Archive for August, 2021

How Insufficient Sleep Can Affect Your Leadership

Posted on: August 24th, 2021 by admin No Comments

Research shows that lack of sleep can significantly affect our mental abilities. We lose focus. 

Lack of sleep hampers logical reasoning and complex thought and impairs our judgment. These skills are all crucial for a leader to effectively manage the organisation. So if you, as a leader, are not getting enough sleep, the whole organisation can be affected as well.

How It Affects Leadership

The last part of our brain to evolve is the neocortex; it’s responsible for motor functions, sensory perception, and language. The front part of it is called the prefrontal cortex which controls cognitive functions such as problem-solving, organising, reasoning, inhibition and planning. 

Neuroscientists have determined that the prefrontal cortex cannot function well with little sleep compared to the other brain areas that can still cope with little sleep.

According to a McKinsey study, there are four leadership behaviours connected to the higher-order cognitive functions that quality executives exhibit: 

  1. being results-oriented, 
  2. effective problem-solving, 
  3. seeking out different perspectives, 
  4. and supporting others. 

Not getting enough sleep can affect these skills and behaviours, leading to poor leadership.

Results Orientation

A result-oriented leader keeps their sights on the organisation’s goals and avoids distractions while seeing the bigger picture. Lack of sleep affects this since it impairs attention and concentration. 

According to research, 17 to 19 hours of wakefulness affects individual performance and is akin to a person with a blood-alcohol level of 0.05%, which is already the legal drinking limit in many countries. 20 hours of wakefulness is equivalent to someone with a blood-alcohol level of 0.1 percent.

Problem Solving Ability

Sleep also improves cognitive functions that help us solve problems, such as insight, pattern recognition, and creativity. In one study, participants who enjoyed a good night’s sleep were twice as likely to discover new insights. 

Similarly, taking a nap also helps with creative problem-solving. Research has established that creative thinking likely happens during dream sleep.

Seeking And Weighing Different Perspectives

Sleep also has quite the impact on the learning process: encoding new information, forming new connections, and retrieving information from memory. 

These processes are critical to seeking different perspectives, especially for leaders who need to weigh the significance of other inputs, avoid tunnel vision, and reduce cognitive bias. Getting enough sleep will help improve decision-making in such situations. Even science supports the advice that you should sleep on it when making an important decision.

Supporting Others

Being a good support for others requires interpreting non-verbal cues such as facial expressions and their tone of voice to determine their emotions. Being sleep-deprived makes you more likely to misinterpret these cues and overreact to emotional events. Your mood is more likely to be negative and cause you to be less trusting of other people. And having a cranky boss also makes employees less engaged with their work.

What Can Organisations Do?

So what can organisations do to improve sleep quality for the members, especially the leaders, for better efficiency at work? McKinsey has two recommendations.

It’s time for organisations to place importance on the well-being of their employees and the management to counter the lost productivity and health conditions caused by insufficient sleep. Tell us how your company looks out for its members’ physical and mental wellbeing by starting a conversation with the best IT recruitment consultants in Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide and Brisbane by emailing or calling 1300 544 652.

How To Explain Employment Gaps In Your Resume

Posted on: August 23rd, 2021 by admin No Comments

If you’re worried about the gap in your resume, don’t worry because you’re not alone. 

The pandemic has caused an upheaval and instability in employment so having a gap in your CV is not rare. However, an employer may still end up asking you about it. To help you effectively deal with any gaps, here’s a short guide.

Be prepared to talk about it.

If you’re secretly hoping that the hiring manager won’t notice the employment gap in your resume, we’re sorry to tell you, but they will. They will most likely bring it up and expect an explanation. So take the time beforehand to think of an answer that will put it into a positive light. 

For instance, you might have to take a career break because of an illness. And while it’s understandable that you don’t want to divulge all the details about it, the recruiter would still like to know. So what you can do is give a brief explanation and focus more on putting forth a message that you’re ready for work. Even though you took some time off, you are now set to get back into the workforce.

Be honest and upfront.

When explaining your employment gap, it’s better that you’re honest and upfront about it rather than lying to make yourself look good. Again, gaps in employment are not uncommon, and hiring managers know this. You probably won’t lose out on the job if you give an honest explanation. But you will definitely lose out if you lie in your resume. Honesty is always the best policy. 

So if you were let go, for example, explain that your previous company had budget cuts or had to downsize. Or if you left your job, tell the truth without talking badly about your previous employer. You can then turn it into a positive note by sharing what you learned at your last job or that you enjoyed your time there.

Fill the gap

Instead of sharing all the details of the gap in your employment, you can mention how you spent your time productively. For example, include in your resume any volunteer or community work you’ve done, or upskilling in your field via classes or skills training you’ve participated in. Perhaps you did freelance work on the side?

If you’ve done some travelling before applying for the job, you can also turn it into a talking point during the interview. Your experience can be a demonstration of independence and personal development. You can also use it as a new perspective that you can potentially apply to the role. It’s okay if what you did during your time off is not career-related as long as you did something productive. It shows instead that you did not just sit around doing nothing. 

Be positive

Finally, remain optimistic. Having an employment gap in your resume isn’t an automatic deal-breaker. There are still employers who would understand. If you got as far as the interview, then that means that they found something in your resume that interested them. So stay upbeat and highlight your accomplishments instead. You can also practice your answers when asked about the gap. That way, you’re more comfortable and confident.

An interviewer asking about the gaps in your resume is likely more interested in how you spent your time away from work, whether it was productive or not. It says more about your character and how you deal with difficult situations. So showing them how you dealt with it may help you secure the role instead of outright ruling you out.

Now that you know how to explain your resume gaps, time to get hired! Start the conversation with the best IT recruitment consultants in Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide and Brisbane by emailing or calling 1300 544 652.

Open-Plan Office Noise Can Stress Employees Out

Posted on: August 9th, 2021 by admin No Comments

If you work in an open-plan office and find yourself stressed out by all the noise, you’re not alone. Even before the pandemic, complaints from employees abound regarding this issue.

A study conducted by Dr Libby Sanders from Bond University looks into this very issue. She and her team conducted an experiment to investigate how open-plan office noise impacted employees.

 In an interview on ABC Radio Perth, Dr Sanders mentioned that she worked in the industry before being an academic. Part of her previous work was discussing with people what was wrong with their workplace. She was also involved with designing offices and their effects on people. And she found that there wasn’t a lot of research that shows the causal relationship between stress and office noise.

How The Experiment Was Conducted

Open-plan office noise is stressful: multimodal stress detection in a simulated work environment involved 43 volunteers in a simulated office setting environment. Dr Sanders and her team recorded noises typical in an office environment — ringing phones, printing paper, people talking, and keyboard typing noises. 

The team then asked the volunteers to complete a proofreading task under these noise conditions. Meanwhile, the research team would then observe them working. They used sensors to track the participants’ heart rate and sweat response — both reliable stress indicators. 

The team also used AI software to read their emotional responses and track any mood changes while doing the exercise. They also made the participants self-report their feelings through a mood scale.

The team found that even a short, eight-minute exposure to open-office noises affected the stress levels and mood of the “employees.” In addition, they found that the sweat response of the participants increased by 34%.

“It doesn’t mean someone’s dripping buckets of sweat at their desk, but it’s a really strong indicator that you’re experiencing stress,” Dr Sanders said.

They also found a 25% increase in negative moods. This was based on the self-report that the participants filled out. Dr Sanders said this was a significant finding that could lead to “lots of potentially negative outcomes.” 

Interestingly, the AI they used for facial recognition did not pick up these mood shifts. This prompted Dr Sanders to believe that the people were actually suppressing their emotions in their faces. “We can’t assume by walking around the office and thinking that everyone looks fine that they’re actually okay.”

The researchers didn’t see an immediate effect on the participants’ work performance. However, it is safe to assume that long-term exposure to office noises can cumulatively affect an employee’s well-being and productivity. 

What Can Be Done?

Dr Sanders says employers can address this through acoustic treatment or sound masking technology, like ambient music designed to make people talking less intrusive. Walls and putting up partitions can also help. 

She also suggested noise-cancelling headphones. However, this could make people unapproachable as collaboration is an integral part of a day-to-day work environment. But some people don’t have a choice.

The pandemic and how it changed how we work definitely altered people’s outlook. Having a healthy work environment is now a priority more than ever. 

Surveys show that up to 70% of employees will find new jobs if flexibility is not an option in their current workplace. And while open-plan offices might be the norm for many offices for a long while, the study at least brings to light the issues employees face that could be harmful to them in the long run.

Do you work in an environment conducive to productivity? We’d love to hear about it! Start the conversation with the best IT recruitment consultants in Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide and Brisbane by emailing or calling 1300 544 652.

How To Create An Inclusive Workspace For Indigenous People

Posted on: August 6th, 2021 by admin No Comments

Despite the push for inclusivity in the workplace, it is still an uphill battle for indigenous groups. The Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Research and Education at the University of Technology Sydney and Diversity Council Australia conducted a large-scale survey of the experience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. They revealed their findings in a report titled Gari Yala, which means “speak the truth.”

Issues That Indigenous People Face

The report revealed that a large majority of the respondents (78%) feel that sharing their indigenous background was important. However, because of racism and prejudice in their workplace, many did not feel comfortable talking about their culture.

Additionally, indigenous people also carry the burden of “cultural weight” by being in an organisation comprised of primarily non-indigenous people. The researchers even coined the terms identity strain and cultural load to refer to these issues. 

Identity strain refers to the “strain employees feel when they themselves, or others, view their identity as not meeting the norms or expectations of the dominant culture in the workplace.” As a result, they find that they have to work twice as hard to prove their worth. Some also report that they were asked to do something that compromises their cultural identity. 

On the other hand, the cultural load is the extra burden carried by Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander staff in workplaces with few or no other indigenous people. This comes in the form of extra work demands and the expectation to educate their non-indigenous colleagues.

How Can Employers Help?

Organisations may say that they want to create a workplace that treats Indigenous people equally. But only a quarter of the participants reported that they work in a place committed to that change.

So what can employers do to create an inclusive workplace for Aboriginals and/or Torres Strait Islander people? Gari Yala offers a few pointers. 

Is your organisation a culturally safe place for indigenous staff? 

If you’d like to know how your company can uphold Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander inclusivity starting a conversation with the best IT recruitment consultants in Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide and Brisbane by emailing or calling 1300 544 652.