Sir Ken Robinson, one of the world’s leading thinkers on creativity and innovation in the workplace spoke at Talent Summit 2018. As an advisor to Fortune 500 companies and governments in Europe, Asia and the United States, Sir Ken Robinson helps transform organisations’ corporate culture to focus more on fostering and developing creativity. His New York Times best-selling books also help people tap into their creative potential.
His ideas and research have made him a popular speaker on TED Talks. In fact, his 2006 and 2010 presentations have been seen by more than 350 million people in 160 countries, making Robinson the most-viewed speaker in the history of Ted.com.
Talent Summit was held in the Convention Centre, Dublin on the 22nd February 2018. Founded by Sigmar Recruitment, Talent Summit has grown to become one of the largest HR & Leadership conferences in Europe, showcasing the latest thinking on talent topics from around the world. Its mission is to share thought leadership on talent to build better workplaces and working lives in an increasingly complex world of work.
Talent Summit 2018 Speakers included:
- Sir Ken Robinson - Worlds No. 1 TedTalk Speaker
- Dr Peter Lovatt - Dance Psychologist, University of Hertfordshire
- Johnny Campbell - CEO, Social Talent
- Dennis Layton - Global Deputy Leader, People Advisory Services, EY
- Karen Ní Bhróin - Conductor in Training, RTÉ Choirs, Orchestras and Quartets
- David Barrett - Chief Commercial Officer, cut-e
- Rob Williams - Director of Employer Insights, Indeed
Find out more about upcoming events on www.talentsummit.ie
Posted by Clare Reynolds on 26 April 2018
The 10 Best Offices From Around The World
The 10 Best Offices From Around The World
Your working environment can have a huge impact on your state of mind. In fact, the majority of millennials are thought to actually prioritise a strong company culture and a great work/life balance over a high salary. As Ireland (and Europe in general) experiences the lowest unemployment rates in decades, there is strong evidence to suggest that employers are going to retain the best staff by making their offices inspiring, comfortable places to work. Looking for some inspiration as to how you could do the same? Here are our favourite workspaces from all around the world. 10. Apple Park Headquarters – Cupertino, CA Natural light, open-plan workspaces, minimalist décor and 360 views, the Apple Park in Cupertino, California, certainly looks like something out of this world. However, the new layout has rankled some Apple employees, with many threatening to quit if they are forced to work in shared spaces. While Apple’s intention may be to encourage a spirit of creativity and collaboration, research shows that workers operate best when able to control their environment – by choosing to work in private or open spaces, for example. Images: Apple 9. Beats by Dr Dre Headquarters – Los Angeles, CA Beats’ swanky new LA headquarters are full of communal spaces, bright colours and evocative artwork, as well as a healthy bit of greenery. Employees are free to sit and work wherever they please. This workplace certainly upholds Beats’ ethos of generating ‘energy and excitement’ through their product. Images: Bestor Architecture 8. Red Bull HQ - Fuschl-am-See, Austria The producer of the world’s most-consumed energy drink commissioned native sculptor Jos Pirkner to design this artistic and stunning headquarters. A building of such great character is ideal for the creative minds at Red Bull. If red bull gives you wings I know I’ll be flying straight to Austria. 7. Etsy Headquarters – Brooklyn, NY The cosy chairs, arts and crafts stations and natural wood represent the personal touch Etsy products are renowned for in this beautiful New York office space. The solar powered complex is decorated exclusively with products designed and manufactured Etsy sellers, and employees are encouraged to socialise over a twice-weekly communal meal, nicknamed ‘Eatsy’. Images: Etsy 6. Corus Entertainment, Corus Quay – Toronto, Canada The headquarters of this Canadian entertainment and broadcast company are world famous for the atrium, dominated by a helter-skelter and stunning views of the Toronto waterfront. The leafy walls and spacious interior are conducive to creative thinking and unrestricted freedom to let the mind wander. Images: Corus Entertainment 5. Pionen’s White Mountain Office – Stockholm, Sweden It seems somewhat ironic that Pionen, an internet service provider, should choose to base themselves in the centre of a mountain – not exactly a location compatible with connectivity. Allegedly inspired by villains’ lairs in James Bond movies, the workspace combines all four elements – earth, wind, fire and water – to ‘bring the outside in’ for workers, according to the architects. Images: Archie Expo 4. Zynga Headquarters – San Francisco, CA Social gaming service Zynga embraces its strengths in their Silicon Valley HQ. All 1,700 employees are encouraged to shoot zombies, play ping pong and sketch in the designated areas around the enormous office complex. As of May 2019, Zynga are looking to sell their premises for a whopping $600m. Perhaps the zombies are included? Images: Office Snapshots 3. Airbnb – San Francisco Airbnb’s San Francisco base is inspired entirely by the site’s listings. Workspaces include house boats, tents, shepherd huts and beach cabins – all in the interior of the Airbnb building. By giving employees the opportunity to work in almost any environment, the management are allowing staff the opportunity to be their most productive self, all within the comfort of their ‘own home.’ Images: Gensler 2. Google - Everywhere Google’s offices around the world are famous for their creative décor, intended to inspire their workers. From hanging work cubicles in the Zurich office, to the swings and cars featured in the Mexican base, Google employees are never short of interesting visual stimuli to keep their brain cogs whirring. Images: Interior Architects 1. Inventionland Design HQ – Pittsburgh, PA We’ve seen some pretty inventive offices, but Inventionland Design’s Pittsburgh-based HQ takes the biscuit. It’s unsurprising, really, as they are a creative invention designer. Employees can choose to work in caverns, huts, on board pirate ships or in a tree house, and dip their toes into the man-made lagoon in their spare time. The office layout is so mind-blowingly imaginative that Inventionland Design run tours around the premises. Images: Office Snapshots So, there you have it! Our top 10 incredible workspaces from around the world. What all of these spaces have in common are considerable amounts of natural light, rooms that reflect the company’s unique brand and the opportunity for workers to collaborate, but also find space for privacy. Which office is your favourite?
Pros and Cons of Hiring Remote Workers
Pros and Cons of Hiring Remote Workers
The tiny Irish island of Arranmore hit headlines a few weeks agoo with the announcement that they are seeking remote workers to telecommute from the island, in an attempt to boost the population. Arranmore boasts 469 inhabitants, only 22% of which are currently employed. The island council has written an open letter to Australian and US workers, citing the high-speed broadband, Guinness on tap and idyllic beaches as reasons to consider the move. While life on Arranmore would certainly put the ‘remote’ in ‘remote working’, such a call demonstrates an awareness of the future of the workplace beyond that shown by many large corporations in mainland Ireland. In a time where the workforce is seeking greater flexibility and better work/life balance, employers will find it difficult to attract and retain top quality talent without providing any remote working options, making it an imperative that proactive business leaders consider the advantages and disadvantages of employing remote staff. The Pros Larger Talent Pool The most significant advantage of hiring remote workers is the access employers now have to a vast, international talent pool. When a job posting is not restricted to workers within commuting distance, thousands of potential superstar employees suddenly become ripe for the taking. Cut Down on Costs There are two key ways in which hiring remote workers can significantly reduce company costs. Firstly, in not requiring employees to work from a central office location, businesses are removing the need to pay for renting/buying a workspace, the internet, electricity, cleaning, computers and broadband – the list goes on. Secondly, remote workers are often considerably better value that office-based workers. If an employer does not require their staff to physically turn up to work each day, they can hire from any area – including ones with a lower cost of living than where the company’s headquarters are based, such as rural zones. On sites such as UpWork, for example, remote workers’ prices range from $4/hr to $70+/hr, hailing from all over the world. Additionally, there has been research to suggest that remote workers are more likely to accept lower pay, work longer hours and forgo company-provided health insurance if it meant they were permitted to work from the comfort of their own home. Higher Retention Rate A study by Staples Advantage found that 76% of remote workers considered themselves more loyal to their company after being offered the option to telecommute, and that 39% have turned down a job, a promotion or outright quit because the company did not offer flexible working options. Many traditionally office-based workers are finding that remote working is an increasingly attractive alternative model to consider, as they have children or gain other responsibilities outside of their professional lives. More and more employers are offering remote working options to their staff to prevent competitors, who are similarly wising up to the advantages of this system, from poaching their most experienced employees…perhaps snapping up a few of their own along the way! Increased Productivity Levels ‘Work smarter, not longer’ is fast becoming the mantra of the modern workforce. If an employee is able to tailor their working day to their own personal preferences, in an environment of their choosing, they’re considerably more likely to be productive and engaged throughout the day. That being said, remote workers are 53% more likely to work over 40 hours a week, according to recent studies, increasing organisational productivity as a result. The Cons Potential Security Risks The Blueface Business Communications Technology Insight Report 2018 found that 57% of organisations with 200+ employees had experienced a cyber incident, such as hacking or phishing. When employees are permitted to use their own computer equipment in a non-secure environment, they are considerably more vulnerable to malicious cyber-attacks, potentially compromising company data security. However, there are numerous steps employers can take to overcome these odds, such as recommending workers avoid using public WiFi networks and providing stringent security guidelines upon hiring new staff. Loss of Company Culture While remote working options are statistically proven to actually increase employee engagement, such a work arrangement company-wide can somewhat dilute the sense of culture that has been so integral to successful modern business models until now. Employees are less likely to develop a genuine rapport online, let alone arrange to socialise out of hours or organically collaborate on a new idea. That being said, there are some great ways employers can promote a positive culture for their remote workers, such as the ones explored in this Forbes article. Issues with Communication Inevitably, if managers are only communicating with staff during brief windows of time each day, there is ample opportunity for the misinterpretation of instructions, or a lack of clarity in the project objective. It’s more of a commitment for an employee to pick up the phone and call their supervisor to clear something up than to pop their heads round a door, or to pass someone in a corridor. However, if employers rise to the challenge and adapt their communication practices to suit a remote workforce, there’s no reason why communication should hinder the productivity of the company. Investing in an instant messaging app for employees and ensuring managers are in constant contact with their team throughout the day will eliminate most potential issues before they have a chance to cause problems. Face-to-face interactions, such as video conferencing, are a further valuable tool for managers to ensure that they are getting the most out of their staff. Our workforce is evolving in a way that may feel scary or uncontrollable to some employers. However, the benefits to remote working are hard to be argued with – there are many great reasons companies should consider moving with the times and expanding their talent pool beyond their immediate geographical location. Arranmore is on the right track – you should be too!
2019 Summer Barbecue
2019 Summer Barbecue
To celebrate such a successful H1 of 2019, Sigmar held its annual Summer BBQ in Nolita Dublin. All regional offices from around the nation came together to catch up on the last six successful months. The day was full of terrible shirts and bright smiles as highly achieving consultants were given the fruits of their labour. Overall 13 consultants were promoted for outstanding work with 12 consultants being rewarded for their ongoing succesful contribution to the business. A well deserved day out for the company to celebrate H1 and kick off H2!
10 Small Ways to Increase Productivity at Work
10 Small Ways to Increase Productivity at Work
‘Work smarter, not longer.’ This is the attitude more and more employers are adopting as flexible and part-time working becomes increasingly normalised by businesses. There are only so many hours in the day – to avoid taking work home with you, it’s important to be productive in the time you have. In a world of short attention spans and incessant distractions, however, that can be difficult. Here are 10 small ways you can increase your productivity at work and better attain that mythical work/life balance. 1. Document Your Time Humans’ awareness of time is historically warped. In very few scenarios can we accurately estimate how much time has passed, with our perception able to be distorted by factors such as temperature, season, time of day or emotional state. It’s therefore a great idea to document how much time a day you actually spend on completing certain tasks. Having an objectively clear picture of how your day tends to be spread out will help you better structure your time in the future. 2. Set Deadlines Now you know where your time is going, try limiting the amount of time you spend on one task. ‘Perfection is the enemy of good,’ so they say. You can always return to an activity and polish it up later. In the meantime, however, it’s a good idea to keep up momentum and move onto a new task when you can – you may be surprised at how much you can achieve if you’re strict with yourself! 3. Hold Standing Meetings This one may not be for everyone, but the results behind it are interesting. It’s been suggested by research that standing meetings (literally meetings where everyone is standing) are more time efficient and productive. Without seats or tables, there tends to be less territoriality and increased group collaboration, not to mention quicker meeting times. One study found their average meeting length was reduced by 25% when participants were standing throughout. 4. Act, Don’t React It’s easy to let your day be dictated by phone calls and emails, putting out fires with every response. While this reactionary attitude is a great way to simply ‘cope’, it stops you making headway of your own with projects that require you to be proactive in how you handle them. While it’s difficult to ignore a pop-up notification or a blaring ring tone, carving out time in your schedule when everybody knows not to disturb you, or turn your notifications off. 5. Delegate Many busy leaders tend to believe it’s quicker to complete a task themselves (and definitely get it right first time) rather than explain the task to a co-worker and have them complete it (maybe not quite right first time). This can result in complete overwork on the part of the leader, and perhaps an unhealthy environment of mistrust or micromanagement in the workspace. Instead, consider assigning tasks to colleagues based on their strengths, and take the time to explain to them clearly what exactly you’re looking for from them. You might be pleasantly surprised when they do it as well, or better, than you could! 6. Stay Healthy One of the most effective ways to increase your productivity is to keep your brain in top shape. Some things you can do to maintain energy levels and sharp thinking are: Get a good night’s sleep Stay hydrated Keep healthy, nutritious snacks in your desk drawer Exercise regularly, particularly in your breaks Take a full lunch break Don’t take work home with you when you can avoid it 7. Take…Breaks? Taking breaks to improve productivity sounds somewhat counterintuitive. However, scientists have suggested that taking regular mental rests from work actually makes us more productive in the long run. As University of Illinois psychology professor Alejandro Lleras elaborates: “Deactivating and reactivating your goals allows you to stay focused…From a practical standpoint, our research suggests that, when faced with long tasks (such as studying before a final exam or doing your taxes), it is best to impose brief breaks on yourself. Brief mental breaks will actually help you stay focused on your task!” Why not give it a go? Try working in 90-segments with a 10-minute break between each. Really disconnect from your desk during this time – take a walk, get some fresh air. When you return to the problem at hand, you’ll be forced to think about it globally rather than specifically for a few minutes, perhaps enabling you to see solutions and perspectives previously hidden from you. 8. Avoid Multi-tasking When your to-do list is overwhelmingly long, it can be tempting to hop from task to task, generating an illusion of control for your own benefit. However, studies have consistently suggested that we are most productive when we set our minds to one job at a time. While you might feel you are getting more done while multi-tasking, in reality you are wasting time as you jump between headspaces, losing the clarity that comes with continuous focus. 9. Try Listening to Music Research suggests that certain types of music at the right time can really boost productivity. There is disagreement as to why exactly this is – some credit the boost in mood, some claim it is the ability to drown out office chatter. Regardless, music can be really useful in helping workers eliminate distractions and power through a task, particularly repetitive ones. Instrumental music is particularly praised as a focus-tool. The lack of lyrics means it’s hard for you to get distracted by words and meanings, enabling you to dedicate 100% of your concentration to your work. Similarly, the soothing effects of classical musical can help alleviate stress, helping you be more productive. If you don’t have a work playlist ready to go, you can find some great ready-made ones on most music streaming sites, such as Spotify, YouTube and Apple Music. 10. Prioritise We all have most productive hours. If you’ve followed our first tip and documented how you spend your work time, you should know what hours those are for you. Therefore, it’s only logical that you should assign yourself your most difficult tasks, and the priorities, in those ultra-productive windows. That way, a task that would otherwise take you an entire morning could theoretically only consume half an afternoon, if that’s how you work. As most workers grow increasingly unproductive throughout the day, it makes sense to reserve the easiest tasks for the afternoon. You won’t have to channel the same level of energy into these tasks, while also ticking items off your list. These are just 10 ways you can increase productivity in the workplace. While these are useful tips you can enact in your everyday working life, it’s important to remember that productivity is primarily a state of mind. If you love your job and find your daily workload rewarding, you’ll likely be considerably more productive than someone who does not. If you’re struggling to maintain productivity across the working week, perhaps it’s time to take a step back and assess whether this position is really the right one for you, or perhaps consider that you are suffering from Burnout (just this week classified as a diagnosable illness by WHO).