Author: Amanda Hanan

Why We Hired a New Graduate

New Graduates, they finished Universities all around the country last November and suddenly here they are the ‘Uni Army’ of new graduates popping up on job applications at a work place near you.

New ‘grads’ (lumped in with Millennials) have been given a bad rap, branded the snowflake generation, as well as lazy and job hoppers. Marketing guru and Millennial expert Simon Sinek thinks they’re an entitled generation – struggling with unmet expectations because they have been given everything.

So why would anyone want to hire – not only a new graduate but a Millennial to boot?

We are ‘noobs’ to the world of the new grad, having never hired one before – we don’t know how this will turn out. We hadn’t considered a new grad and didn’t target our job advertisement for one. What we originally wanted was someone with several years of experience, fully trained up and ready to go; that person either didn’t exist or simply just didn’t apply. Our new grad applied anyway – on the off chance and we really liked that initiative. We were impressed that she had worked while studying, had great references and her can do attitude.

Hiring a new grad doesn’t mean they have no work experience or life skills (most have had holiday jobs, volunteered and had part-time jobs while studying). New grads/millennials are already comfortable with new technologies, are seasoned collaborators, keen and grateful, and are still in the mindset of learning.

We hope it’s a win win situation. We eventually get a great consultant, skilled in what we do – trained the way we like and they get trained with ‘up to the minute’ ‘in demand’ skills, and a fantastic work experience in a fast-moving consulting business.

We think there’s much more to the next generation of Millennials coming out of University – they seem motivated, socially aware, and tech savvy. There are no guarantees whomever you decide to employ. Sinek can worry, if he wants about what happens to them “…the instant they find out they’re not special, and their mums can’t get them a promotion”! We think their success will be directly related to the amount of support they are given.

We don’t expect to see our new grad’s mum anytime soon!

‘Presenteeism is Making Me sick!

Amanda Hanan – Zephyr Consulting Social Media Producer

Sickness ‘presenteeism’ is the act of working while sick – a workplace disease perhaps of epidemic proportions!

I was at my son’s dentist when the hygienist started coughing: great loud chesty coughs, heard all over the surgery – honestly I could not have been more horrified if she lit up a cigarette and blew a smoke ring over the chair.

You see, I’m not a fan of the ‘soldier on’ brigade. There’s nothing worse than sitting next to the contagious as they spread their infected droplets throughout the office, whooping, sneezing and wheezing over us all. There’s always that one work mate, turning up, no matter how close they are to death’s door: nose red, eyes streaming, box of tissues, bottle of cough mix and chicken soup in a thermos; I can’t help think (rather cynically) they are saying “look at me! I’m so dedicated”. Dedicated to making me sick! And does the boss really love their “dedication”? I mean, would you bake a cake for the office morning tea and add a good dose of something that may make your work mates seriously ill?
On the days, the sick come into work, I want to ask if we the ‘healthy’ can stay home and then the sick can knock themselves out at their desks, in a giant whirlpool of their various viruses, bacteria and ‘germy mcgerm’ faces.

There are many reasons why workers come to work sick: a sense of obligation, not wanting to burden co-workers, feeling a duty to clients, meetings, not feeling sick enough and not wanting to appear weak to other co-workers or seniors. If you look at these reasons logically – bringing your germs to work is in fact burdening your co-workers and ends up creating more work as more of the team becomes infected.

When I suggested to the hygienist perhaps it was not appropriate for her to be at work – she said, “You should have heard me last week”! A fact that gave me no comfort whatsoever. She then said she would be wearing a mask, again, no comfort what-so-ever.

In 2015 a NZ Wellness in the Workplace Survey, said if people are coming into work sick you need to change the work culture that says coming in sick is acceptable. You should start by implementing a workplace sickness policy. Changing that ‘soldier on’ culture means your workplace prefers sick workers to stay home, and you will send sick workers home. Workplaces should also allow the flexibility of working from home while sick. One of the best ways to improve the well-being of staff is by providing paid flu vaccinations – at around $25 per employee it’s money well spent, when the flu could possibly take someone out of action for ten days or more.

So I’d just like to say to you, If you have any of these symptoms: a temperature over 38 degrees, a hacking productive cough, diarrhea and/or vomiting or if you have a contagious eye infection, don’t come into work stay home in bed – otherwise, you make me sick!



I Saw the Future and I liked It!

I saw the Future and I liked It!

Amanda Hanan Social Media Producer

Like a lot of Gen Xs, I can remember back in the 1970s writing an essay in school about what the future would look like in the year 2020. Most of us were convinced there would be flying cars, robot maids and food would only be pills. The Jetsons had a lot to answer for, and to be honest I’ve always felt a little cheated. So, I was excited, as part of 2017 NZ Tech Week to check out the Future Realities conference in Wellington; and I wasn’t disappointed – an amazing event; and as they say, I have seen the future and I liked it! It was all about Mixed Reality, – Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and the Internet of Things.

With business revenue projections of Mixed Reality expected to be at around 120 billion dollars by 2020,  it is going to be big and the best part is the real world solutions mixed reality can provide to real world problems -without those it’s just a bad movie you once watched.

The new big thing is the growth of the ‘smart city’ and work being done right here in Wellington with the building of our own smart city is amazing. The real-world applications of 3D mapping and being able to ‘fly’ using AR through downtown Wellington, in real time, to check which buildings (by highlighting colour) are the most earthquake safe, or which street bins get the most rubbish, or which parks are high crime areas – has real world importance; but the greater applications for me is being able to highlight a free car park at peak times – not exactly a flying car but virtual to real car parks – my kind of reality.

Virtual reality promises much – the training opportunities for doctors with hologram cadavers, virtual courses for athletes to practice on, and for day to day life: the use of highly immersive simulations means the retail market is also a winner with its virtual supermarkets, personal experiences in home improvement and imagine a virtual you in 3 D, trying on clothes – with out ever leaving the lounge.

Without wanting to rain on anyone’s virtual or real parade – what about the headset? I mean apart from being heavy and kind of awkward there’s only so silly one can look at work (thinking hair people). I mean if the government can’t get people to wear a bike helmet to save their lives, because they don’t like helmet hair, imagine what chance your boss has?

New technology can often create as many problems as it solves – what to do with all that big data, or as it was called a ‘Tsunami of Data,’ – had no easy solutions. Do we just run the risk of data for data’s sake? How do we store it all?

There’s a few things to iron out, but the future it seems is already here and the way forward promises to be all about collaboration, immersion and empathetic computing (hearing and seeing together) and that AR and VR will be bigger than desktop publishing was, back in the day…

Z office 261 – April Fools 2017

Z Office261

The revolutionary new software freeing up your weekend

By Aprile Tonto

The new Z Office261 package gives you the Z Office365 experience, just without weekends or any hours from 5pm to 9am weekdays. This brand new version of Z Office261 is fantastic for those businesses wanting a cheaper version of Z Office365 but still with access to the latest Z Office applications. Whether you need Z Office for home, school, or business, there is an Z Office261 plan to meet your needs.

Why Z Office261?

Well we listened to our customers when they said ‘why should I pay for the full Z Office 365 when my employees don’t work 104 of those days’! and we listened when you ‘hippie we love the world types’ said let’s treat employees like they are humans and make sure they don’t ever have to work weekends or overtime ever again. Z Office261 will never let you down – guaranteed just like many of your employees to never work overtime or weekends! Rest assured not one email will be sent out out of hours, not one Skype call and definitely no tech support from our Answer Desk experts, by phone or chat – at anytime after you leave work for the day.

When a new version of Z Office261 is released, you’ll get instant access to it – as long as it is a weekday and between 9am and 5pm, and in this way your applications are nearly always up-to-date!

Z Office261 – It just works… (well these days and times only) Monday to Friday 9 to 5.

Find out more about Z Office 261

Are You in Love with Your Job?

You May Love Your Job, but are You in love with Your Job

Many people fall in and out of love with their job over the course of their career. Just like a relationship – the butterflies in your stomach at the beginning, the excitement of email notifications, waking up with a smile on your face knowing that you’ll be in your happy place for the next 8 hours, you even put thought and effort into what to wear. But then time passes, the honeymoon phase wears off, and it can get a little monotonous.

How engaged are you in your current role? Ever wonder if you’re in the right place? Does it really matter?I think most of us would agree that we should find enjoyment and fulfillment in our day jobs. Doing so is very valuable.

Here are some ways to keep motivated and pursue meaning

  • Know your why

    – As the old saying goes “choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” It’s so easy to forget why you do the work you do and only focus on how you do it. We place more attention on the resolution of something rather than the passion behind it. Take some time to focus on your why and discover passion for what you do.

  • Invest in your skills

    – How can you master the art of what you do? Skills are why people get hired and why people get promoted. Investing in your own skills may also mean investing in those around you. Everyone wins when companies create structures that promote knowledge sharing. If we approach our careers with a goal of upskilling and helping others, we will successfully build a community of people who have our backs, and in turn, find job satisfaction and fulfillment together.

  • Keep your work fresh and focused

    – Let’s face it, working in the same office, doing the same thing, day in day out can get boring. Be creative, challenge yourself to pursue new opportunities. Step up when the opportunity presents itself.

  • Don’t wait for permission to find meaning in your current job

    – Don’t wait for an invitation to start loving your job, make it happen yourself. Be proactive and ask your boss. If there’s a project that aligns with your purpose or something that gets you excited, do it. If there’s an initiative you want to be involved in, get involved.

The grass is greener where it’s watered

You may be thinking about leaving your current job but remember that your next job will have its own set of problems. You may not necessarily need to leave your job to create a better one. If you want to get a better job, first and foremost, take charge of your own lot. You can fall back in love the one you are with but it starts with you.

If it turns out that you are more likely to create fulfillment by pursuing a different path at another company or starting something of you own, that’s okay. Unsure which step to make before taking a leap? Perhaps you might even want to give contracting a go? Feel free to chat to us here at Zephyr to explore if becoming a contractor is right for you.