Being Open-Minded at Work and Why It Matters

Monday, February 29th, 2016 | Posted in Articles, Food for Thought, Workplace Resources | No Comments »

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We live in an ever-changing world. Our work environments and daily lives include an interconnected world and population. Our society is diverse and filled with unique individuals and cultures.

So, since we live in this ever-changing, culturally-diverse, large world filled with unique people all around us, it is clear the being open-minded matters in our lives.

Why does an open-minded environment matter at work? It matters “because diversity is good for teamwork”, according to a Fast Company article on being open-minded at work and the open-minded culture in the office setting. There is more and more discussion about employees and their feelings in the workplace. Managers have become more compassionate and understanding for the most part due to a new focus on worker satisfaction and a positive work environment. Now, more than ever, managers are expected to show that they care about their employees. Loyalty has become a focus of many corporate cultures. According to the aforementioned article, “In a study published in the Academy of Management Journal, managers who create a culture where they put their employees’ needs over their own saw improvements in customer satisfaction, higher performance by employees, and lower turnover rates.” Happier employees are long-term employees. A positive work environment where everyone feels accepted and at home is an open-minded work environment. Something else that stood out in the article was this: “When individuals feel accepted, no matter their backgrounds, it’s kind of like finding home again.”

More often than not, we are finding ourselves working and at work events with our coworkers. Work is taking up more and more of people’s time due to technology and interconnectedness. But, if employees feel welcome and at home, they feel that they are part of a community and that they must work to help the community as a whole. Another excerpt from the aforementioned Fast Company article that particularly stood out and hit home was this: “Company leaders know they need to invest in their employees in order for business to thrive. Learning about each person and making them feel safe and accepted is part of that process, and it’s crucial for developing a team that sticks together and delivers.”

Relieve Stress on Breaks at Work

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016 | Posted in Food for Thought, Workplace Resources | No Comments »

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We know that life and work can be stressful. The fact that life is stressful is not something new. But there is more focus on how to deal with the stress that we have in life. In today’s world, people are not just settling for being stressed out everyday and at work all the time. There is more and more focus on how to get relief from stress. The big focus lately has been how to get relief from stress while you are at work and without distracting you from your job and tasks. So let’s see what the findings are on how to get relief from stress while at work. The best way to do so is to get stress relief during your breaks at work.

Productivity matters, but if you are only thinking about how stressed you are and how much you have to do, you may not be truly productive. You do not need to feel guilty about taking a few moments while at work to calm down and regroup when you are stressed and thinking about all of your tasks. Taking breaks is actually proven to improve productivity.

Let’s see what the findings are from an article that explores what ways you can get relief from stress during work breaks…

  • Give yourself time…bursts of time…give yourself some time before work to reflect and breathe and get control of your stress…a good time to take a few minutes of silence and close your eyes is in the morning before you begin your first task at the office
  • Plan out your mental breaks…they matter…give your brain a break and plan out a few minutes before or after your lunch break or mid-morning or late-afternoon…take time in between long bursts of work…give yourself a mental break and step away or look away from the computer for a few moments during these mental breaks
  • Move around…walk away from your desk and grab some water or check out the view from a window or just take a stroll down the hallway…if you have more time it would be beneficial to take a short walk and step outside of your office building for some fresh air and to take a few moments to think and let go of any stressful thoughts you may have had in your head earlier in the day

 

 

 

For more info and the article link you can also copy and paste this link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lantern/3-ways-to-get-maximum-str_b_7943490.html

Be Mentally Tough…Practice Good Habits

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016 | Posted in Food for Thought, Workplace Resources | No Comments »

Mental toughness…what is it? Does it mean you can handle anything without getting stressed or overwhelmed? Does it mean that you are so mentally strong that nothing at all bothers you? It might not mean all of these things, but the more mentally tough you are, the more you will able to cope with any obstacles you face in your work life and even in your personal life. 

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What do mentally tough people do differently? They practice good habits that lead them to success and to a happier life. 

Let’s take a look at 5 Habits Mentally Tough People Embrace Every Day

  1. Monitor Your Emotions and Understand Your Feelings – don’t be too emotional but also recognize that your emotions and feelings matter and can affect your decision-making on a daily basis 
  2. Practice Self-Compassion and Be Nice to Yourself – don’t criticize yourself too much and don’t be too hard on yourself…be positive to yourself and cheer yourself on when you do something good
  3. Be Optimistic and Realistic at the Same Time – optimism is great, but if you are unrealistically optimistic this will hinder your viewpoint…be optimistic about things you can actually accomplish in the near future and try to combat any negative feelings with some optimistic thoughts about what you can achieve today and this week or this month
  4. Set Boundaries for Yourself – having healthy boundaries set for yourself will help keep you grounded and at peace with yourself…make sure that you, yourself, influence your own mood and your own outlook
  5. Accept Responsibility and Embrace Weakness – We all have to admit our weaknesses sometimes and we definitely need to admit any weaknesses before we can improve upon things that limit our abilities to be the best version we can be at work and in life in general…do not make excuses all the time…be mentally tough and embrace your weaknesses as challenges to make you an even better and more successful person every day

Avoid These Productivity Barriers

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016 | Posted in Food for Thought, Workplace Resources | No Comments »

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We all talk about productivity and we all strive to be more and more productive. It seems like there is less and less time in the day and more and more to accomplish each day. How can we be more productive? Or an even better questions is: what obstacles must we tackle to be more productive? There are certain barriers to productivity that interfere with our mission at work. What are these barriers? How can we can take them on? The first step to taking on these barriers in order to become more productive is to identify some of the major productivity killers that we need to avoid. A recent article named four major productivity killers but the article also suggested some ways to take on these productivity killers, and we couldn’t agree more with the advice from the article. Let’s take a look…shall we? Here are the key barriers to productivity that we found most on point. Focus is vital to success and work and separating distractions and dividing tasks up into specific time slots can help you stay on track and achieve maximum productivity.

  • Email…is a big time productivity killer and this should come as no surprise. Does it ever feel like you are always having to reply to emails? Reading and responding to emails takes time and is a what-feels-like never ending cycle. Try to only check your email when you get a break from the deep work that you are doing. This might seem tough to achieve, but if you are focusing on a project that you need to get done, take small breaks for email but don’t check it every five minutes. Obviously the frequency that you check email depends on your role and your schedule, but try to find a balance and try to only check your email when you are able to focus on replying and reading any urgent messages. It is better to avoid checking your email in the middle of an unsaved document you are working on or during any tasks on the computer that are highly important.
  • Housekeeping items can be super distracting. Try to schedule some specific time to take care of paperwork and housekeeping tasks and do not take on these tasks in the middle of your other work…especially not in the middle of computer work. Housekeeping is important and invoices and paperwork should be done right and accurately, so it is better to designate specific time for housekeeping. Separate papers and administrative type work from number crunching or data entry or specific detail-oriented computer work. Multitasking might seem achievable with computer work at the same time as paperwork, but this is a bad idea. Sticky notes can help! Phone reminders are great too. Plan time and remember to complete housekeeping tasks by making reminders and staying organized with paperwork.

Key Traits That Every Leader Needs to Master According to CEOs

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015 | Posted in Food for Thought, Workplace Resources | No Comments »

A contributor to Entrepreneur magazine, Chuck Cohn, the CEO and Founder of Varsity Tutors, recently shared information about five CEOs that he admires and the traits that these CEOs possess. He says that “these characteristics have dictate how these leaders have responded in the face of adversity, maximized available resources, and made the decisions that set them apart.” So what do these visionary leaders do that we should duplicate ourselves if we are trying to better leaders? What do Elon Musk and the CEO of Ford have in common? Let’s see how visionary CEOs make great leaders and what traits make them superb leaders. It is key to understanding challenges and staying resilient when it comes to leadership. It does matter.

  1. INNOVATION – For Elon Musk (Tesla and SpaceX CEO), it is moving beyond the status quo and innovating. Both of Musk’s companies, Tesla and SpaceX, faced bankruptcy back in 2008, but he overcame the odds and took an innovative approach to save both companies and not just one. He says, “If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough.”
  2. FOCUS – CEO of GoPro, Nick Woodman, has a good sense of focus and this made him a great leader from the beginning. He focused on the need he faced, that of not being able to take photos and videos while surfing, and this focus on detail drove him to create GoPro. He focused on a prototype and then expanded the company and it took off. He focused on the needs and specifics and then met them with precision.
  3. RESILIENCE – The  former CEO of Ford Motor Company guided Ford out of billions of losses and potential bankruptcy. He was able to stay resilient by focusing on teamwork and accountability and this allowed him to create a company culture that fostered success and working together.

So… get out there and find the leader within you! Innovate. Focus. Be resilient. Take chances and work together with others.

Career Tips from Leading Ladies in Tech

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015 | Posted in Articles, Food for Thought, Workplace Resources | No Comments »

I think it is safe to say that in the tech space lately there have been some big wins. Among the winners in the tech space are many women. What can we learn from these women? An article, “6 Success Tips From Tech’s Leading Ladies” outlines some of the tips that these “winners” in the tech space have to share with us.  The article is from a Canadian IT journal with data coming from OpenText, a Canadian software company.

One of the tips is “Be a connector”…People can’t stress it enough that working in teams is key to success. In tech in particular, working in teams is important due to different opinions and strategies to get to the end result. Mei Dent, vice-president for research and development at the Canadian software company OpenText emphasizes this, saying, “Software is a team sport. Diversity makes us strong. Different point of view is a great catalyst for innovation.” 

Another piece of advice from tech’s leading ladies? “Stop limiting yourself”… Confidence is crucial. Being confident is important in tech, not just for women. Having confidence allows you to take pride in your work and to believe in yourself. Megan Cappelleri, manager of information management, Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation says, “I believe that you need to have the ability to look within yourself to identify the key skill sets that you have as a woman. Women are typically collaborative, flexible and fabulous at multi-tasking. In the era of digital disruption and social media these skill sets are mandatory.”

Arguably the top leading lady in tech, Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, offers some good advice on what it takes to be successful. Sandberg has a number of good quotes that are repeated on and on. As a leader in tech, she offers beneficial advice, such as, “Careers are a jungle gym, not a ladder.” What she is saying is that there are tons of opportunities in tech right now, so go after your dream job and work your way towards your successful tech career. Explore lateral opportunities to find what you truly enjoy doing and what you are good at doing with your given tech skills. Learn along the way. Don’t just try to go up the ladder all at once.

Cheryl Cook, vice president global channels and alliances at Dell also has solid career advice for people trying to be successful in tech. She says to be yourself. Cook stresses this, saying, “I never let go of me. Or shied away from my femininity and authenticity…to advance in technology, women need to understand what’s rewarded and self-promote.” She stresses the need to build on your technical education and be a high-performer. Never stop learning.

Creating the Best Work Environment for Employees

Thursday, November 21st, 2013 | Posted in Articles, Hiring Resources, Job Search, Workplace Resources | No Comments »

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Creating a better work environment is essential to having a productive office. It is also the key to bringing in and retaining the top talent in your industry. If you want to avoid the high costs of reduced productivity and replacing lost employees, follow these tips to make your office a place where employees will want to be. (more…)

5 iOS Apps Developers Can’t Live Without!

Friday, September 13th, 2013 | Posted in Articles, Job Search, Workplace Resources | 1 Comment »

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On Tuesday, we heard Apple’s announcement of their new iPhone models, the 5C and the 5S, which will predictably bring iOS fans flocking to the Apple store to upgrade their phones. For those interested in the 5S, you can expect a handful of new updates: Apple’s faster A7 processor, a motion processor which can transform the 5S into a fitness tracker, and the much talked about Touch ID fingerprint security scanner. Outside of that, it will have most of the same functionality that you’ve come to expect.

In honor of the new release, we’ve compiled a list of 5 must have IT apps for any aspiring iOS developers and designers. (more…)

The Shortage of Computer Science Majors

Friday, May 31st, 2013 | Posted in Articles, Industry News, Job Search, Workplace Resources | No Comments »

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There is good news on the horizon for recent and prospective computer science majors. According to a 2013 report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be two jobs available per every graduate with a computer science degree over the next ten years. While these statistics may be pleasing to the ears of young job seekers in the Information Technology fields, employers fear that there will be a shortage of workers with a Bachelor’s in Computer Science to fill their demand of skilled workers. (more…)