Happiness at Work in Asia Survey

Happiness at Work in Asia Survey

What do you think is the average Happiness at work in Asia like? In a recent survey conducted across over 80 participants primarily based in Asia, with over 95% working in Asia and 75% in Singapore, the average Happiness at Work score is reported at 65%. Within this population, 19% have a happiness at work score of >80%, indicating they are flourishing at work. On the other hand, 18% have a score of less than 50%.

While happiness and satisfaction are clearly subjective concepts, it is worthwhile to understand and take a holistic view of how work impacts our overall life. Especially when work takes up a large part of our time. In Singapore where I am based in, the average Singaporean works an average of 43-44 hours according to the Ministry of Manpower statistics. This translates to over a third of our time awake (assuming a 6-7 hour sleep a day). In fact, I know of many working professionals who work closer to 50-60 hours a week. In my corporate life days, I was working an average of 60-70 hours a week!

When it comes to happiness at work, various studies have also suggested that people who are happy at work are up to 12% more productive than those who are unhappy at work.

So, if an individual’s happiness at work can positively affect both the individual and company’s performance, we would be interested to know how we can increase our happiness at work, wouldn’t we?

happiness at work

Top 3 Contributors to Happiness at Work

91% of participants felt they are given sufficient autonomy in going about doing their work

Close to 90% of participants agreed they are a good performer and utilize their strengths at work. 

Over 80% of participants reported they have good relationships with their co-workers and managers, and have built a good network of relationships within the organization.


Bottom 3 Contributors to Happiness at Work:

Only 37% of participants reported they have a mentor or coach who provides guidance in their career progression.

About 45% of participants agree they have a good idea of where they will be in 3-5 years. 

About 53% of participants are clear on the actions they need to take to reach the next promotion.

So, how can we increase our happiness at work?

1. Visualize where you want to be in 3-5 years

Where do you see yourself in the next 3-5 years?

This question is important for anyone. This is what brings meaning to our lives. Visualizing where you want to be, what kind of roles you want to hold, or what kind of work you want to be doing gives you motivation and satisfaction. This does not necessarily mean you always need to have big ambitious goals or be the next Steve Jobs. It just means that you are clear on where you want to head towards and you plan your track accordingly.

2. Getting your next promotion

Assuming you do want to get a promotion, when do you want to get it? And, how do you go about to get it?

First, I encourage you to do a self reflection of your competency and performance vis-à-vis your peers and benchmark against the requirements of the role you want to be promoted to. Then, it is really important that you speak to your manager AND a HR manager or another manager who has an influence in the promotion decision making process.

If you want to get more ideas on how to go about this, I have elaborated more in each of these 3 blog posts:

 3. Celebrate success with your team

It is also noted in the survey that 40% of participants did not agree they or their teams celebrate success, big or small. 

This is actually an area most of us can improved on easily (within our control!). For those of you who are managers, time to reflect on your own teams! Are you celebrating success frequently enough?  And even if you are not managers, you can still be pro-active in suggesting to your manager or team mates to celebrate!  The point here is not necessarily to have extravagent meals or parties.  In fact, based on my experience, many people are happy to be just “recognized” on success meaning just talking about it! And, then have a regular team meal or drinks to incorprate the many successes and learnings!

4. Increase the work where you experience flow

When we experience engagement, or “flow”, we become fully engaged and immersed in the activity. When we feel engaged, time just flies by and we forget about everything else. Floods of positive neurotransmitters and hormones boost your feelings of well-being and help us stay in the present and enjoy the activities that make us feel focused and involved. When we are able to experience this flow on a regular basis at work, we will feel far more satisfied. While some of us may not be fortunate enough to do a job we are 100% passionate about, it is possible still to engage in tasks or projects that we enjoy learning or mastering. Identify what those are and speak to your manager to see how you can incorporate them into your responsibilities.

5. A good coach or mentor

Last and not the least, you need to have a good coach or mentor! I cannot stress enough how important a good mentor or coach is and can make a huge difference to your life. When it comes to your career specifically, a good coach or mentor can guide you to plan your career path and possibilities, where you see yourself in the next couple of years, evaluate your strengths and development areas, strategize your conversations and next steps to get the next promotion, and more.

Take charge and increase your happiness at work today!

Cope with the Stress of Working From Home

5 Tips to Cope with the Stress of Working From Home

During the covid-19 lockdown, many people experienced a sudden change in their daily routines. The lines between work and personal have become blurred and hours become irregular. Many couples had to learn to work with each other in the same space and parents learnt to work and oversee their children’s work at the same time.

Although the lock down is over, work from home has become the new norm.  How can we then be in control and cope with the heightened stress of working from home?

The truth is, if you could accept this, You are in charge of your mind, and therefore your results! This is one of the first things Lindley Craig, my NLP coach, and the President of the NLP Association (Singapore), has reminded us in the first week of our Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) training. Interestingly, a meditation teacher once told me something similar too – You have said YES to everything in your life.   The fact you have actively participated or simply accepted the choice means you have agreed to it. 

Applying this principle, how can we then be in charge of our lives and make the best decisions we can even during this unprecedented times we are in?

My Personal Tips – How to Cope with Working from Home?

How to cope with Working From Home

Tip # 1 – See the silver lining in the current situation

This is not about being positive all the time. It is realizing that your map is not your territory, and we can all benefit in expanding our own map! When we do so, our realities will broaden and will feel more empowered with more choices. For instance, does work from home now give you time to do other things you wanted to do and have not been able to do so with the fixed working hours constraint?

Tip # 2 – Increase your choices

Now that you see more possibilities, come up with a list. What is important to you about working from home? For me, the values of working from home came up to quite a long list! It includes:

  • A quick workout (even if it is 15 minutes HIIT)
  • Having dinner with the boys
  • Fetching the boys from school and the meaningful conversation I can have with them during the car ride
  • The list goes on….

Tip #3 – Rank these choices

Rank each value against the other, until you get the top three values that are important to you about working from home. 

Tip #4 – Evaluate Your Choices

For each of the top 3 values, dive into “What does each value mean to you?” and “Why are they important to you?” This will help you gain clarity to what is really important to you.  Not what is important to every one else.

Tip #5 – Start Executing!

Nothing will change for you unless you make the change! Once you have your list, start putting them onto your calendar! I would block time out each day for my work out, or time needed for fetching the boys and dinner with family. These are important to me (hence in my top 3!) and I try my best as much as possible to keep to them.

Working from Home is challenging, and managing this new norm is POSSIBLE!

Elynn Teo | Creator | The Mind Studio
Elynn Teo | Creator | The Mind Studio

From a finance-leader to a coach, Elynn is passionate about empowering others through their mindset to become a better version of themselves and live a flourishing life.  

Elynn spent 18 years working in highly dynamic and fast-paced corporate environments and held various global leadership roles. During this time, Elynn had the privilege to lead and serve global and virtual teams. And, it is through these beautiful souls that Elynn discovered her passion of empowering others to become a better self.

Elynn holds a Bachelor in Accountancy, Graduate Diploma in Applied Positive Psychology and Graduate Certificate in Counselling. She is currently pursuing her Master Practitioner in Neuro-Linguistic Programming and Masters in Counselling.

How to ask your boss for a promotion

How to ask your boss for a promotion

Own your own success.  Ask your boss for your promotion

Asking your boss for a promotion can be nerve wrecking. But, as we discussed in previous weeks’ blog, being self-aware and having strategies are critical to land yourself your deserved promotion! And, this includes presenting and discussing your case with your boss.

Similar to growing your plants, the engagement with your manager is likely to be a process requiring you to plant and nurture your seed before you finally reap what you sow.

Plant the Seed

In the initial discussion, it is recommended to frame the conversation around your commitment to excellence and development. For instance, you could go “I am really excited to be here and to make an impact [list the key impacts]….”. At this point, it will be helpful to elicit feedback response from your manager. Assuming the feedbacks are positive, start planting the thoughts of a promotion in your manager’s mind. You could let your manager know your aspirations and what it would take to get to the next level. Again, demonstrating your commitment to learn and grow is key, so do propose to have regular on-going discussion with your manager on your progress (either monthly or quarterly).

Nurture the Seed

Once you have planted the seed, start nurturing it. This takes time and effort! Make sure you are proactive to schedule the meetings to discuss the progress with your manager. Be prepared for each meeting with specific updates on your achievements as well as ideas to improve the existing processes / systems. You want to impress your boss that you are already ready for the demands of the next level. Lastly, remember to ask for feedback and any updates within the organization that may impact your promotion opportunity.

Patience…

You want to appear assertive but not impatient in front of your boss. In fact, it is likely your manager does not promote you on the spot. Do be realistic and patient. Continue to do good work, sincerely look for ways to enhance your impact, and elevate the level at which you operate in. That said, do be attentive to signs for things may not be going your way.  For instance, do you sense the same level of commitment from your manager? Or, do you notice that others are getting the promotion that you are not getting? These are red flags you need to be aware of and evaluate if you need to change your strategies.

While it may be really uncomfortable to ask for a promotion, especially the fears associated with potential “No”, remember that you are doing yourself justice by creating your own success.

Elynn Teo | Creator | The Mind Studio
Elynn Teo | Creator | The Mind Studio

From a finance-leader to a coach, Elynn is passionate about empowering others through their mindset to become a better version of themselves and live a flourishing life.  

Elynn spent 18 years working in highly dynamic and fast-paced corporate environments and held various global leadership roles. During this time, Elynn had the privilege to lead and serve global and virtual teams. And, it is through these beautiful souls that Elynn discovered her passion of empowering others to become a better self.

Elynn holds a Bachelor in Accountancy, Graduate Diploma in Applied Positive Psychology and Graduate Certificate in Counselling. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Counselling.

Strategies to get promoted at work

How to get promoted at work

Do you have the strategies to land yourself that promotion at work? How long will it will take you to get promoted? Do you have a mentor or coach to guide you through your strategies?

In last week’s article, I wrote about the need for self-awareness as the first step to getting your promotion at work. If you have not had the chance to read that, please read here before you proceed to this article.

As I said last week, while it is the organization’s decision to promote someone, you have a lot more control than you think you have to influence this process. Now that you have the self-awareness as to your performance, strengths and development areas, it is time to start working on your strategies!

3 Strategies to help you get your promotion

how to get promotion
Strategies to your promotion

1. Speak to your boss

If you think that you would get promoted by keeping your head down and working really hard, then you are wrong. In fact, by being pro-active to speak with your boss shows that you are a strategist and truly committed to your goals. It is hence important you have the conversation with your boss to let them know your aspirations, and what it will take for you to get there. The objective here is to get your boss to be your cheerleader instead of an obstacle!

2. Map and build the right network

This is not about knowing every person in the organization, or always hanging out in every social event. If you are an introvert like me, this would be an extremely taxing task to do. But, you do need to map out the key relationships that would help you build your career in the organization. And, of course invest time to build meaningful relationships. In fact, you want them to be able to go like “oh yes….” when your boss or someone asks them about you. And, trust me, grapevine is the strongest communication channel in any organization.

3. Start performing at the next level

In addition to doing your current job well, you want to prove that you are pushing yourself to perform at the next level now. For instance, do you adopt the team winning mindset and place team goals in your own agenda? Do you foresee and prevent problems ahead of the game? And, do you accept new opportunities and challenges readily?

I hope this article will be a good start to help you think of the strategies you need to work on to get promoted. Do speak to your mentor or coach to work through the details of these strategies and work out your priorities.

In next week’s article, I will expand on point 1 and talk about how to be tactical in speaking with your boss about getting promoted. Till next week then!

Elynn Teo | Creator | The Mind Studio
Elynn Teo | Creator | The Mind Studio

From a finance-leader to a coach, Elynn is passionate about empowering others to become a better version of themselves and live a flourishing life.  

Elynn spent 18 years working in highly dynamic and fast-paced corporate environments and held various global leadership roles. During this time, Elynn had the privilege to lead and serve global and virtual teams. And, it is through these beautiful souls that Elynn discovered her passion of empowering others to become a better self.

Elynn holds a Bachelor in Accountancy, Graduate Diploma in Applied Positive Psychology and Graduate Certificate in Counselling. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Counselling.

Why self-awareness is key to your next promotion

3 reasons why your selfawareness is key to your next promotion

Are you working your a** off but not getting the promotion you deserve?

Do you feel unclear of how your progression looks like in your organization?

In my last decade across various leadership roles, I have came across many staff and co-workers who often feel or think this way. And, when I asked them what they have done about it, they usually shrugged their shoulders and replied that it is not up to them to decide when their promotion will be.

Yes, there is truth to a certain extent that we will not be able to control when we will be given the next promotion or opportunity. But, there is a lot more to what you can do to influence this process. And, first, it begins with your self-awareness. Let me explain 3 reasons why your self-awareness is key to your next promotion.

self-awareness

3 reasons why your self-awareness is key to your next promotion

1. Do you have a good self-awareness of whether you are a good to high performer in your team?

I cannot stress more that this is a basic principle we all need to be aware of. Yes, you may be a good performer either meeting or exceeding expectations. But, the truth is that if you are competing against many high performers vis a vis the opportunities available, then you need to be realistic about your expectations of getting a promotion.

Once you have set the awareness and form a more realistic expectation, then, you can think about your next step. I find often that people do not have the self-awareness of this, and get disappointed when they did not get a promotion at year end.

2. Do you have the self-awareness of what the new role entails?

“I am performing well and should deserve that promotion!”.

Unfortunately, this is a misconception. A promotion is not given solely as a reward for your past hard work. In fact, a promotion is given to individuals who are assessed to be able to perform at the next higher level. If so, then are you aware of what the expectations are of that higher level role?

Map out the role you want to achieve and understand the requirements of the role. Not sure of what role you are after? Speak to your performance manager, mentor or coach to discuss your strengths and options.

3. Do you have the self-awareness of your strengths, gaps and challenges to reach to the next level?

Now that you have an idea of the role you want to work towards to, do you have the self-awareness of where you stand vis a vis the role? If you do not, I recommend you to benchmark your strengths and development areas to the role. After which, arrange for a discussion with your performance manager to go through your self assessment and seek your manager’s feed backs and comments. Don’t forget to ask whether there will be opportunities in that role, and the priorities you should work on to be considered for the role.

I hope by now, you realize that your self-awareness is CRITICAL to your own success. Once you gain that self-awareness of yourself, your environment, your reality, you will be in so much more power to respond and plan your strategies to your well-deserved promotion.

Elynn Teo | Creator | The Mind Studio
Elynn Teo | Creator | The Mind Studio

From a finance-leader to a coach, Elynn is passionate about empowering others to become a better version of themselves and live a flourishing life.  

Elynn spent 18 years working in highly dynamic and fast-paced corporate environments and held various global leadership roles. During this time, Elynn had the privilege to lead and serve global and virtual teams. And, it is through these beautiful souls that Elynn discovered her passion of empowering others to become a better self.

Elynn holds a Bachelor in Accountancy, Graduate Diploma in Applied Positive Psychology and Graduate Certificate in Counselling. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Counselling.

Do you know the ART of achieving your goal?

Do you know the ART of achieving your goal?

Most of us learn and know how to set a SMART goal. But, not many of us know the art of achieving the SMART goal. In fact, I have seen many people who have set the best SMART goal but fail to achieve it. And this is because they have not applied the art of achieving goals. Which is, get it D.O.N.E.!

I have personally found the D.O.N.E. method a wonderful tactical model to guide anyone to achieve any goal they have. The thing though, is that you need to be committed to change, otherwise no model will be a good model.

Art of Achieving Goal
Get it DONE

How to apply D.O.N.E.?

To illustrate, I shall share how I have successfully applied the DONE model to achieve my goal.

GOAL: I want to be able to put my son to bed at his bedtime routine at 8pm.

Challenge: I was 29 and grappling with the challenge of being a new mom and breastfeeding. In addition, I was working in on average 60 hour work week.

Following the D.O.N.E. art of achieving goals:

D: Define and decide the ONE thing

Being a new mother, I had to deal with many self struggles particularly as a not good enough mom. I want to be a good mom, but I also want to shine in my career. I focused on one thing that I really want to do for my baby. And, that is to be able to spend quality bed time routine with him at 8pm.

O: Organize my life

At that time, I used to work 15 hours in the office. But, there will be no way I could achieve my goal if I do not re-organize my life. Hence, I started to define the changes I need to make in order to leave the office at 6:15pm and be available for my baby until he goes to bed at 8pm.

N: Learn to say NO

With my new priority, I had to say no to several requests and demands from time to time. And, there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with it. There were times where a meeting invite comes in at 6pm, or my boss coming to me with an “urgent” request as I was about to pack up. In fact, this happens so often, that if I did not say No to, I would not have been able to achieve my goal.

But, don’t get me wrong. It does not mean that I keep saying no. I evaluate the situation, and offer alternatives. For instance, I would tell my boss that I can see that it is urgent and I could start working on it later and complete by 9pm. I would ask him if my suggestion will work. Trust me, most of the time, it works (unless your boss is an a**).

E: Execute

I have seen people who has their goals set and plans all thought of, but failed to execute. And there would be 1001 reasons why we fail to execute. I could be thinking to myself that I am not senior enough in my company to have that flexibility. Or, I would be worried about how my boss and co-workers would view me if I were the first to walk out the office. But, the truth is that there will never be the best time to execute. So, do not procrastinate and do it NOW.

So…

Do you know why people fail to achieve their goal? The key point here is no matter what your goal is, you need to be committed to it. The D.O.N.E. art of achieving goals will guarantee results, if you stay committed to change.

Elynn Teo | Creator | The Mind Studio
Elynn Teo | Creator | The Mind Studio

From a finance-leader to a coach, Elynn is passionate about empowering others to become a better version of themselves and live a flourishing life.  

Elynn spent 18 years working in highly dynamic and fast-paced corporate environments and held various global leadership roles. During this time, Elynn had the privilege to lead and serve global and virtual teams. And, it is through these beautiful souls that Elynn discovered her passion of empowering others to become a better self.

Elynn holds a Bachelor in Accountancy, Graduate Diploma in Applied Positive Psychology and Graduate Certificate in Counselling. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Counselling.

How to Increase Positive Emotions at Work

5 Tips for How to Increase Positive Emotions at Work

Positive Emotions at Work

Positive Emotions = Happy ?

Many people mistake positive emotions for happy feelings. In reality, positive emotions are beyond happy feelings and include excitement, joy, confidence, hope, gratitude, optimism, satisfaction and inspiration and more.

Why do we need to experience Positive Emotions?

Many research has shown that positive emotions are essential for anyone who wants to lead a happy and healthy life. Additionally, studies have shown numerous benefits that positive emotions can bring to one’s life. This includes but not limited to:

  • Reduction in stress and boost to general well-being
  • Promotes more effective coping mechanism
  • Foster resilience
  • Improve memory
  • Positive impact on relationships

The PERMA Model to a Flourishing Life

Positive Emotions is the first element of the PERMA model created by Dr. Martin Seligman, American psychologist, author and founder behind positive psychology movement. To summarize, this element is about identifying and recognizing positive emotions that are present in our lives. Additionally, it is also being optimistic and constructive in looking at your life, whether it’s the present, past and future. 

Read this article to find out if you are flourishing at work using the PERMA Model!

5 Tips for How to Increase Positive Emotions at Work

So, given how much time we spend at work, how can we empower ourselves to enhance positive emotions at work? It is not just only about being humerous and laughing but can extend to many aspects of our work habits. Below are my personal 5 simple-to-implement tips to increase positive emotions at work that work regardless if you are an extrovert or introvert!

1. One Task at a Time

Research has shown that multi-tasking often results in lack of focus and distraction, leading to frustration and stress. In fact, some researchers suggest that multitasking can actually reduce productivity by as much as 40%.

Accordingly, we can prioritize our to-do list, focus on more important tasks and increase our sense of focus, satisfaction and control. Therefore, check out applications like Wunderlist, Evernote or Microsoft OneNote to help you accomplish this.

2. Help a colleague

Helper’s Higha euphoria that happens when we do charitable deeds. This is the psychological theory being that giving, acts of kindness, produce a natural mild version of a morphine high, increasing our positive emotions.

Hence, try simple acts of kindness, express gratitude or offer support to colleagues in times of need! Not only will it make us feel good about ourselves, helping others also give us a sense of worth, purpose and happiness!

3. Regular breaks and walks

Regular breaks during the day is not only important for letting our pre-frontal cortex rest and recharge, but also critical for our emotional and physical well-being. In fact, research has shown that even 5 minutes of walking exercise during our breaks at work has lasting impact to our health and enough to help reduce the chances of heart disease, depression, obesity, and more.

4. Coffee or Lunch with Co-workers

Whether extrovert or introvert, we all desire social connectedness, including during working hours! This can increase your sense of belonging and connection to a team or organization. For the introverts like myself, it just means more 1 on 1 appointments than large group outings! So, go schedule that coffee or lunch session with a co-worker now!

5. One minute Anchor Breathing or Quick Body Scan

I found it really helpful to do a one minute anchor breathing or quick body scan during my work day, particularly after an intense meeting or before I go into an important discussion. Highly recommend Insight Timer, a free app with good quality guided meditations.

Ever since I started this simple activity, I have noticed a dramatic shift in my ability to remain calm in situations of conflicts, to take a pause and respond, rather than react. In addition, I find it easier to be present in the meeting or conversation and practice non-judgment and compassion.

Contrary to many beliefs, meditation is secular even though it has roots associated with Buddhism. In recent years, there has been growing research on benefits of meditations. One significant research findings includes neurological benefits such as increase in grey matter volume and enhanced connectivity between brain regions. In summary, meditation leads to increase of our well-being and quality of life.

Elynn Teo | Creator | The Mind Studio
Elynn Teo | Creator | The Mind Studio

From a finance-leader to a coach, Elynn is passionate about empowering others to become a better version of themselves and live a flourishing life.  

Elynn spent 18 years working in highly dynamic and fast-paced corporate environments and held various global leadership roles. During this time, Elynn had the privilege to lead and serve global and virtual teams. And, it is through these beautiful souls that Elynn discovered her passion of empowering others to become a better self.

Elynn holds a Bachelor in Accountancy, Graduate Diploma in Applied Positive Psychology and Graduate Certificate in Counselling. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Counselling.