One of the hardest things to do in the office is to ask for a well deserved pay rise. People can find the idea of approaching a manager and asking for more money very daunting. Don’t be nervous, if you work hard and are committed then your manager will respect the request, and the worst that can happen is that they say no.
Here are some tips when asking for a pay rise:
Asking for a pay rise is all about being realistic. You need to make sure that you have given enough and been with your organisation long enough before approaching your manager. This also extends to being realistic about how much more money you are asking for.
Timing is everything. Don’t walk up to your boss in the middle of a stressful high pressured working environment. Approach during down times and in private.
Remember that if a salary increase is not a likely option, you can ask for other things that will improve your working life. For example, more flexible working arrangements, extra days off etc.
Be respectful in your approach to your manager. Don’t yell or swear. Simply calmly request a pay review. Avoid giving any ultimatums or threats.
Should you receive a ‘no’ from your manager, request feedback as to why. This can give you a clearer understanding of where you stand, and what you can do to improve your chances in the future.
Should you miss a formal review period due to being on leave (or some other reason), request to have your review when you return, with your manager.
Where possible, try and justify your salary increase with performance indicators. Outline that you have increase productivity or responsibility and therefore deserve more money. This can seriously improve your argument.
Ensure that you have an accurate understanding of the required formal processes for asking for a pay rise within your organisation.
Would be interested in any feedback that you may have, or any stories from your own experiences in asking for a pay rise. Leave a reply now!
Sometimes in the most stressful moments in the office, we can lose our patience with both clients and other employees. I think it’s just really important to focus on being tolerant, and understanding that the stressful situation is just making us aggravated and annoyed for little to no reason.
Just remember – it is not worth making a comment or getting aggressive over something that wouldn’t normally be a big deal. It is not worth risking the permanent damage of a professional relationship with another individual in your office – or even losing a client. So take a deep breath and let it go.
This is one of today’s toughest challenges in the workplace. I am working on a post that incorporates some tips for developing and strengthening our tolerance for others within the workplace.
Just a brief post here regarding how you travel to and from work.
To me one of the hardest parts of the traditional office job is getting up reasonably early in the morning and heading out for the day. There are different options for getting to and from work.
You can take your car. The pro’s being that you have the comfort of sitting in your car with your music and preferred temperature, and privacy. You also have more flexibility, for example if you want to go somewhere after work it can be a lot easier if you have a car. The downside to this option is that the traffic holds you up timewise, and quite often you have to pay for parking (obviously this differs between individuals).
Some people prefer to catch public transport. This is certainly a cheaper option, and it keeps you in touch with your community. However a lot of people find it unreliable, uncomfortable, and not as flexible. This option is also dependent on your office location.
The other option is to walk/jog/ride to work. The only real downside to this is the time factor, as well as the fact that it can be uncomfortable turning up to start a day in the office feeling sweaty. However a lot of modern workplaces have showers/changerooms. This option is also perfect for your physical health – as it gets you plenty of exercise.
How do you prefer to travel to and from your workplace? Which option suits you best?
It is quite common within an office environment to experience that moment when a combination of stress and the lack of fresh hair lead to a mind block, and quite often a headache. I have come up with a few different ways that you can help clear your head at work, and try and stay feeling fresh:
Drink plenty of cold water throughout the day. In my experience, cold water certainly helps you feel better in the office, if consumed on a regular basis. Remaining hydrated is important, particularly in hotter weather.
Try and ensure that the office environment has some airflow. Whilst often hard, fresh air is obviously more beneficial, however the use of air conditioning and desk fans is still a crucial tool in clearing your head and feeling fresh.
It is very important to have short and regular breaks away from the desk and computer monitor. 5-10 minutes every hour is the normal recommended time. I tend to just walk up and fill up my drink bottle or go to the bathroom whilst stretching my legs and eye. Its also important to have a larger break (say 30 minutes) every 5 hours of work. Try and consume some food during this period.
Really basic tip here – make sure you have breakfast! It’s amazing how many office workers do not have a proper breakfast (or even any breakfast) because they claim to have no time. Wake up ten minutes early people!!!! There’s a reason its called the most important meal of the day. The energy that this provides can certainly help in keeping your head clear.
Use colleagues as a sounding board if you are trying to solve a problem or have come up with an idea that you wish to implement. I have found this to be extremely useful when trying to clear your head.
Another tip that I have found to be useful in clearing your head is to start writing your idea/problem/scenario on a piece of paper instead of typing on your computer.
Would be interested in any other tips that people have, as well as general feedback.
Take every opportunity that you can to attend the office social events…
These present you with an easy opportunity to develop relationships with your colleagues.
Another part to this tip is always stay until the end of the function. This is when gossip, work talk, and people’s true feelings about work and people come into light (sometimes partially due to the alcoholic influence by the later point in the night).
If your office doesn’t tend to have many social events, organise something! It’s not hard – just send an office email out inviting people to go to a pub after work one evening. It can really help the office with team building, and if you establish friends within your work circle, it can certainly make it more enjoyable.
Managing stress at work is one of the toughest challenges that millions of people face every day. It can be extremely damaging to both your physical and emotional health, and will also tend to reduce your productivity at work. Whilst different relievers work for different people, I have come up with a few hints and tips for you to consider when trying to win the battle against stress.
Look after your physical health. There is a direct relationship between how much you look after yourself and how much you stress at work. Try and exercise as regularly as you can, as in addition to the health benefits, it can often act as a release. Personally I find going to a gym or exercising after work can be an effective method of relieving stress caused by the days work, but this is different for everyone and not everyone has time. Further to this point, a healthy diet is also a proven method of keeping the blood pressure down.
Organisation is a crucial tool in the fight against stress. If you can get on top of your workload and organisation system, then you will generally have less stress at work. Focus on the basics – have a to-do list, a tidy desk, folders separating different work, clients, or tasks to be completed etc.
Alter your mentality. Realise that at work you can only be expected to do your best. Whilst you can and should always try to improve, you need to realise that everybody makes mistakes, and that there’s not many mistakes that can’t be fixed. Don’t stress or worry about making the odd mistake, as everybody does.
Don’t put yourself into stressful situations when you don’t need to. If you have deadlines for tasks, start them earlier and don’t leave them until the last minute. If you start work at 9 in the morning, don’t time your travel to arrive at 9, time it to arrive at 8:45. That way if there is extra traffic than normal or similar issues you aren’t stressing about being late.
Important – don’t try and be a hero at work. If you are in a team environment and you are taking on more work than you should, then stop. If you are struggling and need help, you need to ask for it. Most employees are happy to take a few things off you to give you a hand, it might not add to their workload much, but can really take the extra pressure of your workload.
Communication is an important part of overcoming stress. Communicate with your fellow employees and team to make sure that the tasks are being done efficiently. As mentioned before, maybe some of them can give you a hand? Maybe you can offer them some assistance? Communicating effectively can also help remove you from stressful situations in conflict periods with other employees. It also is vital when dealing with a difficult client over the phone or in person. If you think that your communication skills could do with some work, I would highly recommend working on improving them. There is a lot of professional development courses revolving around communication and communicating in the workplace.
Managing relationships within the office can be tricky. Whether this is a romantic, family, or close friend relationship, challenges arise when other co-workers observe and interpret behaviours. Issues such as favouritism / nepotism can surface if the situation is not handled effectively.
Here are some tips for managing a close office relationship:
Keep the language and tone of conversation professional. Just because you normally speak in a different manner (whether this be more casual, swearing etc) it is essential to speak as you would with any other colleague. Not doing so can negatively effect the other employees around you.
In the case of romantic relationships, do not engage in public displays of affection in the office. There is no call for this, and it can really make some people feel very uncomfortable.
Where possible, (and this is more for managers and supervisors), try and limit the amount of time that the two or more people within the close relationship are working directly together and alone. For example, if an organisation has multiple teams then there could be a split used to effectively remove a lot of these issues.
In the case of recruitment and promotion, the selection panel should not have anyone on it that could be seen as a conflict of interest to the applicants. For example, if a female applicant applies for a vacancy, her brother should not be on the selection panel, as there is an obvious conflict of interest.
Be prepared to make concessions. Just because you and your partner work together, does not mean that you should both expect to always be able to go to lunch together at the same time, or always arrive and leave together. The only way that these relationships can work within an office is if there is an understanding that despite the relationship, each component is an individual employee. It is unacceptable to negatively impact the service needs of the business because of this.
It is not ideal for discussions and gossiping about work to occur. As an extension of this point, if one person in the relationship is higher up within the organisation, they still need to understand that the information that they have is confidential and can’t be shared.
Does your organisation have different relationships in it? Whether it be romantic or family members? How have you felt about it? Will be very interested in any feedback.
The modern workplace is now more diverse than ever. Studies and research show that a diverse working environment can increase efficiency as people with different backgrounds provide different ideas and opinions. As such, many employers try to focus on diversity when recruiting staff.
Unfortunately, this can sometimes mean that employees clash, as people with different beliefs, sexual orientations, genders, race etc come together in a team environment to try and efficiently carry out organisational needs.
Here are some useful methods that can be used when dealing with difficult colleagues in the office (and colleagues in general):
Always ensure that you are being respectful towards your colleagues in words and in your actions. Try and be tolerant towards your co-workers and think about how you would like to be treated if your situations were reversed.
Open communication is so important in a modern office environment, particularly when dealing with another employee that you may not know very well or like very much. This includes speaking with them directly on a regular basis, and refraining from workplace gossip.
Keep it professional. You should always watch your tone, language and body language when speaking with difficult colleagues. They will be even more sensitive to your actions. This also extends to email and electronic communications. It can be hard to detect humour and sarcasm over email, so don’t leave your emails open to misinterpretations from said colleagues. QUICK TIP : Quickly re-reading your email once you have finished typing it frequently picks up typos, but also helps improve the email content by sharpening up phrases and cleaning up sentences.
Important!!!When dealing with difficult colleagues, confront them directly with any issues before going over their heads to your line manager. They will normally appreciate the fact that you have gone to them directly, and quite often an issue can be resolved by doing so.
Try and find mutual interests with a difficult colleague, or at least establish a personal joke or two to help establish future casual conversations. Investing time in developing a healthy workplace relationship could be the difference between dreading turning up to work to see these people every day, and enjoying getting up in the morning to go to work.
Just a few ways I think that we can help ourselves when dealing with difficult colleagues in the office. Please let me know if you agree, or have any more useful tips that you would like to share.