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July 15, 2022
CATEGORY: Work Life Balance

The start of a global pandemic made companies and employees focus their resources on a flexible working environment. That’s it to work at home, work remotely or telecommute. If you’re working in an industry where tasks can be made at home, or you’re an employer who is looking for ways to reduce operational costs, knowing these benefits will help you appreciate work from home setup. For Employers Save on office space rental Office rent expense is one of the most, if not the most, costly parts of running a business. Whether you make business or not, at the end of the day, you’re still obliged to pay landlords or real estate companies. If you’ve already made permanent work from home working arrangements or you’re sure you don’t need one or more of your staff to meet in person, you can already let go of your office space. Saving on rental space can reduce your risks of bankruptcy. Save on parking rentals Some office towers charge their tenants with parking rental spaces. That could take from a few hundred to thousands in (your local currency). If you carry your vehicle and intend to stay in one place, such parking rentals can add to your rental costs. Also, think about valet parking services - these too, cost money per hour or a day. Save on travel expenses Even you drive your own vehicle, you’ll still face travel expenses such as gasoline, toll and maintenance fees. Some company executives or those with high ranking positions have their own drivers. Hiring your own driver is an additional wage expense.  Save on utilities Utilities such as water, electricity, gas and internet can cost hundreds to thousands of bills a month if you use them to serve your employees working at the office. By WFH, you’re also saving time from paying these bills.  Improved inclusivity A work from home is set up is more egalitarian than requesting employees to perform tasks at a traditional office. If productivity is the same for working at the office and working from home, then it’s rational that remote work can benefit your business purposes and your staff. The following people and their conditions will benefit from this setup: ○ Pregnant women  ○ Mothers who need to take care of their babies ○ Fathers who need to take care of their babies due to being widowed or having working wives ○ People with comorbidities who need stay at home ○ People who have relatives that need medical attention and care. For example, a bedridden patient or ailing seniors ○ People who can’t afford the cost of living in cities due to higher housing rentals, transport, and food ○ Support people who have physical limitations such as being wheelchair-bound due to missing limbs   Employees are more willing to do overtime If you need your staff for some extra projects due to shortage of staff, you have more chances of motivated employees who are willing to stay late at night. Why? This is because employees don’t have to worry about going home late, queuing a long line before a bus stop or getting hungry after a missed dinner. Increased productivity and performance Telecommuting increases quality output and decreases noise level, office politics, tardiness, and work disruptions due to issues such as internet disconnections and power outages. Working at an office can also make false positives on work performance that can lead to favouritism and biased decisions. Arriving early or leaving late may look nice, but remember, actual work output makes the true metrics of productivity. For Employees Save on living space rental Apartments, houses and condos make up most of the employees’ expenses. If you’re living in a condo unit, it’s likely that you’ll be paying from moderate to expensive rental fees. On top of rental, you’ll mind parking fees, security fees, and garbage collection fees. A work-from-home setup can reduce these expenses as you can opt to live in a different city or area that offers cheaper apartments or living spaces - regardless of its distance to your head office. Avoid stress from commuting and driving Stress costs money and time. Stress involves getting early to arrive at work, queuing a line for the bus, and worrying about getting late. On top of that, you can mention worrying about arriving home late at night, facing bad weather and safety issues. Even if you own a car, you still have to deal with the stress of driving in heavy traffic. More time for fitness  If you work in IT, accounting or any industry that usually demonstrates a sedentary lifestyle, chances you’ll have fewer physical activities. Since you’re working from home, you’ll have more time to walk, jog, lift dumbbells and prepare workout meals. The more you spend time in the office setting, the more you build your belly fat. For Society and the Environment Positive environmental effects Since the start of the pandemic, there was a decrease in CO2 emissions from vehicles. This benefited the city and suburban areas, and reduced toxic gases. This situation is a win-win solution for all. Without commuting and driving employees from home to workplace result in decreased greenhouse gas emissions - equivalent of taking 600,000 cars off from the road. Work from home also resulted in oil savings of more than a hundred million dollars.

July 01, 2022
CATEGORY: Career Hacks

Working and staying for the company for a long period of time is a virtue as it helps you show your loyalty to the company. Just like the laws of the universe, everything changes and that includes your will to continue your tenure in an organization, changes in economic and business conditions. There are circumstances that resignation is the last resort and the best logical course of action. But before you resign, it’s best to consider these things: Make sure you got a contingency plan Plan B or Contingency plan refers to the fallback where you can rely on whether it’s a second job, savings or business. Without Plan B is akin to a person falling down the stairs or attic without a trampoline on the ground. You can skip this part if you already own a stable business or have enough savings which we can say thousands to millions in your local currency. Pad your wallet Padding your wallet means saving enough to cover the transition period that is the time of leaving your job for a new one. Even if you've already started in your new job, you’ll have to wait for the salary cut off before you get your first paycheck from them. Without savings, you’ll end up indebted to your friends and relatives. The amount you need depends on your living condition. If you just rent an apartment and your owned house is in the province, then you must double your savings. Budget your savings and expenses Trim or remove your wants and maintain only your needs. Since you’re living in your comfort or money-protected zone, you’re at the risk of depleting your savings unless you got a new job already. Inform your company about your plan in advance Most companies, if not all, have this 1-month policy before resignation which is intended to prevent understaffing or workflow disruption. Your last month should be the time when you’re still doing your best to finish the job. It’s a different matter and urgency if you’re suffering from insomnia, serious illness, sexual harassment and physical abuse. Find out when you’ll get your benefits Ask the company’s admin or human resources when you’ll get your benefits which include last paychecks, separation pay and unused leaves. Clarify if such unconsumed leaves will be converted to cash. Find out when you’ll get your paychecks - this depends on the company. Some give it after 3 months or 5 months. Write a resignation letter Write a letter devoid of grammar and punctuation mistakes. State there that you’re thanking them and telling them that you’re still there to help. Here is a link from Use your unused medical privileges It’s likely that your company has a medical or health insurance plan for regular or tenured employees. Use these medical credits to book medical checkups for you and your dependents, if applicable. Make a proper handover of smartphone and laptop If you’re working in the office or remotely, you likely use a company-provided laptop for office work, programming, writing and communication. Other gadgets such as smartphone may also be provided for communication, presentation and other work-related purposes. Delete your personal information, run disk cleanup and remove clutter from browser and desktop before returning these electronic devices. Politely decline counteroffers If you are resolved to leaving the company, you should politely decline any counteroffers that an HR personnel or manager may bring. This is likely to happen if the employer is minding about the short-term impact of losing you. Save samples of your work This can be your portfolio – art, articles, web design, motion graphics, photographs, blueprint and anything that can serve as proof of your work and skills. You can save them as softcopy, hardcopy or as a website in a web hosting account. Train your successor It’s a courtesy to make things easy for the successor while it’s boorish to leave a bunch of jumbled things to a newbie who doesn’t know how or where to start. Most companies follow a protocol of handover which is listing things that have been delegated to the newcomer. Make sure that Mr. A or Miss B reviewed the handover checklist, then train him/her about the following: Daily routines Key Performance Indicators (KPI) Client or customer relationship management Documentation or file organization Other specific tasks Update your resume When was the last time you updated your CV or qualifications in 1 or 2 years ago? If you can’t even recall when, it’s time that you update your work experience, competency, contact information, its formatting, etc. Add skills to your skills set earned during your tenure. Upload or add link to your portfolio, if applicable.

June 17, 2022
CATEGORY: Work Life Balance

Companies, such as in information and tech sector, that still allow work from home, remote, telecommuting or hybrid setup have started requiring their employees to return to the office. Many employers are getting blowback. While management may argue productivity and socialization as few of the factors for this decision, employees may highlight the following advantages of work from home setup. Save on Rent Renting (or leasing) makes the highest expenses for companies who don’t own office spaces. For example, office space on one of the towers located in the central business district might cost you tens to hundreds of thousands. Just imagine if you could just use those huge savings from rentals to the following:  Advertisement to improve your market reach Buy stocks Buy your own office space Employee skill development such as education and training Healthcare insurance for your employees Invest in another business Software for business Tools for productivity Utilities Utilities comprise electricity, gas for heating, internet and water. All of these can cost you thousands of pesos if you compel or require employees to return to the office. Telecommuting means saying goodbye to monthly bills that can add to your stress. Remember you need one of your staff to process bills and that can take away precious effort, money and time. Cleaning Services Renting an office can add an additional cost - cleaning services. Since your staff occupies your office, you’ll need to keep the floor, ceiling, workstations and windows clean. And that calls for janitorial or cleaning services. Now that’s another bill. Improved Employee Retention Resigning employees can hamper your production. Although you can always hire another employee, remember that retraining a new staff doesn’t mean you can always get the same quality of service. On top of that, think about the cost and time of retraining new employees. Promoting work from home can help you retain talents who need more time with their family, and take care of their babies or ailing relatives. Reduced Absenteeism Flexible schedules can give more time to your employees who have personal obligations that could demand taking days off. Returning employees from sick leave can bounce back to work easier compared to commuting employees. Reduced Tardiness Traffic jams can hamper your staff’s ability to arrive on time. Even though they can adjust their time or wake up early, it’s very taxing and tiresome for you to deal with bumper to bumper traffic. By the time you and your staff arrive on-site, you’re already wasting precious time and energy. The solution to traffic? Make work from home a permanent work setup. Reduced Payroll Costs Although it’s likely you can’t get employees who like reduced salary in exchange for a flexible workplace, a research shows that almost ⅓ of employees will want remote work over a pay rise. So, instead of a pay raise, why not reward your employees with work from home.

May 30, 2022
CATEGORY: Career Hacks

Layoffs refer to the reduction of staff size due to slow business or initiatives to save money. Layoffs can be permanent (the complete cessation of employment) or temporary (the cutting back of employment with an understanding that the employee’s position will be restored at a specific time. If you’re an employee potentially facing such problematic situation, it’s good to know the possible drivers of job insecurity. Buyout A large and powerful company can buy out smaller companies. They could buy the majority shares (in corporations). The larger company may replace or retain the employees of the acquired company. Employees of the acquired company could be terminated if their positions are redundant. If terminated, the employees will receive 30 to 60-day notice and notice of their rights, procedures, and severance benefits. If the employees wish to be retained, they might be transferred to other departments or hold a new position. Cost-cutting due to economic downturn Wages form one of the largest operational expenses. To save overhead and operating expenditures, the company will ask employees to resign in exchange for separation packages and employment search assistance. Those employees that perform redundant roles or perform unsatisfactorily are prioritized for layoffs. Employees who aren’t easy to replace will most likely be retained in the skeletal force team. Industry decline This refers to the slow economy of a specific industry - Agriculture, Commerce, Logistics, Information Technology, Healthcare etc. Pandemic, supply and demand and technological trends can impact industries. For example, two decades ago, landline phone boots and long-distance calls abound but as soon as the smartphones and internet advances came, the commercial telcos of the 1990s came into decline in the early 2000s. Project ends Projects are temporary. They may last from months to a year or so. When projects end, the participants’ employment ends. The participating employee or consultant will receive a regular salary or benefits until the end of the project. Examples of project-based employment include: Construction project - bridges, residential apartments, and tower Research project - Geological and social surveys Web development project for 1 year - A landing page and subpage for a pharmaceutical company Relocation A company may close down its branches in a country and transfer its assets to its remaining offices in the originating country. An organization could relocate because of cost-cutting and diversion of funds to the newly focused product and services segment. The company may not relocate employees due to redundancy and savings. Staff redundancy We have already mentioned the term a couple of times above. When staff perform identical tasks for a long-term project, their output becomes redundant, hence providing little value to the company’s goals. If an organization faces a slow business or possible bankruptcy, it may slash its workforce.

May 02, 2022
CATEGORY: Overseas Work

The Philippines constitutes a large population of citizens who work abroad. Some of these are working on working visas and others are already dual citizens. Others have already immigrated to other countries and given up their native-born citizenship. Most Filipinos go abroad for economic reasons or tourist purposes. Whatever the reason is, knowing the pros and cons will help you decide before going abroad and avoid costly mistakes. PROS Higher salary Usually, the salary abroad is higher than offered in the home country. Such an offer could be twice or several times higher than the local ones. Depending on the position and company, the package could comprise free accommodation, transport and meals. A chance to travel and see the world At some point in your life, you might already dream of going to other countries. If you’re living in a tropical country, you may already have a desire to travel to temperate countries such as Japan, France, the United States, Canada and Australia. These countries have four seasons - Summer, Spring, Autumn and Winter. Experience other Cultures Culture refers to the characteristics and knowledge of a certain group of people’s arts, cuisine, music, religion, and social habits. Travelling beyond your country’s borders will let you appreciate other nationalities and cultures. Learn another language Of course, you can learn a foreign language while in your country, but living in other countries will create more learning opportunities. You can meet native speakers of your target language. For example, you get more immersion in learning Japanese when you live in a Japanese neighborhood. An opportunity to assume other citizenship Perhaps this is the best perk of working abroad. If you’re in a country that allows a fast track to citizenship, a couple of years and residence status can lead to citizenship. You can also take dual citizenship if your current country of residence allows that. Example of countries that allow dual nationality includes Canada, the United States, France, and Spain. CONS Leaving your home country and family is heartbreaking Anxiety and sadness will slowly creep in once you start to say bon voyage and goodbyes to your family - parents, siblings, spouse, children, fiancé. You’re now in the situation where you’ve to get used to the new situation of leaving your comfort zone - the daily routines. Adjustments to long distance relationship Whether to your family or to your partner, being miles of land, borders and oceans apart can make you feel nostalgic and homesick at the same time. The feeling of separation can be eased by modern techs such as Messenger, Facebook, Skype, Zoom and other instant messaging or video conferencing apps. Safety issues You may never know what lies ahead in the country of your destination, especially with their hospitality and treatment to foreigners. You have to make sure about these situations: Peace and security - Is the neighborhood in the country’s locality safe? Are there wars, terrorist activities, discrimination, gang wars, and anything that can put your safety in a precarious status? Employer - Does your upcoming employer follow labor laws and the employment contract? Does the contract exist? Do they pay you the right salary, overtime and promote a healthy working environment? The upfront cost Moving to other countries is expensive. You have to get ready for everything - documents, money and personal things before you ride a passenger plane. The only things you won’t mind are those fees that job agencies and employers have to pay as mandated by the government labor agency (the Philippine Department of Labor and Employment). The following are the requirements you have to keep in mind though: Accommodation (Hotel, motel, apartment) Cost: Depending on the work destination Agency processing fees Cost: Depending on the agency Government-mandated benefits: Pagibig, Phil health and SSS Cost: PagIBIG, PhilHealth (2,400/year), SSS Legal papers: Police clearance Cost: (100~300), NBI clearance (100~400) Medical examination Cost: Depending on health conditions, clinics and hospitals Pocket money Passport Cost: P950~P1,500 Placement fees Travel accessories - Travel bag clutch bag, clothing

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