We are a dog loving nation with over 450,000 people in Ireland having one or more pet dogs. With all those furry friends running around, it’s no wonder more workplaces are adding dog friendly benefits and jobseekers are looking for dog friendly employers. But what is the value of having dogs in the workplace?
Werewolf Food co-founder and dog trainer, Chris Hanlon said in an Irish Times article that dogs can decrease workplace stress.
“Let’s face it, the office can be a very stressful environment with client deadlines and colleague tensions bubbling from time to time but the presence of a dog, the petting of it and the cuddles instantly lowers blood pressure and acts as a coping mechanism lowering negative atmospheres.”
It’s no surprise that dogs are excellent ice breakers and sometimes in an office environment that’s exactly what you need. Tensions can run high and we can get very wrapped up in our day to day tasks, but a dog can help us to take a step back from that and talk to the people around us.
Chris says “For starters, dogs are excellent social lubricants that instantly bring employees together, bettering the bond amongst colleagues and improving the way the team works together. All good news for a business’s bottom line.”
Giving Employees Personal Help
Lots of things can happen in an employee’s life and sometimes dog sitters can let you down and what happens when it’s 9pm on a Sunday and you have no one to look after your dog the next day? It’s not always ideal to take annual leave every time life happens and you have no one to look after your furry friend. It can be a huge weight off an employee’s shoulders knowing that they can bring their dog to work when they need to.
In Sigmar we are happy to say that we allow bring your dog to work options, which has meant we have seen all three of these benefits first hand and how they can really give positive change to the workplace. On this International Dog Day we want to highlight these benefits and encourage small changes like Pawternity packages, bring your dog to work Fridays or reforming an outdoor area for dogs and see the positive impact it can make to your workplace.
Here's some pictures of our Sigmar dog Daisy enjoying her office perks
Posted by Clare Reynolds on 26 August 2019
Why Candidate Feedback is so Important
Why Candidate Feedback is so Important
We understand that your working week is busy and you can be overrun with many different tasks, but when it comes to hiring we cannot stress enough the value of adding extra time to your hiring process to give feedback to candidates and here is why… Positive Impact on Employer Brand No matter what the feedback, good or bad just giving feedback will most likely hold you in high regard to that candidate. Giving a direct response and/or constructive criticism will show the candidate that their time and interest in applying for the role was valued and that you, as an employer, appreciate that effort and would like to return the courtesy. This will reflect very positive on your company as a whole. The last thing you want is a disillusioned candidate who when asked about how the interview went they say, ‘I’ve no idea, I haven’t heard from them’. Recommendations The positive experience the candidate had with you even after being rejected will give them the option to recommend you to their friends/peers. Maybe they weren’t right for the position, but they felt they got on well with you and your feedback has helped them to realise why they are not suitable for the job, but they know someone who is. Giving someone feedback will increase your company's advocates which can lead to invaluable word of mouth recommendations and potentially new customers and/or relationships. Future Employee A lot of the time when candidates are rejected after interviewing it is because they are lacking a certain skill or qualification. They normally tick most of the employer’s boxes which is why they were invited to interview in the first place. You may have really liked this person, but they weren’t right for the available position, so you chose to hire someone else. Giving them that feedback will leave the door open for them to come back in the future. They may not have what you’re looking for now, but down the line they could be perfect and it will eliminate a lot of the stress of hiring in the future. Helping a Job Seeker In this case the candidate wasn’t up to scratch. The CV and cover letter were excellent, but after meeting face to face you realised a number of things that could be improved i.e. they were very shy and couldn’t articulate confidently or couldn’t recall information due to nerves. All of these things are understandable reasons not to hire someone, but without that feedback, how will the candidate know what they are doing wrong for their next interview? Your feedback could be the ticket to them landing the job after their next interview. When you consider the added value candidate feedback gives, over the amount of time it takes (usually less than 5 minutes) it really is a no brainer that you should be doing it after every interview.
The Benefits of Allowing Dogs in the Workplace
The Benefits of Allowing Dogs in the Workplace
We are a dog loving nation with over 450,000 people in Ireland having one or more pet dogs. With all those furry friends running around, it’s no wonder more workplaces are adding dog friendly benefits and jobseekers are looking for dog friendly employers. But what is the value of having dogs in the workplace? Stress Buster Werewolf Food co-founder and dog trainer, Chris Hanlon said in an Irish Times article that dogs can decrease workplace stress. “Let’s face it, the office can be a very stressful environment with client deadlines and colleague tensions bubbling from time to time but the presence of a dog, the petting of it and the cuddles instantly lowers blood pressure and acts as a coping mechanism lowering negative atmospheres.” Social Aid It’s no surprise that dogs are excellent ice breakers and sometimes in an office environment that’s exactly what you need. Tensions can run high and we can get very wrapped up in our day to day tasks, but a dog can help us to take a step back from that and talk to the people around us. Chris says “For starters, dogs are excellent social lubricants that instantly bring employees together, bettering the bond amongst colleagues and improving the way the team works together. All good news for a business’s bottom line.” Giving Employees Personal Help Lots of things can happen in an employee’s life and sometimes dog sitters can let you down and what happens when it’s 9pm on a Sunday and you have no one to look after your dog the next day? It’s not always ideal to take annual leave every time life happens and you have no one to look after your furry friend. It can be a huge weight off an employee’s shoulders knowing that they can bring their dog to work when they need to. In Sigmar we are happy to say that we allow bring your dog to work options, which has meant we have seen all three of these benefits first hand and how they can really give positive change to the workplace. On this International Dog Day we want to highlight these benefits and encourage small changes like Pawternity packages, bring your dog to work Fridays or reforming an outdoor area for dogs and see the positive impact it can make to your workplace. Here's some pictures of our Sigmar dog Daisy enjoying her office perks
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!