Energy-Saving Tips at the Office

Even small businesses in Singapore consume a lot of energy because of our reliance on electronic appliances. While most are focused on making profit, it is also important to highlight how best to streamline operating costs by cutting down on the energy used without sacrificing efficiency.

Here are energy-saving tips you should practice at the office.

Use natural lighting during the day. If your office has a lot of windows, then you are lucky because you have a source for natural light. As long as the area is not getting direct sunlight, natural lighting is free, more effective than artificial lights, and can create a more relaxing ambiance.

Use only energy efficient devices. There are a lot of choices today when it comes to energy efficient appliances from fixtures to computers. If your office has been relying on old models, now is the time to invest in better, faster, and more efficient new models.

Do not use old equipment. Old appliances and other equipment not only can’t keep up with the demands of most jobs today, but they also use up a lot of unnecessary energy. Just because you are okay with old stuff does not mean you’re saving money. They will also break down more easily and cost more for repairs.

Make use of energy saving features. Most modern devices have an energy saving feature that can be activated with just a press of a button. This can cut energy costs especially during breaks or idle time.

Laptops are better than desktops. On average, laptops consume less energy than desktop computers. This is good news for companies not only to save on the initial cost but the maintenance and operating costs as well. If possible, always opt for a laptop.

Smaller computer monitors. If some of the employees can do their work better on a desktop, invest in small energy-efficient monitors. There is no need for large monitors unless the employee is working on design and art.

Use the printer sparingly. Unless you need a physical copy of a document, there are many ways to record and send messages these days including emails, cloud storage, and instant messaging.

Invest in better ventilation. Better cooling does not mean just installing an air conditioning system, but also making sure that the entire office is well-ventilated. You can do this by improving air circulation and observing regular maintenance of your HAVC. You AC system should also have a programmable thermostat that can adjust the temperature without manually operating it.

Replace your fixtures. For offices that do not get enough natural lighting, invest in quality LED and CFL lights that not only have long lifespans but are also energy efficient.

Invest in plug load controllers. If your office has several cubicles in it, it is easier to control individual power usage with a load surge suppressor. You can be assured that an unoccupied cubicle is not consuming power that way.

6 Ways to Give Healthy Criticism

No matter where you work in Singapore, you’ll never see a person who likes being criticized. The thing is though, feedback and criticism are important for growth whether it be professional or personal. That’s why it is important to come up with ways to give healthy and constructive criticism. Let’s just straight into it!

Do it privately

There’s really no exception to the statement that nobody likes to be criticized in public. When a person feels embarrassed or humiliated, it will be quite hard for him/her to simply take it as just a simple mistake to correct. Of course, that’s not what you want if you’re aiming to provide healthy criticism. Find time to talk to the other person in private. Your criticism will have more value that way.

Use the Feedback Sandwich

The feedback sandwich is basically positive-negative-positive. First, you start off by saying the admirable things that the other person has done. Then, you go and provide the criticism; what’s wrong, what mistakes the other person is making, and how to improve. Lastly, round it out by reemphasizing the positives you mentioned earlier as well as the positives you expect after providing the criticism.

Avoid being vague

Giving vague feedback will only end up confusing the other person as to what he/she did wrong. You’ll make it much easier for yourself and the other person by simply being specific. When you’re being specific, you can immediately give the other person actionable feedback. “Make an outline focusing on the sales for this project” is better than “make a presentation for this business plan”.

Don’t make it personal

Let’s say you have a certain co-worker who you don’t exactly see eye to eye with. If he makes a mistake, try your best to avoid giving criticism that’s too personal. When giving feedback, target the situation itself and not the person. It will be hard to resist the temptation especially if you hate the other person. But that will only lead to more problems in the future. We’re not aiming for toxic workplace culture here!

Give recommendations

Though it’s good that the other person gets your feedback, it would be much more helpful if you can give him recommendations as well. Offer some advice on what he can improve or what he can specifically do to get the right things done. There are still chances wherein he’ll just hear out your feedback and not do anything about it. Giving recommendations allows the other person to take action himself.

Just be kind

It’s pretty obvious that you won’t be able to provide healthy criticism if you’re being hostile towards the other person. People already have a hard-enough time accepting even light criticism. If you come at them harshly, they’ll only beat themselves up even more. So try to always maintain a positive and respectful tone.

Dealing with Awkward Situations at Our Workplace  


Regardless of our work here in Singapore, awkward situations happen to us all. If it is our first day at our workplace, we have this goal of impressing everybody but it turned out that we did nothing but to be practically part of the furniture. It is crucial that we know how to react to these embarrassing or awkward social situations because it will determine how people see us.


Here are some awkward situations that may occur in the workplace and how we should deal with them:

  • Forgetting someone’s name: Forgetting someone’s name especially the new ones are natural but it will greatly reflect us. So, we toured our new team members and showed the health and safety manual but when we were asked for introductions, we went blank. Instead of saying “I think your name is Dave. No, it is Neil. Oh, it is definitely Sam”. The safest thing to say is “I’m sorry I’m terrible at remembering names good thing I have here a nametag”.
  • Overwhelming scent of a co-worker: Whether the scent is natural or otherwise, the overwhelming scent of a co-worker should be dealt accordingly. They deserve the respect. We all know that fragrance is subjective but if we find it too strong and overwhelming, it is time to get it out in the open. If we are particularly close to that co-worker, we have to approach them directly, honestly and discreetly. They will thank us in the long run. We should not say “can you please open a window because your fragrance is too strong”. We can instead say “I’m sorry bit I think I may have an allergy to your perfume. I’m so sensitive”.


  • Sending text messages to the wrong person: There are some awkward situations attributed to technology. For example, we sent text messages to the wrong person where it should be intended. Accidentally sending text messages to the person we do not want to see it happens. When this happens, the best course of action is to come clean and express our regret in making the mistake. We can say “I am very sorry. This will not happen again” instead of saying “don’t you get it, this is a joke ha ha”.
  • Alone in the elevator with someone we are avoiding: There are people that we try to avoid in our workplace as much as possible but sometimes fate has its own scheme and suddenly we are left alone in the elevator with someone we are avoiding. If we do not really get along with that person, a nod or smile will do. Our reaction will depend on our personality. We can just keep quiet.


Coping with Difficult Bosses  


Working is stressful enough without bosses in the picture. If they are around, things seem to be hostile and hectic thereby inflicting more stress to ourselves and the people around us. Oh, how we wish bosses are not around all the time but this is impossible because that is their job.


Here in Singapore, there are terrible bosses and kind ones. We are lucky if we have kind ones but if we have terrible bosses, coming to work every day is like going to “hell”. If we value our job, we have to survive our difficult bosses and just concentrate on getting the job done no matter the circumstance.

We are not living in an ideal world so we should not expect fantastic bosses. What we can do is survive. Though thriving is difficult because of the environment, we have to at least try. Who knows we will be bosses someday. We know better how to act and encourage the people around us.

Here’s how to make the best of the situation and get our job done regardless of the boss:

  • We have to identify where the anger is coming from: Our bosses get angry all the time but we have to know if there is a reason behind his/her behaviour. If he/she acts angry all the time because of work-related issues, then we know that he/she is not essentially bad. If he/she acts angry all the time without any reason, then he/she is essentially bad.


  • We should not let it affect our work: We now know that our bosses have this attitude but we should not let it affect our work or productivity. No matter the circumstance, we want to stay in good terms with them if we want to keep our job. So, let them rant all they want and just execute.
  • We have to document everything: We have to document everything so when things go south, we can refer back. It helps if we bring small notebooks along with us especially if we will talk to our boss so we give them the chance to contradict themselves in the future. This is our way of covering and saving ourselves.
  • We have to know the importance of good timing: We have to understand that our bosses too suffer stress. If there are many things on his/her plate, we have to wait for the right time to discuss or confront the situation. If we bother him/her without thinking of the time, he/she will not take as kindly to our issues.

We just hope that our bosses change and be kinder not meaner. Whatever their management styles, it is crucial that we survive for our future.


5 Ways to Be More Productive at Work

“How can I be more productive at work?” is a question often asked by professionals. We get it, everyone wants to get more things done and feel some sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. So to further increase your productivity level, here are five things that you can do to get more things done at work.


  1. Arrive Early and Stay Late. One of the best ways to get more things done at work is to start your workday early to get your important tasks done right away. This is also an effective way to avoid heavy traffic, since sitting in traffic and being late for work will only frustrate you and set a negative vibe throughout your day. Saving extra hours of your workday will drastically increase your productivity level, turning you into one of the most productive people in your field.
  1. Plan the Night Before. This is definitely one of the total game changers in becoming productive at work. Just spend at least 15 minutes of your time at night to create a priority list for your tasks, and you’ll surely have a head start at work the following day.
  1. Leave Your Office During Lunch Time. While it may be just an hour, leaving your office during lunch time can actually have a powerful effect on your work for the remainder of the day. Not only will it fill your tummy, eating your lunch out will also aid in easing your stress levels, refreshing your creativity and in helping you refocus on the things you still have to do as you get back to work.


  1. Minimize Distractions. In this age and day, distractions are almost everywhere. If you’re using a computer for work, you’d most likely be tempted to check on your social media account and surf the Internet. Completely avoiding distractions might be difficult, but minimize it at least. Make a rule that you’ll only check on your social media or surf the net once you’re done with each task. This way, you won’t be tempted to sneakily surf the Internet and you’ll also be able finish your task on time.
  1. Ensure That Your Goal is Always in Sight. Another way to be more productive at work is to ensure that your goal is in sight at all times. You can do this by listing down your goals on a note card and carrying it with you. The main objective here is to ensure that you keep your goals in a place where you can easily see them, to increase your motivation level in getting things done.

Other than these tips, there are a lot ways that you can do to make your day more productive. Learn to compete with yourself each day and see how much you can still improve as a professional and as a person.


How to Deal with Difficult Co-Workers


Tired of having a hard time in the office because of you workmates? Unfortunately, your chances of getting away from these people are pretty slim. If these co-workers are simply annoying and doesn’t really have any bearing on your work, you’ll probably just have to ignore them. However, if you have to work with these problem officemates on a regular basis, it is time to take some precautionary actions.


  1. Identify the “Toxic” Co-workers

Problematic people in an organization show a variety of symptoms; some are dodge blamers, while others are plain slackers who almost always fail to meet deadlines on time, no matter how much leeway is given to them. Then there’s also the toxic one who just never have something nice to say about your performance. Toxic co-workers come in different forms—your first line of defence is to identify them.

  1. Evaluate Your Situation

On your first encounter with a problem workmate, your first reaction may be shock because you expect others to treat you professionally when at work. In a lot of cases, it’s difficult to determine whether these people are mood busters or are already acting in a hostile manner. Allow some time to let your shock wear off and then evaluate what’s really going on.

  1. Make the Right Move

If you are working with a difficult person, especially one who undermines you, you probably need to take precautionary actions. Let the offending person know that you’re aware of what he is doing to you and that you are willing to take the situation to someone higher in the chain of command, if things get worse.


  1. Maintain a Diplomatic Character

No matter how tempting it is to share and complain to others about any friction between you and a toxic co-worker, try your best not to do so. If you do, some people in your office, which may include your supervisor, may brand you as a whiner or think that you’re not a team player, which may cause people to blame you for other office conflicts.

  1. Keep It Private

As previously stated, avoid letting others know about your grievances, but most importantly don’t engage with the offending person in front of your boss, clients, and co-workers. Keeping the problem with the problem person private makes it much easier to leave the conflict behind once it’s resolved.

  1. Learn From It

You and the other person may never agree with each other at some points. However, even though you don’t like this situation, take this opportunity as a way to learn how to handle such circumstances professionally. You may not like them, but use your experience with them to understand more about where they are coming from.

Dealing with difficult co-workers on a daily basis can be annoying and can greatly affect your performance in the long run. While you may be the smartest employee in the office, if you can’t get along with everyone, it’s likely you won’t get too far in your chosen career path.


Time Consciousness – Applicants Must Have

There are many important things in the world but when you talk about time, there is nothing more significant than it. For many people, time is very essential so that all the things that should be performed must be done.


Time is Very Precious

We all know that managers are very busy and that they do not have time to talk to other people or have fun with other employees even if it is break time or lunchtime. Also, on dismissal period, they seem to extend their working time just to finish all dues for the day. They might not go home if ever they cannot finish the work. That is why, when you talk to a high-ranking person on a company, be sure that you give your best shot and give a fancy and remarkable conversation.


On the other hand, while you talk to the executive, do not talk about nearly your entire resume because in the first place they have called you back because they see you as a potential employee in their company and they have read your resume. When you reiterate the words or phrases that you have written on your curriculum vitae, business directors will be immediately convinced that you are not an outstanding individual.

In addition, this has nothing to do or something to add on your skills and qualifications. Furthermore, this will only waste your chance to explain about yourself, your background and your reasons applying as a worker to them. The interviewer may ask it to you but your time is not enough.


Learning to Do Quick Monitoring Technique

Many people are immediately leaving the building after an in-person interview without knowing the important things about the company. In fact, most applicant do not ask the contact number of the company or the person that who interviewed them. Follow up: at any circumstances, you need to make a follow up on your application. By doing this, managers will be interested about you.


Avoid cancelling calls and interviews because in the first place, you are the one who want the job. Thus, do not ever postpone any schedule that the company you are applying has given, as this would affect your eligibility and your reliability. Whenever, you are called for an interview, always say that you have vacant in any time of the day.

But if you cannot be reached in a specific time, then, tell the reason why. At least, you inform. However, they may or may not call you again. Now, if you are done with the interview, make sure that you keep in touch with them. There are tendencies that managers only challenge the applicants and that they are waiting for them to keep in touch.


The challenge for the applicant is that if they will follow up with their application. If they never do this, managers would conclude that the applicant is not interested about the work. On the other hand, do not forget to show care and respect to the boss because this will also be your advantage and that companies will hire you. In short, do not forget to say, “Thank You!”


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