Connect with us


Why lunchtime yoga does not count as a wellbeing culture

Voice Of EU



Psychotherapist Dr Colman Noctor warns against tokenistic wellbeing practices and explains how company culture can hide harm in plain sight.

Workplace wellbeing is talked about so much that it can often sound like a buzzword. Every employer seems to acknowledge it as a concept – and many claim to have it embedded in their culture – but whether or not they know what really creates a positive wellbeing culture in the workplace remains to be seen.

Last year, psychotherapist Dr Colman Noctor spoke at a virtual conference run by CIPD Ireland, where he discussed the tokenism that so often takes over when employers try to include wellbeing in their culture.

Click here to check out the top sci-tech employers hiring right now.

“If you have yoga from one to two o’clock and your staff is facing a deadline at ten past two, then everyone is spending that hour worrying about that deadline,” he said.

In an interview with, Noctor expanded further on his point and said he’s not sure workplaces understand what contributes to our mental wellbeing and what compromises it.

“The issue I have with token gestures is that companies can sometimes view wellbeing as a tick-box exercise and a committee of employees decide that yoga is good for wellbeing so let’s put on yoga at lunchtime. But what happens is you have a group of employees reluctantly giving up their lunch to attend compulsory yoga and all the while they are worried about that assignment deadline that needs to be in by 2pm,” he said.

“We can’t have cultures that are high demand and cut throat when it comes to expectations of employees and throw in a fruit basket and a free water bottle every month and say that’s our wellbeing commitments met.”

As with every aspect of a company’s culture, it must be deeply rooted in how it feels to work in an organisation. Anything such as token gestures, inclusivity mantras written on an office wall or a Pride logo in the window every June mean nothing if there is no genuine work going underneath to make employees feel these things.

As Noctor said, a genuine atmosphere where wellbeing is respected will be a company “where if people are struggling, they are encouraged to bring that to someone’s attention who will authentically respond in a supportive way to their needs.”

‘Managers are not therapists’

This is not to say that an office fruit basket or the option of yoga are bad things. But they cannot be an employer’s only way of addressing workplace wellbeing and in fact, should be seen as one of the last pieces of the puzzle.

Far more important is that need for employees to feel listened to, to feel like they can come to their managers or their HR team if they are struggling.

However, Noctor said there can also be a danger of going in the other direction. “Managers are not therapists, and nor should they expect to be. However, I know many people working in HR who are fast becoming experts on all kinds of mental health challenges,” he said.

“The dial will always flip too far in another direction before it finds its level. We have come from a place where the stigma of mental health meant it was never mentioned and was driven underground, to a place where people cannot be sad without being depressed and cannot be worried without describing themselves as anxious.

Anxiety and depression are very specific conditions that sometimes can be diluted into the discontent of everyday life. It is not the managers responsibility to make these distinctions, yet I think in many ways they are being expected to.”

While managers should not be expected to be mental health experts, it’s important that they get to grips with the workplace-related challenges that are having an adverse effect on their employees such as overworking and burnout.

These issues have only increased since the beginning of the pandemic. Research from Laya Healthcare last year found that while productivity levels were up since the previous year, it was at the expense of employees’ mental health, morale and motivation, falling by 19pc, 23pc and 17pc respectively.

‘Culture eats policy for breakfast and culture hides harm in plain sight’

Noctor said the pandemic has led to “a state of languishing”, leaving many workers “mentally unfit” without the usual outlets of socialising and with the additional worry that comes from living through the pandemic itself.

“This has meant that our tolerance levels, our patience, our resilience and our hopefulness has been negatively affected, which undoubtedly impacts on our work relationship. This may not be evident in our productivity, but it is visible in our attitude or appetite for work, creativity and drive,” he said.

Advice for leaders

While lunchtime yoga classes and free fruit baskets are not the answer, Noctor said it’s vital that leaders invest in a good wellbeing culture.

“Culture eats policy for breakfast and culture hides harm in plain sight. Your initiatives have to be about creating a culture of support, authenticity and togetherness. Never has collegiality ever been so necessary, yet never has it been so hard to create,” he said.

“There is no silver bullet answer but encouraging a sense of teamwork, connectedness and mutual responsibility, and shared goals are crucially important. Validating those who are working hard and telling them that. Appreciating and accommodating the challenges that people are managing in the world and trying to offer some support in those aspects of people’s lives.”

He added that offering a colleague or an employee support with a project or checking in with them to make sure they know they are a valued member of the team can go a long way.

“Maybe regularly thanking people for their loyalty and commitment and fostering alliances between colleagues will go a little bit further that yoga at lunchtime or the fruit basket.”

Don’t miss out on the knowledge you need to succeed. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of need-to-know sci-tech news.

Source link


Angharad Yeo: the 10 funniest things I have ever seen (on the internet) | Comedy

Voice Of EU



I am a child of the internet. I was always drawn to computers and tech, and used to beg my dad to bring us to his office on a weekend so we could use the high-speed internet to play Neopets games. As I got older it was all MSN, MySpace, Paramore fan forums, Tumblr, Twitter and now TikTok. I want nothing more than to zone out and look at my little pictures.

One of my favourite things about the internet is that it allows you to see everyone’s best joke. The moment in their life where they were at their absolute funniest – whether it be because they had a moment of brilliant wit or because they got pulled through a panel roof while practising for a high school play (I assume).

The internet has rotted my brain with the following content. Please now allow it to rot yours.

Allow TikTok content?

This article includes content provided by TikTok. We ask for your permission before anything is loaded, as they may be using cookies and other technologies. To view this content, click ‘Allow and continue’.

The Pandemic Years have (and continue to be) difficult for everyone. Who among us has not, at one time or another, needed to just explain themselves by saying: “It’s mental illness, innit?”

2. Perfect burger

When I showed this video to my fiancee, she flatly said: “I like how absurdist it is.” That’s her code for, “I don’t get it, but I’m happy you’re happy.” And I am happy. Look at how confident and brave this burger is – ready to take on the world, come what may. I wish to be the burger.

Allow TikTok content?

This article includes content provided by TikTok. We ask for your permission before anything is loaded, as they may be using cookies and other technologies. To view this content, click ‘Allow and continue’.

I have been to court precisely once because I inadvertently got in a cop’s way and he was grumpy about it so he booked me. The penalty was dismissed but not before I cried in front of the judge trying to explain what happened because I was so stressed out. Court is a daunting place and I simply cannot imagine walking in there with any level of irreverence. However, I’m extremely glad there are people who simply do not care, will say whatever damn thing and then an internet angel turns them into TikToks.

4. Turtle choir

This tweet is made all the more majestic by the vaguely threatening Sylvanian Families-style profile picture, on a Twitter account named @bigfatmoosepssy.

5. Trying coffee with pasta water

Climate change is slowly turning the Earth into a barren ball of pain as Mother Nature smacks us for being extremely bad. Even though individual responsibility for climate change isn’t enough to turn the tide, I still applaud those who try. Twitter user @madibskatin woke up in the morning and decided to be the change she wants to see in the world, tastebuds be damned. One could argue that it’s pretty obvious that pasta water isn’t going to make a good coffee but like my dad says as he puts pineapple juice in his coffee: “If no one tries it, how will we know? What if it’s secretly good?”

6. Soaring, flying

If you look closely, this video is actually a metaphor for the ways in which we attempt to break free from our circumstances, yet are entirely at the mercy of them.

7. You cannot trick me

This may be a parody Twitter account, but the spirit of Gail Walden speaks truths. There is no victory sweeter than that which is gained on thine enemy’s own soil.

8. Self-deprecating jokes

Humour is a coping mechanism. I am coping.

Allow TikTok content?

This article includes content provided by TikTok. We ask for your permission before anything is loaded, as they may be using cookies and other technologies. To view this content, click ‘Allow and continue’.

Dairy products are delicious. Ice-cream? Revolutionary. Cheese? Life-changing. Whipped cream on a pavlova? Essential. But milk? Disgusting. It’s not a drink, it’s a stepping stone to greater things.

Allow TikTok content?

This article includes content provided by TikTok. We ask for your permission before anything is loaded, as they may be using cookies and other technologies. To view this content, click ‘Allow and continue’.

I am absolutely 100% not at all lactose intolerant (I promise) so I don’t relate to this video at all (not even a bit).

Angharad Yeo is the host of Double J Weekends, 9am – midday, Saturdays and Sundays.

Source link

Continue Reading


F5 cuts revenue 2022 forecasts amid low network chip stocks • The Register

Voice Of EU



The artist formerly know as F5 Networks – it moved to plain old F5 in November – is clipping revenue forecasts for fiscal ’22 by $30m to $90m because it can’t source enough specialised chips to produce systems.

The continued impact of the shortfall was outlined in F5’s Q1 results to 31 December and subsequent earnings conference call, during which chief exec François Locoh-Donou opened up on the challenge of suppliers cancelling orders because they can’t meet demand.

“As a result of persistent strong system demand, our systems backlog continued to grow in Q1,” he said. “Over the last 30 days, suppliers of critical components that span a number of our platforms have informed us of significant increases in decommits.

“These came in the form of both order delivery delays and sudden and pronounced reduction in shipment quantities. The step function decline in components availability is significantly restricting our ability to meet our customers’ continued strong demand for our systems.

“Like others in the industry, we are seeing worsening availability of specialized networking chipsets. Within the last 30 days, we have learned that deliveries for 52-week lead time components or at a year ago have been pushed out and that our expected quantities have been reduced.”

Group turnover grew 10 per cent year-on-year to $687m in F5’s Q1, fuelled by a 47 per cent leap in software to $163m, 2 per cent in services to $344m, and 1 per cent in hardware to $180m.

“Our software transition continues to gain momentum,” said Locoh-Donou, adding later in the earnings call: “While we are solely disappointed that supply chain challenges have gated our ability to fulfil customer demand for systems in the near term, we are more confident than ever in our position, our strategy and our long-term opportunity.”

The backlog grew by 10 per cent so the sales pipeline is looking healthy, said the exec, who was at great pains throughout the call to tell analysts: “It absolutely is a supply issue. And the revision we’ve just done to our annual guidance is 100 per cent linked to the supply issue.”

For the year, F5 now expects sales to grow 4-8 per cent ($610m to $650m).

“The issue with our supply chain has deteriorated steadily. And last year, we were not able to ship the demand, which is why our backlog grew so much during the year.

“Things have been getting worse. And at the beginning of our fiscal year, when we were doing the planning for this year, we actually took into account the number of decommits that we were getting from various suppliers and a situation that was already very tight on a number of components.”

He said in the past month it was seeing more than 400 cancellations from suppliers, “and we were running about 30 per cent less than that even just a month ago – the situation is quite unprecedented.”

In a bid to ameliorate the supply situation, F5 said it is working to design and qualify replacement parts – which may improve thing in the second half of the year. It is also trying to pre-order more components.

F5 is confident that it will not see orders cancelled. “The demand we have is very real. Our lead times, unfortunately, have gotten progressively worse over the last five, six quarters, but we haven’t seen any increase in order cancellation, and we don’t expect to see that going forward,” Locoh-Donou stated.

Supply chain problems with silicon components have been hitting companies in the IT industry and beyond for multiple quarters now, and networking vendors are no less vulnerable.

Last year, Arista warned that lead times for key chips were extending out to 60 weeks, twice what would be expected before the pandemic. Both Arista and Juniper announced they were being forced to bump up prices in November, while Cisco warned its buyers and investors that supply chain issues were likely to persist for several months more, although it expected to see some improvement in the situation for Q3 and Q4, taking us into the second half of 2022. ®

Source link

Continue Reading


Cork data centre equipment maker Edpac acquired for €29m

Voice Of EU



Munters, a Swedish air treatment technology company, will use the Edpac acquisition to expand into the European market.

Irish data centre equipment manufacturer Edpac has been acquired by Swedish company Munters in a €29m deal.

Based in Carrigaline, Co Cork, Edpac manufactures cooling equipment and air handling systems for data centres in the European market, with additional sales in the Middle East, South America and Asia.

For Munters, which has significant operations in North America, the acquisition is an opportunity for it to expand in the European market. Once complete, the deal will see the transfer of Munters’ technologies and engineering capabilities to Ireland.

“The European data centre market is a prioritised segment for Munters, and the acquisition is a significant step in our growth strategy,” said Klas Forsström, president and chief executive of Munters.

Forsström said that Munters’ experience in the North American market will provide Edpac with “opportunities for further profitable growth” by collaborating on “technology development and establishing unified processes”.

Edpac has two manufacturing facilities in Ireland – Newmarket and Carrigaline – and employs around 150 people in the country. Currently a manufacturing partner for Munters, Edpac sees approximately 7pc of its revenue come from the sale of Munters products.

In the financial year ending April 2021, Edpac reported net sales of €17m and earnings before tax of €1.7m. According to The Irish Times, Edpac managing director Noel Lynch has led the company since it was bought from its Swiss parent in 1991.

“We are excited to welcome Edpac to Munters. Edpac brings an attractive, differentiated customer base and high-quality products,” Forsström said, adding that Edpac’s operating model “is a perfect match with Munters ways of working.”

Founded in 1955, Munters aims to create energy efficient air treatment technologies for customers in a wide range of industries. Listed on Nasdaq Stockholm, it employees 3,300 employees across 30 countries – with annual sales exceeding 7bn Swedish krona in 2020.

Don’t miss out on the knowledge you need to succeed. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of need-to-know sci-tech news.

Source link

Continue Reading


Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates 
directly on your inbox.

You have Successfully Subscribed!