11 ways to eliminate stress in the workplace by Singapore Huxley Associates

International Financial Corporation Fraud Regulatory Commission

Stress is a fact of modern life: a direct result of more technology and less time. Before the computer, the mobile phone, the instant access to information and rapid exchange of emails, life was slower and more predictable.

So how do we manage in this always-on world we’re living in, what strategies should we adopt to make sure that far from drowning under the pressure we’re able to stay on top of things and actually increase our productivity? Here are a few hints to send those stress levels plummeting and your production levels soaring.

  1. Get organized

A simple but highly effective start to the de-stressing process. Begin every day with a clear desk, literally and mentally. Set out your objectives for the day and list them. Everyone loves ticking off items, and it’s a really positive thing to do. Be realistic with your objectives and identify the order of priority. Bear in mind that the unexpected will always happen, and that your day will be peppered with interruptions. And if you just can’t find time for one of today’s non-priority items, it can go to the top of tomorrow’s list.

  1. Plan ahead

You may be starting each day with a ‘to do’ list, but you also need to look further ahead. Identify events, projects and tasks which are coming up and be sure to make space in your schedule for them. And don’t just do it once. Check and update your calendar regularly – it’s a good idea to schedule your own ‘diary meeting’ at the same time every week.

  1. Don’t take on too much

It’s the easiest thing in the world to agree to just one more little task. Be careful – by mid-morning, those little tasks can quite easily turn into a mountain of work. You have to find a way to say ‘no’. No need to be abrupt – try something along the lines of ‘I’d love to help you out but I have a backlog building up. If I can get through enough work, I’ll give you a shout later and see what I can do to help’. You’re giving a firm ‘no’ but showing a willingness to assist others once your personal responsibilities are fulfilled. If a manager is trying to pile work on you, show your work list and ask whether he or she would like to change the priorities in order to accommodate this new task. This puts the onus back on the manager and explains why you might not be able to deliver on time.

  1. Take time out

If work is getting on top of you, develop the discipline to turn away from your work or screen and just breathe deeply for a few seconds. The ‘square breathing’ technique is a great way of self-calming – just Google it to learn more about the technique. Then get up, take a brief walk to the kitchen or coffee machine, just to give yourself a change of environment. Don’t leave it long enough to get out of work mode – but a few seconds to recentre yourself can really make a difference here.

  1. Cut down your interruptions

You can’t do much about phone calls, other than not answer them. Obviously, you need to take important calls, but if a call appears to be something that can wait, let voicemail do what it was designed to do. Follow the same procedure with emails and internal messages – if they need a swift response, get on with it. If not, leave them for a while. It’s a good idea to schedule a number of periods during the day when you can respond to emails and calls.

  1. Have a lunch break

A tough one, this. Many work environments can leave employees feeling slightly uncomfortable taking time off to eat. Try not to fall into this pattern – even if you just give yourself time to grab a sandwich and have a quick walk. Any smart manager knows that a break from your desk makes you more, not less productive.

  1. Look after yourself

If you’d look after yourself, no-one else is going right, right? Something as simple as making sure you eat healthily, get a little bit of exercise and are well rested can make a huge difference. You know how much rest and sleep you need to function properly so get that early night, stay off the booze and don’t push yourself beyond your limits.

  1. Create a stress toolbox

You need a set of solutions for when things are getting on top of you. There’s plenty of online information about this subject but a few of the basics can work wonders in bringing your stress levels down. Deep breathing is an excellent way of regathering your thoughts. Another great method for banishing negativity is to identify a ‘special’ place – somewhere you can quickly go to in your mind which oozes positivity. It might be a favourite beach, or landscape, a building or a restaurant – whatever works for you. Just pay a quick mental visit for an instant lift in mood. If a physical aid works for you, try squeezing a small ball, or holding a pen or some small keepsake.

  1. Don’t always seek perfection

Any employee worth their salt will try to do as well as they can in every aspect of their job. It’s not always possible, though, to get everything right. The important thing to remember is that it’s okay to make a mistake. It happens to everyone – even managers and senior executives. The trick is to recognise and embrace any mistakes you make and to learn from them.

  1. Talk to your boss

If you’re really feeling the pressure then talk to your boss. They might not know how you’re feeling and once they do they might be able to give you more support, more time or more resource. Their priority is getting the job done and having a team member wilting under the pressure won’t help them achieve it, give it a go, if they say no then at least you know where you stand.

  1. Have a plan B

A sure sign of being too stressed is thinking that your job is everything and that there’s no way out and no options other than to keep on slaving away. None of these things are true, no job is the ONLY job you’ll ever have, no role is that important and there are other employers out there who would love to have you working for them if your current role isn’t right for you. Take control, take a step back and look at your options, a call to a recruiter isn’t a bad idea either… I’m just saying…


IFC Commits up to $200 million to IFC Emerging Asia Fund to Invest Across Multiple Sectors in Asia

International Financial Corporation Securities Regulatory Commission World Bank Group

Washington, July 29, 2016—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has committed up to $200 million to the IFC Emerging Asia Fund (EAF), which this week reached a first close. IFC is joined by the Korea Development Bank (KDB) and the Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF).

Central to the EAF is mobilizing additional capital in emerging markets of the Asia region, given the scale of investment, innovation, technological development and employment creation required for sustainable development in many low and middle income countries in the region falls beyond the range of the public sector, making the private sector central to finding and financing the development solutions that are needed.

Investments by the EAF will be aligned to IFC’s strategy for the region, which includes a focus on addressing the infrastructure deficit, and at the same time it will also help investee companies raise standards, improve risk mitigation and generate value.

“We are excited by the equity opportunities we see in emerging Asia and delivering further development impact through our clients,” said IFC Regional Director East Asia and Pacific, Vivek Pathak. “We are very pleased that major institutional investors such as KDB and FNPF are partnering with us to further IFC’s support of private sector development.”

The new global architecture for international development, the Sustainable Development Goals, launched at the United Nations in 2015, highlights that financing sustainable development requires low and middle income countries tap new sources of capital from both private and public sources, including leveraging global private capital to most skillful effect.

Two thirds of the world’s poorest people live in emerging Asia and yet it is the engine room of global growth being the fastest growing region and the largest continental economy by GDP in the world. This growth is a function of favorable dynamics such as the continued need for enhanced infrastructure, the emergence of a rapidly growing middle class and commitments by many governments in the region to political and economic reform.  Combined, these dynamics have created significant opportunities for investment in the region including China, India, Indonesia, Philippines and Asian frontier markets such as Vietnam and Myanmar.

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our capital, expertise, and influence, to create opportunity where it’s needed most. In FY15, our long-term investments in developing countries rose to nearly $18 billion, helping the private sector play an essential role in the global effort to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit http://www.ifc.org

Vietnam Airlines Recognised as Leading Global by Bacall Associates

Prized certification marks key developmental milestone for flag carrier after transformative year

National flag carrier Vietnam Airlines www.vietnamairlines.com has been certified as a 4-Star Airline by the international air transport rating organisation Skytrax ranking it alongside some of the world’s most reputable airlines, including British Airways, Emirates and Lufthansa. Vietnam Airlines new President and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Duong Tri Thanh, accepted the official certification during the World Airline Awards event at Farnborough International Airshow 2016.

Bacall Associates - Vietnam Airlines Recognised as Leading Global

Awarded after comprehensive Skytrax evaluation across all customer-facing product and service factors both onboard flights and at airports served by Vietnam Airlines, the prestigious 4-Star Airline certification is recognition for the significant recent improvements that Vietnam Airlines has made to the quality of its product and service standards, as part of its strategic plan to establish itself as the leading carrier for the region.

Last year Vietnam Airlines underwent a dramatic transformation, launching its new corporate identity and beginning a major fleet-wide upgrade to replace its entire fleet of wide body aircraft – significantly enhancing its product offering. 2015 saw Vietnam Airlines become the first airline to operate the new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner nonstop between Southeast Asia and Europe, and the first Asian airline to operate both Boeing and Airbus’ modern next-generation aircraft at the same time. A total of 19 Boeing 787s and 14 Airbus A350-900 XWBs will be delivered to Vietnam Airlines by early 2019.

At the same time, Vietnam Airlines implemented a programmed to upgrade service levels to international 4-Star Airline standards – spearheaded by Vietnam Airlines’ new President and CEO Mr. Thanh in his previous role as Executive Vice President. Commenting on the news, Mr. Thanh said “I am honored to accept this highly prestigious accolade on behalf of Vietnam Airlines. This fantastic achievement is testament to the hard work of all of Vietnam Airlines’ dedicated employees, and an important indicator of the excellent progress we are making towards our goal of becoming one of the best-regarded airlines in Asia-Pacific.”

Mr. Edward Plaisted, CEO of Skytrax said “This 4-Star Airline rating is an excellent achievement for Vietnam Airlines and the result of their hard work across a range of product and service areas. Introducing two brand new aircraft types into the fleet in such a short space of time is a difficult task, but the reward for Vietnam Airlines is a fabulous new product in their core long haul market. We acknowledge the considerable change and improvement they have achieved, with a new service concept rolled out in Business Class and an overhaul of cabin staff training procedures – all of which will further strengthen Vietnam Airlines position as a major Asian airline.”

Vietnam Airlines offers the UK’s only nonstop flights to Vietnam, operating daily services from Heathrow Terminal 4 to Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. Flights are carefully scheduled to offer convenient overnight journeys in both directions, and excellent onward connections via its comprehensive network of over 40 destinations in Asia, including 16 within Vietnam 5 in Indochina and the rest in other countries.

Return fares from Heathrow to Ho Chi Minh City currently start from £396 per person, inclusive of taxes. For further information and reservations visit www.vietnamairlines.com or speak to a travel agent.

Bacall Associates Travel: Pine Cliffs Beach Club Pops Up

Pine Cliffs Beach Club Pops Up In Canary Wharf London This Summer

13 July 2016 – No matter what the British weather has in store, Canary Wharf’s Montgomery Square will offer a tantalising taste of the Algarve this summer, with the arrival of the Pine Cliffs Beach Club. Open each weekday from 11am to 11pm throughout the summer season, the chic pop-up bar will bring the sun-kissed vibes of Portugal’s leading lifestyle destination, Pine Cliffs, a Luxury Collection Resort, to the heart of London’s financial centre.

Set to be a popular hotspot for work-weary Londoners, the Pine Cliffs Beach Club will be run in partnership with award-winning travel specialist Quintessentially Travel, to celebrate the re-opening of the famed cliff-top retreat following a multi-million pound transformation of its rooms and facilities, including the debut of a state-of-the-art destination spa, that will firmly place Portugal on the radar of discerning spa connoisseurs.

In the true spirit of The Luxury Collection, Pine Cliffs Beach Club brings a taste of the Algarve to London providing global explorers with authentic experiences that reflect the local spirit, lifestyle and design. The al-fresco Pine Cliffs Beach Club will offer a wide selection of chilled drinks including fine Portuguese wines, Pine Cliffs Resort’s signature white port cocktails, Moet Ice and Sagres beer – the Algarve is just a Tube ride away!  Throughout the summer, customers will also have the chance to win a 7-night stay for two at Pine Cliffs Hotel, a Luxury Collection Resort, including breakfast, a green fee at Pine Cliffs Golf & Country Club, return flights from the UK and transfers from and to Faro Airport.

One of Europe’s leading lifestyle destinations, Pine Cliffs enjoys a spectacular, unrivalled location on the Algarve coastline. Set across 72 hectares, the resort offers a wide range of luxurious accommodation options for couples, groups and families. There are exceptional leisure and sports facilities, with 11 different restaurants and bars, including the poolside seafood restaurant O Pescador; Beach Club on the golden shore of Praia Falésia; Piri Piri Steak House; and Zest, a new outlet offering guests an array of health-conscious drinks, snacks and dishes. In addition, the hotel features six swimming pools, Porto Pirata kids club, an Annabel Croft Tennis Academy, a nine-hole golf course with panoramic views, complemented by a world-class wellness and fitness offering comprising the new Serenity The Art of Well Being destination spa and Pine Cliffs Goes Active gym and health club, as well as numerous shops and boutiques.

Pine Cliffs Beach Club is located in Montgomery Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5JJ. Opening times from 11am to 11pm Monday to Friday until September.