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Shay

1 in 5 employees say their happiness decreases at work

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A recent study of 1,000 UK adults by Central YMCA found that one in five felt being at work actively decreases their happiness. The study revealed that finding time for leisure, socialising and family and friends was the key to good wellbeing.

66% of respondents said they were happiest when spending time on holiday, 56% said it was when they were with family and 49% when they socialised with friends. These statistics continue to back up how crucial a good work-life balance is.

Despite this, a study undertaken by SPANA last October found that British workers are on average putting in the equivalent of 38 working days over and above their contracted annual hours.

Rosi Prescott, CEO of Central YMCA, commented on the findings:

“Gone are the days of it being seen as acceptable for employees to work all the hours under the sun. Priorities are changing now, with a new generation of millennial workers bringing a new perspective to the workplace – often valuing ‘soft benefits’ like flexitime, access to additional training, gym memberships and a better work-life balance more than monetary benefits such as bonuses.”

“The challenge for employers now is how they can make the workplace somewhere where people feel good and therefore more motivated and energised.”

“There are a number of great resources available as a starting point – including the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health’s guidance on promoting health and wellbeing at work which suggests: having a flexible working policy that allows employees to exercise before work or during their lunch break; arranging discounts for staff at local health clubs; and subsidising activities such as yoga.”

Interestingly, Central YMCA’s study also revealed how higher levels of mental stimulation such as learning a new skill or tackling challenging problems positively impact wellbeing. Respondents who felt they were mentally highly stimulated went on to rate their wellbeing an average of 6.9 out of ten, compared to the national average of 6.13/10.

Rosi continued: “Those employers that are able to foster better wellbeing and a high level of mental stimulation for their employees will reap the benefits that a happier workforce brings – often more likely to stay in the job and be more productive, friendly, relaxed and creative.”

In order to retain and motivate employees, it’s crucial that employers make sure their employees are stimulated mentally and balance their work with socialising, leisure, and family time.
perkpal can make this easier, offering fantastic discounts such as 20% off Virgin experience days, 10% off Hotels.com and holidays and much more.
Contact us here to get started.

9 out of 10 workers don’t fully utilise holiday allowance

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A new survey undertaken by voucherbox.co.uk found that 9 out of 10 British workers failed to take all of their holiday allowance last year.

The study looked at British workers’ annual leave entitlement and found that 43% of us don’t take our full allowance as we are too busy, and 7% of us reach the end of the year with at least half our allowance untaken.

When asked to elaborate, the top reason given for not taking full holiday entitlement was that we felt our workplace was too busy for us to take time off, with one in ten saying that they had holiday requests denied.

More than a third of us (35%) completely lost our untaken holiday days, unable to carry over the days to the following year or sell the days back to our employers.

In addition to this, 81% of us admitted to working up to nine hours’ unpaid overtime each week, effectively missing out on a further £434.40 in unpaid labour over the year.

It’s concerning to see so many British workers not utilising their opportunities to take time away from work and relax. With perkpal, employees can get 100’s of discounts and perks, including up to 10% off holidays and discounts on hotel bookings.

To sign up to perkpal, have a company decision maker contact us here.

 

 

 

 

4 reasons millennials make great hires

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Millenials often get a bad rap as the lazy, self-entitled, job-hopping generation, but in the right environment, they can be quite the opposite.

As more millennials begin to move into decision-making positions, it’s time to start seeing them as the innovative, valuable generation they are.

Here are 4 reasons Millennials make great hires:

They’re digital natives

Millenials are the first generation who’ve grown up with digital technology, and so they know the digital world like the back of their hands. Thanks to the introduction of ‘virality’ (content being shared extremely widely), millennials have a strong understanding of what resonates with their generation. Because they’re used to the ever-changing digital landscape, they adapt quickly and seamlessly and are able to positively contribute and deliver results. They rarely require training to understand new digital processes.

They’re solution-orientated

Millenials found their way through a rough economic downturn, and are no strangers to competition and working for what they want in life. They’re happy to experiment and find solutions to problems, and they often see ways to streamline existing processes and make them more efficient. They’re an entrepreneurial generation who aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves and get work done.

They’re willing to improve themselves

Although Millennials are often thought of being arrogant, they can actually be very much the opposite. Many are happy to take constructive criticism, owning their mistakes and working on self-development so they can complete tasks and solve problems to a higher standard. The key here is to cultivate a workplace culture that isn’t afraid to slip-up; Millennials thrive on trial-and-error learning.

They look for meaning in everything they do

Perhaps due to the input they had in family decisions when they were children, Millennials like to inject a bit of themselves into companies they join. This is not inherently a bad thing, as it means they often uncover new ways to solve problems and take partial responsibility for the overall success of the company. Millennials like to ask ‘why’ because they want to know what they do is making a positive impact in the workplace. If you can show them how all processes interconnect and how what they do is important to your organisation, they will be massively more motivated.

 

More than any other generation, Millennials expect to be able to choose from a list of benefits, which is exactly what perkpal’s digital platform offers.
If you want to motivate and engage your Millennials, be the workplace hero and sign up to perkpal today.

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How to leave work on time

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For some, leaving work on time seems like a distant dream. Company culture can make it difficult to stand up and leave if everyone else is still at their desks, it can almost feel like jumping ship on your crew. You want to appear loyal to your team, but you also want to have free time, a social life and of course time to see your family.

Working normal hours goes a long way in keeping you happy day-to-day. Having more family time is important, and you’ll have a better work-life balance in general. Leaving work on time is always preferable.

On top of this, working long hours doesn’t always look great. Perhaps it is really saying ‘I worked unproductively today and have lost control over my schedule’. In which case, it’s time to look at how you are structuring your day, and whether you can actually handle your current workload.

In fact, during 2015, 13% of the population were working over 48 hours per week. These long hours eventually take their toll, and a mix of stress and sleep deprivation may not make you the most likeable person.

Here is how to structure your working day, so you can work normal hours:

Start your day right

When you first get to work, rather than immediately jumping into a task, allocate some time to communicate with your team and create a list of tasks in a priority order. Once you’re clear on what you have to do, you can better schedule your day.

Be more comfortable saying ‘no’

It’s easy in a corporate environment to pressurise yourself into becoming a people-pleaser, so learn to say ‘no’ more often. If a colleague asks you to stay behind and do them a favour, and you need to go, decline respectfully and empathetically.

Eliminate distractions

You can be more productive by eliminating the distractions around you, such as radios that are a bit too loud, and even your mobile phone. Set a length of time that you will work without distraction, and take short breaks every half an hour or so to cool off.

Tell your colleagues

If you find yourself constantly staying behind after work, tell your colleagues in advance that you’re leaving on time. They’ll likely help keep you accountable, allowing you to use peer pressure to your advantage.

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4 great benefits of employee recognition

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With reward and recognition, employers can effectively motivate and drive their teams to perform at their best ability. Use perkpal to achieve this and cultivate a fun company culture.

Here are 4 great benefits of employee recognition

1. To engage

Showing employees you’re grateful for their hard work can have an immediate positive impact, boosting employee engagement by almost 60%. In fact, recognition is consistently cited as a ‘top engagement driver’, so you have no excuse!

Recognition doesn’t just have to come from you; nurture your company’s culture to promote peer-to-peer recognition, it can work wonders for team morale and ultimately help your company remain attractive and succeed.

2. To increase employee advocacy

When you tailor your recognition and benefits to each individual employee, you turn them into brand ambassadors. Spend the time to learn what makes each individual employee tick, and before you know it, you’ll have a passionate team of advocates spreading the word about how great your company is.

3. To retain

It’s a fact. Lack of recognition is one of the biggest reasons why people leave their jobs.

As millennials (the ‘job hopping’ generation) are set to dominate the workplace, it becomes increasingly important to keep an eye on your company’s retention rate.

By using the motivational power of recognition, you could lower voluntary turnover rates by 31%.

Rewarding and recognising with perkpal is one of the easiest ways to retain your employees.

4. To drive performance

Recognition can be a powerful amplifier to employee performance, in fact, the power of positive feedback has data to back it up.

Organisations that give thanks to their employees regularly outperform those that don’t by 14%.

perkpal has hundreds of perks and discounts; there is something for everybody.

Reward your employees like the individuals they are, contact us now!

6 Tips for Combatting Stress at Work

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Stress in the workplace can not only put an individuals blood pressure at risk, it can impact overall wellbeing, leading to a drastic decrease in motivation and productivity in the workplace.

Did you know that in 2015/16 stress accounted for 37% of all work related ill health cases and 45% of all working days lost due to ill health.

High work-load and time constraints can both be factors of stress, yet there are many more.

Dealing with customers, job insecurity, financial problems, family issues and even colleagues can all be contributors, as well as dangerous working conditions and micromanagement.
Researchers believe that the high stress levels caused by these factors can increase the likelihood of smoking, drug abuse, alcoholism and overeating, all of which can lead to cancer.

If it isn’t possible to remove sources of stress, employees should learn how to properly manage it.

Here are some areas to be focused on:

  1. Eat healthily

    Food choices can make a big difference to mental and physical wellbeing. Avoid overconsumption of sugar, alcohol, caffeine and nicotine, and up vegetable intake to provide your body with the nutrients it needs to function properly.

  2. Build better relationships

    Building strong relationships with coworkers can dramatically improve your experience at work. Improving overall communication can help with managing everyone’s expectations as well as open up the opportunity to ask for help with tasks and delegate accordingly.

  3. Nurture a more relaxed culture at work

    Often, employees will mirror the attitudes and mindsets of managers and directors. If these two groups can learn to manage their stress themselves, they can effectively nurture a more relaxed culture and other employees will likely feel more at-ease too.

  4. Prioritise and use lists

    One big cause of stress is ‘having a lot going on at one time’.Employees can learn to manage this by prioritising and having a checklist of tasks they need to complete. As well as this, employees should be encouraged to stick to one task at a time if possible, as splitting your focus across multiple tasks is not the most productive way to work. We recommend the mobile app Trello for prioritising, as employees can rearrange their tasks with the swipe of a finger.

  5. Ensure you’re getting enough sleep

    Sleep deprivation often causes small problems to appear much bigger than they actually are. It also makes it harder to get up in the morning, which isn’t much fun at all.
    Do yourself a favour and ensure you’re getting enough sleep to allow your body and mind to fully recharge, most adults require about 7 hours good quality sleep a night.

  6. Stay physically fit

    If you’re not regularly exercising, you’re doing yourself a massive disservice. We’re not going to bore you with a science lesson, so we’ll keep it brief; exercise releases endorphins, which make you feel good when you physically exert yourself. These neurotransmitters also help relieve stress and regulate mood. Get onto that treadmill!

4 Reasons You’re Not Productive At Work

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On good days, you likely leave work thinking;

‘I’ve done a lot today, I achieved everything I wanted to and I’ve ploughed through so much work.’

Then there are those other days when you’re heading home and can’t remember what you got up to.
You know you were ‘busy’, but if asked, you wouldn’t have much to show for it.

What is it that is killing your productivity on these days?
Why are some days far more productive than others?

Here are some factors that may be affecting your ability to work productively:

You’re not getting enough sleep

We’ve all experienced this at some point or another.
Whether it was the neighbour’s cats fighting outside or you were just working late, sleep deprivation can cause a serious decrease in productivity levels. Take a look at your ‘good days’ and see if you can find a pattern in how sleep may be affecting your performance.

Sleep deprivation affects your attention and makes it harder to concentrate, your reactions are also slower, making commuting to work more dangerous and it also becomes harder to learn new skills and retain information. Get at least 7 hours of rest and these problems can be avoided, or, if you have to work late the odd day, make time for a power nap the next day to maintain your energy.

 

You’re trying to multitask

Although it sounds good to say you can multitask, it will likely reduce your overall productivity. It takes about 23 minutes to fully return to a task after an interruption, and switching back and forth makes us tired, less efficient and prone to making more errors. Multitasking has also been shown to increase production of cortisol, also known as the stress hormone.

Believe it or not, multitasking can be addicting.

When we complete a task, even a small one like sending an email, our brain’s get a hit of dopamine, the reward chemical. It’s relatively easy to end up subconsciously chasing this chemical, through regularly switching tasks.

In fact, there is even evidence that suggests multitasking can damage areas of the brain, permanently.
A recent study from the University of Sussex ran MRI scans on the brains of multitaskers (specifically those who spent time on multiple devices at once, eg. smartphone and television). The scans showed that subjects who multitasked more often had less brain density in the anterior cingulate cortex, the area in the brain responsible for emotional control and empathy.

Stick to tackling one significant task at a time and you might see more work getting completed.

 

You’re not working at your optimum time

The 9 to 5 working habit has been embedded into British culture for years, with the familiar, never-
ending ‘rush hour’ being a significant testament to that.
More and more companies, however, are opting for flexible working hours, giving employees the ability to control when they work.

We’ve all heard about the ‘morning person’, but what about the ‘night person’?
Some people work best at the crack of dawn, and some people work better in the evening, so employers are beginning to accommodate both.
If you find you are more productive later on in the evening, it might be worth discussing flexible working options with your employer.

 

You’re procrastinating

Procrastination is a word commonly thrown around, but putting off your tasks until the last
minute can be a dangerous route to take for your productivity. Not only does it create a situation where you eventually need to rush through work, but you also have to endure the stress of having the task at the back of your head the whole time you’re putting it off.

Michael Townsend Williams, founder of mind-coaching comany Still Works, suggests working out how you’re feeling at that exact moment, and then doing all the tasks that are possible within your current state of mind. That way, you can ‘build up’ to the more challenging tasks, having already had a ‘warm-up’.

open employee discussion

How to Improve Employee Satisfaction

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Employee morale is crucial to company success. It is the sum of overall outlook, attitude, confidence and the satisfaction employees feel at work.

When employees feel positive about their workplace environment and feel they are meeting their career and personal needs, employee satisfaction is said to be high.

As an employer, you can help nurture a positive culture in the workplace and control components which contribute to overall employee satisfaction.

In this article, we’ll be looking at ways you can effectively improve employee satisfaction, which is a key contributor to a happier, more productive workplace.

1. Ease the stress of commuting

Bad commutes are a source of frustration and stress, and it isn’t ideal to start and end your working day feeling this way. Employers should explore ways to reduce the stress of commuting, for example, by staggering work times to avoid heavy traffic. Late arrival policies should also be reviewed, as severely reprimanding late employees will make them more stressed during bad commutes and they will not be happy upon arriving in the office.

2. Encourage workplace socialisation

A key component of employee satisfaction is the ability to socialise with peers. Employers should explore ways to ‘open up’ the office to make it easy to communicate, with workstations arranged so employees can see each other.

Employers should also be encouraged to socialise outside of the office, this gives employees the opportunity to develop better relationships whilst positively promoting the company. Encouraging community service is a great opportunity to not only increase employee satisfaction but to show your company in a good light too.

3. Promote healthy lifestyle choices

Businesses pay a heavy cost for both physical and stress-related illnesses and the absences that come along with them. Employee productivity is also linked to health, so all employers should be encouraging their workforce to exercise, reduce stress and improve overall health.

Exercise releases serotonin and dopamine, the ‘feel-good’ hormones. Release of these hormones slows down dramatically during stressful periods, so exercise after work can be a great way of clearing the mind and feeling better at the end of the day.

One way you can encourage employees to get active is by offering our gym and health club discounts. Also, ensure your office has access to a refrigerator and microwave to help encourage employees to prepare healthy food.

4. Create a growth environment

Companies should be encouraging their employees to grow and learn. In a survey about employee motivation, employees were ask to rank job characteristics that motivated them. Quite surprisingly, promotions and high wages were not in the top three. Employee’s number one desire was “Full appreciation of work being done”.

Employers can help encourage growth by providing training, acknowledging company benchmarks and celebrating individual employee successes and accomplishments. Employees should be encouraged to take plenty of risks, and learn new ways of tackling problems. If not given opportunities to expand skill sets and responsibilities, employees will likely become bored and lose motivation at work.

5. Create a clear set of company values

Creating a clear set of company values can help employees feel more motivated at work as it makes them aware that they are fulfilling a bigger, more important purpose. As a leader, you should ensure the company is consistently abiding by these values, even through times of stress and turmoil. Employees will respect the company for this and value their roles in it more.

 

Implementing these and similar techniques in the workplace can help increase employee retention and increase overall workplace productivity.

Employers can easily improve employee satisfaction by offering our range of incredible employee savings and discounts.

If you’re ready to be the workplace hero, get in touch with us here or call 0800 652 4745 / email:hello@perkpal.co.uk

C: 0800 652 4745
E: hello@perkpal.co.uk