Monthly Archives: July 2016

Fruits as Staff Benefit

Fruits Increase Productivity

Recently, as part of staff benefit, my company is giving out fruits to all staff at the beginning of every month. Here I am, thinking: “Fruits as part of staff benefit. You must be kidding. That’s budget.” But on a serious thought, I could actually be “forced” to consume and that is actually beneficial to my health.

A study conducted in 2013 by a UK Workplace Fruit Provider found that the provisions of free fruit in the workplace had reap positive benefits, both towards individuals and the organisation.
Majority of employees felt more valued in the company, and they believed fruits are capable of improving their quality of work. It is also reported that most felt that they will be more healthy by eating them, and as a result, tend to eat more fruits. Close to half reported that they begin to eat less on unhealthy snacks.

On an organisation’s perspective, it helps in retention (when workers felt valued, they tend to stay longer), productivity, and the possibility of reducing MC Rates.
On a individual’s perspective, it could have a positive impact on health.

Before you go into doubting the research – carried out by a company who has vested interest – do note that there are already various articles on the respective benefits for consuming different types of fruits. For example, bananas are found to be useful in maximizing brain power, and apples are found to be helpful in combating pollutants. Thus, if in the end, it did not improve your employee’s “love” for the company and their productivity levels, it could still keep them healthy and potentially reduce the no. of downtime.

Put it on the table for discussion in your next meeting, perhaps with some fruits on the table for everyone 🙂

References:
Fruit at Work Boosts Productivity
BusinessInsider: 16 Brain Foods You Should Eat To Boost Productivity
What Fruit Combinations Work Best for the Body?

Who is covered under Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA)?

Some would say anyone under the Employment Act. Some say Managers are not covered. Some highlighted only Operatives (Non-Office) are covered.

Under the Act, all employees are covered, with a few exceptions:

  1. Uniformed Personnel of our Civil Service (e.g. SAF, SPF)
  2. Domestic Workers
  3. Self-Employed Personnel
  4. Independent Contractors

Reference can be found under my Page “Sources”:
Who is Covered

Revised Qualifying Salary for Employment Pass (EP)

As what came up in the news a day before, there are some revisions towards the criteria of applying an Employment Pass.
In essence, with effect from 01 Jan 2017, the qualifying salary for Employment Pass will be raised from the current $3,300 to $3,600.
To prepare companies for the transition, those who are due to expire before that, they can be renewed up to 3 years based on current criteria. For the passes due to expire between Jan 1 2017 and June 30 2017, renewal will only be a year, where thereafter the new criteria will be imposed.

You can read in the news at:
Straits Times – Qualifying Salary for Employment Pass

 

Company refuses to submit CPF Contributions for a “Special Employee”

Scenario

Instructions is given to HR by the Chairman to exempt CPF Contributions for a particular staff who was found to be close to the former. This case is not under my charge but I thought to myself: “It could be me one day, and how would I react?”

What I will do

1. Highlight the implications of her actions – legal issue and consequences. No doubt it will be a fight against the Emperor but it is something that absolutely cannot be compromised. Of course, she might already knew it is illegal (I mean, for her position, she should right?) and therefore might not buy it and force HR to proceed. In that case, will proceed to Step 2.

2. Inform superior via email (black and white) informing the legal noncompliance we are having and had explained my stand according (as a form of protecting myself)

3. Proceed though its illegal

Yes it is illegal, but the boss has the final say. I believe I had done my due diligence. There are times we couldn’t do the right thing, but we are definitely obliged to advise (or warn).

If it was you, what will you do?

Should we exercise during working hours?

Exercise during Work

Back in 2008, Researchers from the University of Bristol (UK) found that people who workout on a work day perform better as compared to those days they didn’t opt for any. It is reported that there is an increase in motivation to work, better concentration and time management, which all leads to an increase in productivity. A 2011 Study had also found that exercising during work day can lead to a reduction in absenteeism, which improves productivity as well.

It is evident that the benefits are huge. It improves productivity, drives employees’ motivation to work, and relates to Company Staff Benefits as well – an attractive recruitment and retention tool. While there will be people on the other side of the table criticizing the “lost time” due to this initiative, it can be countered that it can be compensated by the increased in productivity. However, a study that was published in the American Journal of Health in 2015 had highlighted that it is important to understand that employees might be more likely to tap on this initiative if they had presumed their work to be manageable. This suggests that this initiative should be implemented in the non-peak period of the month, and it must be supported by all supervisors and management team.

So, does your company has this initiative in place? If yes, congrats. If no, it is time to put on the table for further discussion.

Sources:
Daily Mail (UK)
BusinessInsider
Journal Article: Effect of the Work Environment on Using Time at Work to Exercise

Maximum number of subtenants and occupants

Housing.JPG

This question usually arises when we are hiring foreigners, where we are responsible for their accommodation in Singapore. Do check out the table below:

Flat Type Maximum no. of
occupiers / tenants
HDB 1-room and 2-room 4
HDB 3-room 6
HDB 4-room or bigger 9
Private Property 6

Reference can be found under my Page “Sources”:
HDB – Subletting Regulations
URA – Renting out Pivate Residental Properties

Best Time to come to Work

Time

Ever heard of your colleague beside you complaining about not having enough sleep? Ever had difficultly to stop your yawning while replying to your chunks of emails early in the morning? Well, it appears we might have started work at a wrong time.

As what I believe most would agree, Singaporeans usually start work around 8.30am to 9am. I can’t find any statistics to confirm on this, but judging from the pathetic space we had between individuals in our MRT Train between 7.30am to 8.30am, I believe more or else I am right there.

Dr Paul Kelley, a Clinical Research Associate at Oxford University, claimed that individuals before the age of 55 should come to work at 10am, as any earlier could harm employees’ performance and health. Formerly a head teacher, he had changed the starting time of his school from 8.30am to 10am and found an increase in the number of top grades by close to 20%!

Personally, I felt it would be good if my company changed their working hours to 10am. Maybe less on the reasons as provided by Dr Paul Kelley, but rather because I could spend more time in my previous night :). But hey, does that mean that we will be ending our work later if this go through?

News from:
The Telegraph (UK) – Staff should start work at 10am to avoid ‘torture’ of sleep deprivation
The Guardian – Why you should start work at 10am