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Avengers: Age of Ultron

Avengers: India’s Favorite Superheroes

Of all the films and characters in the MCU, Indian audiences love The Avengers. While all the Marvel superhero movies generally do fantastic at…

Churails

Punchy, Wild, Haphazard and BRILLIANT!

LAHORE: In the early phase of the promotion of Asim Abbasi’s Cake, we saw some animated or abstract posters. Light colored inoffensive posters with…

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Avengers: India’s Favorite Superheroes

Of all the films and characters in the MCU, Indian audiences love The Avengers. While all the Marvel superhero movies generally do fantastic at…

News from Pakistan

JAMSHORO map

Sindh, China Varsity sign MoU on research

JAMSHORO: Sindh University’s Area Study Centre (ASC) has inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Study Center for South Asia, Academy of Global Governance…

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BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Microsoft study: Close to one third of Asia Pacific’s remote and firstline workers are facing increased burnout at work

Microsoft study: Close to one third of Asia Pacific’s remote and firstline workers are facing increased burnout at work

Lack of work-life balance and contracting COVID-19 cited as top stressors, as outlined by Microsoft study which focuses on employee wellbeing

 

SINGAPORE
– Media
OutReach
 – 29
September 2020 – Workers in Asia Pacific are facing increased
burnout due to lack of separation between work and personal life as well as worry
of contracting COVID-19, according to Microsoft’s latest Work
Trend Index
report. On average, close to one third of
workers in Asia Pacific cited increased rates of burnout over the past six
months, with the lack of separation between work duties and personal
obligations as negatively impacting their wellbeing.

 

Surveying
over 6,000 information and first-line workers across eight countries globally
including Australia, Japan, India and Singapore, the study found that Singapore
and India were the top two countries in the region with workers facing
increased burnout, at 37 percent and 29 percent respectively. In addition,
close to 34 percent of Asia Pacific respondents cited worry about contracting
COVID-19, due to the lack of tech or protective equipment provided by
businesses to effectively socially distance, resulting in increased stress
levels.

 

“In
the last 6 months, we have seen how COVID-19 has contributed to the evolution
of the workplace — from a physical space to one residing in a virtual world. As
businesses adapt to a new way of working, it is important to examine the
multifaceted impact these changes are having on employees and provide relevant
and timely solutions,” said Rosalind Quek, General Manager, Modern
Workplace, Microsoft Asia.

 

Inspired by this research and conversations with
customers, Microsoft announced the start of a longer journey to evolve its
productivity tools to promote individual
wellbeing and organizational resilience
.
A series of updates have been launched within Microsoft Teams to support
employee wellbeing. These include a virtual commute experience that helps users
prepare for the day and mindfully disconnect in the evening and new insights that
supports managers and leaders in understanding how work happens, and its impact
on employee wellbeing. Microsoft has also partnered with Headspace to bring a
curated set of mindfulness and meditation experiences into the Teams platform
and launched new Teams experiences for Firstline
Workers
 to support them with
the tools they need to work more safely.

 

Key
Findings from the research include:

  1. The
    pandemic increased burnout at work — in some countries more than others
    .
  2. Causes
    of workplace stress differ for Firstline and remote workers
    .
  3. Six
    months in, there are more communications and fewer boundaries
    .
  4. No
    commute may be hurting, not helping, remote worker productivity
    .
  5. Studies
    show meditation can fight burnout and stress during the workday
    .

 

1.    
The pandemic increased burnout at work — in some
countries more than others

In
Asia Pacific, 29 percent of respondents cited that the pandemic has increased
their sense of burnout at work. However, Microsoft’s research showed that everyone
is experiencing this differently. For instance, Microsoft found that 37 percent
of workers in Singapore are experiencing higher rates of burnout than those in
Australia, India and Japan. While burnout can be attributed to many factors,
the chart below explores how longer workdays impact feelings of burnout. For
example, workers in Australia[1] saw the highest increase
in workday span in Microsoft Teams at 45 percent, with a medium increase in
burnout while workers in Germany saw very little change to workday span or
feelings of burnout.

 

Link to image

 

2.    
Causes of workplace stress differ for firstline
and remote workers

The report also revealed that the top stressor shared
globally was worry about contracting COVID-19, followed by lack of separation
between work and life, feeling disconnected from co-workers, and unmanageable
workload or hours. In Asia, the study found that over 34 percent of workers have not been provided
the tech or protective equipment they need to effectively socially distance by
their company, resulting to increased stress levels. This was higher than the
global average by 4 percentage points. In addition, among the stressors
reported by remote workers, the lack of separation between work and life and
feeling disconnected from coworkers ranked highest.   

 

Countries
across Asia also had cited differing factors contributing to work stress. In Australia
and Singapore, the lack of separation between work and life was the top
stressor with 24 percent and 31 percent respectively, with the feeling of
isolation coming closely behind at 22 and 28 percent. However, in countries
such as India and Japan, 42 percent and 26 percent respectively cited the
inability to socially distance and the worry about contracting COVID-19 while
on the job as a top stressor.

 

3.    
Six months in there are more communications and fewer
boundaries

Having
identified lack of separation between work and life, along with unmanageable
work hours, as top workplace stressors, Microsoft turned to usage patterns in Teams for
more insight.

 

Data
showed that globally, even six months past the first work-from-home orders, people are in significantly more
meetings, taking more ad hoc calls and managing more incoming chats than they
did before the pandemic. As people adjusted to remote working, after hours
chats, or chats between 5pm and midnight, have also increased.

 

Link to image

 

4.    
No commute may be hurting, not helping, productivity for
remote workers in Asia

For
years, Microsoft’s research group has been studying how commute has helped
maintain work-life boundaries–and worker’s productivity and wellbeing. A 2017
study helps us understand the productivity benefits of commute time. As part of
the study, a digital assistant used chat conversations featuring task- and
emotion-based questions to help participants prepare and detach from work
through the day. The study found that 6 in 10 people (61 percent) globally felt
they were more productive when the digital assistant helped them ramp up to and
down from work. On average, productivity increased between 12 and 15 percent.

 

The
new virtual commute experience in Teams will help workers have a productive
start in the morning and mindfully disconnect in the evening. Users can expect to
customize their experiences from a set of suggested tasks such as meditation
with the Headspace app, reflecting on the day or helping workers close out on
outstanding tasks.

 

5.    
Studies show meditation can fight burnout and stress
during the workday

Of
those surveyed in Asia, 73 percent said meditation could help decrease their work-related stress.
External research backs this up —
consistent meditation with Headspace can decrease stress
and burnout
and improve
your ability to react to negative feedback.

 

Thus,
Microsoft’s partnership with Headspace will offer workers the ability to
schedule ad hoc or recurring time for mindfulness breaks anytime — before a big
meeting or to find focus needed to start on an important project.

 

As
Microsoft continues to learn more about wellbeing at work, users can expect to
see related innovation continue to be developed across Microsoft 365 and Teams.
For more information on the product updates mentioned in this report visit the Microsoft
365 blog
. You can also read the full research here[2].


[1]
Workday span is the time between a person’s first and last active use of
Microsoft Teams, such as sending a chat, editing a document or attending a
meeting.

[2]Privacy
approach: Microsoft takes privacy seriously. We remove all personal data and
organization- identifying data, such as company
name, from the data before
using it to produce reports.
We never use customer content such as information within
an email, chat,
document, or meeting
to produce reports.
Our goal is to discover and share broad workplace trends
from aggregated data from the Microsoft Graph.


About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq
“MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent
cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every
organization on the planet to achieve more.

Japan’s innovative life sciences sector risks falling behind global rivals, according to Economist Intelligence Unit report

Japan’s innovative life sciences sector risks falling behind global rivals, according to Economist Intelligence Unit report

  • High-quality scientific publications from Japan decreased by 17%
    between 2015 and 2019, while China’s increased by 80% during the same period.
  • Women make up only 15% of the R&D workforce, and foreign
    researchers account for only 5.6% of the R&D workforce in Japan vs. 28% in
    the US
  • Investment in R&D in Japan is far below that of the US or
    China (US$18.1bn vs. US$179bn and US$100bn, respectively).

 

TOKYO,
JAPAN – Media OutReach
– 29 September 2020 – Medical innovation in the life
sciences requires a holistic policy and market access environment that supports
everything from basic science to product research and development (R&D)
and, ultimately, commercialization. Though North America and Europe are
historically leaders in innovation for the life sciences, Japan has been a
leading contributor from Asia for decades. However, emerging life science
sectors in South Korea, and more recently China, are quickly catching up after
investing heavily in infrastructure, human capital, and R&D, as well as
enacting national policies to further bolster their life sciences ecosystems.

 

Supporting an innovative life sciences ecosystem in Japan
is a report by The Economist Intelligence Unit, sponsored by Pfizer. It
describes findings from a research project to investigate the enabling factors
contributing to an environment prioritising innovation in the life sciences
sector and how Japan compares to global peers. The research consisted of a
benchmarking scorecard exercise conducted between December 2019 and January
2020 covering four countries: Japan, the US, South Korea and China.

 

Overall, while Japan is
still producing life science innovation at a high level, it appears to be
stagnating while the US remains ahead, and regional competitors are either catching
up to or surpassing Japan.

  • High-quality publications from
    Japan’s life sciences sector decreased by some 17% between 2015 and 2019,
    whereas China’s increased by nearly 80% in the same period, according to data
    from the Nature Index. Meanwhile, patents granted for pharmaceutical or medical
    technology innovation are trending upwards in South Korea and China but remain
    broadly stable in Japan and the US.  While Japan remains far ahead of
    regional neighbours South Korea and China in receiving new drug approvals from
    the US Food and Drugs Administration, it is notable that these all come from
    large, established biopharmaceutical companies in comparison to smaller
    relatively new biotech firms prevalent in the US. 
  • Japan’s R&D workforce is also
    under pressure, with universities shifting to employ researchers under
    short-term contracts, a small proportion of women researchers (15%),  and
    a lower number of international students or foreign researchers compared with
    the US (5.6% vs. 28%, respectively).
  • Finally Japan is also falling
    behind in terms of financing R&D; with US$18bn funding assigned in the last
    financial year where data were available, behind China’s US$100bn and US$179bn
    in the US. 

Several priority policy
areas were identified that should be addressed for Japan to maintain
competitiveness on the innovation global stage. These include: maintaining and
expanding a strong workforce (by encouraging more women into the R&D
workforce, supporting foreign research scientists to work in Japan and reskilling
existing employees); increased government spending on R&D and better
incentives for business enterprise; clarifying regulations around IP dispute;
encouraging technology transfer; and a clear and transparent policy for pricing
and financing innovative medicines.

 

Jesse Quigley Jones, editor
of the report, said, “Japan has a tradition of innovation in the life sciences
and many strong contributing drivers in this field. However, progress appears
to be stagnating and, like with many countries, areas for improvement exist. In
order for Japan to maintain and strengthen its global position as a leading
innovator in the life sciences, a renewed investment in basic research,
supporting technology transfer and commercialization, and bolstering the life
sciences workforce are areas for priority.”

About the research

Supporting an
innovative life sciences ecosystem in Japan

is a report by The Economist Intelligence Unit, sponsored by Pfizer. It
describes findings from a research project to investigate the enabling factors
contributing to an environment prioritising innovation in the life sciences
sector and how Japan compares to global peers. The research consisted of a
benchmarking scorecard exercise conducted between December 2019 and January
2020 covering four countries: Japan, the US, South Korea and China.

About The Economist Intelligence Unit

The Economist Intelligence
Unit is the world leader in global business intelligence. It is the
business-to-business arm of The Economist Group, which publishes The Economist
newspaper. The Economist Intelligence Unit helps executives make better
decisions by providing timely, reliable and impartial analysis on worldwide
market trends and business strategies. More
information can be found at www.eiu.com or www.twitter.com/theeiu

About Pfizer

At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to bring
therapies to people that extend and significantly improve their lives. We
strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery,
development and manufacture of health care products, including innovative
medicines and vaccines. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and
emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that
challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility
as one of the world’s premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies, we
collaborate with health care providers, governments and local communities to
support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world.
For more than 170 years, we have worked to make a difference for all who rely
on us. We routinely post information that may be important to investors on our
website at
www.pfizer.com. In addition, to learn more, please visit us on www.pfizer.comglobaland www.pfizer.co.jp (Japan)  

Hong Kong Innovation Foundation and Sino Group Support Children from Families in Need Through ‘One Laptop’ Programme

Hong Kong Innovation Foundation and Sino Group Support Children from Families in Need Through ‘One Laptop’ Programme

Holistic Educational Programmes to Support over 1,000 Students and Nurture Spirit of Innovation

 

HONG KONG, CHINA – Media OutReach – 28 September 2020 The growing number of families in need seeking e-learning support under the ‘One Laptop’ programme (the ‘Programme’), jointly launched by the Hong Kong Innovation Foundation (‘HKIF’) and Sino Group in August 2020, reflects the increasing challenges and urgent demand in the community for technological support outside of the classroom. Over 2,300 applications were received between 17 August and 4 September 2020. Out of 1,019 successful applications, over 60 per cent of applicants do not have a computer at home, impacting children’s ability to keep up with schoolwork. In response to the growing need for educational support, the Programme has been extended to cover more families in Hong Kong, increasing the distribution of laptops from the originally planned 200 to more than 1,000 units.

 

Hong Kong Innovation Foundation and Sino Group donate laptops and provide online support to 1,019 families in need through ‘One Laptop’ Programme. First on the right – back row: Ms Nikki Ng, Deputy Chairman of HKIF and Group General Manager of Sino Group and first on the left – back row: Mr Ivan Yau, General Manager, Community Affairs Department of Sino Land Company Limited and staff volunteers of the Programme

  

The large number of applications for laptops under the Programme indicates there is a need for long-term educational support for low-income families in Hong Kong. The Programme aims to provide both hardware and technical support for schoolchildren from these families. From 21 September to 3 October 2020, a total of 1,019 families with children ranging from Primary 4 to Secondary 3 will have received a laptop; all laptops include a two- or three-year warranty, as well as daily online support from our partner,  Hong Kong Baptist University. In addition, Programme applicants who previously did not have access to a broadband internet connection at home, accounting for almost 20 per cent of total successful applications, will receive two pre-paid 90GB mobile data SIM cards for online access.

All Programme applicants have been referred by school principals, teachers, registered social workers or representatives of non-governmental organisations. Ms May Wong, social worker of Tung Wah Group of Hospitals Jockey Club Tai Kok Tsui Integrated Services Centre shared that, ’12-year-old Yuen Yuen has just started Secondary 1. Amid the suspension of face-to-face classes in the last six months, Yuen Yuen has been heavily relying on her mobile phone for e-learning and doing homework, making it a real struggle for her study. While face-to-face classes have partially resumed in the new academic year, online classes are still ongoing. Receiving a laptop at this critical moment is exceptionally meaningful and essential for Yuen Yuen. I am glad that she is now equipped with a laptop to facilitate her online learning while catching up with schoolwork.’

 

‘Continued learning is essential and critical to children’s growth and development. As e-learning is becoming a new norm amid COVID-19, HKIF and Sino Group see the urgent need to provide relevant educational tools to children from less-resourced families, making online learning at home more accessible and effective for them.’ said Ms Nikki Ng, Deputy Chairman of HKIF and Group General Manager of Sino Group. ‘As we received over 2,300 applications in 19 days, the response from the community has been very enthusiastic. We quickly made the decision to increase the laptop donation number to 1,019 with the aim to help more students cope with the new learning arrangements amid the uncertain situation. We would also like to express our sincere thanks to our like-minded partners and to our staff volunteers for helping with the “One Laptop” Programme, and enabling us to run the laptop distribution and collection smoothly.’

 

Going beyond the provision of hardware devices, ongoing technical support will be provided to respond to students’ daily learning needs. All enquiries related to online learning, including use of software and different e-learning platforms, will be handled through consultation with online learning support ambassadors, who are undergraduates of Hong Kong Baptist University, to enhance the young students’ learning efficiency. The online learning support ambassador programme has also provided job opportunities to the university students. Around 50 passionate students from the Hong Kong Baptist University have been selected as learning support ambassadors for the Programme so far, who are committed to playing a part in the programme by helping those children in need.

 

In addition, HKIF will provide a series of training courses to enhance understanding of computer and internet use, as well as STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) learning opportunities to these students and their families in the upcoming months to nurture them with a spirit of innovation.

About the Hong Kong Innovation Foundation

The Hong Kong Innovation Foundation (HKIF) is a non-profit organisation founded by the Ng Family in March 2018. We believe that innovation and technology will define our future. By nurturing young minds and accelerating innovative solutions to real-life challenges, HKIF is empowering today’s innovators to transform Hong Kong into a global technology hub for tomorrow.

 

HKIF is a holistic innovation ecosystem committed to supporting innovation and technology, as well as building a smart and sustainable future together. We provide a variety of platforms to serve different sectors of the community.

 

http://www.hkif.org.hk

About Sino Group

Sino Group is one of the leading property developers in Hong Kong. It comprises three listed companies — Sino Land Company Limited (HKSE: 083), Tsim Sha Tsui Properties Limited (HKSE: 0247) and Sino Hotels (Holdings) Limited (HKSE: 1221) as well as private companies held by the Ng Family.

The Group’s core business is developing residential, office, industrial and retail properties for sale and investment. In addition to an extensive portfolio in Hong Kong, the Group has footprints in mainland China, Singapore and Australia. The Group has developed more than 220 projects, spanning a total plot ratio area of over 84.6 million sq. ft. Our core business is complemented by the gamut of property services encompassing management, security and environmental services to ensure a seamless Sino Experience. We are also a key player in hotel and club management.

 

The Group employs more than 10,000 committed staff members, who share the vision of creating better lifescapes. Lifescape is our vision — to build a better life together, where the community thrives in harmony by embracing green living and wellness, by engaging with all and pursuing meaningful designs, and by seeking innovation while respecting heritage and culture. Committed and together, we create a better community where people live, work and play.

 

The Group focuses its sustainability efforts on six areas, namely Green, Wellness, Design, Innovation, Heritage & Culture, and Community. Sino Land Company Limited (083) has been a constituent member of the Hang Seng Corporate Sustainability Index Series since September 2012 for its continual efforts in promoting sustainability.

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