Online privacy is always appearing in the news and with our reliance on technology to do everything this is no wonder. A constant problem in workplaces across the globe is employees blurring the lines between work emails and home emails.
In the US, one third of employees who are fired have the reason of excessive or inappropriate email usage as a contributing factor. And if reports are correct that we spend approximately 70% of our time in work or on our phones and laptops, would that not make sense then to use our work emails more?
Quick personal emails
The problem is that we seem to be using our Gmails and Yahoo’s much less and prefer to ping off a quick email to our friend to say we’re running late for that coffee or the landlord to advise of a leaky tap that needs to be fixed.
Surely that’s not “excessive”?
But even if you don’t use your emails and send a message via Facebook chat instead, it’s actually just as dangerous because everything you do on your office PC or laptop during work time is not only accessible to IT, but indeed technically on work time and therefore legally owned by your company.
And therefore your employer has every right to question every correspondence you send. Or are we just getting very George Orwell all of a sudden?
Most companies require employees to sign an IT disclosure form; how many of us read it before we sign is debatable but I’m willing to take a bet that it’s not many. Once you sign that form, you are agreeing to hand over pretty much your entire digital identity while at work to your employer. And by default, your friends and colleagues details and identities.
That figure of 70% is actually skewed as well – if your boss doesn’t like you and plans to get rid of you, it would be very easy to use excessive or inappropriate email use as a reason to fire you whereas you may see your correspondence as normal and perfectly within the work remit.
Inappropriate doesn’t mean dodgy emails to colleagues about sensitive subjects or gossip about your boss though – this can also mean sending your landlord an email about that tap.
Our judgement is blurred
Which brings us back to square one – our judgment is being blurred more and more by the age of technology and considering we are online virtually 24/7, it stands to reason we’ll condense our online life to make things easier?
You must also remember that anything you do online, whether on the internet or on your own work network, can never be fully deleted. You will never be able to outsmart the IT guy; they don’t care who you are or what you’ve done. They don’t discriminate, but with the invention of big data, it’s very easy for companies to track what you do during your workday.
The key point to keep remembering is – if you don’t want your employer to have access to your personal online presence, don’t do it at work.
Limit your social life to your home PC or private phone and remember that perhaps it’s time to look at whether you’re really doing your job well if you find yourself spending more time chatting online than doing work.
View original article in The Journal.ie
Posted by Recruitment Consultant, Sigmar on 30 November 2017
The Power of Work-Besties: Building Engaged and Productive Teams
The Power of Work-Besties: Building Engaged and Productive Teams
Fostering friendships in the workplace can significantly enhance employee engagement. Creating a positive and supportive environment where individuals feel valued, understood, and motivated; will lead to a happier and more productive workforce. The Impact of "Work-Besties" on Employee EngagementThe notion that having friends at work can positively influence employee engagement may seem intuitive, but the magnitude of its impact is truly remarkable. Research from Harvard Business Review suggests that employees who are happy at work and have at least one close friend there are up to seven times more engaged in their job. This statistic highlights the profound influence that work relationships can have on an individual's motivation and commitment to their work.When employees develop genuine connections with their colleagues, they experience a greater sense of camaraderie, trust, and mutual support. These friendships create a positive work environment, where individuals feel valued, understood, and appreciated. As a result, employees become more invested in their work, exhibiting higher levels of enthusiasm, dedication, and overall job satisfaction. The Business Benefits of "Work-Besties"Beyond the personal advantages that work friends bring to employees, organisations stand to benefit significantly from cultivating these relationships. Engaged employees are not only happier in their roles but also 23% more profitable and 18% more productive than their disengaged counterparts. These numbers make a compelling case for companies to actively encourage social connections within their teams.By fostering an environment that encourages meaningful relationships, organisations tap into the powerful synergy that arises from engaged teams. When employees feel connected to their peers, they are more likely to collaborate, communicate openly, and share knowledge, leading to increased innovation and problem-solving capabilities. Moreover, work-besties act as a support system during challenging times, providing emotional support, encouragement, and motivation, which ultimately contributes to higher resilience and job performance.The Pandemic's Toll on Work RelationshipsThe Covid-19 pandemic and hybrid working have had a profound impact on work relationships. With many employees working remotely or in a hybrid fashion, the traditional avenues for building work relationships have been disrupted. The lack of face-to-face interaction and the physical separation of teams have made it harder for employees to connect and build relationships. The hybrid working model has also brought new dynamics to work relationships, with teams having to navigate a mix of in-person and virtual interactions. Ultimately, the pandemic and hybrid working have highlighted the importance of intentional efforts to foster connections and build meaningful work relationships, whether in-person or virtually.Building Engaged Teams: The Key IngredientsCreating a workplace culture that fosters connection and belonging requires deliberate effort and a genuine commitment from both employees and employers. Here are some key ingredients to consider:Encouraging social interactions: Organisations can organize team-building activities, social events, or provide communal spaces where employees can interact informally. These initiatives create opportunities for employees to get to know each other on a personal level and build meaningful connections. Promoting a collaborative environment: Foster a culture that emphasises collaboration and teamwork. Encourage cross-functional projects, promote open communication, and recognize and reward collective achievements. This approach not only strengthens relationships but also enhances overall team performance.Investing in employee well-being: Recognise the importance of work-life balance and create policies that support employee well-being. Encouraging breaks, offering flexible schedules, and providing access to wellness programs can help foster a positive work environment and strengthen relationships among team members.Lead by example: Managers and leaders play a crucial role in setting the tone for workplace relationships. By prioritising and demonstrating the value of interpersonal connections, they can inspire employees to cultivate meaningful bonds with their colleagues. By creating an environment that nurtures connection and belonging, organisations can harness the power of engaged teams, unlocking their full potential and reaping the rewards of a thriving workforce.
The Benefits Of Contract Work
The Benefits Of Contract Work
The jobhunting period can at times feel quite negative, and many people will be put off contract work as they know they have a date where they will be out of employment after the role expires. Also, jumping between different industries in quick succession can prove a challenge for the Wallflowers in this blogs audience. However, Contract work does have benefits that should not be overlooked both to the short and long-term trajectory of your career. Here are a number of reasons why you should accept contract as well as some added benefits you may not have considered.Make ConnectionsThe nature of contract work dictates that unless you’re offered a permanent position, you will be moving between places of work every 6 - 12 months. The benefit of this, is that you are likely to become acquainted with many business leaders, executives, CEOs, and industry experts along the way. This will prove invaluable as building your contact list of reputable business leaders will provide new connections, long lasting business relationships and an impressive list of references for your next employer to contact. In a world where a person’s experience in the field can be the deciding factor in being chosen for interview, having connections to add to your credibility will only ever benefit your applicationFind your job passionIt is not uncommon for young professionals to work a variety of roles before settling into a more permanent fulfilling role. This method can provide a multitude of valuable experience, references, and insights into the nature of the industry. Contract work is a good way to dip your toe into the pool of the industry and find out if you are best aligned with the culture and work involved in the industry.SalaryContracted roles will get you better pay. They offer a higher basic salary in lieu of a benefits package. You can make your experience really work to your advantage. Employers are typically willing to pay you generously, providing you meet their requirements, if you solve their problem or need quickly. Employers tend to really value experience, since they want to bring onboard someone who can jump right in and hit the ground running.Faster EmploymentNow this of course does not cover all contract work, and you shouldn’t apply for a contract position assuming you’re going to be accepted by 9:30 and start work at 10:00. However, the creation of a contract role may have resulted in a sudden urgency and vacation that needs to be filled, so the onboarding of contracts does move faster than permanent roles.More FreedomAs you are not bound by the standard contracts of the business, you have more negotiating room when discussing hours, pay and location. You may have been brought into the contract role to assist with a sudden influx of work, therefore If you can assure your employer you will complete the work, you can choose working hours that fit for you, which can provide more time out of work for looking at more roles, building your professional profile and networking.In ConclusionThere are many business professionals who have built there who career around contract work and it’s not too hard to see why. Contract work offers more flexibility, better pay, more variation, and greater chance of networking and building a profile within the industry. Understanding the process and careful planning can ensure you are never out of work for lengthy periods of time, and with the flexibility contract work offers, you can use any free time to plan ahead once your contract expires. If you are keen to build your professional CV, build strong industry connections, gain experience and entertain a higher pay, contract work is definitely worth your time
Contract Roles and Why You Should Take Them
Contract Roles and Why You Should Take Them
There seems to be an underserved stigma attached to contract work. However, Contract work does have benefits that should not be overlooked both to the short and long-term trajectory of your career. Here are a number of reasons why you should accept contractMake ConnectionsThe nature of contract work dictates that unless you’re offered a permanent position, you will be moving between places of work every 6 - 12 months. The benefit of this, is that you are likely to become acquainted with many business leaders, executives, CEOs, and industry experts along the way. This will prove invaluable as building your contact list of reputable business leaders will provide new connections, long lasting business relationships and an impressive list of references for your next employer to contact. In a world where a person’s experience in the field can be the deciding factor in being chosen for interview, having connections to add to your credibility. Find your job passionIt is not uncommon for young professionals to work a variety of roles before settling into a more permanent fulfilling role. This method can provide a multitude of valuable experience, references, and insights into the nature of the industry. Contract work is a good way to dip your toe into the pool of the industry and find out if you are best aligned with the culture and work involved in the industry.SalaryContracted roles will get you better pay. They offer a higher basic salary in lieu of a benefits package. You can make your experience really work to your advantage. Employers are typically willing to pay you generously, providing you meet their requirements, if you solve their problem or need quickly. Employers tend to really value experience, since they want to bring onboard someone who can jump right in and hit the ground running.Faster EmploymentNow this of course does not cover all contract work, and you shouldn’t apply for a contract position assuming you’re going to be accepted by 9:30 and start work at 10:00. However, the creation of a contract role may have resulted in a sudden urgency and vacation that needs to be filled, so the onboarding of contracts does move faster than permanent roles.Foot in the doorIt is not unreasonable to think that a company will offer you a permanent position once you’re contracted obligations are over. The contract job may have been to fill a job left open by maternity leave, or a sudden influx of work has left a team treading water, and once your work is complete you may leave the company with a strong reference and 6 months of experience and knowledge. However, if you are able to not only perform above and beyond in your role whilst also suggesting and introducing new methods of practice and ideas of work that increases business, your employer may want to keep you around for longer. By proving yourself as an asset that possess’ knowledge and positive actions that the company do not practice, you will make yourself indispensable.In ConclusionThe opportunity for contract work should not pass by unnoticed. The lack of watertight job security may be off-putting, however contract work is certainly not without its benefits. Higher pay, building connections and a set time to see if you align yourself with the culture of the industry, contract work is a great way to build upon your professional career, and ultimately make you a more credible and accomplished candidate when you approach vacancies down the path of your professional life.
So You’re The ‘New Guy’ In The Office? Here’s Some Tips For Your First Week
So You’re The ‘New Guy’ In The Office? Here’s Some Tips For Your First Week
The first few weeks of work can be very intimidating. You have been placed in an unfamiliar environment full of people you don’t know who all seem to get along like a house on fire. You’re being presented with many new ideas, practices, and methods of work, complemented with a self-inflicted sense of pressure to not disappoint the people who have placed their faith in you. Your natural inclination may be to simply lay low and not draw too much attention to yourself. However, this may make things even worse! Below are a few points worth noting as you begin the next stage of your career and will hopefully make the first few weeks of your new job less stressful. Remember, we’ve all been in your shoes before! The Company Believes In You The interview process is not just a chance for an employer to see whether you are best suited for the role, but also whether you are a good fit for the company and its culture. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that an employer will have offered you a job if they didn’t think you would be able to ingratiate yourself with your new colleagues. Business is built upon strong foundations and values; therefore, an employer will build a team around individuals who resonate with the values of the company and put them into practice during their work. So, if you have been offered a role within the business, your employer believes that you and their team share common values, attitudes to work, and encourage the interests of others. So, with that in mind, your new work colleagues may not seem as mysterious or as enigmatic as you first thought! Everyone Was Once the New Guy Everybody has been in your place before. It’s that simple! In the world of employment, navigating through a new work environment is a shared experience that everyone has had at some point in their lives, which is good news for you! Your new team will know exactly what you’re going through and understand that your first few days may leave you feeling quite overwhelmed. You may find that you receive messages of welcome and encouragement from the workspace as your name is passed around. Make sure to acknowledge these and respond by saying that you look forward to getting to know them better! Your transition into your new role will be made so much easier if you accept the support of your colleagues. Just Say Hello! You may be a socialite. You may be a wallflower. Regardless of the level of enjoyment you gain when interacting with others, sooner or later, you are going to come into contact with the people you work with. So when faced with a new colleague, just say hello! You’ll no doubt be seeing a lot of each other in the coming weeks, and it's much easier to work alongside people you know you can have a chat with, and vice versa. Once your new team knows you are approachable and communicative, they’re likely to stop by and say hello or offer a conversation that may take the stress off the workday. We’re all human after all, so find out who you’ll be working alongside and make contact! Take Advantage of Team Socials Similar to the previous point, the best way to ingratiate yourself with your fellow work colleagues is to take part in any activities, events or social gatherings your team will organise. This could be as simple as breaking bread together during the lunch hour or joining members of the team for gatherings outside of work. For instance, you may find that an impromptu Friday night cocktail hour helps to ease social stress. In addition, it also removes the notion that the only thing you share in common with your colleagues is work. Establishments will often organise team-building events or days out for employees to enjoy, or company-exclusive classes and workshops. Take advantage of these opportunities, as the more you spend time with your team outside of the work environment, the more you’ll get to know them and vice versa. Work is always easier when you’re surrounded by friends! Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help I have no doubt that at least one member of your new job will have mentioned this to you, but it is worth reiterating. You need to dispel the idea that your new employers are expecting you to fully acclimate yourself to the companies’ practices and methods on the first day, then start raising turnover by 70% on the second. You have the collective knowledge and experiences of the members of your team at your disposal, so don’t be afraid to ask questions or check your work with them for any errors. Employers would rather you ask questions and get things correct than let mistakes slip through. You Will Make Mistakes, And It’s Only Natural Continuing on from the previous point, sooner or later, you may find yourself making an error with a particular task or piece of work assigned to you. The important thing to remember is that your employer will be prepared for this. Now, this isn’t a personal attack on your ability to perform within the role, but more so acknowledging that when dealing with the information overload that comes with learning a new business, mistakes may slip through. Now, of course, we’re not suggesting that continuous errors will go unnoticed, however, your team will be far more understanding if, after you are shown the correct method of practice, you actively take it upon yourself to avoid the mistake in the future. Ultimately, just don’t be too hard on yourself, these things happen! In Conclusion If ever things get too overwhelming, take a moment to remember; you managed to capture the attention of your new employers with a standout CV, bested your competition by providing a great interview to the employers, and now here you stand, ready to begin your new role. You should be immensely proud of yourself and what you were able to achieve! The first week of work can be quite draining, but the number one thing to remember is that the same colleagues you see chatting and laughing amongst themselves and going off to lunch together were once in the very same position as you are in. It will take time to acclimate yourself to your new surroundings, but know you are surrounded by a plethora of support every day.