Rapid technological advancements have gifted people with the ability to redefine their work lives. Saying goodbye to the nine-to-five, many professionals around the world are now untethered from their desks, able to work remotely from anywhere and at any time thanks to WIFI, smartphones and a whole host of other tech savvy tools. The benefits of this work method have been lauded for increasing productivity and work-happiness in employees. While it seems work may have left the building, companies and employees are still in need of future-forward spaces to connect, collaborate and share ideas. As a result, many office developments are responding to this need by providing considered work environments that emphasize openness, transcend the idea of the daily grind and encourage a healthy work life balance in campus-style and community orientated spaces. In a 2017 article for Director, Monica Parker a behaviourist and founder of organizational change consultancy, Hatch, whose clients include Microsoft, Deloitte and the BBC says, “People always need a place to come together, and while coffee shops are great, people still like to have a place they can call a work home. I don’t think work has left the building – there is still that communal driver.” Today, companies are understanding more and more the importance of nurturing productivity through the significant benefits of open and flexible office environments. These benefits include creativity, knowledge sharing, teamwork and coordination. While Google, Apple and various other tech advanced companies have been operating like this for decades already, South Africa is just beginning to ride the crest of the flexible and open work wave. Cue Park Square, Nedbank’s iconic R1billion mixed-use office and retail development located within uMhlanga’s New Town Centre and thriving commercial hub. Bordering the popular CJ Saunders Park and featuring innovative commercial and retail offerings, Park Square with its considered . . .
Replace timeouts and tears with the Glitter Time Out Bottle (or use it as a meditation bottle). Its ingenious - instead of sitting and fuming in timeout, your little one is mesmerised by the glitter and has a healthy way to soothe themselves and work through their emotions. Photo: Pinterest If you’re a parent or teacher, you may be able to relate to some of these: Timeout and tears usually go hand-in-hand Your child has toys they never play with, but doesn’t want to let go of Moms and daughters need things that match West Pack Lifestyle, a national chain of retail stores across South Africa, came up with creative ways to address these common pain points for parents. The aim is to re-use (and revamp) old favourites, while enjoying interactive play time with the kids. If you don’t find these items around the house, West Pack stores have craft supplies, toys, frames and bottles to create these ideas. Time Out Bottle Replace timeouts and tears with the Glitter Time Out Bottle (or use it as a meditation bottle). Its ingenious - instead of sitting and fuming in timeout, your little one is mesmerised by the glitter and has a healthy way to soothe themselves and work through their emotions. Fill a plastic bottle or glass jar with ¾ hot water (the hot water helps the glitter glue to mix). Add glitter glue and glitter (the more glue used, the longer the glitter will stay suspended). The glue should settle in about 5 minutes (standard timeout time). Super glue the cap closed so your little one can’t open it again. DIY Picture Frames Re-use your child’s favourite toys to create this memorable photo frame. We used Dala craft paint to repaint the old frame and classic soldier figurines, and stuck down the toy pieces with Amos craft glue. Matching Glitter-Glam Shoes Glitter shoes are so easy and inexpensive to make at home. If it’s your first time, start with a plain pair of pumps or heels (without laces). The . . .
By Biase De Gregorio, Partner and Agile Lead of IQbusiness As with everything else in life, unrealistic expectations often lead to disappointment when they are not fulfilled in the way we had hoped. And despite the many benefits that come with a more agile way of working, the same is true when it comes to implementation of the practices it takes to get to that point. Our annual IQbusiness Agile Report demonstrates just that – the majority of companies adopt an agile philosophy with the primary purpose of increasing their speed-to-market, yet 21% of respondents saw no improvement in delivery speed whatsoever. However, these same businesses did report heightened flexibility and an improved ability to adapt to changing environments. Ultimately, these very capabilities are the hallmarks of true agility, without which improved-speed-to-market can never truly be realised. The bottom line? Agility is not an end goal to be rushed towards – it’s a philosophy and a new way of working. And though its benefits may take years to be felt throughout a large organisation, the payoff is invariably worth it in the long run, with lots of other successes experienced along the way. The importance of agility In a market where rapid change is the name of the game, organisations are beginning to realise they need a different, more adaptive approach to change, while still being able to deliver products and services of high value to their customers. Large-scale, established businesses are being challenged by smaller, more agile and nimble companies who have competitive advantage in the form of improved responsiveness, better product and service delivery, and enhanced customer experience. These startups may not have the resources of their well-established counterparts, but they have the gift of speed on their side – and even the biggest players would do well to sleep with one eye open as the landscape becomes ever-more competitive. It’s about far more than new . . .
Whether it's on a website, social media post or marketing material, businesses have the responsibility of portraying their brands in the best possible way. When it comes to potential customers engaging with a brand for the first time, first impressions are everything. If they aren't immediately impressed with the content on a website they're checking out or a social media post they've just seen on their feed, they're most likely to keep it moving. It becomes difficult to woo them back after that point. I can't recall how many times I've left a website quicker than I loaded it due to poor quality copy. Yes, it's rather off-putting. If your copy is of poor quality, you're at risk of losing potential customers. "Copy is a direct conversation with the consumer." – Shirley Polykoff That’s why it's critical that businesses craft high-quality copy. Why would I trust a brand that doesn’t pay close attention to detail, after all? Quite frankly, there are no excuses. Here are 3 things businesses can start doing today to easily avoid losing potential customers: 1. Hire a copywriter If you want something done right, hire the right person to do it. A copywriter will produce crisp, quality and professional content that's in line with your brand. 2. Revisit old copy If your website has been around for some time or you’re using old marketing material, it's time to comb through it with a fresh pair of (professional) eyes. Read more here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/copywriting-business-3-things-do-now-easily-avoid-losing-masango/ I'd love to hear from you. Connect with me and share your thoughts: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ayanda-masango-4083bb96/ Email: firstname.lastname@example.org CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
Disabilities No Reason for Unemployment and Lack of Training by Devan Moonsamy – CEO the ICHAF Training Institute People living with disabilities face many challenges in finding work and in training as well, particularly regarding access. This is often as a result of misconceptions about disabilities. There are many types of disabilities, but most do not prevent a person from taking up employment, and there are ways to get around the obstacles associated with disabilities. A disability is something that prevents a person from doing something/s or functioning in the usual way that other people do. One may often find that people with disabilities (PWDs) learn to work around their disability, and it need not prevent them from entering the workplace provided they have opportunities and are not discriminated against. The SADC nations have collaboratively developed the Southern Africa Inclusive Education Strategy 2017-2021 (SAIES) for ensuring disabled children’s access to the education system. This is great news because, in the future, it will translate into adults with disabilities being better educated and more active in the economy. However, there are currently many adults with disabilities who are ready and able to enter learning and workplaces, but they do not get the chance. The SAIES prioritises inclusive quality education. It was developed directly as a result of concerns over research showing that it is economically irrational not to invest in educating PWDs and to not employ them. The challenges that a person faces should never prevent them from creating value in the way they can. It is critical for individual wellbeing as well as society’s wellbeing. We must never think that PWDs are incapable or helpless. Instead, we must adopt the attitude that PWDs, like everyone else, need employment opportunities and support. A growing number of companies offer learnerships to PWDs, which can be a highly successful means of ensuring their access to . . .
Business South Africa comes together to say South Africa means business. On Thursday 10 May, the Best Managed Companies in a host of sectors were announced at the 2nd annual Top 500 Awards, hosted at Inanda Club’s Polo Room in the heart of Sandton. The road to these awards is a challenging one. Over the course of the last year, thousands of companies were critically researched by Topco Media’s Senior Researcher Sandra Bock, and measured against 100 data points originally developed in partnership with UCT’s Development Policy Research Unit. About 20% qualified to list in the 9th annual Top 500 publication (published in January). Out of those, less than 60 made the awards’ shortlist and, finally, 12 were lauded as the country’s reigning Best Managed Companies in their sectors. A 13th trophy, sponsored by Bestmed Medical Scheme, went to Nestle South Africa - adjudicated winner of the new Workplace Wellness Award (the only Top 500 Award won through entry & motivation, rather than qualification). Among the qualification-based winners were Truworths (Retail - CEO of 30 years, Michael Mark, was there to accept the award); Mercedes-Benz South Africa (Pty) Ltd (Consumer Goods); Naspers Limited (Media), and - taking the trophy both in Financial Services (sponsored by Tagit Solutions) and the “King Trophy” for Best Managed Company of the Year - Old Mutual Investment Group. Commenting on the triumph, Dave Macready, Managing Director of the Old Mutual Wealth and Investment Cluster, said that the timing of the award could not have been better given that Old Mutual Limited, the holding company of Old Mutual Investment Group, is listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange on 26 June 2018. “Winning these awards is testament to the fact that not only is Old Mutual Investment Group a great place to work, but it is a home for world-class talent and intellectual property,” said Macready. “We are also a leader when it comes to Responsible Investing in South Africa. Our . . .
Billed as the biggest agricultural show in the southern hemisphere, Nampo has since its inception in 1966 provided many great moments in the recent history of South African agriculture. The annual Nampo Harvest Day is a forum for the majority of stakeholders in the agricultural sector to get together. It draws in farming communities from across SADC to consider what tomorrow holds. Once again Engen is renewing its partnership with Grain SA to great effect as a Gold Sponsor for Nampo 2018, which runs from May 14th - 18th in Bothaville. Engen’s Commercial General Manager, Joe Mahlo says, “Our presence at Nampo is always valuable because Nampo represents the best one-stop shop for Engen to meet with our major customers in the agricultural sector and to showcase our new products and as well as our promotions and community projects. Over the years we are grateful for the support we have received from the agricultural sector. “A key focus for us this year is to provide our customers with quality products that have a lower sulphur content so that we can work on minimising vehicle emissions. We have reduced the sulphur content in our Engen Dynamic Diesel from 500ppm to 50ppm which has an improved impact on the environment while not compromising on quality, economy and performance benefits. Engen Dynamic Diesel 50ppm is also ideal for modern vehicles which are fitted with emission control technology. Ultimately, the aim is to improve air quality.” For well over a century, whether directly to major farming groups, through partnerships with Secondary Distribution Companies or to farmers through Agri and retail businesses, Engen has met the needs of the local farmer with a brand of top quality products and through key strategic relationships. One of the most popular attractions at every Nampo show is the Tractor Museum that was built under Engen’s direction and subsequent maintenance. This year, once again, Engen is offering farmers the legendary (and now . . .
Keep your home warm this winter without compromising on style or your electricity bill. Shutters are able to control the perfect amount of light and temperature for those cold days creating no need for heaters. Leading company, Plantation Shutters® specialises in the design, manufacture and installation of superior quality, custom-designed Plantation Timber Shutters and Plantation Security Shutters which provide insulation from the cold by adding an extra layer of warmth and protection from the elements during the colder months. The timber shutters are most commonly used as a window or door covering, and are also a practical and elegant solution as an internal divider. The aluminium security shutters are designed and manufactured to be the most stylish and strongest adjustable louvre security shutters on the market and are suitable for both internal and external use. Investing in shutters is the smart and practical way to give your home a ‘face lift’ without renovating the entire property, and it’s a perfect way to add instant all round value. They can be used define areas within a home, enclose an outdoor area for multi-use and are a stylish and robust way to secure your home. The shutters can be opened or closed completely, with adjustable louvres able to suit personal preference. Ideal for controlling light, the shutters are rigid and will not rattle in the breeze, providing privacy from the outside world, whilst still allowing light and airflow in. Offering an unparalleled lead time of 21 working days from order, with a 5 year guarantee on the timber shutters and 12 years on the aluminium security shutters, Plantation Shutters® will keep you warm this winter while adding value to your primary asset. www.plantation.co.za CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
East London real estate entrepreneur Xoliswa Tini is to expand her 15-year old business to other provinces later this month and become the first black 100% owned female franchise in South Africa. The University of Cape Town graduate says that key role players like investors and developers are excited about the development and see opportunity for a strong black African brand with a nationwide presence. The teacher-supermarket owner-turned-real estate entrepreneur started Xoliswa Tini Properties (XTP) in 2003 after a successful two years career with one leading national estate agency brands. Fifteen years later Xoliswa Tini Properties is a tried and tested brand, with massive possibilities of growth and this, in turn, means opportunities for black entrepreneurs,” explains Tini. The business has had a good run and now has a footprint in East London, King William’s Town and Gauteng with over 70 agents and 12 permanent employees. But it is the difficulties that she faced as one of the first black agents in the city, that has helped Tini create a compelling vision for the business and the drive to leave a legacy for other black entrepreneurs and address the market schism in the industry. She explains that only eight per cent of the more than 50,000 registered estate agents in South Africa are black, an improvement on the four per cent in 2007 but nowhere close to the target of 35% that was meant to be achieved by 2012. This doesn’t come as news to Tini who understands the challenges for new entrants. “This is a commission-based business so entrants need to be financially-sufficient for anything around six months. In addition, they need workplace experience and a supportive mentoring and training system,” she explains. “That’s why we established an accredited black academy in the Eastern Cape which provides NQF 4, NQF 5 and RPL training and workplace experience,” she says. But the Burgersdorp-born Tini explains that “we need to find ways to . . .
Monday, 14 May 2018 – A recent report published by Statistics South Africa on jobs data for the last quarter of 2017, shows that the Western Cape created the most jobs in the last quarter of any province, at 92 000 jobs. [Source: parts extracted from https://goo.gl/yscCsq ]. Servest could not be more pleased to have contributed towards this number, it being 0.83% across the board of its service offerings. Although it reads marginally as a percentage, it should be viewed within the larger context of the provincial economy, which makes the actual number of jobs created by one company, rather significant. “Since launching the Servest head office and increasing our dedicated team in Cape Town on all levels, traction within the province has definitely increased – and this is only the beginning, says Steve Wallbanks, Servest’s CEO. Servest Cleaning division recently won the PMR diamond award for Cleaning Companies, who are doing the most in their sectors over the past 12 months, to stimulate the economic growth and development of the Western Cape Province. This is in line with the company’s commitment to doubling its 4000+ jobs in the Western Cape, almost a year ago. On 02 May 2017 Servest celebrated the opening of their new regional headquarters in Cape Town, at which time they were already employing over 4500 people. At the time, the company’s Group Head of Marketing,Farhaana Mohidien said “the Cape Town economy is growing rapidly and Servest is proud to be an active contributor to the growth in the region.” “We anticipated that our expansion would see the number of jobs double at an exponential level over the next 3 – 5 years and less than a year later, we are proud to report that we have contributed 0.83% to the overall job market in the Western Cape and 19% in respect of our company’s contribution that we envisioned at the time. We believe that we are on track to achieving the 4000 number of jobs over the next 5 years”, concludes Mohidien. Servest . . .