Schedules, Kindness, and Breaks

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    Welcome to Skills for the Future of Work! And that’s a nice outfit by the way (more on that later….)

    As usual, here’s what to expect – a tip, an insight, and our favourite new thing. So, let’s get going!

    Yesterday, BillionMinds was in Calgary – in the final of a pitch competition at Inventures. It thrilled us to be one of five startups to make the final in the Future of Work category, but we were also really interested by the other finalists. One particularly caught our eye – a startup called, which nudges employees towards small acts of kindness towards each other.

    It can be tempting to believe that in serious workplaces, there is no room or time for kindness, but kindness doesn’t imply removing accountability. It is simply a reflection of how people treat one another on a day-to-day basis. If you’ve been lucky enough to work in an office where kindness thrives, you will probably recognize this. Kindness makes work a more pleasant place to be, improves your ability to be open, and can even improve your productivity. Over the last few years, there has been more research into the power of kindness, including some intriguing studies that show that giving compliments to others can make us feel even happier than receiving them (we already feel better for complimenting you on your outfit earlier ;-)).

    Kindness has always been important, but in the modern workplace, it is becoming even more so. As workplaces become more distributed, we are writing to each other more and talking less – and, as we discussed in a previous newsletter, when you write to a colleague, they typically receive your communication more negatively than you intended. Plus, the physical distance from our colleagues creates fewer natural opportunities for us to express gratitude towards each other, or to pay each other compliments.

    That’s one reason is an interesting solution – by providing regular reminders to employees to be kind, it has the potential to tilt a company culture in a more positive direction for everyone’s benefit. But whether you decide to use software to help you or not, next time a kind thought pops into your head, turn it into a kind action. It just makes business sense…


    If you are part of a BillionMinds program, or even just a regular reader of this newsletter, you will know how much we recommend strategic use of breaks. Well, now you don’t have to just take our word for it. Here’s a great article by the Harvard Business Review that collects together much of the latest research on breaks, including how managers can create an environment where breaks are encouraged.

    The Tip: How to Work with Others on a Different Schedule

    Video Length: 75 Seconds

    In many ways, this week’s tip is a sequel, so it’s worth going back and looking at last week’s one if you missed it. But today, we are discussing how finding a schedule that works for you is only part of the story, communicating it effectively to others is a crucial next step. For more details, check out the video below.

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    We work with both companies and individual employees. Certification programs start at $200 and we provide discounts for those seeking work. For more information, visit us here.