Owning your mornings…owning your days

Owning your mornings…owning your days

How many of us wake up each morning rushing? There always seems to be so much to get done before leaving the house. Often our mornings feel so short in time, we have just enough time to grab a coffee, get ready and rush out of the door to head to work, drop the kids to school or fulfil any other responsibilities we may have. Then there is the worry of traffic, the delayed trains or the overpacked tubes.

The feeling and sense of being time constrained can lead to stress, frustration and starting the day with a less than optimal mindset. You may have heard of the phrase “early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”…I remember my mum used to say this to me when I was young. 

The times when we rise, and sleep can have a huge impact on the way our day progresses and how effective we can be. There is a great deal of research on this topic and many famous faces have been known to rise early to make the most of the quietude of the morning hours and sow the seeds for the day ahead. The benefits range from increased productivity, better sleep, reduction in procrastination all the way through to becoming more successful.

I recently finished reading “The 5am Club” by Robin Sharma and it has inspired me to write about this topic in greater detail. I have always been an early riser (not quite 5AM) where I like to take my time, to reflect, do my own thing before my time becomes part of the rest of the world. I take my time to have my breakfast, I meditate, and I really like to have a chilled-out morning routine so that I am not impacted by the uncontrolled events of the day; my routine has already placed me into a positive mindset before I leave home.

Studies are showing that an effective morning routine can result in the creation of a life where we thrive, flourish and grow.

From a personal perspective, my grandparents are in their late 80s and they wake early each day, they meditate, they exercise and eat a great diet. Research of the blue zones (Sardinia, Okinawa, Loma Linda, Nicoya Peninsula and Ikaria), where the most centenaries live have found that they have routines which support their lifestyle and great health. One of the practices adopted is rising early.

The effective morning routine is more than simply rising early, there are steps which can be taken to sow the seeds for a day which is positive, productive and prepared. Here are some examples of things which can be done during these special morning hours:

  1. Meditating & Intention Setting – giving the mind, body and soul the gap to become still and self-connect
  2. Reflecting – appreciating the things in life and identifying with the things you’re grateful for
  3. Journaling – writing your thoughts, ideas, dreams and desires
  4. Exercising – kick-starting the mind and body though aerobic exercise and stretching
  5. Nourishing the body and mind – consuming wholesome and nutritious foods and drinks to boost the mind and body
  6. Reading – absorbing new knowledge or reading an inspirational book to grow the mind
  7. Doing something you love – using the time to do something you love, from watching the sunrise to listening to a piece of music
  8. Noticing the small things – in quietude, the outside sounds become more prominent, notice the singing of the birds, the smell of the air to the sound of your breath

Rising at 5am can seem like a daunting thing to do, there are baby steps which can be taken to support you in creating a morning routine.

Sleeping and waking routing

Creating a routine which will support early rising involves, going to bed slightly earlier than usual and setting the alarm to wake slightly earlier than usual. As you get comfortable and used to the new routine, start to wake-up earlier.

Plan things the night before

There may be some activities which you can prepare and plan the night before, for example, preparing clothes, making lunches and getting ingredients ready for breakfast. If you plan to exercise in the morning, have your clothes and shoes ready to go. Set the alarm clock.

What motivates you

Set your mind on why you want to do this and how it will benefit your life. Once you know the “why” this will motivate and inspire you to take action.

Be patient with yourself

Creating a new life pattern is trial and error, so if at first you do not stick to the routine, use the next day as another opportunity. By preserving and seeing the benefits first hand, we will work towards this goal of rising early. Monica Mahi Mathijs is the CEO and Founder of Our Stillness and Firefly Today. She is also a seasoned change agent, working on various projects across industries.

Emirates HR announces new client Sigma Thermal, the industrial process heating system company that has migrated to the cloud

Sigma Thermal explain finding a HR software is exactly what the business needed to improve the efficiency of their HR department.

Emirates HR’s cloud-based software solution delivers performance, scalability, personalisation, efficiency and flexibility to UAE & GCC businesses.

February 19, 2019

Emirates HR, an intuitive software solution revealed that companies in the region are replacing their spreadsheets and multiple paper documents, for a complete cloud-based HR solution to consolidate their HR and business processes. Sigma Thermal is gaining visibility, automation and simplicity needed for the smooth operation of the whole business while gaining access to multiple employee benefits to improve employee satisfaction. The continued growth of Emirates HR’s customer base is further proof that the need for an integrated HR system is rising not only locally but globally too. In support of this, Future Workplace predicted that 96% of HR leaders are planning to increase their investment in recruiting technology by the year 2020. Source

Emirates HR are singularly focused on becoming the best HR solution for the UAE & GCC region, with a mission to provide a world class experience for users by recognising and supporting local working practices. Emirates HR provide a complete HR and Payroll solution with expert functionality such as leave management, end of service benefits (EOS), document management, wage protection system (WPS), payroll and much more. Emirates HR software enables businesses to modernize operations, keeping their employees on the same page with real-time requests and notifications. The software empowers the staff with self-service while supporting the business with real-time dashboards and analysis to drive operational insights and company overviews. Advantages of a SaaS solution:

  • Low Cost of Entry. When adding up the costs of procuring and deploying a SaaS technology it amounts to a fraction of an on-premise solution.
  • Low TCO. SaaS solutions have a very low ‘Total Cost of Ownership’. Reducing the capital and operational costs in the long term for any business.
  • Faster Time to Market. All the user needs to do is acquire their subscription and then login, this cuts down the TTM significantly.
  • Flexible/Scalable Pricing. Change your subscription in real-time as your organisation grows (or shrinks), enabling you to scale up or down on-demand.
  • Low Risk. SaaS offers a flexible pay-as-you-go subscription model providing low risk and little-no capital outlay.
  • Secure. Securely access content in a centralized space versus using email and shared drives or allowing access to internal networks.
  • Automatic Upgrades. Free system upgrades are handled within short, pre-notified windows of time that fall outside of business hours.

Sigma Thermal (www.sigmathermal.com) Sigma Thermal Middle East designs, engineers, supplies, and services process heating systems for industry. Sigma Thermal was founded on the belief that exceptionally deep engineering knowledge, applied practical field experience, and real customer service is the keys to successful system design and project execution. These principles form the underlying framework for their company, and they are tightly held by all Sigma Thermal employees today. Emirates HR provides Sigma Thermal features important for their multinational employees working in the UAE region. The onboarding and employee visibility features are going to simplify the onerous tasks while offering an extremely cost-effective solution. “We are extremely excited to be implementing Emirates HR, not only for our HR department but for the operation of the whole business. The scalability and personalisation are great and we can’t wait to get started” Said Scott Brewster, Managing Director of Sigma Thermal Middle East.

Follow Emirates HR’s Blog, Emirates HR’s Facebook Page, Instagram Page and @Emirates_HR Twitter Handle for real-time company updates.

For more information about EmiratesHR, please visit https://www.emirateshr.com

Five 2019 trends that are redefining HR’s role

Five 2019 trends that are redefining HR’s role

Trend 1: Upskilling

Over the past decade in pursuit of satisfying shareholders in a lackluster economy, companies focused on cost reductions, which would typically include a workforce reduction under the guise of skills obsolescence. With the turn to global growth and with fewer digitally-savvy candidates in the market, companies now have to rethink their workforce and hiring strategies and instead invest in upskilling their workforce.

HR has an opportunity to shape these strategies. Ramping up can take multiple forms such as partnerships with educational institutions and public sector or with startups, forming coalitions with other organisations, lessening the credentials requirements or a combination of all.

Most of these efforts will still be about investing in technical skills. Opportunities will lie in supplementing those with soft skills such as design thinking, accessibility, communications, collaboration, and foundational skills.

Upskilling is not only good for the business, but it’s also a responsible way to uplift communities and have a positive impact on your brand, which in turn will attract more high-quality talent. Win-win for everyone!

Trend 2: Workplace experience

Companies will continue to find it difficult to attract candidates who match job descriptions, especially if those descriptions require “unicorns.”

The opportunity is arising for hiring managers and HR to distill the work to its essence and reconfigure what needs to gets done by whom and how (transitioning from “jobs” to “work”). This can bring much-needed flexibility in choices of talent such as part-time, contingents, stay at home moms with only 2-3 hours available, disabled individuals.

The practices of designing around the customer experience (CX) will start being adapted for the workplace experience (WX) to minimise the hassle points for workers.

It also demands new practices in designing and orchestrating how the work gets done, measured, rewarded, etc. The field of HR is facing a major disruption requiring adaptation of its traditional processes and norms to an agile, fluid, and distributed work environment. The practices of designing around the customer experience (CX) will start being adapted for the workplace experience (WX) to minimise the hassle points for workers and maximise everyone’s value creation.

Time to take a page or two from the world of marketing?

Trend 3: Human-centered integration of physical and digital

Everyone is going (or doing) digital. Even in traditional stores you will start seeing “digital shelves”. Digital technologies are changing how work gets done and necessitating a different skill mix and strategies to either attract or develop those skills (see above Upskilling).

The critical component in this transformation is the mindset change. “Digital strategy” as not a mere new name for automating your processes and offerings, but rather a chance to completely re-imagine them. There is tremendous opportunity to re-think the product design and development. Those digital shelves are still in a physical location which also happens to be the workspace for many. Designing that workplace around the human experience (both workers and consumers) is where the innovation will come from.

Oftentimes many technologies and experiences are not inclusive (not designed with input from and consideration of the impact they will have on different segments of the population, especially the aging). There is tremendous opportunity to use digital technologies to create more accessible environments (both physical and digital).

This can impact the offerings’ reach and create a great sense of pride amongst the employees who are marginally involved in such work — leading to better engagement, retention, and business results.

The only question to HR is – will you take the lead in this transformation?

Trend 4: Gender parity

Regardless of the progress we’ve made thus far, unfortunately, women still don’t get their fair share. Global gender parity is still over 200 years away. Analysis of 2017 Gender data from Visier’s Insight found that the gender pay gap widened in 2017 rather than becoming smaller. In 2016, women made 81 cents to the dollar, but in 2017 women made 78 cents to the dollar – that’s 22% less than men.

Amplified by the #metoo movement and increased attention to diversity and inclusion, there is no bigger urgency for HR to take a stand than now.

Organisations have a long way to go to close the gap and amplified by the #metoo movement and increased attention to diversity and inclusion, there is no bigger urgency for HR to take a stand than now. #closethepaygap

Trend 5: Social activism

In light of eroding trust in political systems and faith-based systems, the individuals are turning to corporations to become the voice of reason in addressing big systemic issues. Such expectations can either be bad news or good news for companies, and will definitely be an opportunity for everyone to start paying attention to issues beyond just satisfying shareholders’ demands.

All generations and especially younger entrants into the workforce, will demand organisations to put more focus on sustainability, transparency, equality, and ethical business practices. There is a broader set of stakeholders that need to be considered, including the workers, the underserved communities and underprivileged segments, the environment.

Tying your organisational mission to a bigger purpose and impact will not only create goodwill with your workforce, but new opportunities, offerings and distribution channels for the business. For HR the notion of employee and labor relations is now moving to a whole new level.

In the modern workplace impacted by many disruptions – political instability, global trade wars, volatility of financial markets, cyber-threats, inequality and polarisation – it is time for human resources to bring more “human” into the picture.

Source : https://www.humanresourcesonline.net/five-2019-trends-that-are-redefining-hrs-role/

It’s all fun and games until you wake up with burnout.

It’s all fun and games until you wake up with burnout.

You know those times when you’re so excited to start a new job? Or a new routine?  Or a new goal? 

How exhilarated you feel?  

It’s as if you are staring into a barrel of opportunity.  You could even say you feel giddy. 

It feels AMAZING. I’m not going to lie, I personally love that feeling. 

Those mornings when you wake up and you bounce out of bed ready and raring for the day. The focus you have, the clarity that urges you closer to your desired goal. 

This all stems from the adrenaline that is coursing through your veins. This adrenaline comes from excitement and possibilities. 

Fun fact; adrenaline isn’t always a bad thing. There are distinct benefits to having adrenaline. For instance, increased energy, increased mental clarity, increased focus, increased productivity. 

It actually sounds pretty fantastic. What goes wrong? 

You know that excitement you felt at the start of your goal, project, target, year or whatever it may be that got your adrenaline pumping? 

Yeah, that feeling. That feeling is the first sign of burnout. 

Seriously, the first sign of burnout is excitement. Who knew? 

Now, let me put this into context. 

A lot of people get excited about new goals, new jobs or simply a new routine. However, after a while, their bodies start to slow down. Maybe there is a little inner voice saying “I know we’ve achieved a lot over the past few weeks and months, but it’s time for a break”. 

Some people will listen to that voice. Take an adequate amount of rest. 

Then there are the people who choose to ignore that voice. They’ve seen the success they have achieved from working that long and that hard. It becomes an addiction. They can’t possibly see any other way to live. 

They force those longs hours. The 12-16 hour days stop being pleasurable. They become a necessity to ensure they are achieving their goals. The idea of cutting back starts that inner voice of “what if”. 

They keep searching for that adrenaline that made them feel invincible. 

However, alas, it’s rarely found and if they do find it, it doesn’t last long. 

One of the most common statements I hear is “but I thrive off stress” or “stress is what keeps me going”.  This is essentially not a lie. However, what a lot of people don’t recognise is that that stress is only useful for the short term.  Over a prolonged period in time, it turns into burnout. 

Burnout can sneak up on you. It doesn’t follow a strict pattern. 

Some people can remain in that moment of excitement or stress without suffering straight away. 

For others, they develop signs and symptoms within a few weeks.

However, at the end of the day, many people end up heading down the slippery slope to burnout. 

What do you need to look out for? 

Here is a small list for you keep an eye out for: 

  • Fatigue 
  • Insomnia
  • Digestive issues (IBS, allergies, intolerances) 
  • Aches and pains 
  • Lack of focus and concentration 
  • Decreased immunity
  • Demotivation 
  • Anxiety (YES, you read that right! Anxiety) 
  • Anger
  • Frustration 
  • Apathy

Notice that the signs and symptoms of burnout are the exact opposite of how it started? 

That adrenaline has made its mark on your output, is now reversing the positive effects. What started off being your fuel has ended up running your “gas tank” empty. 

 Now, let’s take that metaphor a little further. 

When you first start working towards your goal your gas tank is full. 

Over time your gas tank goes down. However, when our cars run low on gas we go and fill it up.

Why do we treat our bodies differently? 

For a lot of people, they push their bodies to the extreme until they wake up with burnout. 

They can’t move, they’re so fatigued that the simple thought of getting out of bed is too much. 

This is something I have consistently been seeing since working in my field.  

People are being signed off from work. 

People are being forced to change their lifestyle. 

Companies are losing amazing employees. 

The medical system is being inundated with people who are suffering from burnout. 

The issue here is it does not have to be like that. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. 

You can still be striving forward, being productive and achieving goals without succumbing to burnout. 

Companies and individuals need to start looking at the way they work. Making small lifestyle choices now to prevent burnout is much more efficient than overcoming burnout. 

Linkedin : https://www.linkedin.com/in/katie-maycock-901a6430

Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/katie.maycock

Weekly Market Summary – 10th February 2019

Weekly Market Summary – 10th February 2019

Sean Burgess | PraxisIFM Asset Manager and Co-Founder Emirates HR

With the Dow Jones and Nasdaq indices up 7.63 and 9.99 percent respectively, year-to-date, as positive quarterly earnings reports filtered in and data showed that the services sector remains strong. US weekly jobless claims fell back whilst Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell noted that wage increases will continue for as long as there is a lack of slack in the employment market.


Down to 1.3 percent from a previous figure of 1.9 percent, due to uncertainty around Brexit, China’s slowdown and a general weakening of global trade. At a country level, Italy’s growth forecast has been cut to the lowest level in 5-years due to the financial risks caused by the populist government’s unsustainable fiscal policies, whilst Germany’s forecast has fallen to 1.1 percent from 1.8 percent.


With the free-trade pact covering 635 million people and removing 94 percent and 100 percent of Japanese and European tariffs, respectively. Japan’s services sector expanded for a 28th consecutive month, reaching a seasonally adjusted 51.6 in January, whilst manufacturing dropped back to 50.9 from 52.0 in December. Japanese equities slipped for the week but remain up year-to-date.


With US benchmark WTI crude down nearly 5 percent, despite supply concerns from US sanctions on Venezuela and OPEC output cuts. Dragging prices lower were general concerns over the global economy that will impact energy demand, increased production from Libya, as well as a stronger dollar that makes US dollar-denominated commodities less attractive for international buyers.

In other financial news:
  • UK’s growth forecast cut for 2019, down to 1.2 percent from a previous figure of 1.7 percent, on concerns that Brexit will continue to limit the country’s economy.
  • Japan’s pension fund suffers $128bn loss, measured across the fourth quarter of 2018, as the world’s largest pension fund’s investments in domestic equities sank.
  • Egyptian shares surge on IMF loan, with the EGX 30 index up 4.4 percent for the week, as another $2bn tranche is released on the country’s fiscal reform efforts.
  • Brazil’s stocks lower on mining disaster, with the main Bovespa index down 2.6 percent, after more than 100 people were killed and 200 remain unaccounted for

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