Monday, July 7, 2014

In July in WorkLife Essentials - Call Centre Life


Call center technician
We're focusing on Call Centre workers this month in WorkLife Essentials.  But, even if you don't work in a call centre yourself, the chances are high that you know someone who does and we encourage you to share these resources with them.  Work in a Call Centre can be tough, but with the right support, and by maintaining good focus on your wellness and balance between work and life, it can be manageable and very rewarding. 

One of the biggest constraints on a Call Centre technician is their schedule, which is typically somewhat inflexible, and this puts an emphasis on the need for good boundaries and a keen focus on Work-Family Balance. It will also help to maintain regular schedules that include Time for Yourself and ways to Stay Healthy. Read more about Learning to Relax and our quick list of 10 Ways to Simplify Your Life to further enhance your effectiveness both in and out of work. Once you get to work, it's critical to Start Your Day and to Keep a Positive Attitude even when Handling a Tough Call, and even more critical to Manage Stress throughout the day so that you can End Your Day in a way that let's you leave work behind and gives you the chance to unwind before the next day.

To access the complete list of promotional materials, just sign in to WLE.com and click on this month's promotion: Call Centre Life (please note: call centre articles are not available in the US. If you wish to read this month's articles, you will need to switch countries). If you have any feedback or questions, please feel free to email Support@WorkLifeEssentials.com. Our next 3 monthly promotions are:
  • The Adolescent Years - Focus on everything you can expect from this stage of life in August. International Youth Day is August 12th, 2014.
  • Depression - Join us in raising awareness about this major illness and discussing how it affects so many and some of the risks it poses to sufferers' wellbeing, including suicide. World Suicide Prevention Day is September 10th, 2014.
  • Work Life Month - Bullying - Join us in discussing the important issues relating to bullying and how to prevent it and its harmful effects. October is Bullying Prevention Month.
Call Center Life: Keeping a Positive Attitude

A positive attitude doesn’t just make you feel better. It can also strengthen your relationships with friends, family, and co-workers as well as make it easier to deal with everything from a bad day at work to a major life change...
Read more…

Call Center Life: Starting Your Call Center Day

How you start your workday can make a big difference in how you feel throughout your shift -- whether you arrive at the call centre in the morning, afternoon, or at night...
Read more…

Copyright 2014 WorkLife Essentials

Thursday, June 5, 2014

In June in WorkLife Essentials - Generational Issues

Two people jog through trees
Inter-generational workplaces are not a new phenomenon by any means.  In fact, they have been around as long as work-forces have been around.  However, it is certainly true that as the world evolves at an ever accelerating pace, it is now that the "differences" between the generations seem to be increasing at a great pace.  And, with often 4 identifiable generational identities present in today's workforce, it is something that needs to be acknowledged and doing so can lead to increased effectiveness and more cohesiveness among your team.

The key to making the most out of an inter-generational workforce is really to explore the common ground across all generations. As part of this unique workforce, be it as a manager or not, you can help foster this exploration. You typically don't have to look far to find things that you all share - our resources this month help cover multiple points of common ground from goals like Lifelong Learning, to the interchange of ideas through positive Mentoring Relationships, while also ensuring that all employees Feel Valued at Any Age, and keeping the Workplace Fun. One particular focus when dealing with your team is to recognize that each workforce is unique and that every person is unique, so we have a great resource that focuses on Understanding the Differences Without Stereotyping the individuals in the process. To access the complete list of promotional materials, just sign in to WLE.com and click on this month's promotion: Generational Issues. If you have any feedback or questions, please feel free to email Support@WorkLifeEssentials.com.
 
Our next 3 monthly promotions are:
  • Call Centre Life - Explore the intricacies of what life is like in a call center from the perspective of both employees and management. International Day of Friendship is July 30th, 2014.
  • The Adolescent Years - Focus on everything you can expect from this stage of life in August. International Youth Day is August 12th, 2014.
  • Depression - Join us in raising awareness about this major illness and discussing how it affects so many and some of the risks it poses to sufferers' wellbeing, including suicide. World Suicide Prevention Day is September 10th, 2014.

Useful Links:
Leading a Multigenerational Workforce (PDF)
Report on Millenials (PDF)
Pew Research Quiz: How Millennial Are You?


When Your Manager Is Younger Than You
Reporting to someone younger than you can raise complicated feelings even in the best work relationships. How can you build a positive relationship with a younger manager and turn the age difference between you into an asset..
Read more…
Continuous Learning Across the Generations
With this mix of generations comes a mix of learning styles, and a source of tremendous knowledge, perspective, and expertise. Learning at work is energising and breeds innovation...
Read more…

Friday, May 2, 2014

In May in WorkLife Essentials - Health and Wellness

Two people jog through trees
We took an in depth look at supplements and nutrition a couple months ago and this month we're looking at wellness from a different perspective and the key term this month is "balance". As we talked about during our Nutrition promotion, supplements and diet are only part of the story - a healthy body needs to be a strong and fit so that it can make the best use of everything you feed it. The ultimate goal is to balance good nutrition with good physical and mental health to achieve that overall wellness that will form the foundation for everything else in your life.

Health is such a broad issue, though, and you, along with your doctors, are the one who knows best what you need to focus on to achieve your optimum wellness. That's why this month we feature a broad selection of health related resources exploring Stress, Fitness, General Health, Obesity, Sleep and more. To find out the entire set of available topics (including Relaxation multimedia files), just sign in to WLE.com and click on this month's promotion: Health and Wellness. If you have any feedback or questions, please feel free to email Support@WorkLifeEssentials.com.
 
Our next 3 monthly promotions are:
  • Generational Issues - Get up to speed on how to manage inter-generational peers and employees in your workplace.
  • Call Centre Life - Explore the intricacies of what life is like in a call center from the perspective of both employees and management.
  • The Adolescent Years - Focus on everything you can expect from this stage of life in August.

Useful Links:
Tips For Better Sleep
Skin Cancer Prevention
Strokes - Awareness is Key
Kantar Health 2013 Global Health and Wellness Survey (PDF)
Girl doing a yoga pose Fitness and Work: How to Make Time for Fitness in a Busy Schedule
It can be tough to stick to an exercise schedule in the best of circumstances, but when you’re busy with work, home, friends, and family, you may feel you have no time for exercise...
Read more…
Sunset jog on the beach Overweight
If your jeans are feeling tighter, you are not alone. The World Health Organization estimates that more than one billion people worldwide are obese. With excess pounds come increased health risks...
Read more…
Copyright WorkLifeEssentials 2014

Monday, March 31, 2014

In April In WorkLife Essentials - Adoption

Family with a baby
People begin exploring adoption for a great number of reasons. There is a huge need around the world for adoption, and this can be a reason in itself for many. Many others come to adoption out of necessity. For whatever the reason is, it is a very big step to take and a life changing process to undergo. In WorkLife Essentials this month, we have collected some great resources dealing with some of the essentials elements of Adoption.

Adoptive families often find themselves doing a lot of educating of the people they interact with on a daily basis, from their own family members, to strangers that ask them questions in the market, to their children’s own teachers.  This is because the adoption process is a mystery to many people and anyone who undertakes it will soon become an expert. Our guide to help get the process started, Exploring Adoption, is a first step in this direction. From there, you’ll get a good initial impression on some of the choices and steps you’ll need to undergo. Of course, every family is unique and so will yours be, so you will need to find the best local resources to continue your education and give you the support you need. The good news is that there is a lot of information out there for you, as in some of the Useful Links we've highlighted below, and you will find everything you need.
 
The learning process doesn’t end on “adoption day” either. This is a life long process and like any parent, you and your adoptive family will continually be learning with each other. That’s why we have resources like Health Matters and Adopted Children, Different Learning Styles in Your Adoptive Family and Celebrations and Rituals in Your Adoptive Family, which can help you adjust to and get informed on issues that might affect those within your close family unit.
 
These resources will prepare you for those issues within your family, but when it comes to external influences, you have a lot less control and will occasionally encounter a lack of understanding. For those times when someone seems insensitive to your unique family and isn't immediately receptive to your explanations or requests, we've provided a resource for you to share with them. Appropriate Manners in Dealing With Adoptive Families is all about trying to help those around you better understand the sometimes insensitive behaviors, questions, traditions, and attitudes that are quite common and can unintentionally have a negative impact on an adoptive family. We encourage you to explore and decide within your family what you feel comfortable sharing with those outside it and we thoroughly support your rights to stay within your own boundaries - adoption is a gift to be shared, but only to the point that you feel comfortable.
 
Our next 3 monthly promotions are:
  • Health and Wellness - May means you’re either entering summer or winter - either way, focus on your wellness and on how to make the right health choices.
  • Generational Issues - Get up to speed on how to manage inter-generational peers and employees in your workplace.
  • Call Centre Life - Explore the intricacies of what life is like in a call center from the perspective of both employees and management.

Useful Links:
How To Adopt
Intercountry Adoption
Central Adoption Resource Authority, India
Associación de Ayuda a la Infancia del Mundo
Child playing in the sand Exploring Adoption

You can adopt a child whether you are married, single, or divorced. You don’t have to be rich or own a home, and there are so many options and different types of adoptions...
Read more…

Child playing outside Different Learning Styles in Your Adoptive Family

Your child’s learning style is influenced partly by genetics and partly by environment. Adoptive parents, like all parents, must learn to appreciate and support their child’s unique talents, strengths, and learning style...
Read more…

Friday, March 14, 2014

Desperate for some sleep? Helping your kids get some rest might get you some too!


womansleeping.jpg



It's World Sleep Day......For everyone but you! If you have trouble sleeping, you’re not alone. Two-thirds of adult Americans say they have frequent sleep problems, and a majority don’t get the recommended eight hours of sleep that are necessary for good health, safety, and effective work performance.

Sleep -- or the lack of it -- can be a source of frustration for busy parents. Getting a newborn to sleep through the night, tucking in a toddler who won’t settle down, or reassuring a preschooler who’s terrified of monsters under the bed can be a stressful and tiring job for any parent. And when you are tired from being up during the night, it can be hard to be a good parent during the day. As one expert put it, you can be a little nicer than you feel, but not much. Consistent routines and a little patience go a long way toward giving you and your child a good night’s sleep.

Sleep is vital for everyone’s health and well-being whether they are 3 or 30. Keeping your child safe while they sleep and helping them with any problems that interfere with their ability to get a good night’s sleep are essential for preparing your child for healthy habits for the rest of their life. Helping a child learn to get themselves to sleep is similar to helping them learn other new skills, such as walking, talking, dressing himself, and using the toilet. You are helping them to grow and develop to their full potential.

We have excellent resources on this topic, which you can read by following the links below:

Sunday, March 9, 2014

In March In WorkLife Essentials

Family enjoying a health meal outside
With increased knowledge about nutrition and easier access to healthier options, it would seem that eating healthily would be easier now than it's ever been. Somewhat counterintuitively, however, the evidence shows that more and more of us are struggling with proper nutrition. Portion sizes have doubled in the past 20 years, social eating trends have created an "experience" around food and eating, and food science has developed to the point that many foods are designed to manipulate our palate and bodies to make us crave them even more. All of these can make the struggle around nutrition even more difficult now.

To help, we’ve created a new Nutrition topic with a new selection of resources for you this month in WLE. We’ve paid special attention to nutritional supplements as they are becoming a much more common tool people turn to to help better manage their nutrition. With their increased popularity comes an increase in caution related to a lack of awareness, however, and it’s not just as simple as taking X, Y and Z. Read more in our article The Basics of Dietary Supplements, and check out the useful link below which features factsheets on an extensive selection of supplements.
 
We also focus on the basics of proper nutrition, the balance between calories in and calories out, in our article Nutritional Requirements - Finding The Balance. The starting point in proper nutrition is in knowing what our bodies needs are on a daily basis, based on age, gender and physical activity. From there, you can better manage your diet and nutrition to achieve specific goals based on your current health situation. And, to help start you along the path to making adjustments, we’ve put together a great list of Small Changes For Better Nutrition for your whole family.
 
With these tips, the resources we’ve highlighted below, and additional health and nutrition articles in this month’s Promotion section, you should have everything you need to achieve your nutritional goals!
 
Our next 3 monthly promotions are:
  • Adoption - Whether you’re thinking about it, going through it, or enjoying your time with your adopted child, we have some helpful resources for you.
  • Health and Wellness - May means you’re either entering summer or winter - either way, focus on your wellness and on how to make the right health choices.
  • Generational Issues - Get up to speed on how to manage inter-generational peers and employees in your workplace.

Useful Links:
Low Calorie Food Substitutions
Eat For Health - Eating Well Tips
Comprehensive Supplement Factsheets
GO - SLOW - WOAH Foods List (PDF)
A colorful selection of supplements The Basics of Dietary Supplements

About half the population take some form of dietary supplement on a regular basis. With so many options available and so many claims made about their health benefits, how can you decide whether a supplement is safe or useful?...
Read more…

Healthy fresh salad Small Changes For Better Nutrition

Small steps can help your family get on the road to maintaining a healthy weight. Choose a few different tips each week for you and your family to try. If they work for you, try to make them a permanent part of your lives...
Read more…

Copyright 2014 WorkLife Essentials

Monday, February 17, 2014

WLE 2013 Progress Statement

Introduction

Welcome to our 2013 Progress Statement.  2013 was another big year for WorkLife Essentials that has seen extensive development on our website and in our content and management features as we continue to focus on improving user experience and engagement across our platform.
Late in the year we completely re-launched WLE with much more accessibility of all of WLE’s content directly from the primary page without logging in or even registering (note: registration is still necessary for access to the complete resources except for a new promotional article each week).
We have worked very diligently on our Promotional efforts this year well in excess of the usual monthly promotional calendar, increased the frequency of promotional news, and added social media to the front end.
Our clear priority for the coming year is to engage with everyone who uses WLE and work on a strategy for new content topics and work on aligning our new promotional schedule with internal efforts.

Our Activities

Expanded External Engagement

With respect to Social Media we have begun to ‘take off’ during the last 3 months increasing our presence several thousand percent. This involved adding blogs covering the new OECD studies on global work life; actively participating in Work-Life community on Facebook; regularly tweeting our followers on Twitter; and engaging in Work-Life networks and working groups on LinkedIn

As an ongoing process we have focused on providing a more useful teaser full of engaging information on relevant topics. The teaser is now being produced in WORD format for easier redistribution and editing. One feature we added with the new interface was a new weekly feature article, which can be accessed without even registering or logging into WLE in order to promote broader access.
Highlights of utilization show a much broader population base by country than in previous years. Satisfaction survey results are excellent amongst all responders, but we would like to increase survey prominence and regularity to get more results.

Technical Accomplishments

Internally we have been working on our own tools to better support the user base. We have added the ability to host and promote webinar content unique to any individual country’s portal.
In the middle of the year we previewed the newest version of WorkLife Essentials as a Beta to test and develop new features including:
·       Direct access to resources when shared, linked, or promoted
·       Upgraded user interface with easier navigation, browsing and consumption of content
With the full launch of the new WLE late in the year we’ve made the biggest leap in the lifetime of WorkLife Essentials in user accessibility and engagement.  WorkLifeEssentials.com is now accessible in a much more intuitive, welcoming and open format, allowing them to know more about the resources without having to invest in creating an account right up front.
This change has been evolving throughout the development process of WLE in response to feedback from users and content reviewers - both employee users and HR users, who are responsible for introducing this tool to other employees.  Your users can now:
·       Immediately access WorkLife Essentials, without having to log in first
·       Easily share WLE content with friends, family and coworkers who may not already have accounts
·       Easily register and login to access full IBM content
·       Explore content more easily with expanded Category menus
·       Access related content all in one easy to find place
·       Access related Social Media content

Expansion of Content

Along with our regular schedule of key Work-Life promotional topics, we introduced 6 new Promotions to highlight our varying content.  We are also planning several new Topics for the coming year including Bullying Prevention and Awareness. We are paying particular attention to the cultural relevance of articles as well as useful links and related resources.
In preparation for improved global outreach, we are currently undergoing an intensive review of all our content across countries and languages. Given there are several thousand resources, the estimated completion of this is by the end of June.  Specific targets are language, formatting, coding of HTML to new standards, and cross-linking across topics.

Site Usage

Personal Wellbeing has taken over as the top Topic of Interest, unseating Parenting.  Also, Work has replaced Child Care as the third most popular topic.  This could be related to the reduction in the average age of the user from predominently the 31 - 40 yrs bracket to be more evenly balanced across the 21 - 30 yrs and 31 - 40 yrs brackets.
Similarly, the most popular articles were related to Sleep, stress and balancing Work & Life over parenting and child-care related resources.

Copyright 2014 WorkLife Essentials