Tag: slump

Top tips for total productivity

Post-holiday gloom, the 3pm slump, stiffness from sitting down all day, annoying colleagues … whatever the cause, everybody experiences a lag in productivity in the workplace from time to time.

But Richard Andrews, MD of Inspiration Office, says the responsibility of managing staff health and well-being falls on both employer and employees.

“Often neither party knows how to get the most out of a working day.

“So we’ve put together this handy guide to help boost happiness, health and productivity, and achieve more each day:

Step away from the desk
No matter how fit you are, sitting for more than an hour at a time raises your risk of heart failure, diabetes and obesity. “We recommend taking at least a two-minute break from the desk every half-hour to stretch the legs, hydrate, get some natural light, and clear your thoughts,“ says Andrews.

Being active can improve output and work satisfaction by 80% according to the UK’s Business in the Community.

Test alternative meeting styles
Meetings that lack focus are a drain on productivity, time and motivation.

Says Andrews: ”Conducting a meeting while walking, standing or even exercising encourages employees to step away from their desks, inspires ideas and introduces exercise into a typically sedentary day,” Methods such as this let you exercise, brainstorm, refresh and build relationships while being part of a meeting.

Fuel body and mind
The food that you eat has a real impact on your energy levels.

Sugary snacks and caffeinated drinks give you a spike in energy, but this is often followed by a crash where you feel more tired than before.

Berries, vegetables, nuts, wholegrain cereals, yoghurt and biltong are better than junky snacks. If you feel the need for something sweeter, a few squares of dark chocolate is a good compromise.

Choose perks wisely
An office games console and on-site bar may win you likes on Instagram, but it’s important to consider about whether your work-space perks will benefit your staff in the long term.

“Rather than always spending funds on boozy nights out, introduce fresh fruit, flexible working, gym memberships or healthy away days,“ Andrews advised.

An interesting UK survey by Labour Force shows that 30.4 million working days were lost in Britain in 2015-2016 through sickness. Stress, depression and anxiety caused 11.7 million days to be lost, while musculoskeletal problems accounted for 8.8 million sick days. With such losses at stake, looking after staff health has to be a priority.

Being efficient at work helps staff to reach their targets and keeps clients happy.

“However, efficiency levels can fall when staff are stressed, constantly reaching to meet high expectations, lacking in confidence or under the weather. Maintaining a friendly atmosphere, having clearly defined roles, and setting realistic goals are essential for an efficient workspace, “Andrews concludes.

Five fresh measures to deal with the economy were announced on Monday night by the government and business leaders. They will include R180-billion investment in energy in the next three years.

A joint public and private sector small-business fund on a 50-50 basis was another of the main measures. Already, the private sector has pledged about R1,6-billion to the fund.

Initiatives include scaling up investment by using lessons learnt from independent power producers programme for renewable energy. This model would be extended to gas and coal.

Co-investment by the private sector in investment in infrastructure and the strengthening of crisis-ridden state entities were other measures agreed to by business-government working groups set up in February to tackle the slowdown in the economy.

A credit rating working stream will meet to identify potential areas of reform and other interventions to avert a credit downgrade next month.

“We will work to reduce policy uncertainty and shore up the confidence in government’s ability to deliver on its promises of boosting growth,” said President Jacob Zuma after the meeting in Pretoria on Monday night.

The possibility of private sector involvement in state-owned entities was agreed to even after Zuma on Friday said South African Airlines was not for sale. The cash-strapped airline is seen as natural for private investment.

Part of the package announced last night was the appointment of “service providers” to help “consolidate airline businesses”.

In response to questions about Mr Zuma’s comments, Deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa said the government was looking at various models to look at how the private sector could “participate in some way” as they had a “great deal to offer”.

A framework for state-owned companies is set to be developed and “principles of disposal of nonstrategic assets” were “under development”, he said.

The government would also develop “economic regulators” to improve certainty, increase efficiency and healthy competition, such as a single transport economic regulator. “Appropriate mechanisms to strengthen state-owned entities will be developed so that we reduce the risk they pose for the fiscus and can play a stronger role in driving development,” Mr Zuma said.

The meeting came after ratings agency Moody’s, gave SA a reprieve late on Friday night.

Standard & Poor’s (S&P) will be in the country from next Monday, when government and its business and labour partners will again have to show that the country is up to the task of reviving a moribund economy.

Fitch is set to conduct its probe in the coming weeks. Both S&P and Fitch, which rate SA just one notch above subinvestment grade, will release their reviews of SA’s credit ratings early next month.

It is understood that the plans by the business-government working groups contributed to the positive outcome last week in the Moody’s review.

Closer co-operation between the government and business was made necessary after the fallout from the unexpected firing of former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene in December.

Earlier on Monday, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan told a public finance management conference in Johannesburg that he was “optimistic” the team effort by the government, business and labour had helped SA avoid a ratings downgrade by Moody’s.

Although he acknowledged that SA was among countries that had not yet recovered adequately from the 2008 global financial crisis and that its structural challenges including education, were also weighing on economic growth, he expressed optimism.

“I’m very optimistic that the Team SA approach is one that we can extend to the next two ratings agencies that are going to come and have a look at our economy and our management of the economy — and in particular, the interaction between labour, government, and business,” he said.

By Natasha Marrian for www.bdlive.co.za

Rand drops as oil prices slump

The rand weakened in early trade on Tuesday as an oil price plunge swung global markets away from riskier assets.

Stocks were also weaker in early trade, with the broader All-share index down 0,81% and the blue-chip Top 40 slipping 1,06%.

The rand was changing hands at R16.6100/$ by 08:52, 0,45% weaker than its 16.5400 Monday close in New York.

A renewed bout of negative sentiment concerning emerging markets ensured that the rand’s recovery came to a halt on Monday, filtering into early Tuesday trade as crude oil dropped below $30 a barrel.

“Considering this morning’s softness in commodity prices and fall in Asian equity markets, commodity-based currencies, including the rand, are likely to remain under pressure today,” said Barclays Africa currency strategist Mike Keenan in a note.

In fixed income, government bonds tracked the rand lower as investors waited for clear signs of both the US Federal Reserve monetary trajectory as well as that of the South African Reserve Bank (Sarb).

The yield on paper due in 2026 ticked up five basis points to 9,658%.

Investors will be cautious ahead of the Sarb’s monetary policy committee meeting beginning on Tuesday to determine its rate decision and an update on the bank’s inflation and growth outlook on Thursday.

Source: www.fin24.com

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