The key to determining whether employees leaving is due to attrition or turnover can be based to the company's decision afterwards. If the company decides not to fill the position, this is considered attrition. When a company decides to replace employees who have left, this is referred to as turnover.

It’s crucial for companies to understand the distinctions between attrition and turnover to keep their business finance intact. Particularly when it can be costly to replace certain designations.

What Are The Different Types Of Attrition?

Knowing the different types of attrition can help businesses understand why they're losing employees, the implications for the company, and the steps that need to be taken. Employee attrition can occur as a result of:

Attrition TypeMeaning
Attrition due to retirementWhen an employee retires
Voluntary attritionWhen an employee decides to resign
Involuntary attritionWhen an employee is dismissed (i.e., fired)
Internal attritionWhen an employee moves within the company
Demographic-specific attritionWhen a certain group (age, gender, or ethnicity) quit

Why Is This Term So Important For Companies To Take Note Of?

Attrition allows companies to gain insight into why employees leave and develop retention strategies based on real obtained data, namely the attrition rate. This rate, also known as 'churn rate', calculates the number of employees who leave a company in a given period, typically in percentage form (%).

A thorough understanding of the attrition rate is vital for companies as it assists them in identifying any issues that need to be addressed within the workplace. If attrition is high, it may indicate that companies are not providing adequate benefits, or the best work environment to retain top-performing employees.

At the same time, companies can also use attrition to their advantage. It could be an opportunity for them to reduce labour costs by implementing a hiring freeze in which no new employees are hired to replace those who retire or resign. Companies will be able to save money if they need to.

How To Calculate Attrition Rate?

The calculation is fairly simple. The rate's duration is determined by whether companies want to measure attrition on an annual, quarterly, monthly, or daily basis.

The following is the step-by-step for calculating a company’s attrition rate (%):

  1. Identify the number of employees at the start of the time period you're measuring.
  2. Subtract the number of employees who left during that time period from the starting number.
  3. Add the total number of employees after departures to the number of employees hired during that time period.
  4. Add the number of employees at the start and end of the time period. Then, divide the total by two to get the average number of employees for that time period.
  5. Divide the number of employees who left during that time period by the average number of employees obtained.
  6. Multiply the answer by 100 to get the percentage of attrition.

The formula looks like this:

For a calculation example, let's take a look at the two scenarios below.

Scenario 1

Step 1: 500

Step 2: 500 – 50 = 450

Step 3: 450 + 30 = 480

Step 4: (500 + 480) ÷ 2 = 490 - The average number of employees for Q4

Step 5: (50 ÷ 490) = 0.102

Step 6: 0.102 x 100 = 10.2%

The attrition rate for Q4 is 10.2%

Scenario 2

Step 1: 1,350

Step 2: 1,350 – 235 = 1,115

Step 3: 1,115 + 310 = 1,425

Step 4: (1,350 + 1,425) ÷ 2 = 1,387.5 - The average number of employees for H2

Step 5: (235 ÷ 1,387.5) = 0.169

Step 6: 0.169 x 100 = 16.9%

The attrition rate for H2 is 16.9%

NOTE: There’s no defining what is a “good” attrition rate. Although companies should aim for an attrition rate of 10% or less in general, what constitutes a good or bad rate depends on the nature of the business and industry.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Using An Attrition Rate?

Most people believe that attrition is a bad thing for a company because it’s associated with employees leaving their jobs. The truth is that attrition can be beneficial or detrimental. Companies will need to examine not only the actual attrition rate, but also the factors that contribute to it. Only then can businesses determine whether there's a positive or negative impact on their operations; it could very well be both!

1) Pros of attrition

The main advantage has always been cost savings. This is especially true for companies that have employees who've been with the company the longest, and are already at the top of the pay scale. When such senior employees leave, the company can choose not to fill the position, resulting in salary budget savings.

The company may also decide to hire after employees leave to bring in new talent who can contribute new ideas to the company. If the employees who left were stagnant in their growth and no longer productive, hiring new workers could mean bringing in fresh people who are more eager to work.

Similar to losing employees who no longer contribute to the company, the attrition process could be used by a company to get rid of negative people. They could be the ones who are constantly committing disciplinary violations or simply can’t fit into the organisation's culture.

2) Cons of attrition

Some of the most common ways that attrition can be detrimental to a company include losing key employees, increasing costs to hire and train new employees, and squandering investment in internal and external training. All of these factors can have serious financial consequences for a company.

Furthermore, businesses may be losing an old employee who knows the company inside and out. When new people arrive, it's likely that things won't be the same, which could have an impact on specific tasks or ongoing projects. This is also true when companies are confronted with the situation of employees quitting on short notice or going MIA.

Companies should also be aware of their brand image, as a high attrition rate can lead to a negative perception among the general public, existing staff, and potential employees. This is risky because it has the potential to negatively impact and reduce business sales and service.

1) Cost savings
2) Improving talent pool
3) Enhanced performance
4) Minimising negative influence
5) Remove poor job and culture fit
1) Increased business costs
2) Reduced productivity or performance
3) Losing valued employees
4) Sudden resignations or MIAs
5) Facing a negative perception  

Where Does The Company’s Attrition Come From?

Employee turnover, or the number of people who have left the company, accounts for the company's attrition. Remember the attrition rate formula described earlier? If you recall, the formula requires the number of people who left during the specified time period (i.e., employee turnover).

Essentially, companies will be able to determine their attrition rate by knowing what their employee turnover is.

Lower Attrition Rate Means Satisfied Employees

When it comes to dealing with and managing employees, businesses face numerous challenges and must consider many factors, like in the case of dealing with employees who are leaving their jobs. The majority of companies would prefer to retain their employees so they don't have to spend money on hiring and training new ones.

That’s why most employers would strive for a low attrition rate. By obtaining that low rate, they demonstrate that they’re able to retain employees who are satisfied with their job and environment and will not leave the company. Here are 5 easy ways to improve and lower attrition rates:

  1. Hire the right people who are a good fit for the job roles and can fit in with the company's culture and organisation.
  2. Employees appreciate good perks, so provide more valuable benefits as well as a competitive compensation policy.
  3. Make employees happy and satisfied by providing a fun workplace and encouraging positive engagement.
  4. Be concerned about employee advancement and provide ongoing opportunities for them to improve their skills and knowledge to advance.
  5. Recognise employees' efforts and accomplishments by praising or rewarding them.

For busy employees and managers with barely enough time in the day for a decent meal, the last thing they’d want to do is slow down and take a breather. When deadlines are at the top of your priority, and back-to-back meetings are your life, ain’t nobody got time to be mindful.

But by not being mindful, you could be self-sabotaging yourself instead!

Rooted in Buddhism, the definition of mindfulness is best interpreted as a meditation practice where a person focuses solely on what they’re feeling in the moment. No judgement, no explication – just sensing everything around you, there and then.

From the warmth of your fingertips and the feel of your breath, to the hum of the air purifier and birds twittering outside: The practice of mindfulness involves simple breathing techniques, guided imagery, and other methods to help your body relax and destress.

Hustling to get the job done is applaudable, but can cause mental health issues such as anxiety, stress, and depression to surface. In Great Britain, 50% of work-related ill health cases in 2020/2021 were attributed to depression or anxiety.

At the core of mindfulness are two components to provide mental health relief: 1) Awareness of your emotions and, 2) An open, accepting attitude that lets you accept what arises instead of pushing it down and away.

How Being Mindful Can Be In Your Favour

For starters, it can enhance your overall well-being, performance, attention, sleep, and decrease burnout, depression, anxiety, and stress, among others. A 2014 workplace study found that employees who joined an online mindfulness program were less stressed, more resilient, and more energetic than employees who didn’t take the class.

It can also transform you into a better employee, team lead, manager, company director, and overall person. By being mindful, we can suspend judgement and approach experiences with kindness and empathy – both to ourselves and others.

Like other practices, mindfulness can be built and strengthened. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and likewise, the benefits of being mindful only start becoming measurable after 100 minutes of practice. There are no shortcuts: Just patience, acceptance, and simple mindfulness exercises you can do whenever you’re feeling tense.

6 Simple Mindful Exercises That Are Home And Work-Friendly

1) Sit in silence

Bookmark this easy practice as a quick, 1-minute mindfulness meditation that can be done anywhere as long as you’re seated.

2) Stretch

More than just being tuned into your thoughts and emotions, mindfulness is about being aware of your body too. The best time to stretch is right after you wake up, but it can be done anytime during the day to wake your muscles up.

3) It’s okay to S.T.O.P.

When you’re under stress, know that it’s okay to stop. And by STOP, we mean:

4) Slower speed, maximum efficiency

Busy bees may not be eager to spend time being mindful because that means wasted time and efficiency. Wrong. By slowing your pace or completely taking a pause, levels of efficiency, productivity, happiness, and even resilience at work can increase.

Perceive mindfulness as quality rest or sleep. Without it, your efficiency dips down below and could lead to hasty, impractical decisions. Highly functional employees, leaders, and entrepreneurs slow down to reflect and produce better solutions. That’s mindfully working.

5) Feel gratitude

"Make one mistake and everyone will remember it. Make countless good deeds and no one will." This is our ingrained ‘negativity bias’ speaking. Unfortunately, that means we adopt a constantly negative, unbalanced school of thought.

The cure? Gratitude. Practising gratitude daily can impact your health, relationships, creativity, output, etc. postively. In other words, sometimes it’s about looking at the glass as half-full instead of half-empty; reframing our outlook to positivity.

6) Take and savour your lunch

Ready for the most revolutionary lunch idea ever? Here it is: On your lunch break, eat your lunch.

It’s one hour mandatorily allotted (in most countries) for you to take a break and feed yourself. Don’t fiddle with your phone or think about work. Just eat and savour your food. When you respect your lunch hour, others will too, so set an example for a healthy work environment!

By integrating mindfulness as part of your daily routine, you’ll be able to stay grounded and manage your emotions better. It doesn’t need to take up a huge amount of time either – just a few minutes will do.

The key to mindfulness, however, is continuity and consistency. Dedicate a few minutes in the morning to mindful practices, or channel it between tasks at work to get your focus back on track.

Stay Mindful With These 5 Apps

1) Smiling Mind

Cost: Free.
Apple App Store: Download here
Google Play Store: Download here

2) Calm

Cost: 7-day free trial. Subscriptions begin at $14.99/month, $69.99/year, or a lifetime membership of $399.99. Teams of five or more get a 15% discount.
Apple App Store: Download here
Google Play Store: Download here

3) Headspace

Cost: Free trial. Subscriptions begin at $12.99/month or $69.99/year.
Apple App Store: Download here
Google Play Store: Download here

4) The Mindfulness App

Cost: Free trial. Premium subscriptions begin at $9.99/month or $59.99/year.
Apple App Store: Download here
Google Play Store: Download here

5) Breethe

Cost: Free. Premium membership begins at $12.99/month, $89.99/year, or a lifetime membership of $179.99.
Apple App Store: Download here
Google Play Store: Download here

If you need even more encouragement to be mindful, know this: Even big conglomerates such as Intel and Google are all aboard the mindfulness train!

At Intel, employees slow down to speed up as part of the Awake@Intel program. Incorporating yoga and mindfulness practices, employees were at first sceptic but reported positive results after attending the program.

Spearheaded by Google in 2007, the mindfulness program, Search Inside Yourself, focuses on attention training, self-knowledge, creating mental habits, and emotional intelligence. It’s so popular among Googlers that it has a six months waiting period for enrollment.

5 Popular Questions About Mindfulness

1) What does mindfulness feel like?

There is no definite answer. Mindfulness is not a particular experience or state your mind and body falls into. Rather, the deepening of the feeling of the experience you have at the moment. It could be good or bad – but it’s about acknowledging and accepting your feelings and thoughts.

2) Is there a difference between mindfulness and meditation?

Meditation is just one way to practice mindfulness, so yes, there's a difference. Mindfulness is something you can practice anywhere, anytime, and with anyone. Whereas meditation is mostly a seated practice focused on opening your heart, breath, and focus.

3) Is mindfulness a religious practice?

No, because although mindfulness stems from Buddhist traditions, the practice of mindfulness is spiritual rather than religious. It does not rely on cultural or religious beliefs, and can be practised by anybody with faith, or without!

4) Is mindfulness suitable for me?

Everyone has their preference, so don’t sweat it if mindfulness doesn’t seem like your thing. If you would like more control over your thoughts, being mindful could help instead of letting your thoughts control you.

Your problems won’t magically disappear by being mindful, but it allows you to acknowledge, accept, and see past them with a better perspective.

5) Who can practice mindfulness?

Anyone! Kids, teens, adults, senior citizens – literally anyone can be mindful. It’s never too late to teach an old dog new tricks, and mindfulness can better your thought process, relationships, and how you perceive yourself too.

Be Mindful Of Yourself

The human body is like a well-oiled machine; full of gears and wires and bits and bobs that keep us going. When one component starts to break down, it affects the other parts and processes.

Incorporating mindfulness and taking care of your emotional health is one way to keep yourself and your mind well-rested and well-balanced. For employees, sometimes going to work every day and having fun is a way to lift your mood, productivity, and stay at the top of your game. After all, all work and no play makes Jackie a dull person!

As the world enters the endemic phase of COVID-19, it means returning to the good ol’ rise-and-grind. Sitting through traffic, making polite talk with your colleagues, surviving meetings and work, then finally, home for the evening… Only to repeat the cycle tomorrow or until the weekend rolls around.

For those who travel a distance to and from work daily, commuting can be exhausting and add to existing stress. Not just that, but there’s so much quality time wasted solely on travelling. A survey on Hubble found that the further you live from the office, the more interest there is in working remotely.

Since we can’t turn back the clock on WFH/WFO arrangements, there’s no easy way to say this; but we have to accept our commutes. Instead of spending those minutes people-watching, stressing out about work, or binge snacking, one thing you can try is reading!

Adults Should Read Too!

Children are consistently encouraged to read, so why not adults? Despite being coined a ‘nerdy’ activity, reading improves knowledge, brain connectivity, helps to release stress, and allows us to be more empathetic.

Picking up a book and reading boosts your brain power and memory, which usually decreases with age. According to the journal Neurology, a study found that participants who engaged in mentally-stimulating activities – such as reading – experienced slower memory decline than others who didn’t.

It can also be part of a bedtime routine that sends signals to your body to prepare to sleep. Reading before bed for just 6 minutes reduces stress levels by 68%, making it more effective than listening to music or savouring a cup of tea. Just make sure the book isn’t an absolute cliffhanger!

Over time, reading has evolved with the introduction of digital books and electronic reading devices like Amazon’s Kindle and Kobo’s Libra 2. Now the new norm, these electronic versions are the number one preference for reading.

In just one device, a user would be able to carry and read hundreds, if not thousands or millions of book titles. Not to mention, its portability, light weight, lower cost, and even optimised display. Forget debating which book to bring with you on your trip. Just download them all and remember to pack your charger.

The popularity of e-books is prevalent across the globe, with 20.3 million e-books sold in Germany in just the beginning of 2021, and the sales of digital books in Spain bringing about a total revenue of 126 million euros in 2020.

Does that mean it’s time to say goodbye to physical books? Not just yet. Though e-books have made their mark, they still trail behind printed books by a wide margin globally. In the United States23% of the population is estimated to have bought an e-book, considerably lower compared to 45% who opt for printed books instead.

Such activity could be tied to the fact that e-books are on electronic devices, which emit blue light and can cause eye discomfort. Since most adults face their laptop screens at work, then take a break from that to look at their mobile or TV, that’s a lot of screen time and exposure to blue light!

It looks like printed books are here to stay, much to every bibliophile's joy. With so many topics and genres to discover, it’s never too late to learn something new. Even books can progress your career and outlook of life, just like these titles.

9 Books To Elevate Your Career

1) Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans

This book takes an introspective look at using design thinking to create a meaningful, fulfilling life. Design is all around us – from the devices we use to the homes we live in – and can be used to build our career, life, and find joy.

2) Ho'oponopono: The Hawaiian Forgiveness Ritual as the Key to Your Life's Fulfillment by Ulrich Emil Duprée

The Hawaiian practise of reconciliation and forgiveness, Ho’oponopono explores the concept of a deep connection everyone has with each other through the four tenets of creating peace: ‘I am sorry’, ‘Please forgive me’, ‘I love you’, and ‘Thank you’. 

3) Life of Pi by Yann Martel

After an incident, a boy is trapped on a lifeboat with a hyena, orangutan, zebra, and a Bengal tiger. This book may be fictional but conveys lessons that reflect life and work all too well: the perseverance to survive, and finding your place with new comrades.

4) Limitless: How to Ignore Everybody, Carve Your Own Path, and Live Your Best Life by Laura Gassner Otting

Many of us have a skewed perspective of success. Namely, one created for us by someone else. Instead of chasing those blueprints, Limitless teaches you to ignore the rules that limit you and uncover your own purpose and path to determine success on your terms.

5) Leading: Learning from Life and My Years at Manchester United by Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Michael Moritz

One of the greatest football managers of all time, Leading takes a look at Sir Alex Ferguson’s years as a manager through all the facets of a business: hiring, firing, teamwork, managing expectations, responding to failure, and more.

6) The Definitive Book of Body Language: The Hidden Meaning Behind People's Gestures and Expressions by Barbara Pease and Allan Pease

When there are no words, leave it to body language. By learning to read and interpret nonverbal cues, you’ll be able to understand human behaviour better and use it in your favour. 

7) The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom

After Eddie dies in an amusement park accident, he meets five people in heaven who have had the most impact on him while he was still alive. Some near and dear, others barely known – yet all of them have changed his life for better or worse. So, don't take the connections and networks in life lightly, you never know who'll be the one to shift your course in life.

8) When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

Paul’s sudden diagnosis with Stage IV cancer transforms him from doctor to patient, wiping away the future he once envisioned with his wife. Faced with mortality and fatherhood, this memoir is a life-affirming reflection on the relationship between life and death.

9) Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes

If you never say yes, you never know what will happen! And that’s what Shonda did. By saying yes to the things that scared her; learning to explore, empower, and love herself truly. For the introverts and wallflowers who shy away from big decisions, this is your cue to say yes.

7 Mobile Apps To Begin Reading Right Away

Nothing beats feeling the taut spine of a physical book and leafing through its pages. But books can be heavy to carry and take up space. Plus, there’s the risk of forgetting them on the way home, and some readers can be prone to motion sickness when reading on moving vehicles.

Fortunately, that piece of advanced technology in your hand (your phone) means quick and easy access to all the books on your must-read list. Simply download one of these good reading apps, and jump into a book or audiobook right away.

1) Apple Books/Google Play Books & Audiobooks

Cost: Free
Apple App Store: Download here
Google Play Store: Download here

2) Amazon Kindle

Cost: Free
Apple App Store: Download here
Google Play Store: Download here

3) Goodreads

Cost: Free
Apple App Store: Download here
Google Play Store: Download here

4) Nook by Barnes & Noble

Cost: Free
Apple App Store: Download here
Google Play Store: Download here

5) Pocket

Cost: Free, upgrade to premium for $4.99/month or $44.99/year
Apple App Store: Download here
Google Play Store: Download here

6) Medium

Cost: Free for 3 articles per month, upgrade to premium for $5/month or $50/year
Apple App Store: Download here
Google Play Store: Download here

7) Scribd

Cost: $9.99/month
Apple App Store: Download here
Google Play Store: Download here

Whether you read to be educated or entertained, it’s your prerogative. What’s important is that the quest for learning never stops. Some of the world’s most successful people are avid readers, so if you want to be a part of that circle, start by picking up a book.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates reads 50 books a year and has been an avid reader since childhood. So much that his father had to impose a ‘no reading’ rule at the dinner table. When reading, he suggests taking notes to ensure what’s being read is processed and understood. He even has his own book recommendation blog, GatesNotes.

Similarly, Oprah Winfrey grew up with books, saying that they were a path to freedom past her grandmother’s front porch. Her love for reading is evident with Oprah’s Book Club, and the fact that she never fails to find time to read before bed, no matter how busy she gets.

Make The Most Of Your Time

Time that has passed will never return, and all the more while commuting can you feel time ticking away. By making the most of it and doing things you enjoy that are just as beneficial, your commute is the perfect opportunity to expand your knowledge and hone your skills.

It doesn’t have to be anything complex. Read a book, listen to language classes, learn how to knit, or channel your inner peace and destress after a tiring day of work.

On the other hand, if you’re behind the wheel on your daily commute, you can still catch up on your reading with audiobooks and podcasts. There will be an indication of how long the chapter or series is so you can time it perfectly for it to end right when you reach your destination!

At GRIT, we believe people look for opportunities instead of jobs in this new era of work. We focus on in-demand Digital and Technology roles, where we intelligently match outstanding talent to some of the most groundbreaking companies in the industry. Find us doing what we do best globally at our offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Germany.
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