Wellbeing | Collins McNicholas

How to Change Culture, Deliver an ‘Out of Office’ Message and Reclaim Time For Yourself

How to Change Culture, Deliver an ‘Out of Office’ Message and Reclaim Time For YourselfQuestion: I am a manager in a high-paced media company. While I enjoy my job, the pressure is relentless. There are just not enough hours in the day to get all the work done and even when I get home, there is the pressure to be ‘always on’ and answer emails right up to bedtime. There is never a chance to recharge the batteries and I am in danger of burning out. How can I carve out some ‘me time’ without coming across to my bosses as being unavailable?   Answer: We will spend a third of our life working and that does not include the extra hours we clock up between overtime, skipped lunches and answering emails after hours. Many employees feel compelled to put in that extra time to impress their employers, while others feel their company culture encourages working outside of office hours so the pressure is there to be ‘switched on’ constantly. In this fast-living environment many feel there are just not enough hours in the day for ‘me time’. It is very easy for the needs of the business to spill over into your personal time and you end up prioritising work over other parts of your life. Many organisations may overload employees, contacting them outside of business hours and making last-minute requests. Often the employees and managers feel the need to put in the extra hours to deal with these demands – arrive early, stay late, come in at the weekends and have the mobile and laptop ready to respond 24/7. But the reality is you cannot be available 24/7 and you should not be always on call. It is important to remember that company culture is instilled from the top down, so employers and leaders should be conscious of this when they send emails or messages outside of work hours. If there is a culture of extra-hours demands from your workplace then you as a manager should be taking the lead to ensure this is changed before you and your team reach the ‘burn-out’ stage. This does not mean you are less committed to your job, but it does mean you are taking a proactive approach to health. Certain people will believe they need to be available night and day to get their work done or to be noticed for future promotions. This mindset is difficult to change, however, you must consider certain steps to ensure that you – and your team – achieve the downtime you deserve in order to recharge and be ready for the next challenging project. Here are a few things you can do yourself to ensure you are getting the downtime you deserve: Don’t add work to your phone: How often do you justifiably receive emails outside office hours that require urgent attention? If you are waiting on something urgent, surely you can log-in at home for that one rare occasion? Put on your ‘out of office’ in the evening: This may be difficult to do at first but if you are adamant you want this to work then let those who do email you know that you are gone for the evening and will be back at your desk in the morning. Be consistent with it as you want to set a definite trend and people will get used to the idea. Use ‘do not disturb’: Good practice is to mute your emails so you don’t jump up to review every email that hits your inbox. Do not take phone calls outside office hours: If you’re not expected to work beyond your office hours, don’t feel obligated to answer. The person calling can leave a message or you can return the call in the morning. Keep work discussion at home to a minimum: You need to be able to switch off once you leave the office so refrain from long discussions at home about work. You are effectively reliving the situation and adding to the stress levels. Develop an evening routine: If you are serious about ‘me time’ then ensure that you have something to look forward to in that time – take up a new hobby, a new class or discover a new exercise. This is always a great way to ensure that you leave the office on time to fit in your new regime. You, as a manager and leader, can start to change the mindset by practising these techniques and advising the company to make a firm commitment to avoid excessive workloads and unpredictable hours so employees can plan other non-work activities in their lives.             Michelle Murphy Director Collins McNicholas Recruitment & HR Services Group This article was originally published in the Business section of the Sunday Independent, July 23rd, 2017. The original article can be...

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Top Five Lifestyle Reasons Why Limerick is Now a Location of Choice for Job Seekers

1. Plentiful Job Opportunities – Job opportunities are on the rise in Limerick in many sectors, and at all levels. This is great news for job seekers who may have had to relocate previously to other parts of Ireland in the last few years when the recession hit, and would now like the opportunity to move back to their hometown. The unemployment rate in Ireland has reduced to 6.6% in February 2017 from 8.4% in February 2016. 2. Educational Facilities – Limerick takes pride in the education facilities it provides. It is home to one of Ireland’s top universities – the University of Limerick. The University of Limerick provides its students with a great variety of undergraduate and postgraduate courses to choose from and has a booming employment rate for graduates that is 20% higher than the other six Universities in Ireland. http://www.ul.ie/news-centre/news/university-of-limerick-is-ranked-within-top-150-of-worlds-young-universitie   3. City of Culture – The people of Limerick are now creating a more vibrant culture in the city with continuous improvements to the cities social and cultural amenities through expansion, development and regeneration. This is all part of the “Limerick 2020 campaign” to be recognised as a European Capital of Culture in 2020. Exciting upcoming events and things to do can be found on https://www.limerick.ie/visiting/whatson     4. Sporting Facilities – Limerick has extensive sporting facilities. Thomond Park is the home ground of Munster Rugby which is one of the most famous rugby clubs in the world. Other well-known sporting facilities include the Gaelic Grounds which is the main GAA stadium in Limerick city, home to several hurling and football teams. If you are interested in...

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Collins McNicholas Presents Pieta House with a Cheque for €6,000

  Collins McNicholas were delighted to present Pieta House with a cheque for €6,000 in January this year. We raised this money over the course of 2016 through a series of events, which included table quizzes, coffee mornings, and a sponsored skydive to be held at the start of April. We are proud to support this worthy cause and look forward to making more fundraising contributions to Pieta House throughout 2017. Again, we would like to thank everyone who helped us during the year and all who donated their time and their money. We have a number of fundraising events planned for this year. First up is a sponsored skydive. Four Collins McNicholas staff will be jumping out of a plane 10,000ft above the earth on Friday, 7th April. They have been working hard raising money for the last number of months and anyone that wishes to sponsor them and donate to Pieta House can do so here. What Pieta House Does Pieta House, the centre for the prevention of self-harm or suicide, provides a professional one-to-one therapeutic service for people who are experiencing suicidal ideation, people who have attempted suicide and people who are engaging in self-harm. The centre has grown to almost 180 therapists and administration staff, and in 2014 alone, over 5,000 people came through their doors suffering from suicidal ideation or engaging in self-harm. This service is provided free of charge and they rely on fundraising events to provide 90% of their income. They currently have nine centres in Ireland, four in Dublin, and one each in Limerick, Cork, Galway, Tipperary, and Kerry. One of...

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2016 CIPD National Conference in Croke Park, Dublin

Members of the Collins McNicholas team had the pleasure of attending the CIPD National Conference in Croke Park, Dublin last week. We had the opportunity to hear about best practice, research and case studies in the area of Wellbeing and Neuroscience, as well as network with HR professionals from around Ireland. Speakers included Professor Sir Cary Cooper, Julian Yarr of A&L Goodbody and representatives of Bord Gais and Mercer. Top 5 pointers regarding wellbeing and engagement to take back to the office: Focus on quality, rather than quantity of time spent at work – “presenteeism” is as worrying an issue as absenteeism. Expectations are changing – employees now expect flexibility, understanding and openness from their organisation – and it is vital that organisations change to meet these expectations. Emotional Intelligence or empathy is set to be the most sought after qualities in leaders. Wellness initiatives are accessible for all organisations – often changes can be introduced for little or no cost. Fitness of mind is closely connected to physical health and fitness – stay hydrated, exercise for 20 minutes every day, get 7-8 hours’ sleep per night and try to avoid stress. Caroline Ward HR Services Manager Collins McNicholas Recruitment & HR Services...

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How Far Would You Go? We Ran 250km in Aid of Pieta House

    Collins McNicholas completed a 250km run last Friday to raise money for Pieta House. This was our third year holding the fundraising event and it was a great success. We are delighted to be raising money for Pieta House who do really important work in communities across Ireland and who rely on donations to keep their charity running. The event was held in Athlone Institute of Technology’s wonderful in-door running track. Thankfully the photos were taken before the run when we were still looking fresh and enthusiastic; 250km later and the photos would have looked quite different!! What Pieta House Does Pieta House, the centre for the prevention of self-harm or suicide, provides a professional one-to-one therapeutic service for people who are experiencing suicidal ideation, people who have attempted suicide and people who are engaging in self-harm. The centre has grown to almost 180 therapists and administration staff, and in 2014 alone, over 5,000 people came through their doors suffering from suicidal ideation or engaging in self-harm. This service is provided free of charge and they rely on fundraising events to provide 90% of their income. They currently have nine centres in Ireland, four in Dublin, and one each in Limerick, Cork, Galway, Tipperary, and Kerry. One of their goals is to have a centre within 100km of every person in Ireland and they have identified three areas most in need of their service – the North West, the South East and the Midlands. View video of our 250km Challenge Run 2015 event here To find out more about Pieta House please visit their website: http://www.pieta.ie/  ...

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4 Career Lessons Learned from Marathon Training

For some of us this weekend in not just any Bank Holiday weekend, it’s the Dublin City Marathon Weekend. Over 14,000 people will be lining up to compete in or complete the 26.2 mile race. Having spent many many hours and many many miles training for the event, below are some reflections on how lessons learned here can be applied in the work environment: Set a clear, stretching but achievable goal Success looks different for everyone.  In the marathon, there are some who are hoping to complete the distance in under 3 hours or with a new “personal best” and there are the rest of us who are happy to complete it at all! It’s important to set a goal with clear milestones and a definite concept of what “good” looks like.  While a goal which is too easy to achieve can lead to failure to fulfil potential, an overly complex or ridiculous goal can cause the project or race to derail very quickly.   Maintain a positive mindset In business, in life, in marathon running, there will always be challenges.  It is important to remain positive, remember the long term goal and reassess your approach if necessary. This means letting go of the elements of a project which just aren’t working, learning from setbacks and adjusting your approach in the face of changing circumstances.   Consistency is key While quite a mundane concept, behaving in a consistent and reliable way is one of the most important elements in growing a strong customer base, developing good relationships with co-workers and building fitness and endurance. Following the training plan, responding...

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