Human Resources



What I’ve learnt in 2013

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I learnt a lot of things in 2013.

They range from pretty major, work-related things (such as how to cope with managing more people in a team) to more minor – but not totally insignificant – lessons, such as not eating cheese before going to bed. No, really. It has taken me nearly 30 years to work out that’s what has been giving me weird dreams all this time.

But the best things I’ve learnt have come from some of our highest hit stories from our website,

As we move into 2014, I thought I’d lay out some of the best lessons or tips I’ve taken away from these articles.

Lesson 1: If I want to earn more money, I should have more sex

According to a Cambridge University study, people who have sex four times a week earn 5% more than people who don’t. In fact, those people who don’t apparently bring their “sexlessness” into the office with them, affecting their productivity, motivation and ultimately, their salary.

I can’t help but think this survey was conveniently conducted by a few horny PhD students who wanted to convince the cute scientist girls to sleep with them, but I guess the eventual outcome is pretty good for everyone.

Read the story: Employees who have more sex earn higher wages

Lesson 2: Being a nice boss can be very bad

Overly protective, over-friendly and absent bosses are bad and are killing your career with their kindness. They don’t mean to, it’s just they stifle your drive and creativity when they tell you “everything’s fine” (even when it’s not) and they completely ignore a necessary boss-employee barrier by trying to be “one of the gang”.

(Note to self: Be meaner to Sabrina next year.)

Read the story: Why a nice boss is bad for your career

Lesson 3: Don’t text work people when you’re drunk. Ever.

I’m sure the woman who wrote “I’m looking forward to sleeping with you” instead of “speaking with you” in a text to a job candidate is still kicking herself.

Read the story: 5 things you should never text to your boss

Lesson 4: Haze or shine, you will still go to work

The government not issuing a stop-work order when the PSI levels hit 400 during the haze attack was what everyone was talking about in June. Although some companies allowed employees to work from home, there was no blanket ruling made for all organisations in Singapore.

Request for masks as a Christmas present this year and keep them locked in a draw until the next haze attack. You’ll be the most popular person in the office after the shops run out of them. Win!

Read the story: HAZE UPDATE – PSI hits 400, but still no stop-work order

Lesson 5: Don’t make your boss want to kill himself

If your boss says something like, “Why am I wasting my life?” while talking to you, you’ve probably done something to piss him off.

A book about Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was released this year and featured a number of things he says to his staff when he’s mad.

My favourites are: “I’m sorry, did I take my stupid pills today?” and “If I hear that idea again, I’m gonna have to kill myself.”

Read the story: 9 things Amazon’s CEO says when he’s angry

Lesson 6: If you don’t want Singapore to think you’re racist, don’t put it online.

Oh, Amy Cheong. Your remarks about the Singaporean Malay community just went viral, didn’t they?

Cheong, who was NTUC’s assistant director of membership, had to move to Australia to avoid the backlash from comments made on Facebook about Malays, which taught us all a difficult lesson about the dangers of social media for people in positions of power.

Read the story: The cost of Amy Cheong’s remarks

As always, thanks for listening to my ramblings this year, HR community of Singapore! I look forward to doing it all over again in 2014.

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Rebecca Lewis
Human Resources Magazine Singapore

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