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As we head into the colder months, many people suffer from seasonal affective disorder or SAD. People who work from home can be impacted even more. In this post, we'll dive into the definition of SAD along with signs and symptoms and how it affects your wellness. We'll also share ideas of how to manage it, especially if working remotely.

 

What is SAD?

 

Seasonal affective disorder is a form of depression that is directly related to the changing of the seasons. It typically starts and ends at the same time each year and lasts through the winter. It impacts energy levels and can make people feel moody. Some people brush it off as the winter blues, but cases of SAD can be much more severe than that.

 

How to Manage SAD

 

You don't have to tough SAD out on your own. It's recommended that you talk to a professional about your symptoms and what to do about them. But there are a few things that can help you try to stabilize your mood during the winter.

 

Get Fresh Air

 

The shorter days impact the feelings of SAD, but you can counter them a little by taking advantage of the daytime and going outdoors. Even for just a few minutes each day, fresh air and sunlight can give your mood a boost. At home, take a break midday to go for a walk around the block before returning to your computer.

 

Set Boundaries

 

One of the most important things you can do when working from home is set boundaries. And this is especially true if you're experiencing the symptoms of SAD. Make sure you're setting clear boundaries around your start and end time each day. While it can be challenging to say no to events and activities in the winter months, it's okay to curate what you do so you aren't exhausted.

 

Engage in Social Activities

 

However, social activities can help you feel better when you're dealing with the symptoms of SAD. Winter holidays are a way for us to stay active, engaged, and grateful when the weather is cold. Pick a few social activities to commit to and let yourself enjoy them.

 

If you believe a change of pace could help, consider starting a job search with us.

 

Contact itec group Recruitment Solutions today.

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Adding a new engineer to your team requires a lot of consideration. Not only do you have to determine if they’re qualified for your specific job, but also to find out if they will be a fit with your current engineering group. This is why the interview process is so important. Before you begin asking the most common questions, here are a few unexpected interview questions that can get you to the heart of the matter and determine top engineering candidates for your openings.

 

 

How Would You Approach a Problem You’ve Never Faced Before?

 

Engineers have to be good at solving problems. But if they aren’t able to think outside of the box in an interview, how do you know if they can innovate on the job. Asking about their approach to new challenges will allow them to think on their feet.

 

What Do You Think is the Most Important Engineering Challenge We Face Today?

 

You want to see how invested they are in the future of the industry. If they only follow procedures and keep their heads down, they may not be informed of some of the common challenges in the industry. You also want to see where their mind goes and what interests them.

 

What About the Industry Do You Think Could Be Improved?

 

New candidates have the opportunity to make a difference and improve processes. So you want to hear from them how they might do that as a whole or in your company specifically. You’ll also get an idea of what they consider problems and how they would approach improvement.

 

What Steps Do You Take to Avoid Mistakes in Your Work?

 

Mistakes happen, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be avoided. You want to hear their processes for quality control at every step of the way. You want to hear how they check themselves and others throughout the process.

 

How Do You Keep Up with The Mundane Tasks of Your Job?

 

There are a lot of exciting parts of engineering, but there are certainly some boring parts. Everyone loves excitement, but the mundane tasks have to be completed, too. How do they approach these tasks and ensure they are done right?

 
Are you hiring for engineering jobs?

 

Contact itec group Recruitment Solutions. Our Talent is Finding Yours.

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Though many people may wish to work from home, not everyone’s job is something they’re able to do from the comfort of their home office. As companies refine their hybrid work policy, consider how this will impact those who have no choice but to work on-site. Here are a few ways to address internal equity issues in your hybrid workplace, along with a few examples.

 

Ensuring Fairness

 

A need for fairness is just a part of the human experience. So, when one group of employees sees another treated differently, it can be frustrating. Leadership needs to make fairness a priority. One of the ways to do that is to fully communicate how resources will be divided between on site and remote employees. Even though they fully understand different jobs have different requirements, those who perceive inequity will begin to disengage.

 

Reduce Perceptions of an Inner Circle

 

Companies also have to be careful not to treat in-house employees differently than WFH employees. They will feel isolated, like they aren’t part of the inner group. That means you need to work hard to ensure that communication is effective across all channels to include those who aren’t in the office. Using the right communication tools will be an excellent start to creating more equity in a hybrid workforce.

 

Build Trust

 

Trust may be the most crucial aspect of having a successful hybrid work arrangement. Be open, build goodwill, keep in touch, addressing issues as needed, and managing expectations and outcomes. You can create a balance of trust if you can let the WFH people know they are part of the culture and engage the in-house staff with perks besides flexible schedules.

 

Types of Work

 

It’s also good for you to address the types of work that can be done at home versus in the office and adjust accordingly. Some office roles function better with in-person collaboration, while other tasks can be done easily at the home office. Production work can’t be completed at home, but other roles can. Create clear job descriptions to show your reason behind the classification of positions.

 

Do you need to know more about hiring top talent?

 

Contact itec group Recruitment Solutions. Our Talent is Finding Yours.

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Yes! Creating and nurturing a recruitment strategy will help you to manage expectations for your hiring managers; protect your company brand and increase your ability to attract and retain the best talent.  A recruitment strategy outlines in a clear format what roles you will recruit for, when, why and how.  It is aligned with your overall company objectives and budgets.  In fact, the key components to a solid recruitment strategy are not unlike the criteria for a S.M.A.R.T. goal.   They’re Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based. 

 

First and foremost you need to do an appraisal on your employer brand.  Identify your vision, your WHY and own it.  This way you can ensure your messaging is attracting the right audience. Utilize social media to your benefit.  Job seekers are resourceful and they will be looking for insight into the kind of company you are and whether or not the organization could be a fit alongside their own morals, beliefs and ambitions.  

 

Next, determine your plans for growth.  If your company is scaling, what roles do you need to hire for now?  Moreover, which roles will have the biggest ROI from an increased headcount? When you’re unsure of how many employees you’ll need; you can hire temporary staff to help you expand quickly and with minimal risk.  But be mindful of inherent risk associated with contract labor and consider partnering with a reputable third party vendor like itec group.  Most importantly, know your culture and be transparent with potential hires; you know what they say about one bad apple. 

 

Perform an audit on your department or division based on skill sets.  Where are you lacking?  What skill could you add to your arsenal that could be a turning point for your organization?   Be sure to integrate your diversity and inclusion program into your recruitment strategy.  Always be evolving, always be looking for ways to innovate, improve and be better than you were yesterday. 

 

Incorporate a level of flexibility into your plan and be willing to adapt to changing situations as they arise.  Your recruitment plan should be tactical but fluid when necessary.  Decide in advance what aspects of your plan are to be protected and what areas are more dynamic.   Know your competition and be sure your plan will highlight the key differentiators for your organization. 

 

Overall the key to your success is having great people.  However, it is with consistent action on the strategic objectives for the current and future demands of the business that will allow you to cultivate the teams you dream of.    

 

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Employee Engagement & Covid Fatigue

 

Covid fatigue; It’s not just a clever name, the struggle is real.  For over a year now many have been working from home and often balancing homeschooling at the same time.  Now with this third wave and a fourth looming, how do we continue to keep our employees engaged, motivated and feeling valued? 

 

For some, work has been the only constant in their lives; they depend on that for their mental health.  That dependency makes it imperative for employers to do everything they can to maintain a sense of connection with their employees; and like many things in life, it’s those small details that can make all the difference.

 

Make communication a priority: Now, more than ever before communication is paramount.  Since every organization and culture is different, you should use communication channels that make sense for your teams; focusing on what is familiar and trusted. Whether it be a slack channel, instant messaging or video calling; ensure everyone has several options to have two-way communication with team members and leadership.  This includes accurate and timely employee updates; confidential means to facilitate communication for questions and concerns or to seek help and of course don’t forget ways to have simple water cooler chats. 

 

Ensure consistent touchpoints: Depending on your business, initiatives and priorities may be a steady state or perpetually changing.  Since the pandemic and not unlike most times of crisis we’ve all sharpened our sense of resiliency and our understanding that plans may need to shift, and quickly. Staying connected and offering real time clarity to your employees will help in times of uncertainty and ambiguity.  Short check-ins provide opportunity to get a pulse for how people are doing, get on the same page, manage workloads and connect.  These few minutes with your employees will help to boost morale and will encourage feelings of hope and purpose.

 

Encourage self care and promote wellness: Remember travelling?  You get on the plane and the flight attendant does the usual spiel and they tell you in the event of an emergency to affix your own oxygen mask first and then help others with theirs because If you don’t look after you, you’re no help to anyone else.  So be like the flight attendant and promote self care for your employees, promote health and wellness in all you do.  Don’t just point employees to the EAP program, engage with them in all interactions, business focused or culture focused in a way that spurs wellness. 

 

Find ways to celebrate: This is where we have to get creative and find the good in each day.  Whether it be a birthday; an individual/group/company success; a work anniversary or a major life event for an employee, celebrate it.  Focus on the positive wherever possible.  In the words of Wayne D. Dyer, “Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.”

 

Lastly, connect outside your organization and share ideas, share knowledge and help each other out.  I’ve seen more instances of this in the last year than ever before in my career and it reminds me of the human spirit and keeps me optimistic for the future. 

 

Stay well. 

Modesty Sabourin 

Director of HR, Operations

 

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