Softworks Blog

How to beat the Monday Work Blues

Posted by Jimmy English on Mon, May 8, 2017

 

There is nothing worse than coming back into the office after a weekend of sunny weather and trips to the beach. It can be quite an ordeal opening the unread emails, answering some and ignoring others, and refocusing yourself on the demands of your job. And while copious amounts of coffee will ease the pain, there are a few small measures than you can take to beat those pesky Monday blues.

  1. Go out for a walk.

Make the most of your lunch break with some fresh air and sun. You’ll feel refreshed and prepared to face the tasks you have set out for the afternoon. If there is a park near where you work, even better. Clear your mind and optimise your working day.

  1. Treat yourself.

A little bit of sugar in the afternoon will increase your energy levels and improve your mood. It might just be the push you need to make it through Monday. Grab a snack around 2 or 3 pm and your afternoon will fly.

 

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  1. Set out tasks for your week.

Setting your tasks out for the week is proven to focus your attention and optimise your work performance.  Spend some time writing out your tasks for the week and allot the necessary time for each of them.

 4. Put on some music.

Listening to music is a great way of channelling your concentration and getting work done. Just make sure you use your headphones as there’s a good chance the entire office won’t share your taste in tunes!

 

Being focused and productive on the first day of the week can improve your chances of successful work for the rest of the week.  Workplace productivity can also be improved by the introduction of flexible working arrangements. Flexible working, or Flexitime, can be of benefit to both employees and employers.  Find out more about enhancing workplace productivity with flexitime here.

Interested in introducing Flextitime to your comany? Book a Demo of our Solutions below.

 

Request a Free Demo Today!

 

Topics: Workforce Management, Healthy Workplace, workplace wellbeing

Workplace Wellness

Posted by Jimmy English on Mon, Apr 3, 2017

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Workplace Wellbeing

 Last week saw the celebration of the International Workplace Wellbeing day, and in honour of this celebration we’re going to take a further look at the many benefits of workplace wellbeing.  Workplace wellbeing practices has benefits for both employers and employees. Employers who promote workplace wellbeing typically enjoy higher output from their employees and a reduced rate of absenteeism. For employees, workplace wellbeing programs can lead to improved morale and greater self-esteem in the workplace.  The value of workplace wellbeing can be enjoyed equally by employers and employees alike.

Benefits of workforce health for employers:

  • Increased motivation and production
  • A Happy workforce
  • Attracting top employees
  • Reduced Absenteeism
  • Reduced turnover of employees

While employers and organisations can certainly reap the benefits of introducing a  workplace wellbeing program, it is the employees that truly enjoy the advantages. For example , employees who are  a part of workplace health program enjoy:

  • Improved workplace morale
  • Increased performance motivation
  • Reduced stress levels
  • Improved physical and mental health.
  • Enhanced self-esteem.

 Workplace wellness schemes are more commonplace than ever among Irish companies. For example, companies who offer gym memberships, healthy meal options or social club subscriptions to their employees are all actively embracing workplace wellbeing and wellness.  By promoting and encouraging healthy life practices such as exercise and proper nutrition, companies can ensure that their employees are always properly fit and fuelled to perform their role successfully.

One particularly popular and effective workplace wellness practice is the introduction of flexible working arrangements. Flexible working arrangements, or Flexitime, provides benefits to both the employer and business, as well as to employees.

For employers, flexitime can lead to higher retention rates of employees as well as increasing employee productivity while they are in the workplace. For employees, flexible working arrangements allow for a better balance between work and life.  You can read more about the business benefits of flexitime and how they can be implemented as part of a workplace wellness program here.

If you decide to implement flexible working arrangements, then Softworks can help. Get in touch with us today and organise a Demo of our Workforce Management Solutions!

                                   

   Request a Live Demo

  

Topics: Employee Retention, Flexitime / Flexible Working Hours Arrangement, Flexible Working, Workforce Management, Healthy Workplace, workplace wellbeing

Motivating the Modern Employee

Posted by Jimmy English on Mon, Mar 20, 2017

 

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Motivating the modern workforce.

It’s the Monday morning after St.Patricks weekend . The odds are that a great weekend was had by all and that spirits are currently a little bit low. With that In mind it is important to bear In mind that employee motivation is probably lower than usual. Employee motivation is a tricky area at the best of times. There are many factors that affect your employee motivation levels ; from issues within the workplace that you can control, to external issues happening outside of work.  It is important that managers focus on the workplace issues that they can control in order to maintain high levels of employee motivation.  How can managers influence employee motivation In the workplace?

  1. Lead by example: If your employees see you working hard then generally they will follow suit. By being a role model to your employees and demonstrating your passion for your work you will motivate them to emulate your behaviour and work ethic.
  2. Communicate: Communication is a vital part of any workplace. Employees must know that their manager is open and available for queries and consultation when necessary. Being available for clarification and feedback shows that managers are interested and involved with an employees work and will encourage employees to maintain high standards. Ensure daily communication with employees and let them know that they are important.
  3. Create a motivational environment: In order for your employees to succeed they must be working in an environment that is conducive to success. Set tasks and attainable progression goals that motivate your employees to work hard. Be available for encouragement and guidance. By assigning responsibility and delegating important tasks you are motivating your employees to step up and realise their potential on their own.

Remember that employee motivation is nearly always influenced by the atmosphere and internal environment of the workplace. If, however, employees are dealing with issues outside of the workplace that are impinging on their levels of motivation then it is the responsibility of the manager to identify and deal with these issues. Ultimately , employee motivation rests on the shoulders of the manager. 

A major factor in boosting employee motivation lies in giving them ownership of managing their time and attendance. By implementing Sofworks Workforce Management Solutions employees will have greater control over managing how they clock in and out, book holidays etc. which will certainly lead to higher levels of employee motivation.

 

                                  Request a Free Demo Today!

 

 

 

 

                             

 

 

Topics: Employee Retention, Happy Workers, Healthy Workplace, Work Team

Workplace Naps and Employee Productivity

Posted by Jimmy English on Mon, Mar 13, 2017

 

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Napping in the workplace- employee productivity

Does your workplace encourage napping during work hours? Napping is becoming increasingly common and popular in the workplace. Global companies such as Facebook, Google and Hubspot have dedicated nap rooms where employees can catch some quick shut eye during the work day. And while the Irish workplace hasn’t quite fully accepted this trend, there are many tangible benefits to employees taking naps during work. Napping during the working day has been proven to lead to better employee performance and attitude. Some of the workplace performance benefits of napping during the working day include:

-Improved employee mental performance

-Increased alertness

-Increase in drive and motivation

-Boosting Productivity

The average working day is 8 hours. That’s 8 hours in front of a computer screen. It can be challenging for companies to maintain a high level of engagement from their employees for this long period of time. Companies that have introduced napping into their workplace have found that the employees who avail of workplace naps are happier, healthier and more productive. Ultimately, an increased or improved employee output is beneficial to the company. Therefore it is in the company’s best interests to ensure that their employees can function at an optimal output.

Despite the positive evidence towards the benefits of napping in the workplace, there are still negative associations with this relatively new workplace initiative.  There are some studies that suggest that napping during the workday is a sign of laziness and lack of motivation.  However, the employee productivity benefits associated with having a quick nap during the working day certainly seem to outweigh the possible negative connotations.

If you are considering implementing an allotted napping time for your employees then you should consider introducing it as part offlexible working arrangements. Flexible working allows employees to maximise their output within less rigid working hours, and to work when they feel they are at peak productivity levels. Workplace naps could quite easily become part of your company’s flexible working arrangements.

All in all, workplace naps would work best as part of a larger integrated plan to improve employee productivities and efficiencies over a period of time, leading to a happier and more productive workplace!

 

                                  Request a Free Demo Today!

 

 

 

 

                             

 

 

Topics: Happy Workers, Healthy Workplace, d, Work Team

What does it take to build a strong Work Team?

Posted by Jimmy English on Mon, Mar 6, 2017

 

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Sourcing and recruiting the right employees can be a challenge for companies. An even bigger challenge can be making these new employees feel part of the team. Once your recruiting process is complete, you then need to integrate your new employees into the company environment. A strong team atmosphere in the workplace is a vital component of any company’s success. In the past, companies have focused on developing employees as individuals. Companies are now beginning to learn that exceptional results come from exceptional teams. But what does it take to develop and maintain this team mentality and vision?

  1. An understanding of the company goal(s).

If employees don’t understand the core values and goals of the company they work for, how are they supposed to succeed? Team players work towards a common goal. In order to ensure success, you need to ensure that your employees are committed to achieving these goals.

  1. Strong communication.

The overall team environment of your company is divided into smaller teams that comprise of different departments. Different departments often work side by side on various projects and need to communicate on a daily basis to make sure projects are progressing as expected. Without communication, teams will find it harder to achieve success.

  1. Team Building Activities.

How can team members work together effectively if they haven’t ever met in person?  Particularly in larger companies of 50+, it is a good idea to bring team members together in a social environment. Barriers are down and employees can get to know each other better, leading them to work more effectively together. And while it may not be possible to bring every single member of a company together in a social setting, fostering relationships between employees will have a hugely beneficial impact on team production.

And of course at the core of a strong team environment is market leading Time & Attendance software. With Time & Attendance software from Softworks, you give your team ownership over managing clocking in and out. With your entire team utilizing the same Time & Attendance system, the team mentality is further strengthened. Read more about our time & attendance solutions here.

                                  Request a Free Demo Today!

 

 

 

 

                             

 

 

Topics: Happy Workers, Healthy Workplace, d, Work Team

National Stress Awareness Day

Posted by Eimear McCarthy on Wed, Nov 2, 2016

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Today is National Stress Awareness Day. It was put in place by the International Stress Management Association (ISMA), which was established over 30 years ago to raise awareness of stress-related issues, both in the workplace and at home. Its purpose is to combat the stigma which is often associated with personal stress and change attitudes towards the management of stress in the workplace. The theme for this year is 'Workforce Wellness - Your Prime Investment.'

A lot of the things you do at home to reduce stress will also help reduce stress in the workplace. The key is to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Below are some things you can put in place to help reduce stress.

1. Identify the Causes

The first thing to do when you want to deal with stress is to identify what is causing it and how it can be managed. Make a list and narrow it down to the main triggers which cause the stress in your life to occur. Causes of stress in the workplace can include the following:National-Stress-Awareness-Day.jpg

  • Being unhappy in your job
  • Having a heavy workload
  • Working long hours – This is where flexible working comes to the rescue!
  • Working under dangerous conditions
  • Having to give speeches in front of colleagues

Causes of stress at home can include the following:

  • The death of a loved one
  • Loss of a job
  • Financial issues
  • Moving to a new home
  • Chronic illness or injury
  • Emotional problems

Once you recognise the main triggers of your stress, you can start identifying how you can make the situation better. Even something as simple as taking up yoga or meditation can make a huge difference to your mind-set. Remember that sometimes the stress can come from the inside. We can stress ourselves out by overthinking/worrying about things.

2. Be Flexible

Flexible working is one of the most useful tools in helping workers achieve a healthy work-life balance. It can allow employees the ability to adapt their ways of working to best suit their needs, while still being fully committed to their careers. Mercer carried out a survey on over 1,500 employees across UK and Ireland, which showed that 52% of workers are very concerned about maintaining a healthy lifestyle while holding down a job. Flexible working arrangements can help reduce stress as employees working flexibly are more satisfied with their job and lives, and they experience better work-life balance.

3. Get Active

Regular exercise can be a powerful stress reliever. It is recommended to do at least 30 minutes of exercise daily.

  • Join a gym, take up yoga, play a sport.
  • Check if your company offers a gym membership discount.
  • Get out of the office during your break, even a small walk can make a huge difference.
  • Use flexible working to get a work out/stroll in before, during or after work.

4. Eat Well

Food choices can have a huge impact on how you feel during the day. Eating small, frequent and healthy meals can help your body maintain an even level of blood sugar, keeping your energy and focus up, and avoiding mood swings. Low blood sugar, on the other hand, can make you feel anxious and irritable, while eating too much can make you lethargic.

  • Bring your own lunch and snacks to work. This will eliminate the temptation to buy sugary and fast foods.
  • Try and prepare lunches/dinners in advance and freeze them so it saves time and eliminates doing it after a long day at work.
  • Reduce your intake of foods that can adversely affect your mood, such as caffeine, alcohol and trans fats.
  • Eat more Omega-3 fatty acids to give your mood a boost. The best sources are fatty fish (salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, and sardines), flaxseed and walnuts.

5. Unwind

Try and take some time out every day to relax and do things you enjoy. Even if it is only 20 minutes, it will make a huge difference. Some examples are below:

  • Go for a walk or jog on your break or after work
  • Listen to music
  • Read a book
  • Watch your favourite TV show
  • Meet a friend to catch up

6. Contact Softworks

Not only can we benefit your company but we can benefit your employees too. Take Flexible Working, it can lead to a healthy work-life balance along with improved job satisfaction, increased energy, better staff morale and reduced levels of stress. Having the right work-life balance is increasingly important with more and more people finding that their working day is getting longer as businesses struggle to keep up with the demand for 24 hour services. 

Request a Live Demo

The best way to celebrate Stress Awareness Day is to take the opportunity to remove the stress from your life for the day. Take the time to examine your life and find out where all the stressors lie, and start looking into taking steps to remove them or find ways to at least minimise them. Starting to reduce the stress in your life is the hardest part but once you’ve identified the triggers, you’re half way there. Often, the best way to cope with stress is to find a way to change the circumstances that are causing it.

Topics: Flexitime / Flexible Working Hours Arrangement, Flexible Working, Healthy Workplace

International Day of Yoga - Benefits of a Healthy Workplace

Posted by Eimear McCarthy on Tue, Jun 21, 2016

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Many of you may not know that today is International Day of Yoga. Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual practice that originated in India. This is only the second year and we think it is an excellent way to promote a healthy work-life balance.

Stress in the workplace today is a major concern for employees and employers. Less stressed employees will become more productive and less likely to require time off due to illness. Having programs such as yoga on company grounds can help employees reduce stress and improve their productivity. Professionals have a lot of demands and allocating time for yoga would rarely fit in to the busy schedules. But what if you were able to enjoy and release stress by taking part in yoga, with thanks to flexible working. It will give you the freedom to enjoy a yoga class in the morning before work, during your extended lunch break, or leave work before rush hour and fit a class in.

Offering employees’ yoga at work can be made easy, with flexible working. You could take a long break once a month and schedule a yoga class along with a healthy lunch to follow. This will help promote a healthy work-life balance.

Some benefits of yoga during working are listed below:

  • Helps relieve stress management
  • Improves the immune system and overall health, resulting in decreased absenteeism and sickness levels
  • Increases productivity, motivation, and work performance
  • Improves decision making and creativity
  • Increases energy, mental alertness, and clarity
  • Improves stamina, memory, focus and concentration
  • Reduces muscle tension and pain due to sedentary working positions
  • Improves flexibility and physical strength
  • Improves breathing and confidence
  • Decreases headaches

Will you be enjoying the benefits of yoga today?

Check out our other relevant blogs:  A Healthy Workplace is a Happy Workplace, Top Tips for a Happier Workplace and Top Five Countries for Work-life Balance.

Why not download our free white paper to find out more about flexible working: How to Strategically Use Flexible Working Arrangements to Benefit your Business.

Topics: Flexitime / Flexible Working Hours Arrangement, Flexible Working, Healthy Workplace

A Healthy Workplace Is a Happy Workplace

Posted by Eimear McCarthy on Mon, Apr 4, 2016

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With Ireland’s second National Workplace Wellbeing Day approaching on Friday, April 8, we thought it was the perfect time to highlight the best practices to ensure your workplace stays healthy and happy. The National Workplace Wellbeing Day will help to improve employee health through promoting better physical activity and nutrition in the workplace.

Ireland’s workforce wants to get healthier and they believe their employers can play a role in helping them. Behaviour & Attitudes examined how healthy Ireland’s workforce is and their nationwide research found that: 

  • Two thirds (65%) of employees who participated in the nationwide survey recognise their need to consume healthier food and drink.
  • Just 15 percent said their employers provide healthy food choices in company canteens or vending machines.
  • Only one third of employees take the recommended weekly level of exercise for a healthy lifestyle.
  • Four in ten office bound workers say they are not physically active at all during their working day.

Dr Muireann Cullen of the Nutrition & Health Foundation says: “A healthier workforce is in everyone’s interest. Four out of five employees believe there is a positive link between their health and wellbeing and their company’s productivity.”

Our Top Tips for a Healthier Workplace

1. Encourage employees to incorporate healthy activities into their workday

This can easily be incorporated by introducing flexible working in to your business (if you have not already done so!) With flexible working, employees can have more time to attend the gym or go for a walk/run before they even start work or have the ability to take a longer lunch break to fit in some exercise. They will also have the option to finish before rush hour and hit the gym when it is not overcrowded.

2. Ask employees’ for feedback

Conduct an employee survey or questionnaire and find out how employees think the business can improve health. Take all the suggestions on board, even if it doesn’t work it will show employees that their suggestions are being taken on board and in return help increase engagement.

3. Start a (healthy) breakfast club

Once a week or month, start a healthy breakfast club where people bring in food to share with the office that isn’t cake-related. Think actual fresh fruit, homemade scones, smoothies, porridge with fruit/nuts – the list is endless! Nominate yourself to be one of the first to bring breakfast and set the tone.

4. Cleanse the kitchen

If your business has an open kitchen, cafeteria or vending machines, make healthy options more available and remove the junk food. Ask employees what healthy food/drinks they would like to see more of in the kitchen.

5. Invite employees to share their success

Encourage employees to share health-related efforts and success with others. If an employee is taking part in a 5/10K run, ask them to send updates to other employees and ask if anyone would like to take part with them. If your business has an internal newsletter or a newsletter/blog for customers, share the success especially if it is for a charity. This might encourage other employees to share their stories or take part in more activities.

6. Set up a sports team

Encourage health and fitness by setting up a football, tennis, or tag rugby team within your company. Team members can train during the week and take part in matches, weekends away and social activities associated with the particular sport. This can be highlighted on your website and newsletter which will also demonstrate your businesses importance of working together as a team and help increase employee engagement.

Other tips to take on board:

  • Take the stairs instead of lifts/escalators
  • If possible, cycle to work even 2 – 3 days a week
  • Bring your own lunch and snacks
  • Make sure you have a healthy breakfast – make use of flexitime by having a protein filled breakfast to keep you full of energy throughout the morning

Does your company do anything to promote health and fitness in the workplace? If so, let us know, we would love to hear from you!

Want to find out more about Softworks? Watch our Video  or contact us today for a free demo.

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Topics: Flexitime / Flexible Working Hours Arrangement, Flexible Working, Happy Workers, Healthy Workplace