How to enhance team bonding during the pandemic?

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we work globally. Remote working has become the new norm for organisations around the world. However, besides the pros, remote working has also brought cons to employees’ working lives. Social distancing and lack of physical interaction can make employees feel isolated and depressed. This could influence productivity at work and also the employee’s well-being.    

So, team bonding plays a key role in connecting members together. According to research, 65% of online workers felt isolated from colleagues when not having team bonding sessions.    

Here are suggestions for you to celebrate virtual team bonding:    

1. Truth or dare?     

“Truth or dare” is a popular game with many people. It allows people to ask others in-depth questions or take funny actions. This game is famous in the offline world because it requires human interaction. But during this time, we can also play this game virtually. Players can use Wheel of Names to pick the players randomly, then they can create the truth or dare list. The game is suitable for a big group and could create a funny moment for the team.   

“Truth or dare” is a simple game, but an important consideration is that while the game allows us to ask questions to get to know colleagues better, rules and boundaries should be set, so as not to invade the privacy of others, and to keep the game appropriate for the workplace.  

2. Sharing session    

When working from home, there are fewer opportunities to catch up with each other and share feelings. Therefore, a sharing session allows every member to share their feelings or any difficulty that they are facing, so that everybody can listen and suggest solutions. For those not comfortable talking publicly, a form could be created to fill in anonymously, so they can feel free to share whatever they want.     

This session is a chance for everybody to hear and share which can enhance relationships among team members.    

3. Kahoot time!    

Kahoot has a simple format, which functions as a quiz, and is suitable for every team size. The team members have to answer a specific number of questions that the moderator created.

The questions vary from different topics including general knowledge, films, movies, songs. Kahoot also suggests various types of questions for players such as math, science, history, social studies. Furthermore, we can give a prize to the winners to motivate the team members to put more effort into playing games.     

Access to Kahoot.com to create the quiz. The players can access Kahoot.it to enjoy the game.   

4. Mojiparty     

Mojiparty is an emoji guessing game that you can play for free online. Play with your pals and see who can decode the most emojis from various categories to win, including TV shows, foods, brands, music. This game allows every member to interact with each other and relieve stress after a hard-working day.   

The game is easy to access with various modes for every group type. Access mojiparty.io to play now!    

5. Skribbl    

This game challenges your team’s creativity. Someone has to draw their chosen word every round and others have to guess it to gain points. The person who has the highest point will win. The game has the same format as mojiparty, but it allows us to draw the words in our style. It is free online and for multiple players which is suitable for every group size. It does not only challenge the painter, but also those who guess the words. Access skribbl.io to play now!    

From the five activities, we hope that you could find a suitable one to bring your team together and enhance employee bonding. A teambuilding session is key to driving a successful team. Not only does it relieve stress at work but it also helps to build relationships among colleagues.  

At NashTech, we focus on our employees’ well-being, especially during the pandemic. Besides having sport and game clubs to encourage work-life balance, we also organise a wide range of activities and events online to stay connected with our Nashers during this challenging time.  

7 tips for effective email communications in the workplace

Email has become an inevitable and valuable communication tool in our work and personal lives. Moreover, email communication is an essential writing skill for employees because it reflects your working style and the professionalism of your organisations. However, it might be difficult to express tone and emotion solely via letters, which might lead to miscommunication, unprofessionalism and negative perception from the receivers.   

Therefore, to help you understand the core principles of writing emails and conveying the right message, here are seven tips to improve your email communication:    

1. Remember subject line   

47% receivers will not open an email without a subject line. An email without a subject is considered unprofessional and careless. The subject is the title of your email which gives receivers a summary of the inner message. Therefore, be really concise on the email purposes and name the subject accordingly for a positive first impression. The subject line should be about seven to ten words to make it attractive and clickable.   

2. Define the target reader   

Before starting to write an email, consider who the readers are, so you can choose suitable and relevant content. For example, writing to your colleagues is different from communicating with clients and managers. Avoid casual words such as “hey” or “hi” and remove slang words or acronyms when sending to clients and managers. For emails to colleagues, we can use casual words to make it friendlier.    

3. Build a structure  

A neat email will make it easy for readers to follow and understand the message. Too long or too short paragraphs could make them lose momentum and quit reading your email. So, dividing the texts into two to three sentences per paragraph could keep the reader’s interest and help them to follow the content easier. Also, remember to use BOLD or ITALIC to highlight important points and catch the attention of readers.      

4. Use simple words   

Even though emails need to be professional to some extent, it is not about writing essays or academic reports. So, keep the wording as simple as possible because the more complicated it gets, the higher chance that it could lead to miscommunication and confusion. Simple words make emails easy to understand and thus, improve the communication.   

5. Be calm  

We should not write emails when angry or agitated because it could influence the tone and mood of the email. Senders could bring negative emotion to their message and appear unprofessional. In this case, the writer needs to calm down before they begin to think about writing anything.     

6. Think about the time   

Avoid sending emails after working hours because it could annoy the receivers. The suitable time for us to send emails is during working hours which could increase motivation for recipients to read them. Also, we should respect the senders by replying within 24 hours from receiving. This also helps you to avoid skipping it.   

7. Proofread before sending   

Before sending any email, make sure everything is qualified because a minor mistake could lead to miscommunication. The important elements are: email address, subject line, grammar spelling, file attachment. Do not forget to put an appropriate closing such as “Best Regards” or “Sincerely” with the signature, so the receivers know the identity of sender.   

Writing an effective email is not too difficult but it challenges us to convey the right mood and message to readers. Therefore, we should spend time thinking about the readers and the points in our email. Remember the email could reflect your professionalism or your company’s values, so proofread any email before clicking “send”.   

How to weave creativity into your daily job

There is a preconceived notion that creativity and business do not mix well since business is all about following strict guidelines while creativity is more on the free-spirited and artistic side. However, creativity has more to offer than its artistic values. 

The difference between a dreadful 8-to-5 drudgery and a rewarding career often lies within an individual’s ability to effectively integrate their sense of creativity into their daily tasks. Creativity is the source of fresh and innovative ideas. Here, these ideas are nurtured and brought into reality 

Creative skills are a valuable asset in the workplace since it enables employees to devise better problem-solving techniques by imagining possible solutions, approach a task from different perspectives, or easily make connections between things and concepts to come up with advanced creation.  

Creativity has also been ranked by LinkedIn as the most sought-after soft skill amongst companies due to the rapid automation of tedious processes which resulted in a cut-down of process-oriented tasks. This transformation has left rooms open for those who can generate new ideas that inspire and help organisations overcome their current challenges.  

How to hone one’s creative skill? 

Some people are fortunate enough to be born with a congenital creative muscle, however, this skill can be strengthened and trained over time by adopting a few new habits and activities to your daily routine. 

1. Set out a day dreaming session 

Set out a period of time in your day to be completely immersed in your thoughts, create a monologue in your head about things that spark your curiosity. This can help you in the process of practicing the power of observation and imagination which is essential for creative thinking and innovation.  

2. Keep a creativity journal/sketchpad  

Having a journal or a sketchpad where you can jot down or draw what you have observed and conjured up in your mind is a great way to log creative materials for future uses.  

3. Explore multiple solutions 

Attempting to revisit a problem with a completely different mindset and perspective can significantly expand your understanding of the matter at hand as well as provide yourself with options as to how you can tackle it. 

4. Find inspiration from those around you 

Strike up a conversation with your family members, friends, colleagues or experts on a particular topic to help you gain a myriad of fresh insights on how to view and tackle issues deriving from it.  

5. Reward your creativity 

Do not take your creativity as a mere indulgence. It is a journey that requires a lot of practice and efforts so treat yourself after coming up with something creative. It will encourage you to do it more often.  

Creativity and innovation at NashTech 

At NashTech, we understand that as organisations around the globe are operating in a highly competitive environment, creativity and innovation are what gives us a competitive edge and helps set us apart. Creativity is what fuels big ideas, challenges employees’ way of thinking, and opens the door to new business opportunities. 

NashTech value our employees’ efforts in striving to come up with better and more efficient solutions in their day-to-day tasks and we are always making room for creativity to flourish in our organisation.  

Find out more great tips to boost your productivity with NashTech here 

Constructive feedback an essential “ingredient” for effective teamwork

One of the most crucial elements for building a strong team is feedback. You can help each individual learn and progress by encouraging team members to give each appreciation when things go well and pointing out how things could be done differently. As each individual gets better at what they do, the whole team becomes better. 

     I. What is constructive feedback?

Constructive feedback is a powerful tool for fostering a positive work atmosphere, increasing productivity, engagement, and improving performance. It has a favourable impact on communication and team member engagement. 

In essence, constructive feedback differs from regular feedback in the intent and delivery of the advice. Constructive feedback comes from a place of support, seeking to help the receiver “construct” themselves to become better or grow in some way.

     II. Why is constructive feedback so important? 

By applying constructive feedback practices, not only employees but also managers can encourage, support and redirect each other’s input to ensure the quality of a certain output. Let’s see some benefits of giving constructive feedback: 

  • Enhances performance and assists with professional growth 
  • Improves relationships among team members 
  • Clarifies expectations  
  • Improves employee morale 

      III. 5 steps to giving constructive feedback 

Regardless of role, level or industry, at some point in your career, it is likely you will need to know how to give constructive feedback in the workplace. As most people work in groups, being able to provide constructive feedback is a valuable skill. Here are some of the top ways to give constructive feedback in a productive and respectful way.  

        1. Choose the right time and place for feedback  

The first thing to consider when planning a meeting to give feedback is the location. Small bits of praise and appreciation can be shared among the wider team. However, criticism that is shared in front of an employee’s peers will be shameful and embarrassing. Criticism is much better delivered in a one-to-one meeting and it is best to give feedback as soon as possible while the reference points are still clear.  

         2. Define the purpose of giving feedback  

For example, if the purpose of the feedback is to improve an employee/team member’s behaviour or performance, then it is important to have a clear understanding of points to discuss and potential solutions to offer.  

          3. Feedback content  

The content should be focused on the work rather than the individual. If there is a specific action or problem that needs to be solved, then you can share how exactly it makes you and their colleagues feel. Be specific, give examples of where the person performed well and situations where it didn’t go well and use data or other sources to support the discussion.  

          4. Give suggestions for improvements  

The most important part of giving feedback should be working with employees/team membersto implement improvements. By sharing expectations such as improvements to working speed, accuracy, relationships with colleagues,  the individual can work towards a goal and be able to measure their acheivements.  

           5. Recap key points 

This is a good way to avoid there being any misunderstandings and it provides you with an opportunity to check that constructive feedback was received and understood.  

The “SKS” (Stop-Keep-Start) may be considered as the easiest constructive feedback method to use, especially for beginners. The following three questions should be asked before framing feedback statements to the recipient:  

  • What can I tell this person to stop doing? 
  • What should this person keep doing? 
  • What can I suggest that this person start doing? 

At NashTech, we always maintain a supportive working environment to nurture our employee’s development. We embrace everyone’s way of expressing themselves and facilitate them to thrive by supporting and giving feedback to each other. 

You can explore more skills and tips to be excel at work here. 

How to wisely manage your time and boost productivity

Each of us are granted equally with 24 hours a day and understanding how to make the most out of this time is essential to productivity, especially at work. Time management is more than merely cramming every possible responsibility into your daily schedule but rather figuring out techniques and strategies that allow you to tactfully allocate tasks throughout the day.  

By adopting the right time management method, it enables you to stay on pace and facilities the smart planning needed along the way to ensure that you do not get sidetracked from your initial focus. In fact, being organised in terms of your time lies at the core. Not only does effective time management skills result in better results at work, but it also has advantages outside of the office too. 

Why does time management matter?

In an in-depth workplace survey conducted by Atlassian, it has been pointed out that employees are constantly wasting their time on things that bring about little business value during working hours. Poor time management skills subject them to being drowned in email, stuck in dead-end meetings or easily distracted by non-work-related tasks. 

By spending too much time on tasks of little account, employees are inclined to overlook certain work that requires a higher level of concentration and prioritisation. This phenomenon will hinder employees from making any tangible progress on their important tasks, making it harder for them to move forward in any aspects of their career.  

Additionally, their productivity can take a serious hit if this pattern continues to perpetuate. The lack of effort in time management will greatly debilitate one’s productivity as well as impact the workflow of entire projects.  

Tips for effective time management

Below are some tips that you can start adopting to ensure that your time does not go to waste during working hours:  

      1. Focus on prioritised tasks  

Determining which tasks should receive more attention and efforts is imperative since we always want to put our best foot forward when we start our day. Sorting the most important items can help you see the big picture and avoid spending extra time on emails or unnecessary meetings. 

      2. Set attainable goals 

By setting goals that you know you can certainly achieve that day creates a sense of achievement and allows you to see that you are using your time wisely. This method can also greatly boost your productivity and morale at work, keeping your spirit up to go tackle other responsibilities. 

        3. Limit multi-tasking 

Multi-tasking seems tempting since it gives you a degree of busyness that is often associated with productivity, getting two things done in a time span of one. However, multi-tasking does not always work out the way you wanted it to. Most of the time, this form of working will lead to mixing things up or works that are perfunctorily finished.  

       4. Blot out distractions 

Try to put your phone and mailbox on silent when you are concentrating on a task or in a meeting. You might think it will take only two seconds to peek at your text message preview, but this action might lead to 30-minutes straight of scrolling aimlessly without getting anything done.  

       5. Set time limit to complete certain tasks   

Time blocking can help you gauge the time needed to finish a certain task so you can start planning ahead in the future. This method also enables you to be completely absorbed with the task and gives your colleagues a heads-up as to whether you are available during that time frame.  

        6. Take a break between tasks/sessions 

Taking a break between your tasks or meetings is of great importance in terms of maintaining stamina and focus throughout the day. Getting a coffee, drinking water or chatting with your colleagues can help take your mind off your problems for a while so you can revisit it with a brand-new perspective later on.  

 Explore more on how you can tackle burn out to stay ahead of the game here  

3 tips for saying “goodbye” to burnout at work

Have you ever felt that you wanted to explode, unmotivated to get up and go to work in the morning or tired when entering the workplace? If yes, you may be suffering from burnout syndrome. Experts say other illnesses such as depression may be behind burnout, which affects both your physical and mental health. 

What is burnout syndrome? 

Simply put, burnout is a particular form of work-related stress which makes you feel exhausted in the workplace, reducing working productivity and inspiration.  

  1. Signs of suffering from burnout syndrome

There are some common signs that show you are suffering from burnout such as, lack of energy, negative emotions, feeling of isolation, losing motivation, etc. It will not disappear by itself and ignorance will make it worse.  

  1. Popular causes of “burnout mode”

Right after realising you are in the “burnout mode”, the first thing to do is work out where it is coming from. These are some popular causes: 

  • Unhealthy lifestyles or work-life imbalance 
  • An unachievable amount of tasks 
  • Poor time management 
  • An inactive workplace 

Although the pressure from burnout at work might bring problems and negative influences to our life, WHO has not recognised burnout as a disease but a psychological syndrome. So, what can you do to cope when“haunted” by burnout syndrome? 

Tips to overcome burnout 

1.Schedule your working day

Planning out your day might help you feel more energised while also keeping you motivated during a long day at work. Instead of generating a long list of tasks, focus on prioritising one to make you feel accomplished once you’ve completed it. 

2.Design an exercise and nutrition plan

“Exercises can help you control stress and anxiety and manage feelings of burnout.” – says Dr. Mysore, a physician at One Medical in New York. Having an exercise schedule with an additional eating plan is essential to build a strong body and healthy lifestyle, which helps boost your energy and morale for long working hours. Although exercise isn’t a cure-all for burnout, it will help you feel more balanced by managing your stress on a daily basis. 

3.Create relationships at workplace

If you have a good relationship with co-workers, it’s easier to ask them for help when you are struggling to manage your workload. Assistance between colleagues is completely normal when you work in a team that has close relationships with each other. Therefore, in a friendly, positive environment, the number of people experiencing burnout syndrome is much less than in a fiercely competitive one. 

How NashTech keeps employees away from burnout 

Anyone who is constantly exposed to a high-pressure environment is prone to “burnout”. At NashTech, employees are encouraged as much as possible to stay away from pressure and burnout with a dynamic culture and various activities. 

Meet – Connect – Share 

Joining corporate social responsibility events to give Nashers a break from the office and create stronger connections with each other. This not only provides our people opportunities to relax but also contribute meaningful activities for the community and create memorable moments together. 

Work-life balance with sports clubs 

It is great to be able to work in your dream job and enjoy your hobbies at the same time. At NashTech, there are many sports clubs and games established with the aim to release stress, enhance physical health for work-life balance and bring Nashers together.