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  1. https://www.straitstimes.com/opinion/forum/forum-seniors-should-not-stand-in-the-way-of-younger-staff Forum: Seniors should not stand in the way of younger staff Singapore must tread carefully in handling the issue of raising the retirement and re-employment ages. Care must be taken not to cause resentment on the part of younger workers. Workers in their prime (early to late 30s) might not be able to advance in the company's hierarchy if the seniors above them won't retire. Older workers who can afford to retire early should give the younger generation a chance to climb up. They can always volunteer or offer mentorship to the young if they are bored with retirement. If too many seniors cling to their jobs even when they don't need them, there may be fewer opportunities for the next generation. Francis Cheng Seems that old folks not needed in our country, just like what COVID-19 is doing to us.
  2. https://www.channelnewsasia.com/commentary/work-life-balance-covid-19-hybrid-remote-great-resignation-wave-jobs-2682751 Many of us hold on to work-life balance as an ideal, without acknowledging the blood and sweat that make it possible in the first place, or how it’s not always feasible in our circumstances, says business writer Keith Yap. SINGAPORE: Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, working norms, especially in knowledge-intensive industries, have changed forever. Many of us have become skilled practitioners of working from home, attending Zoom Meetings with smart tops and pyjama bottoms, and eating lunches with Netflix instead of co-workers. In light of other trends like employees reconsidering their priorities and quitting their jobs, the narratives surrounding the future of work has percolated into online discourse. From TikTok to Harvard Business Review, the Internet is replete with advice on navigating this brave new world after the pandemic. While narratives about work are varied and fragmented, the motif of workers' burnout remains consistent. As offices in Singapore fling their doors open to welcome back all workers, many are pushing back against burnout in favour of pursuing work-life balance. Many of us visualise a seesaw when thinking about work-life balance, with the ideal of work and life on both ends perfectly level. It’s a zero-sum game and our language reflects any perceived imbalance – work “eats into” our weekends, we worry about "sacrificing" careers if we have kids and take parental leave. The hypothetical employee who’s achieved the coveted work-life balance looks like this: They enjoy autonomy in their professional life. They work a remote job, log in at nine, be ultra productive and go offline at six, commuting to the office only twice a week. They can reject all work communication outside of those hours. The rest of their time is protected for better pursuits, dedicated to dabbling in the guitar, cooking risotto for the family and catching up with pals every week. JOB MOVEMENTS AREN’T ALWAYS LIFESTYLE UPGRADES But a closer look reveals two key problems. First, a rigid conceptualisation of balance assumes such a lifestyle is immediately attainable for everyone, especially more junior employees. The Great Resignation Wave should not conceal the fact that many workers are leveraging the moment to move up in the same industry to get higher pay and more flexible work arrangements. But to make such moves, workers need bargaining power. They do this by spending most of their waking lives for years honing their craft, developing an edge to differentiate themselves in a crowded labour market. If workers at the beginning of their career prioritise flexibility and autonomy, they will end up compromising on picking up and perfecting skills required for career progression. Granted, one can reject the prospect of sprinting up the corporate ladder and trade progression for flexibility. This trade-off is laudable for some but impractical for others. However, current discussions assume job movements are unconditional lifestyle upgrades, without acknowledging the blood and sweat that made them possible. And with the new slate of responsibilities, the exigencies of work might mean compartmentalising work and life becomes even more challenging for all but the most senior roles. COMPANIES CAN’T ALWAYS PROMISE WORK-LIFE BALANCE With the spotlight on employee well-being, companies are embarking on more initiatives like offering mindfulness workshops or meditation apps, even giving employees mental health off days. Workers point out such efforts do not address the root cause of burnout: Exhausting work conditions. More are calling on corporate leaders to re-examine working hours and their expectations of employees. But here lies the second problem: Despite the best efforts of employers, the realities of work often make it difficult for companies to promise work-life balance. Any seasoned worker knows projects often take more time than expected and are prepared to work overtime to meet deadlines. The inconvenient truth is that a company exists for-profit and must outperform competitors. Thus the paradox of work-life balance is two-fold. To provide it indiscriminately, the company risks compromising its mission. To pursue it indiscriminately, the worker risks compromising career progression. EMBRACING WORK-LIFE RHYTHM INSTEAD It might be high time to discard the term “work-life balance” and that mental image of a seesaw. Let’s embrace instead the pursuit of a healthy “work-life rhythm” - a rhythm that moves with need, alternating between periods of hard work and deep rest over time. This can facilitate professional development and organisational growth while alleviating worker burnout. During periods of hard work, the worker is focused on project completion and will expect an intense workload. This could mean working past office hours regularly or even burning the midnight oil on some occasions. In return, companies can guarantee a minimum of work-free hours (such as weekends or mass block leave) so workers can tend to their personal lives. Conversely, professional obligations would be kept to an absolute minimum during periods of deep rest. During a company-wide lull, staff don’t have to worry about lingering work responsibilities, and can take on new hobbies or go on extended vacations. This would mark a divergence from our current practice of leaving workers to manage their leave schedule. Wouldn't we feel a nagging pang of guilt if we scooted over to Bali while our colleagues were working, even when we intuitively know there is not much to do? Conversations on work-life rhythm aren’t yet mainstream, though proponents compare it to seasons. Just as there are seasons for planting, harvesting and resting, we go through life phases where we can give our all to work – whether it’s building a business or designing a product – and where we must dedicate ourselves to family. Beyond the debate whether we should shift towards four-day work weeks, perhaps we should also be talking about 10-month work years. A GREATER APPRECIATION OF LIFE WITH EXTENDED PERIODS OF REST As a healthy work-life rhythm will benefit Singapore greatly, the Government can take the lead, as it has done so by calling for flexible work arrangements to become a permanent feature. The Government can continue actively engaging industry players through incentives and dialogues to shape better work norms. At a national level, such a work-life rhythm creates a society where no one is compelled to work laboriously throughout the year. It could empower more individuals to devote their spare time to work of public importance such as volunteering, political participation and the arts. Other more career-minded ones would improve their skills to be more productive at work. Most importantly, there will be a greater appreciation of life with extended periods of relaxation. We can focus on our family and friends, which goes a long way in countering burnout, cynicism and angst. COVID-19 has forced us to re-imagine the future of work. It might be time to retire the pursuit of the ever-elusive work-life balance. After all, isn't the whole point of a seesaw to enjoy the alternating rhythm of ups and downs instead of always toiling to balance ourselves perfectly?
  3. https://www.channelnewsasia.com/singapore/millennials-gen-z-work-younger-companies-big-read-2846841 The attitudes of millennial and Gen Z workers towards work have emerged as a perennial sticking point among employers, with some saying that the younger generation is not motivated to work hard and is too "choosy". SINGAPORE: Since about a year ago, as the economy started to bounce back with the loosening of COVID-19 restrictions, business owner Adam Piperdy has noticed a change in attitudes among younger job interviewees at his firm. “Right now, it is kind of the employee interviewing the employer,” said Mr Piperdy, the founder of events company Unearthed Productions, referring to the youngsters’ tendency to question what the company can offer them, instead of the other way round. Mr Piperdy believes that the pandemic - which gave young and old plenty of time to reflect on careers, relationships, health and other life issues amid intermittent lockdowns - has changed the “idea of work”, with younger workers having a more “aspirational” outlook. “The idea of a fixed contract, a fixed nine-to-six job, it really doesn’t exist anymore. People want to have a lot more freedom … that kind of flexibility to work anywhere, when they want,” he added. For instance, many of his new employees stated in their job interviews that they wanted to do freelance work during weekends, something that was “unheard” of until recently. “Five, six years ago, if somebody came to you to say, ‘Hey boss, I want to take (time) off to do some side projects’, you of course will say no and say that your work comes first, your clients come first. But (today), that would turn away a lot of these talents," he said. “That has forced us to rethink the entire landscape and how can we bridge this gap of them wanting to aspire something for themselves and at the same time, try to meet our business goals." Echoing some of Mr Piperdy’s sentiments was business owner Delane Lim, who noticed that young job seekers have become more “choosy” when deciding on which offers to accept. Mr Lim, co-founder of FutuReady Asia, a social enterprise focusing on youth and leadership development, noted that in particular, many small- and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) have been struggling to hire young talents. “Some (SMEs) have said that (some) young people are a bit more entitled, they expect a higher salary but they expect a balanced job in the sense of working hours," he said. “If you are good as an employee, then I think employers will be able to accept and find a way to repay you. But if they have not been proven on the ground that they can (deliver) without supervision, then I think having that demand is too early.” However, Mr Lim stressed that not all young people are like this. “There are still a significant number of youths who will still work hard, who want to learn, and are realistic about their expectations.” Indeed, the attitudes of millennial and Gen Z workers have emerged as an employer’s bugbear in recent years, with words such as “entitled”, “picky” and “watch-the-clock” being bandied around to describe the younger generation's approach to work. And the pandemic appears to have encouraged such attitudes even further. Some bosses have even taken to social media to voice out their concerns. American think tank Pew Research Center defines millennials as those born between 1981 and 1996, and Gen Zers as those born from 1997 onwards. Earlier this month, public relations firm founder Tjin Lee received flak for stating in a social media post that it is increasingly hard to find motivated young people to work. She also noted in the post, among other things, that potential hires in their 20s had asked about “work-life balance” and “flexi-working options” as their first questions during their job interviews, and that there is a “worrying” trend of people expressing on social media that they would “rather be on holiday than in the office”. Speaking to TODAY, Ms Lee later said she has learnt to "see both sides" of the issue and was glad to have sparked a conversation about work ethics. She also felt that her post had been "greatly misunderstood" to mean that she was promoting hard work at the expense of work-life balance, though she said she could have been clearer about her intentions and meaning behind the post. This is not the first time a business owner has been lambasted online for his or her comments on young people’s work ethic. In 2020, Mr Lim himself posted on Facebook about how several young graduates that he had interviewed for a job did not seem “hungry” for the role. Like Ms Lee, Mr Lim also noticed back then that applicants had made a range of requests - including not wishing to work on weekends, asking for transport allowances and a team of junior co-workers to assist in tasks as well as more annual leave and higher salaries. Human resource experts and sociologists told TODAY that the apparent negative impressions that some employers may have of younger workers can be explained by the different circumstances that the millennials and Gen Zers grew up in. Mr Adrian Choo, founder of career consulting company Career Agility International, said that older generations were more focused on the rat race and getting ahead in their careers, during a time when Singapore was less affluent. “The younger generation, a lot of them are still living with their parents … so their immediate priorities may not be about getting married and starting a family, they are focused more on self-actualisation,” he said. This “self-actualisation” involves learning new skills and gaining new experiences as opposed to being preoccupied with climbing the corporate ladder, for instance. TODAY also previously found that the pandemic caused younger workers to reshuffle their priorities, with some seeing the turbulent times as an opportunity to pursue their passions. Negative labels aside, some experts pointed out that it is not often easy for young people to make sense of what they are doing, or feel motivated, when they are faced with the current state of the world, with its litany of woes ranging from health crises, armed conflicts to severe heatwaves. National University of Singapore (NUS) sociologist Tan Ern Ser said: “(Young people) desire to do well in their career or business and live the Singapore Dream. However, the path ahead they confront isn’t always easy: High cost of living, income and employment insecurity, stiff competition at work, and, in some cases, being part of the sandwiched generation." He added: “These may combine to produce disillusionment and, in some cases, a lack of motivation.” So, what do younger people in Singapore feel about work and more specifically, traditionally celebrated values at the workplace - such as hard work and loyalty - that may or may not require a rethink? And where, in the grand scheme of things, does work fit into their lives today? TODAY interviewed youths aged between 23 and 35 to find out. WORK HARD? NAH, WE RATHER WORK SMART While claims that the younger generation eschews hard work may not be totally baseless, those interviewed also said that youngsters may not feel motivated to work hard due to good reason. They also do not believe working hard in itself is the key to doing well at work. The idea of hard work has changed for the younger generation, said Mr Isaac Neo, who works in the security risk industry, where he monitors risks facing his clients when they travel overseas. “We grew up in more comfortable times … Our nature of work is very different and we deal mostly with technology, where so-called ‘hard work’ is less visible,” said the 28-year-old. “In the past, hard work meant that you put in the hours to churn out output, and if you stayed in the office for long hours, it meant you were working hard, but that’s not the case anymore.” Mr Neo said that it is up to companies to adapt to these new definitions of "hard work", something he feels that his company has done well. “I’ve been lucky to have bosses who just leave me alone to complete the work, and as long as it’s done, they don’t really care if you’re in the office or how many hours you clock a day,” he said. “And I think that should be the way that hard work is viewed - not about the amount of hours you put in, but how good the final product is.” Some younger workers also said that they often feel exasperated when there are no clear rewards for their hard work. One 32-year-old employee, who works in the corporate secretarial services industry, felt that among her peers, there is a consensus that their hard work is not often appreciated. “We still value hard work, but it’s just that a lot of the time we don’t feel like there’s reciprocation,” said the woman who wanted to be known only as Ms Kuan. “The way the older generation perceived hard work, they don’t really do the kind of obvious rewarding that the younger generation expects." Associate Professor Kang Soon-Hock, the vice dean and head of the Behavioural Science Core at the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS), said that younger workers are not necessarily averse to hard work, but its definition for them may differ from their seniors. “This cohort is more accustomed to using technology to multitask as well as to shorten work processes that may traditionally have taken more time to complete,” said Assoc Prof Kang. “However, their actions may not be viewed positively if it goes against the existing norms or practices at their workplaces and in the process, they may be perceived to be more inclined to take shortcuts or have short attention spans.” Agreeing, Mr Piperdy from Unearthed Productions said that the traditional idea of hard work as staying more hours in the office is no longer as applicable in today’s world, where there are many “productivity applications” such as work chatting application Slack and work management software Asana that have made work more efficient. “Honestly, if an (employee) works for 10 hours but produces only two hours’ worth of good work, it doesn’t matter because it’s only two hours’ worth of work,” he said. YOU WANT LOYALTY? SHOW US THE TANGIBLE RETURNS Loyalty to a company is a two-way street and has to be earned by the company in tangible ways - such as offering employees a clear career progression or increased remuneration in the short to medium term, say the younger workers interviewed. Mr Neo, who has been with his security company for almost two years, said that he is happy there as his bosses allowed him to change roles when he felt that he was “stagnating”. He started working in 2020 as a security specialist, which involved working 12-hour shifts, often at irregular hours. While he didn’t mind slogging it out at the start, he told his bosses that he would want to eventually switch to more regular working hours, as the previous arrangement was not the best for his health and social life. “They were very flexible, they allowed me to go into a new role, and in fact they encouraged it,” he said. A new employee at a local bank, who wanted to be known only as Ms Wong, said that like many other young workers, she is in pursuit of a “growth” mindset and will not hesitate to leave her company if better opportunities arise elsewhere. The 23-year-old, who is a month into her first job since graduation, said that a company that she joins could “easily fire" her, so she should think twice about being loyal to it. “If the company is treating me well and I feel like I can grow from it, I will probably be loyal to the company. But if I find that there is another opportunity out there that can make me grow even more … loyalty is out of the window,” she said. Her view resonated with Ms Kuan, who said that in general, a job should be perceived for the objective benefits that a person can get out of it - such as long-term promotion prospects and fair remuneration. “(Loyalty) has to have substance … It cannot just be touchy-feely words such as ‘we are family, friends’ - none of those, I don’t think the younger generation will buy into that,” said Ms Kuan. Employers, too, agreed that the definition of loyalty has less of an emotive meaning these days, where tangible returns to the employee have to be more readily considered. Mr Jimmy Lim, an inventory logistics manager at a data company, leads a team of 10 employees with up to a third of them being millennials at any one time. He said that these younger workers have fewer financial commitments since they are less likely to have children or large loans to pay off. “It could be very reasonable for someone to just throw in their (resignation) letter and say that 'enough is enough',” he said. While firms can bow to the pressure and promote these workers or raise their salaries in a bid to keep them happy, some employers felt that it may not be a good long-term solution when it comes to retaining them in their respective industries - especially those such as law and engineering, where attrition rates are high. “We can adhere and listen and agree to their demands, but it can only take them so far,” said Mr Lim. “At the end of the day, if they don’t have a good footing in their career, there is a good chance that they may just (quit or be retrenched by their company)." WORK-LIFE BALANCE IS NOT JUST ABOUT ENTITLEMENT Most young workers whom TODAY spoke to prioritised a healthy work-life balance and many said that they would raise this during their job interviews. Ms Wong, the bank employee, said that from the very beginning of her working life, she decided that she wanted to actively pursue her passions outside of work. “I am going to be spending about 40 hours a week on this job, so I want to have time to do other things like travel, experience new things … I would really value a company that can give me a good work-life balance,” she added. However, she would not mind working longer hours should she enjoy her job, or if it is of meaning to her. Indeed, some young workers are willing to put work-life balance aside to pursue causes that they strongly believe in. Ms Esther David, 26, said that she started her own tuition business three years ago because she enjoys helping people through teaching. However, to ensure the success of her nascent business, she had to put work-life balance on the back burner. At the start, Ms David would often work from early in the morning until near midnight, to ensure that she was teaching as many students as she could. This was all in the name of making a name for her fledgling business. “No one gave me any guidance, and I felt that I worked very crazy hours," she said. Ms David’s business, still a “one-person show”, is due for an expansion soon as she is looking to hire more tutors. She has about 30 students from secondary schools and junior colleges. She said that her business is now stable due to the hard work she had put in. Still, she would not advise others to follow in her footsteps as it was “not great for mental health”. Some young workers who are fortunate enough to be in jobs that they enjoy said that having a work-life balance is still integral to such enjoyment. One social worker, who wanted to be known only as Mr Yeo, said that he entered the profession about eight years ago because, like Ms David, he enjoyed helping others and felt that social work was the best avenue to do so. The 35-year-old said that while he finds great meaning in his job, he is very clear about the boundaries between his work and his personal time, and tries his best not to engage with the families whom he is tagged to after his working hours. “I’m strict with my boundaries, because you need to understand your role - as a social worker you are not a saviour, but are there to facilitate their growth and progress,” he said. “You’re not there to say, ‘if you’re in trouble at night, I’ll come and save you’.” He believes that this is not an uncaring approach, but rather one that is healthy and will sustain him in this line of work. “I know of workers who … cross a lot of boundaries and instead of thinking analytically, a lot of them are very emotional, and this is very dangerous,” he said. Some employers are beginning to adapt to the changing demands of employees, such as offering more flexible work arrangements. Mr Lim from FutuReady Asia said that he has had to put aside some “cognitive biases” when it comes to setting expectations for working hours and arrangements. For instance, while he used to be opposed to people not reporting to the office pre-pandemic, he now acknowledges that a lot of young workers have a “gig-economy mentality” and would rather be working towards key performance indicators (KPIs) rather than meeting the required working hours. “They want to have KPIs given to them, but they do not want to report to work,” he said. “In the past, this was quite difficult to accept, but it is the norm now, so we have to negotiate (this) arrangement with them.” He added: “If they are more upfront with us on what motivates them, then I think (this arrangement) is fine." Weighing in on the issue, Assoc Prof Kang from SUSS said that questions from young job seekers at interviews about “work-life balance” and “flexi-work options” should not be trivialised or seen as a weakness in the younger generation. “These are important questions … Employers should also be sensitive to the fact that, more often than not, they have a multigenerational workforce and they need to manage both their own expectations and their employees’ to stay ahead of the curve,” he said. Indeed, young employees say that even small gestures from their employers can go a long way in making them feel like the firm is serious about a healthy work-life balance. Ms May Phyu Sin, 30, who holds a marketing and social media role at a fintech firm, said that her firm set the right tone from the beginning of her time there. “I was told on my first day of work that I might see some messages after working hours but I can always reply the next working day and I am not expected to respond immediately," she said. "This goes a long way to show the company cares for their employees." HOW IMPORTANT IS WORK TO THE YOUNGER GENERATION? In the past, one’s life would typically revolve so much around the job that the person’s identity at times ended up being tied to his or her career. But this is less likely the case for younger workers today. Some, such as Mr Yeo the social worker, are eager to keep their work and identity separate. Mr Yeo reiterated that asking questions about work-life balance during job interviews is not about self-entitlement, but because youngsters care about boundaries and about having a life outside work. "It shows that the younger generation doesn’t put their whole self-identity in work, which is a dangerous thing,” he said. “If your whole identity is on work, and if you lose your job, your whole world crumbles.” Nevertheless, some youths recognise work as a big part of their lives and seek at least some meaning from it. Mr Neo, the security services employee, said that his attitude towards work is that it should be fulfilling enough for him to “not mind doing”. “(Work) should be something that you wake up to every day and you don’t feel like it’s a drag,” he said. He added that as he moves on in the next stages of life such as marriage and starting a family, he will look out for jobs that fit into his longer-term plans. At the other end of the spectrum are “older” young workers saddled with responsibilities such as raising children. Unlike their younger counterparts, they are focused on staying in their current jobs, which provide them with financial stability - which is a priority for them. One video producer at a media company, who wanted to be known only as Mr Tan, said that having a five-year-old son meant that the goals for his career have shifted. “As a parent, I think work is like a way to have money to pay the bills and it’s a bonus for me that I like what I’m doing,” said the 34-year-old. When he was younger, Mr Tan said that he had aspirations to become a “bigger name” in the media scene, but then as the years went by, he learnt that he was also content with being recognised by a smaller group of people who work with him. He added that he negotiated for favourable working hours so that he could spend more time with his family, but this also meant that he was committed to working harder within those hours. “Having a child made me respect my work-life balance more,” he said. “Let’s say if I work from nine to five, by five o’clock, I’m out, but from nine to five, I will work as hard as you need me to.” WILL YOUNGER WORKERS GROW OUT OF THEIR CURRENT MINDSET? There is an argument to be made, however, that the younger generations will in time grow out of their current ideals about work, or re-evaluate their priorities at different life stages. Some of the attitudes could also be ephemeral. For example, some experts felt that the clamour for more work-life balance could very well be just a phase brought about by current conditions, with the recovering Singapore economy coinciding with a severe labour shortage in some sectors. Mr Choo from Agility International said that the years of feeling “stifled” by the pandemic, along with the lack of travel and social time with friends, may have led youths to put their wellness and short-term gratification as their immediate priorities. The improved economic situation has also given these young workers more career opportunities, which may have led to their perceived “choosiness” from the employers’ vantage point. “Because of the shortage of talent in the market now, the younger generation has choices, and that’s why they are able to be more in control of their career decisions," he said. However, these conditions currently favourable to employees will not last. And hence, these attitudes, though justified now, may not be sustainable. In addition, just like the older millennials whom TODAY spoke to, the younger workers may soon have to accept that their future responsibilities in life will require them to revisit the issue of work-life balance. “The Gen Zers that have decided to focus now on their non-financial goals will ultimately have to wake up and smell the coffee,” said Mr Choo. “Because of the increasing home prices, increasing cost of living, someday they will have to refocus on building their financial security, and a life of short-term gains may not be sustainable … they may come to regret it down the road.” POTENTIAL RAMIFICATIONS FOR YOUNGER WORKERS, EMPLOYERS AND SINGAPORE If the “choosiness” that embodies the current employees’ market - at least from the employer’s perspective - persists, it could inadvertently dampen the competitiveness of the local workforce, some employers said. Mr Lim, the business owner, said that it is still not clear whether the current attitudes among young workers will “be a new trendsetter for employment in Singapore”. He noted that amid the current labour shortage, it will be no surprise for firms unable to hire local employees to turn to foreign talent - be it bringing them in from other countries or having them work remotely overseas. “For the employees … once they see that jobs are now being taken up by other labour sources like foreign workers or more mature workers willing to take the job, then I think (by then), their options will be quite limited,” he said. Agreeing, Ms Carmen Wee, founder and chief executive officer of HR advisory services firm Carmen Wee & Associates, cautioned that some younger workers could be left behind if they are unable to compete against their peers in Singapore as well as their counterparts from other countries. “If (the younger generation) continues to be average and mediocre, and other people upgrade their skills and have more to offer in their resumes, then obviously they may not be as competitive when they go for job interviews, and promotion prospects will be affected," she said. "There could come a time where there is a recession, and retrenchment is on the way, then they could be on the chopping board.” She added: “These are the inevitable realities if one chooses to not pay attention to one’s career longevity and employability.” However, employers and experts both agree that the younger generation of workers has their own strengths. Ms Geraldine Kor, country managing director of telecommunications firm Telstra's Singapore office, said that what she has seen from the younger workers at her firm is that they are willing to learn new skills as long as it is in their areas of interest. To channel the workers' interests, her firm provides, for example, training opportunities in different fields ranging from coding to business analytics. By doing so, the firm hopes to match young workers to new skillsets that they are passionate about. "The organisation benefits because workers come away more motivated, and also more skillful, and as long as they feel engaged, the company gets the retention ... because once they have the passion, their potential really gets manifested," she said. Agreeing, Ms Wee said that due to access to social media, the younger generation has developed more diverse interests. “There are a lot of global and social issues that they are interested in, because they want to make an impact," she said. She added: "They are the ones who have very firm beliefs around how society should be run, and how society should treat the more marginalised." The challenge ahead is not so much about how to deal with the work attitudes of the younger generation, but how mentors and employers can harness the energy and passion that many of these workers have, she said. “These are good causes and we need the young people to have passion to articulate their point of view,” she said. “Because they are the ones who are going to live on this planet in the coming decades, and they will have to deal with some of these issues. If they have begun to get involved, it is a very good sign.” This story was originally published in TODAY.
  4. Recently been doing appraisals for my guys and this question came up. People always like to ask why i promote this guy and not them. caused quite a bit of unhappiness. i guess it's quite normal. Then i came across this article. found it a very good read. hopefully it will help you guys in your career moving forward. Food for thought on a weekend!
  5. saw some ultrasonic electronic mosquito repellent at homefix. looks like a good idea but does this device work? anyone tried them? seems made in UK so wondering if it works for local mosquito. thanks.
  6. Hi folks, so I just quit a company I have been working at for the past 7 years to join a new company. Before leaving I had done the usual stuff of handing over duties and created a spreadsheet of the outstanding cases with their current status and follow up. Considering I left on good terms, I sent out a thank you email to everyone I worked with before my departure so they would have known. Yesterday was my last day and today I have been getting calls from my former employer on projects that I was involved in for advice and info. I'm contemplating if I should just ignore these calls or answer them to avoid burning bridges since word gets around eventually. I know this is probably not the right platform to seek advice on such matters but just wanted to get quick advice. Any advice would be appreciated! TYIA.
  7. I bought a scratch remover brand (brand name starts with an M) after reading good reviews, but after much effort with a foam applicator, my car's superficial scratches were still visible, no improvement. Just wondering if it really does remove scratches or just a "filler" only.
  8. https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=636895009758897&set=vb.487870694661330&type=2&theater hohoho
  9. Now this is an interesting sight. As we have mentioned before in previous blog posts, the COVD-19 pandemic has somewhat influenced many who are forced to stay home to start working out as an excuse to head out. Hence, when we went into Phrase 2, there was a noticeable increase in traffic at our parks as many still continued to enjoy exercising, leading to some to come up with new ideas to move away from the overcrowding in parks. Check out this clip which has been shared by SG Road Vigilante, whereby the camera car chanced upon this public outdoor carpark at Fort Canning on the 9th of September which has been 'converted' into an outdoor gym. With the carpark almost full, we bet the sight of those using the carpark as a workout area annoyed the camera car driver. What do you guys reckon? Cool or not cool? Let us know!
  10. A little surprised that car horns can break down. I mean, my Sylphy is coming to 9 years old only. I was told by the workshop that it is a common problem to Nissan cars. It's not the horn but the contact on the steering wheel that's worn. Appreciate fellow motorists in this forum can advise where to find distributors who supply the "pad" (to be mounted on steering wheel) for the horn. Perhaps, what is a reasonable price to replace the horn? Thanks! Also, looking for manual air horn to save cost. Hahaha!
  11. Another shocking news..... MML just said the retirement age will be 67 in future and later on, it will be case by case basic with the employers... If you can still work at 67, just accept any jobs and dont be choosy. If MML is still wanted by the team thunder, he will still work too... Aiyo, he and us differnet leh... He at 67 working and sitting with aircon on and receiving with a VERY WELL TO DO pay... how to complain.. Us.. working like s--t, and by 50 if u are still around in the company, u should thank yor lucky star... Most I see, by 60, already working as cleaners, guards etc... Even if u want to work at labor jobs, also no one wants u... For those towkays, no need to say lah... u want until the company goes down also no problems... just normal folks like us will suffer. I already give up on my CPF withdrawal...
  12. Just joined a new team. This senior like to stand too close when he talk. When I back off, he close the distance. Got any polite way to handle? Might be a little sensitive to tell him directly. Advice appreciated. Kum Siah.
  13. http://forums.asiaone.com/showthread.php?t=39927 To MOM I wrote before about my situation whereby I was hired to replace a pinoy. The pinoy originally declined the job offer but later regretted his decision and was not happy about me been the replacement. He was eventually sent back to Philipines a few months later but his gang of friends (pinoys also) soon began to employ tricks to make me leave the company so that he can make a comeback. The tricks involved not teaching the skills/info needed to do my job, hostile stares and badmouthing. The badmouthing went something like this. The pinoys would observe all your movements and behaviors. Slightest mistake you made and they would exaggerate it and spread to others. I was sick during one period and took medication which made me drowsy and the pinoys would complained that I kept yawning non-stop during office hours/training/meeting and was not interested in my work. I overheard this when I entered a meeting through the rear door. I was attacked by more than one pinoy but whether it was coordinated or not, I
  14. after 6pm, says Amazon's India chief. Personally, I try not to work after office hours unless it's absolutely necessary. That's why bosses are important. I know of some managers who ask their subordinates to do PowerPoint slides for them even during CNY Day 2. Such bosses don't understand work is never ending. It's hard to strike a balance, but we must try. ********** https://www.todayonline.com/world/log-get-life-and-stop-responding-work-emails-or-calls-after-6pm-amazons-india-chief-tells BANGALORE — The head of Amazon.com’s India business has a radical idea for his troops: Log off, get a life. In an memo to his team this month, Mr Amit Agarwal counselled colleagues to stop responding to emails or work calls between 6 pm and 8 am in the interest of “work-life harmony". He also talked about the importance of work discipline and how to draw the line. The leaked note has broken through the sleep-deprived haze in the technology hub of Bangalore to set off heated discussions on social networks and WhatsApp chat groups. Mr Agarwal is a senior vice president at the Seattle-based retail behemoth, which has a reputation of fostering a cutthroat work culture and driving employees to burnout. Many in India wondered if this represented a softer turn for the company. Mr Agarwal has previously served as an executive assistant to Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos, who is often painted as a demanding boss. An Amazon representative in India declined to comment on the email. India, with its more than 1.3 billion people, has become a fierce battleground for Amazon.com, and the company has committed some US$5.5 billion to building up its network there. Recently Amazon lost out to Walmart in a bid to buy Flipkart Online Services, India’s leading e-commerce operator. While the demands of technology on workers has become a topic of debate around the world, work-life balance is severely off kilter in Bangalore, India’s third-largest city, where a significant portion of the one million workers employed in the outsourcing business cater to global customers and often work late into the night. It’s even more lopsided in the up-and-coming startup industry, where late-night meetings and weekend calls are the norm. Psychologists, sleep laboratories and fertility clinics have raised concerns about the mental and physical toll wrought by the frenetic work schedule. Insomnia, depression and suicidal tendencies are rampant symptoms, said Dr S Kalyanasundaram, a well-known psychiatrist who sees many technology workers in his thriving south Bangalore practice. “These days I see many 25- and 28-year-olds suffering heart attacks, something I haven’t seen in my four decades in this field,” he said. The doctor said all of his Saturday appointments are reserved for tech workers and often booked months in advance. “For many, there’s only one life and that’s the work life,” Dr Kalyanasundaram said. “It’s a disaster; it’s a ticking time bomb waiting to explode.” In startups from Bangalore to Delhi, founders and top executives lead the gruelling pace by example. Mr Ritesh Agarwal, the founder of the travel unicorn OYO Rooms and unrelated to the Amazon executive, said he gets minimal sleep during the work week. To catch up, he goes to sleep early on Saturday night and wakes up at midday on Sunday. In Bangalore, Mr Byju Raveendran, founder and chief executive officer of the education tech startup BYJU’s said he and his teammates leave recreation to late night hours, sometimes starting football games at midnight and ending as late at 2 am. Businesses from food delivery startups to late-night sports arenas cater to the insomniac workers. Mr Dilip Vamanan, founder of an e-commerce data analytics startup called SellerApp, that helps merchants sell on Amazon, said he clocks 14 hours a day in the office. After that, he takes calls and responds to emails at home. His colleagues complain of back aches, insomnia and stress. Amazon’s Mr Agarwal, may have an inspired idea, but it may be harder to implement than it would seem. “Indian startups have a lot to prove,” said Mr Vamanan. “They are nowhere near a scale where founders can step back and turn on the auto mode.” BLOOMBERG
  15. Been trying to find some quality fragance oil for the home that works with reed diffuser. Places like Robinsons has them but I think for sure such thing can be purchased below 50$ somewhere.. I bought a few to try from Lazada and shipped from Korea but the smell cannot be detected even with brand new reed. Is there such thing as value-for-money home fragrance ?
  16. Do a person waiting in lane 1 have access to all 1,2,3 lane on straight road? I was in lane 2 while turning right, but when i try filtering in lane 3 this bike standing in lane 1 want to get in lane 3 and start showing me gestures like i should have gone in lane 4. After he filtering in 3rd lane, he went back to lane 1 to get in MBFC car park.
  17. https://sg.news.yahoo.com/grab-driver-challenges-himself-24-030321825.html A Grab driver who goes by the name of Sonic (gotta go fast after all) recounted on Facebook his experience in pushing himself to work for 24 hours as a personal challenge — an ordeal that earned him $912 in total from the 59 jobs he took. Wanting to prove that it is actually possible to rake in close to $1,000 on a weekday, the Grab driver embarked on his quest on Monday, when the clock struck midnight. The man even uploaded video logs of his 24-hour work day on the ProDriver IncGrab driver community page on Facebook to show his progress. In the first clip, he mentioned that he would begin the shift at Changi Airport, acknowledging that it would be pretty hard to get many passengers on a Monday. “I strongly advise against driving such long hours because it’s actually very dangerous for yourself and the rider,” he urged. “Rest assured that I will stop if I feel too tired, but I’m very well rested over the weekend”. Grab driver challenges himself to work 24 hours. just how safe is it to drive 24 hours a day? thought commercial drivers got limitations to the number of hours they can drive a day? or not applicable to grab drivers? endangering other road users also.
  18. anyone kenah threaten at work before ? by outsider some more ? how would you react ? how would YOUR COMPANY react ? anyway, this happened over the weekend ... as you know, I am in warehousing and we are all manual laborers working with other manual laborers. so last week we were very packed and truckers making deliveries to our whse had to wait much longer than usual ... so came one guy who drove a 40' trailer and decided to cut que and asked my staff to unload just one piece of cargo for him. my staff simply told him to go back and join the que and the guy refuted my staff saying he was rude and unhelpful. as he was leaving, another staff who just returned from the toilet told him to use the walkway and not the forklift ramp and the guy snapped and walked up the forklift ramp and threatened staff to "put location !" my staff sensed that the guy was a bit "high" and just kept quiet and the guy then went back down using the ramp. subsequently another staff from another section unloaded the guy's cargo after a few mins. I told me staff if this kind of thing were to happen again, just ignore such ppl and then get the security to remove them and don't even bother with the goods he is carrying. however, I do not know if my employer(customer) will share the same sentiment. **btw, I already went home when it happened ... was only reported to me the next day.
  19. S’porean freelancer’s 4-month ordeal trying to work in China with no salary & winning S$1,000 compensation A Singaporean woman has taken to Facebook to share her infuriating ordeal of having to move to China on short notice after taking up a job offer via a Singapore company, not having the proper documentation done for her by the company that engaged her, and eventually, not getting paid at all. InfuriatingHer story is all the more infuriating as she is a Malay woman who would obviously face a language barrier in China, but not much was done to help her along the way, according to her post. Not only did the company in Singapore not take precautions to ensure she was protected and taken care of, it strung her along for several months without paying her a salary and repeatedly broke agreements, until she demanded compensation by going to the Small Claims Tribunal. Although the story she shared ends on a positive note and talked about the issue as a major learning experience for her about the realities of working abroad and dealing with unscrupulous entities, the details are anything but. She also said she is sharing her story as a cautionary tale for would-be freelancers and contract workers in Singapore, who need to learn how to take the necessary steps to protect themselves. 1. Going to China as an educatorHer story began in November 2017. She was hired as a drama consultant by a company in Singapore. Her job is contract work, and she was to go to China to join a sister company to facilitate the English drama curriculum. The arrangement was for her to enter China on a business visa. But she would first fly in on a tourist visa instead, as this was her first trip in. She was told she would be allowed to stay in China for 30 days, before flying back to Singapore to get the paper work for her business visa. On Nov. 1, 2017, she was made to sign the contract, and on the same day, fly off to China. This to her was a red flag as she had just 12 hours to pack, with her flight information provided on the same day, but she chose to take the chance and went along. She was then given two contracts to sign: A Singapore contract and a China contract. Her salary was stated as S$3,000 per month. The China company was supposed to pay her — when she received her working visa. She pointed out the discrepancy as she was then only on tourist visa, but was assured by the Singapore company project manager the contracts were just a formality and things would work out. 2. First time in China and something amissOn the 13th day of her stay in China, she got suspicious and checked and found out her tourist visa entitled her to only 15 days in the country. She panicked. She demanded to fly back to Singapore, which she did on the 14th day. She wrote in her post that she wondered what would have happened if she overstayed in China and couldn’t communicate with immigration. She requested for her salary from the China company, but was told they couldn’t disburse it as it was the Singapore company who had to pay her before she got her business visa. Another red flag. 3. Two-month wait back in SingaporeAnd when she returned, she waited two months before her Singapore company did the paperwork to process her business visa. But she ended up doing the paperwork herself as it was faster and more efficient. The Singapore company then got a travel agent here to expedite the process and she got her flight itinerary to go back to China. 4. Fake itineraryOn the day she was due to fly back to China, the airline check-in staff told her there was no booking made under her name. It turned out that the flight itinerary was a fake one. It was submitted so that the China visa centre would approve of her business visa. The Singapore company explained that there was some issue between it and the China company. She then laid out two conditions for her to go back to China: She would get her own classroom to run her lesson there and the CEO of the company will settle her salary as she wasn’t paid yet. 5. Fake agreementShe made it back to China and was given a dance studio as her classroom. She personally paid for and brought over 24kg worth of teaching materials from Singapore. While setting up for her drama class, the principal from the China company started scolding her in Mandarin, saying that she was not supposed to use the space as a classroom and the talk of her having a classroom was just a fake agreement that the Singapore and China company made up for her to agree to go back to China. The Singapore company then placated her by saying the CEO will meet her in three days’ time on Friday. She didn’t have to do anything in the meantime. On Friday, the meeting with the CEO got cancelled. 6. Savings depletedFurious, she was looking to get the next plane back to Singapore. At that point in time, she had not been paid in two months and her savings were depleted from having to pay for rental and buying materials. The project manager from the Singapore company told her to stay on for one week while the issues were sorted out. She waited and continued teaching classes. However, it was a demeaning period for her as the China company made her stand in front of the school every morning in cold weather just to greet the children and parents in English. She was reassured that her salary would be paid. She just needed to stay another week in China without working, while they transferred her to another school there. A week went by and she was sent back to Singapore. The other school in China could not afford to pay for a teacher. 7. CEO kept changing the meeting datesBack in Singapore, all seven meetings scheduled on different dates to meet the Singapore company’s board of directors were cancelled. The excuses given were the same, that the CEO wasn’t in Singapore. At that point in time, four months had passed and she still wasn’t paid. 8. Sought legal adviceShe was alerted to Singapore Law Society’s pro bono services and sought free legal advice. The lawyer advised her to file a claim in the Small Claims Tribunal against the Singapore company. However, he said the Singapore company might want to get away on a technicality in her contract: It was stated that she is a “Contractor” and not an “Employee”. 9. Sought S$10,000 compensationShe filed a claim for S$10,000 against the Singapore company. That amount was the most a claimant could file for. Her justification: The company owed her three months of salary worth S$9,000 and she asked for an additional S$1,000 as opportunity costs. She had missed out on other employment opportunities in the four months she waited and shuttled to and fro from Singapore to China and back. 10. Company tried to settle with S$250One night before the consultation in the State Courts, a human resource personnel from the Singapore company called her to settle for S$250. She told the personnel to bugger off. 11. How she won S$1,000 compensationDuring consultation, the referee told her the Small Claims Tribunal has no jurisdiction for compensation. The HR manager from the Singapore company was smug about that. But she brought up the issues with the Singapore company’s malpractices and unethical business transactions to the referee. In response, the HR manager then agreed to pay her S$500 as compensation for the three months of non-payment of salary. She said no, and told the referee she was not leaving with less than S$10,000. The referee asked her on what grounds and she brought up the Singapore company’s negligence in informing her about her 15-day tourist visa to China initially. The HR manager then raised the compensation to S$700. Again she said she was not leaving with less than S$10,000. The referee asked her on what grounds, and she said she left her stable full-time job and another promising job opportunity. The HR manager than agreed to give her S$950 in compensation. Again, she said no. She said in the post it felt like she was playing The Price Is Right. Again, the referee asked her on what grounds she should be compensated S$10,000, and she turned to HR manager and said: “On grounds that it is illegal to send me to China to work on a tourist visa.” There was silence in the room. So, she turned to the HR manager and said: “If you can’t settle with my request, we can always proceed to hearing.” According to her, she had nothing to lose if the case proceeded to a hearing, as it would be disadvantageous for the Singapore company to do so, given how more details about their working relationship could be revealed. Advice for othersThe woman’s post ends with practical advice for freelancers stuck in a similar predicament, as well as a warning to those who intend on embarking on the same kind of journey by working in a foreign country but do not have the prior experience of how ti works. She also wrote about the lack of protection for freelancers and contract workers in Singapore who are not classified as employees. This is a pressing concern, as those who are not employees are usually unsure of their employment rights as contractors and have inadequate knowledge of measures to protect themselves. You can read her full post here.
  20. No vampires or zombies, but plenty of sun, sand, and sea... And food galore too.. Being a seaside place, you can expect good seafood, but I also saw a few type of food that I have never seen before.. This one left the greatest impression! Looks like... well I will let you guys use your imaginations Of course, there's more regular stuff..
  21. Being in the sales line and new to the company since Jan 2017, i constantly give myself the pressure to bring in more new accounts. Maybe its due to me being let go by my previous company. Had a tough time looking for job in June 2016 till Aug 2017. Found a job in an Italian company (same trade) but they expect results in eastern malaysia within the 3-4 months i was with them. Luckily my current company, used to be my customer, asked me to join them. Had some result within the first year of joining them but now seems not so smooth. Sigh, guess not everyday is smooth sailing.
  22. Hi, My company is looking for the above for a 2-3 weeks assignment at a construction site in the east. The job is to be present on-site during the operation of a gondola to install a fixture on a 9 storey building. PM me your costs, $$$ and we can discuss from there. Thanks
  23. This is what i was trying to stress in previous thread, many of us can choose to slow down, but if the whole country is slowing down to have the work-life balance, who is going to cheong out there to make sure the economy continue to perform and sustain? Fortunately there are still ambitious young graduates (despite some strawberry) who are hardworking. On the other hand, we also see many members acknowledge the trade off (income vs time) at personal level, but at the national level, things will not be good. Dun turn this into bashing, we can discuss about your personal choice and the trade off.
  24. Health is important. All MCF members do take care Women who work nights face higher cancer risk: study http://www.asiaone.com/health/women-who-work-nights-face-higher-cancer-risk-study?xtor=EREC-16-4[Emarsys_Newsletter]-20180109&extid=6934d0cfb7b252f1ae9f0dbddf5ff88ca8637e77 Women who regularly work the night shift in Europe and North America may face a 19 per cent higher risk of cancer than those who work during the day, said a study Monday. These heightened risks were not apparent among female night-shift workers in Australia and Asia, said the meta-analysis in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention. "Our study indicates that night shift work serves as a risk factor for common cancers in women," said study author Xuelei Ma, an oncologist at the West China Medical Center of Sichuan University in Chengdu, China. "We were surprised to see the association between night shift work and breast cancer risk only among women in North America and Europe," he added. "It is possible that women in these locations have higher sex hormone levels, which have been positively associated with hormone-related cancers such as breast cancer." The review incorporated 61 previously published studies on the topic, spanning 3.9 million participants from North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia and more than 110,000 cancers. One drawback to the study was that the different definitions of long-term night shift work -- with some of the papers describing it as "working during the night" and others saying "working at least three nights per month." But the association was stark. While overall long-term night shift work increased the risk of cancer by 19 per cent, the risk of certain cancers were even higher. Female night shift workers saw a 41 per cent increased risk of skin cancer and a 32 per cent higher risk of breast cancer. The risk of gastrointestinal cancer was 18 per cent higher than in women who did not perform long-term night shift work. A subset of female nurses was also highlighted in the study, which showed "those who worked the night shift had an increased risk of breast (58 per cent), gastrointestinal (35 per cent), and lung cancer (28 per cent) compared with those that did not work night shifts." Ma noted it was possible that nurses might be more likely to undergo screening, since they work in the medical profession. "Another possible explanation for the increased cancer risk in this population may relate to the job requirements of night shift nursing, such as more intensive shifts." When it came specifically to breast cancer, the risk rose by 3.3 per cent for every five years of night shift work, said the study. Previous research has shown that nighttime work can disrupt the body's circadian rhythms, causing hormonal and metabolic changes that may boost the risk of cancer, diabetes, obesity and depression. "The results of this research suggest the need for health protection programs for long-term female night shift workers," said Ma. "Long-term night shift workers should have regular physical examinations and cancer screenings."
  25. How does GPS is work in cars if internet system is not working. And where to buy and install GPS system online.
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