Please don’t call me a life coach

No one should be coached on how to live their life

No one should be coached on how to live their life
I am not a life coach. I don’t want to be one, and I cannot be called one.
Why? Because no one needs a life coach. No one should be coached on how to live their life.
What do I do then? I am a mental trainer and coach. I give the world the right tools to live healthily and increase resiliency.
I help people find their values and their goals. I help them boost their self-esteem and let them understand why they should and how they should love themselves.
What does it take to live in balance?
This is what the world exactly needs now.
I believe that psychologists and psychiatrists are an essential part of life. When we need help while facing a psychological challenge or when we feel that we are going into a deep hole, we should consider meeting with a professional right away.
We need to be guided with the right tools to find our way and build resilience. Having the right tools prevent us from sinking into mental health diseases. This is how we could protect ourselves in the future.
By having the right tools, we are guided on what kind of food helps us live in a balance – not to be bloated, lose excess weight, and prevent any long-term diseases.
The right tools will also guide what movements keep the heart healthy and tone the muscles, such as: how to sit at your desk, how to destress, how to relax when you are in a meeting, how to manage your time, how to love yourself, how to have a new you, how to speak clearly and say your opinion, how to communicate, and how to be in a relationship again or how to keep it.

Your mind doesn’t register the word “not.” You will do the exact opposite when you say you do not want to.
Everything happens in your brain. You can control your whole life mentally. Mohamed Salah is the best football player worldwide now. In my opinion, he was raised in a poor society and didn’t have an open-minded culture around him. He didn’t have the best education, but he was talented and determined by himself in football and as a great professional. He is getting trained in football and mentally. Look at where he is now with a great level of charisma and stability. He is very grounded. If people want to succeed in life, they should look for life balance and that can only be achieved holistically with the right mindset first and then work on your nutrition and movement. The role of a mental coach is to help you achieve life balance. Mental training is exactly like sports. Your brain is like your muscles which could be trained and coached. When you train your mind well, you can coach it independently. You will know how to put your mindset should problems arise.
An example of mental training is using positive language to program your mind.
Positive language is fundamental. I train my clients not to say, “I don’t want to be xxx, but to say I would like to be yyy.” Or don’t say, “I want to lose weight.” Say, “I am planning to look amazing and good and feel comfortable with my body.” Don’t say, “I don’t want to be late,” Say “I will always come on time.” Your mind doesn’t register the word “not.” You will do the exact opposite when you say you do not want to.
 
For example, when you say you want to quit smoking, your brain will be thinking about smoking. If you say you do not want to get angry, your mind will become irate.
We need to be mindful of the words we use and say. Words are powerful, and they can make or break you. Challenges are usually a symptom to the real problem. By overcoming each challenge, you are closer to overcoming the real problem itself.
Talking with mental coaches and trainers allow you to use the right tools to overcome these challenges you are facing.
 

Are Companies Responsible For Their Employees’ Life-Balance?

Are Companies Responsible For Their Employees’ Life-Balance?

In a 2020 survey by Eurofound, 29% of women and 11% of men stated that it is hard for them to concentrate on their jobs because of family while 35% of women and 33% of men said that jobs prevent them from giving time to family. 

The survey also revealed that 36% of women and 28% of men are too tired after work to do household chores.

Probably the most surprising finding is that 38% of women and 29% of men still worry about work even when they’re not working. Overall, the survey revealed that a significant percentage of men and women with young children are experiencing work-life conflicts.

If these problems that concern stress management, time management and resilience building are not addressed, these could happen:

  1. Employees will experience burnout.
  2. Employees will be prone to chronic diseases.
  3. Employees will feel demotivated.

And these will lead to increase in absenteeism and presenteeism rates in organizations.

The Cost of Presenteeism

Presenteeism refers to situations when employees come to work but are unproductive due to many reasons, such as burnout, mental illness, demotivation, no chemistry with the team, conflicts, time management and stress.

Remember that the cost of presenteeism to businesses is almost 10 times higher than that of absenteeism.

Absent workers cost employers around US$150 billion per year, but those who came to work and were not fully productive cost US$1,500 billion per year in the US, based on the BLS data.

In the Middle East, based on the new GCC Insights, the Global Corporate Challenge (GCC) found out that employees were unproductive for 57.5 days each year, and that’s equivalent to almost three working months.

This has led me to thinking: Are companies responsible for their employees’ life-balance?

We have reached out to experts across different sectors worldwide and asked them two questions:

1)  Do companies have a role in developing the life-balance of their employees?; and

2)  What can companies do to help their employees achieve life-balance?

Flexible working hours, remote work, understanding employees’ individual needs, and allowing time for family and recreational activities are the common recommendations mentioned by our respondents in support of life-balance.

Do companies have a role in developing the life-balance of their employees?

All of the HR experts that we reached out to believe that companies have a role in developing their employees’ life-balance.

Here are some of the highlights in the points and recommendations shared by the HR Experts when asked how companies could help their employees achieve life-balance:

  1. Providing flexible work options.
  2. Supporting the wellbeing of employees.
  3. Having guidelines and principles on how a healthy life-balance should look like.
  4. Nominating life-balance partners to promote life-balance within the company.
  5. Creating flexible policies that help achieve life balance, such as flexible working hours, remote working, self sick leave, advanced salary, and entertainment discount extended to friends and family.
  6. Facilitating awareness sessions on how employees could be productive at work while maintaining their personal lives.
  7. Enforcing the culture that helps segregate work time from off-work time.
  8. Encouraging efficient work, not more work. Offering flexible and remote working, giving time to volunteer, and giving access to exercise.
  9. Not asking employees to sacrifice their personal lives for the sake of their job security or prioritize their livelihood over their family.
  10. Finding a good way to address the individual needs of employees by taking into account the different life phases of employees. For example, young parents have different challenges than employees without children.
  11. Ensuring that employees are given the right tools to perform their roles to the best of their ability. This may be in the form of flexible hours, flexibility for working parents, remote work options and setting realistic expectations with clients.
  12. Building a workplace culture that is motivating and energizing and purpose driven to instill a sense of self-confidence and self-esteem among employees.
  13. Providing life insurance, along with health insurance. Promoting team-building activities and awareness campaigns; holding team meetings outside the office without discussing work.
  14. Setting a course of action to change the organization from within. It should be approached holistically and incorporated at every level of the organization. Train employees, provide them with the right tools and initiatives; and empower them to encourage change in behaviour and attitude.
  15. Making mental, emotional, and physical wellness a priority and not an add-on. Making vacations mandatory on an annual basis to make sure everyone gets their switch-off time.

Here’s our interview with 15 HR experts:

What can companies do to help their employees achieve life-balance?​

Focus on productivity and not hours; flexible working, Working remotely; lead by example. — Alexandra Richardt, Global Head of Human Resources, United Initiators GmbH

Education, flexible working, well being support, active promotion of work-life balance — Rachid ‘Ben’ Bengougam, Senior VP HR EMEA, Hilton

Be role models and have guidelines and principles on how a healthy life-balance should look like and most important of all walk the talk. — Tim Shahriar Tabrizi, Serial Entrepreneur, Supply Chain Expert, Former CPO of WSA

First of all, companies should have a willingness for WLB or LB as a LB partner of each employee and should not act like Police State. Exactly like Business Partnering, each company must nominate staff as Life Balance Partners who will propagate LB. — Uday Dongare, Head HR Administration, L&T

Being an expatriate and managing over 50 nationalities in one property is not easy to ensure the Talent is welcome and feeling home.

One thing always stands up to is how to let the talent balance their life. Having fun in the workplace, building relationships among the talent, and create flexible policies are also helping to achieve life balance. For instance, flexible working hours, remote working, self sick leave, advanced salary, and entertainment discount extended to friends and family. — Kheder Osman, Assistant Director of Human Resources at W Abu Dhabi Yas Island

Encourage the flexible working hours, compress working days and long weekends, telework invite family members to workplace, awareness sessions on how to be productive at work while maintaining your personal life. I used to say: prior 2020, we take the pending work from the office to home; after 2020, we take pending work from home to office. — Mahmoud Alabdali, Head of Human Resources, MyClinic

Mainly two things, first, create a company of experience that aims to enjoying life beside work, as in employee welfare programs, second & most importantly is to enforce the culture segregating work time from off work time, i.e. weekend is for rest, week days for work, annual leave is for rest, work days for work, etc. — Hussein El Ashmawi, Group HR Director, Alameda Healthcare Group

Offer flexible and remote working, give time to volunteer, give access to exercise.

Don’t push seniors to retire in order to finally pursue their dreams. By letting seniors work remotely, they can move to their ideal location, travel, and spend more time with their families – while still contributing to your organization’s success.

Encourage Efficient Work – Not More Work, In addition to performance concerns, working long hours has proven to be damaging to employee morale – The Mental Health Foundation reports that when working long hours, 27% of employees feel depressed, 34% feel anxious and 58% feel irritable. — Kamesh Chaganti, Vice President – Human Resources, Zee Entertainment Middle East

In a world where someone’s time is almost equally divided between home and workplace, companies can and must play a vital role in helping their employees achieve a life-balance.

This can be done by first and foremost creating a workplace atmosphere that reflects real life. A place where employees are people who have an actual life happening outside the walls of the office in which emergencies might come up or situations may arise which the employee needs not to apologize or feel bad for.

 

Staff shouldn’t be made to feel guilty because they had a personal issue which needed them to be away from their working desks for a certain amount of time.

Maral Baboyan

Second, being in a working environment which doesn’t abuse the employee mentally and emotionally is vital in helping employees lead a balanced life; one in which the person doesn’t go home drained to the point where they are unable to live out their personal lives.

In a nutshell, companies should learn not to ask a person to sacrifice their personal lives for the sake of their job security or prioritize their livelihood over their family. Always keep in mind that when a person is given the flexibility and freedom to comfortably balance out their professional and personal lives is one that will achieve more on all fronts. — Maral Baboyan, Head of HR, Key of Education International School – Qatar

In my point of view, the main task for companies to ensure the life-balance of their employees is to find a good way to address the individual needs of employees.

Taken into account the different life phases of employees, it quickly becomes clear that young parents, for example, have different challenges than employees without children.

The generation models also show that companies must respond flexibly to the different demands and expectations of employees in order to be and remain attractive.

Whereas work typically comes first for baby boomers, the situation is very different for the following generations X and Y. Here, self-fulfillment, purpose and independence are high on the list of priorities regarding working life. Of course, exceptions confirm the rule here as elsewhere.

These different expectations are increasingly coming into conflict as Gen Y is widely entering the labour market. This often leads to conflicts between employees and managers, but also within teams. Not everyone involved always has the necessary understanding for the other´s needs.

 

Here, as a company, it is important to create appropriate framework conditions so that all employees can relate and conflicts can be avoided.

Christine Fink

 

Especially in the more conservative industries, I believe this will be a major challenge for companies in terms of leadership, teamwork and flexibility. Working time regulations, shift models and infrastructures need to be re-thought in order to respond more agilely and flexibly to the needs of employees and at the same time ensure the effectiveness and profitability of the company. — Christine Fink, Head of Human Resources Europe & South America, GF Machining Solutions

With work schedules getting busier than ever before and clients becoming more demanding, the pressure on employees to perform above and beyond expectations is huge.

There is an immense responsibility on forward thinking organisations to ensure a healthy life-balance for all of their employees. Studies have shown that balanced employees are inclined to feel more motivated and less stressed out at work, perform better, which inevitably will increase company productivity.

 

Productivity comes in different forms, and each employee performs more efficiently under different conditions. Employers have a duty to their employees to ensure they are giving them the right tools to perform their roles to the best of their ability.

Reem Osman

This may be in the form of flexible hours, flexibility for working parents, remote work options and setting realistic expectations with clients.

Understand who your employees are, what makes them tick, what gets them up in the morning (and no, it isn’t their job), use these motivators, to incorporate their priorities into their work life, and you will see happier employees who feel appreciated, included and understood. — Reem Osman, Chief People Officer, Nybl

A typical employee spends between 33% to 50% of any given day at work. It is important that workplace Culture is motivating and energizing and purpose driven. This will instill a sense of self confidence and self esteem among employees that spills over on everything else in an employee’s life.

 

Companies that invest in authentic, high performing, high bar leaders and front line managers have remarkably high performing and happier members.

Sanuj Krishnan

Happier team members are more energetic outside of work and are able to bring harmony between work and life. Companies these days go the extra-mile in offering tailor made benefits (un-limited leaves, family days, sabbaticals, flexible work arrangements) to meet employee lifestyle needs as well. — Sanuj Krishnan, Global Head of HR, Swvl

Although life balance is key, yet at times it may differ person to person. Some enjoy more professional drive while some enjoy outside work environment. Managers need to be supportive towards their employees/team members and encourage humility.

Step in with empathy to understand how focus are they. Employee/s with personal issues in their back pack reduces productivity and a proactive approach helps mitigate.

Managers with regular team meetings help ease to open translucent doors between the manager and the employee which will help in assessing the efficiency as well.

 

Managers need to set a good example by focussing on the assigning per priority instead of quantity and deadlines over weekends. In addition, employee wellbeing, health and safety plays a vital role.

Sthabirjit Chaliha,

Along with health insurance, if companies can also promote life insurance for their employees, adds a value that stays with a positive vibe and spreads outside the work. Another example is paternity leave for fathers that helps spending quality time with their families.

In addition, team building activities, regular awareness campaigns like breast cancer awareness, etc. works wonders. Holding team meeting outside office, without discussing work for a day helps reducing the gap and an opportunity for managers to earn respect and trust from team members.

With the COVID 19 pandemic, companies have adopted technologies that help employees to work from home and have proved that productivity has in fact increased. Companies should start thinking about flexible working hours with set of deliverables so that companies can keep up with their set goals without compromising on productivity. — Sthabirjit Chaliha, Head- Human Resources, Al Najah

A straightforward Google search will tell you that employees spend an average of 90,000 hours over a lifetime, equating to one-third of their life at work. On the flip side, Payscale.com says that people spend an average of 328 days with their friends throughout a lifetime.

By virtue of these statistics, it is safe to say that companies can play a significant role in an employee achieving a life equilibrium. From a bottom-line perspective, there are numerous advantages from adopting this philosophy, such as increased productivity, reduced sickness and absenteeism, and greater talent retention. So the business justification is sorted.

Elrona DSouza

Companies can set a course of action to change their organisation from within. It should be approached holistically and incorporated at every level of the organisation. For starters it is important to listen to their employees, understand their needs, and incorporate them into the plan for starters.

Such initiatives should also be substantiated with data collected through exit interviews, engagement surveys, productivity reports etc. A great way to launch this change is to start from the top i.e. C-suite as role models. It can be strengthened by the line managers who advocate these principles as they are front line people managers who will bring out the best results.

They need to be trained, provided the right tools and initiatives and empowered to encourage change in behaviour and attitude. The training should focus on change in attitude and behaviour from penalising their teams for prioritising life balance to normalizing it.

The change may be gradual and needs to be monitored with the right measure of behaviour changes, perhaps through employee questionnaires and life balance surveys. The support and change in how an organisation values employees and their contribution can only be achieved if they make it mainstream and all pervasive in their decisions, policies, systems and work processes. A few events and generous leave policies will do little to change the current life imbalances. Employees should be encouraged to take them and not have to worry about the consequences. — Elrona DSouza, Managing Partner at S&K Consulting

“You can’t do a good job, if your job is all you do!” Ali Khursheed Ahmad
In my opinion, the responsibility for ensuring a healthy work-life balance for people in the organization is shared equally between the employer and the employee. The employees have to take responsibility to change their attitudes to work and home life and at the same time, companies can help their staff to find and maintain a work balance that works. My mother used to say, there’s a place and time for everything. Now when I think of it, it’s so very applicable to the world of work. We all will readily agree that boundaries are good in our personal lives. There’s no reason why we can’t and shouldn’t have boundaries in our professional lives too. A world where we work when we work. And we can have our 100% self in our personal lives when we’re not working. There shouldn’t be any guilt about an employee who wants to give due priority to his family or personal commitments too. The best kind of companies actually encourage and even force employees to have a healthy work-life balance. All progressive organizations must start by fostering high-trust work environments and setting boundaries around work. Starting with the leadership teams, work-life balance must be practiced from the top and all the way below. Everyone deserves to be their 100% at work and when not at work they deserve to be their 100% in their personal lives too. Flexibility around duty timings, week offs, and place of work should be the next area of focus. Getting the work done is important, but there can mostly be a lot of pivoting space as to where, what exact hours or days should that work happen. It is also very much acceptable to experiment with customized ideas for each unique work environment to try out what works and what doesn’t. People who still feel compelled to stay late for work everyday must be restricted to work beyond an acceptable hour. Vacations must be made mandatory on an annual basis to make sure everyone gets their switch-off time. A healthy common-zone where personal meets professional is another good practice where employees feel comfortable sharing their work updates with family and the office is welcoming in specially curated family days at the office. Mental, emotional, and physical wellness is a priority and not an add-on. The sooner companies start realizing that, a lot more work would be delivered while keeping both productivity and personal satisfaction at their respective peaks. Once we have figured out whether we live to work or work to live, we would all be a lot closer to achieving the kind of work-life balance that we all deserve! — Ali Khursheed Ahmad, Group Head – Performance, Training & Talent at FHG Middle East

Achieving Life-Balance for Your Organization

By having a better understanding of your organization’s current situation as well as the struggles your employees face during this time of crisis, you’ll be able to come up with better ways to address their concerns and help them achieve a life-balance. Step up and enforce a culture that encourages listening and supporting employees especially during such a difficult and challenging time.

I advise each organization to work as of today – and not tomorrow- on a wellbeing plan for their employees.

It should be a long-term plan with quick short-term measures. It’s not about one course or webinar, it’s about strategy and milestones, which could be measured to see also the huge ROI on the money you are putting into this.

There are so many organizations which will help you not only to apply this and not only to calculate your ROI, but also help you with calculating your absenteeism and presenteeism rate and have a complete strategy and plan for your employees. Learn more about how U-Grow can help.

Kolocep – Island

Kolocep - Island

Welcome to our Croatia – Retreat

Welcome to Koločep – The villa consists of 2 floors and 8 bedrooms in total, including 4 double bedrooms, 3 twin bedrooms, and 1 single room. Each floor has a big bathroom, a terrace, and a balcony. The villa has a large, combined kitchen and dining area, and sun loungers in the garden are the perfect spot for spending relaxing days on the Island. The Villa is 2 min away from the beach.

Available NOW

PROVIDING INSIDE & OUTSIDE YOGA PLACES

Attendees for this Location.
max. 12 participants / min. 8

Dubrovnik Intl. Airport

8 bedrooms

mid. April – September

The home and its peaceful location are just what we need to cultivate a calm and relaxing vacation, far away from traffic and crowds. It’s a place where all your stress can disappear just by watching the sea, olive trees, and gorgeous sunsets.

Villa amenities include free WiFi, TV with DVD player, air conditioning, iron and ironing board, washing machine, and hairdryer. The kitchen is well equipped and includes a fridge, oven, stove, microwave, coffee maker, toaster, and dishwasher.

Activities around the accommodation

Included
Optional - Free of charge
Optional - Extra charge

Accommodation Details

Villa with 8 beautiful rooms | 8 attendees minimum

ROOM #
BEDS
SLEEPING SOFA
EXTRA BED
ENSUITE BATHROOM
# 101
1x Queen
# 102
1x Queen
# 103
1x Queen
# 104
2x Singles
# 105
2x Singles
# 106
2x Singles
# 107
2x Singles
# 108
1x Single

About
the location

Country: Croatia
City: Koločep Island
Retreat duration: 8 days / 7 nights

Koločep Island is a small and peaceful island just 20 minutes from Dubrovnik, one of the most beautiful and historic cities in Croatia. With the population of just 160 people, Koločep island is the perfect place to relax, meditate, and enjoy the country’s untouched nature.
Our villa accommodates 12 people and is just minutes away (250 m) from a beautiful beach. Since the island has no cars, you’ll be able to fully immerse yourself in the retreat without reminders of the busy city. There are restaurants and bars nearby.

Distances

Are You Interested?

If you are interested in designing a retreat with us, just let us know so we can get in touch to discuss opportunities and details! Contact Us!

Ibiza II

Ibiza Two

Welcome to our Ibiza – Retreat

Another beautiful retreat and vacation venue in Santa Eulalia, Ibiza, Spain offering the tranquility and beauty of being on the sea with the convenience and practicality of being in the village of Santa Eulalia. Guests can access the sea just by going out the garden gate. There are places for inside and outside Yoga classes

AVAILABLE NOW

5 bedrooms | convenient villa

Attendees for this Location.
max. 13 participants / min. 8

Ibiza Airport

5 beautiful bedrooms

mid. April – mid. October

Activities around the accommodation

Possible To Include
Optional

Accommodation Details

5 bedrooms | up to 13 people max. | min. 8 attendees

ROOM #
BEDS
SLEEPING SOFA
EXTRA BED
ENSUITE BATHROOM
Room 1
2x Singles
Room 2
2x Singles
Room 3
1x Double / 3x Singles
Room 4
1x Double
Room 5
1x Singles

About
the location

Country: Spain
City: Ibiza
Retreat duration: 8 days / 7 nights

Ibiza is a Spanish island in the Mediterranean Sea off the Eastern coast of Spain. It is 150 kilometers from the city of Valencia. It is the third largest of the Balearic Islands, an autonomous community of Spain. The population of Ibiza is ca 144,000 inhabitants. The island is widely known for its nightlife, however, it is also a very special spiritual centre that attracts many people to the island as well. Ibiza enjoys very mild climate with a lot of sunshine allowing going to the beach almost all the year round.

Distances

Are You Interested?

If you are interested in designing a retreat with us, just let us know so we can get in touch to discuss opportunities and details! Contact Us!

Ibiza I

Ibiza One

Welcome to our Ibiza – Retreat
located on the magnificent peaceful land surrounded by mountains, countryside views, and 5 min from the sea with the nearest beaches Cala D’en Serra and Portinatx. The rooms are with balcony overlooking a mountain and forest. Two beaches are within 20-30min walking distance. The area around is suitable for hikes with amazing countryside and mountainous views.

AVAILABLE NOW

beautiful & spacious 8 bedrooms | 9 attendees minimum

Attendees for this Location.
max. 18 participants / min. 9

Ibiza Airport

8 beautiful bedrooms

mid. April – mid. October

Activities around the accommodation

Possible to include
Location Features

Accommodation Details

8 bedrooms | all of them really spacious | 9 attendees minimum

ROOM #
BEDS
SLEEPING SOFA
EXTRA BED
ENSUITE BATHROOM
HOUSE ONE
Room 1
1x Queen
private
Room 2
1x Queen / 2x Singles
Room 3
1x Queen
private
Room 4
2x Singles
shared
Room 5
2x Singles
shared
HOUSE TWO
Suite
1x Queen
Room 7
2x Singles
shared
Room 8
1x Queen
shared

About
the location

Country: Spain
City: Ibiza
Retreat duration: 8 days / 7 nights

This jewel can  host retreats in a tranquil and serene environment and its formed by two houses including a calm space in the nature for yoga and workshops.
Very spacious, tastefully decorated with some original rustic features, including wooden beamed ceilings and a fireplace. The property features a large Roman style swimming pool with the BBQ and terrace area. Sa Calma is decorated in typical Ibiza stile. Both houses are located next to each other and have A/C, Wifi, covered dining area, terrace and Natural Shade. There is a huge outside space under rooftoop for yoga practices and a big tent in arabic style to chill out or make circles.

Distances

Are You Interested?

If you are interested in designing a retreat with us, just let us know so we can get in touch to discuss opportunities and details! Contact Us!

Sicily II

Sicily Two

Welcome to our Sicily II – Retreat

This selection manages to both fit into nature and offer guests a resolutely contemporary experience, with a simple choices of furniture and a cozy, timeless, and peaceful feel. There are places for inside and outside Yoga classes. Laid out on one floor, the country house has a fully-equipped kitchen and 6 double rooms, with beds that can be separated upon request. The rooms each have their own bathroom, while the house has WiFi, air conditioning, and fresh linens. There is a large garden to practice yoga or enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the olive groves. The house also has a barbecue area, swimming pool, and solarium.

Available NOW

6 rooms with 1x king or 2x singles available

Attendees for this Location.
max. 12 participants / min. 8

Catania Fontanarossa or Comiso – are the closest airports

6 beautiful rooms

April – November

Activities around the accommodation

Included
Optional - Free of charge

Accommodation Details

6 rooms | all of them with 1x king or 2x singles available | minimum 8 attendees​

ROOM #
BEDS
SLEEPING SOFA
EXTRA BED
ENSUITE BATHROOM
# 1
1x King or 2x Singles
# 2
1x King or 2x Singles
# 3
1x King or 2x Singles
# 4
1x King or 2x Singles
# 5
1x King or 2x Singles
# 6
1x King or 2x Singles

About
the location

Country: Italy
City: Chiaramonte (Sicily)
Retreat duration: 7 days / 6 nights​

Nested on the beautiful Chiaramonte Gulfi, our secret escape is in the midst of the enchanting south-oriental Sicilian countryside. Sitting between the baroque city of Ragusa, which is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the sea, Iblee country house is a charming summer residence on an organic farm producing olive oil.

Distances

Are You Interested?

If you are interested in designing a retreat with us, just let us know so we can get in touch to discuss opportunities and details! Contact Us!

Sicily I

Sicily One

Welcome to our Sicily – Retreat
Centered around an old farm house house, in the beautiful Sicilian countryside, surrounded by olive groves.

Nested in a beautiful valley, our secret escape is in the midst of the enchanting south-oriental Sicilian countryside. Sitting between the baroque city of Ragusa, which is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the sea, Iblee country house is a charming residence on an organic farm producing olive oil. Great yoga shala inside and great places to do Yoga outside!

Available NOW

12 beautiful and spacious suites

Attendees for this Location.
max. 25 participants / min. 15

Catania Fontanarossa or Comiso – are the closest airports to the location

12 beautiful suites

April – November

Activities around the accommodation

Included
Optional - not included

Accommodation Details

12 beautiful suites | all of them really spacious | 15 attendees minimum

ROOM #
BEDS
SLEEPING SOFA
EXTRA BED
ENSUITE BATHROOM
# 101
1x Queen
YES
YES
# 102
1x Queen
YES
YES
# 103
1x Queen
YES
YES
# 104
1x Queen
YES
# 105
1x Queen / 2x Singles
YES
YES
# 106
1x Queen
YES
YES
# 107
1x Queen
YES
YES
# 108
1x Queen
YES
YES
.
# 201
1x Queen
YES
YES
# 202
1x Queen
YES
YES
# 203
1x King
YES
YES
# 204
1x King
YES
YES

About
the location

Country: Italy
City: Chiaramonte (Sicily)
Retreat duration: 7 days / 6 nights

The home can accommodate 25 people. Just after a regenerating swim in pool overlooking the beautiful valley of the Monti Iblei, or after admiring a romantic sunset, you delight a typical Sicilian vegan or vegetarian food. Great space for yoga rooms inside and outside …

Distances

Are You Interested?

If you are interested in designing a retreat with us, just let us know so we can get in touch to discuss opportunities and details! Contact Us!

Dahab

Dahab

Welcome to our Dahab – Retreat

Our beautiful venue is just 10 minute walking distance to the beach and 5 minutes to the promenade. It  has a lovely outdoor space with a swimming pool, amazing sun terrace. It has 8 bedrooms, and every room has ensuite bathroom. Venue is specially designed to exude Egyptian culture and details. Villa amenities include free WiFi, TV, air conditioning, bikes, ATM.

Available NOW

Villa with 8 beautiful rooms | all of them spacious

Attendees for this Location.
max. 22 participants / min. 9

Sharm el-Sheikh Intl. – is the closest airport to the location

8 beautiful rooms

March-June
September-November

Activities around the accommodation

Included
Optional - Free of charge

Accommodation Details

Villa with 8 beautiful rooms | all of them spacious | 9 attendees minimum

ROOM #
BEDS
SLEEPING SOFA
EXTRA BED
ENSUITE BATHROOM
# 01
1x Queen
# 02
1x Queen
# 03
1x Queen
# 04
1x Queen
# 05
1x Queen
# 06
1x Queen
# 07
1x Queen
# 08
1x Queen

About
the location

Country: Egypt
City: Dahab
Retreat duration: 7 days / 6 nights

Welcome to Dahab – small town on the southeast coast of the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, located 85 km north of Sharm el-Sheikh . Formerly a Bedouin fishing village, Dahab is now considered to be one of Sinai’s most treasured destinations and a great place to retreat.
Red Sea is famous for its unique beauty it is number 1 destination for diving and snorkeling.
Dahab is considered world class location for windsurfing,rock climbing and desert trekking with the Bedouin.

Distances

Are You Interested?

If you are interested in designing a retreat with us, just let us know so we can get in touch to discuss opportunities and details! Contact Us!

Why Resilience, Not Positive Thinking, Is The Key To Your Success

Why Resilience, Not Positive Thinking, Is The Key To Your Success

Resilience is the ability to recover from tough situations and difficulties. The strength that allows you to cope with hardship in a healthy way. The capability to spring back into action mode once faced with disparity.

Positive thinking can harm you, too. When I started my career, I was convinced that positive thinking was the key to success.

I used to travel 90% of the time, and I used to tell myself: Yes I can do it. I used to say yes to all tasks given to me, and I used to tell myself: Yes I can do them all. I used to accept 10 meetings a day, and I used to tell myself: Yes, why not? I am as tough as stone. Quite the multitasker oh yes, I used to be that man.

Being a positive thinker has allowed me to reach far and it has gotten me to where I am now. However, I found out that it could also bring me harm in the long run. I realized that there is such a thing as too much positivity – we also need realism.

 

Too much positivity can become toxic; it can create unrealistic expectations and take a toll on your health.

KORAYEM RAZIK

How did I come to this conclusion?

After a while I saw myself getting stressed easily, panicked, not sleeping well at night and I started to feel tired. I went over my limits. I let my body & soul do things which my heart, feelings and energy didn’t agree with.

As I started to understand and learn more about leadership and mental training, I learnt a word that changed my life: Resilience.

Resilience is the ability to recover from tough situations and difficulties. The strength that allows you to cope with hardship in a healthy way. The capability to spring back into action mode once faced with disparity.

The ability to say ‘no’ to 10 meetings and do it in three days instead of one.

The ability to make you travel less and save your energy for a longer career and happier work-life balance.

The ability to know what you can and what you can’t do.

The ability to understand that multitasking isn’t always productive and it can harm your long term career.

The ability to have self-confidence, being able to believe in yourself, not always feel pressure and that you don’t need to say yes all the time.

Possessing resilience does not remove stress or the difficulties of life

This year has been filled with illness, financial difficulties, anxiety and grief. How does one cope with such difficulties?

It is very easy to become overwhelmed and dwell in our problems creating unhealthy coping mechanisms. Are you thinking how great and easy would it be if only I was resilient?

 

Resilience is more than just coping. It’s about learning from experience, being optimistic and learning that it is okay to ask for help when needed.

KORAYEM RAZIK

Possessing resilience does not erase stress or the difficulties of life. People who have this quality simply have a very different outlook in life. They understand that life is not perfect and that it is filled with hurdles that must be overcome. These hurdles can be lessons and make them stronger if they wish.

Resilient people are able to look at negative situations realistically but in a way that they don’t brood over such situations.

Fortunately, resilience is something that you can build in yourself

I strongly believe that with the right guidance and support, resilience can bloom within people facing adversities and employees going through stress.

Resilience can take some time to build so don’t feel discouraged if you struggle with difficult situations. In each of us there is strength and courage we did not know we had.

What are your thoughts about resilience and positive thinking?

Presenteeism Costs 10x More Than Absenteeism

Presenteeism Costs 10x More Than Absenteeism. How Can Leaders Tackle This?

Absent workers cost employers around US$150 billion per year, but those who came to work and were not fully productive cost US$1,500 billion per year in the US, based on the BLS data. Why is this so? And how can leaders address this?

We all had tough times in 2020 here in Europe. 

We’ve had challenges at work, in our relationships, in our businesses — name it, we’ve been through all of these. And the challenges continue as the world and the circumstances have changed since the global pandemic started last year.

Here in Europe, even just surviving this dark, cold weather, grey skies, no sun — with three lockdowns at home — has been challenging for some. Imagine not having the usual Christmas markets, no gyms, no indoor pools. All of these “disruptions” to the lifestyles we have been used to for years have led to increased depression.

Personally, my mental coaching bookings in the last six months, within three lockdowns, increased by 150%.

During my coaching sessions, I talked to many employees facing problems with resilience; some were depressed and anxious. And their issues vary:
  • Some experience fears of losing their jobs.
  • Some already lost their jobs.
  • Others had problems dealing with stress. 
  • A few had sleep problems.

Because of my exposure to various mental, emotional and psychological issues that people are facing due to the global pandemic, I can’t help but ask myself every night: Who is actually responsible for this? 

Research studies support the observations I had: 

  •  According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 50% of people in Europe have a risk of getting into a depression. 
  • The European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions or Eurofound has found out in their study that nearly 25% of employees are not resilient enoughto weather the challenges they face

So, again, the question is, who is actually responsible for these alarming stats?

Is it the employee’s history or resilience? 

Is it the employer?  

Is it the direct manager and the circumstances in the workplace?  

Who should support the people to have a healthy and a resilient life knowing that this actually has an impact on their work performance, and hence to the success of the business? 

While thinking about it, I remembered my talks and experiences in the last 20 years and it looks like that:

  1. Managers always look at the costs that are caused by absent employees.
  2. Leaders focus on what is called ‘absenteeism’ and ‘presenteeism’.

Absent Employees vs Absenteeism: What’s the Difference?

Let me clarify first the difference between ‘absent’ and ‘absenteeism’

Absent: When an employee doesn’t come to work — usually because of sickness or family concerns — due to an important reason.

The reasonable causes for short absences include vacation or occasional illness, as well as obligatory responsibilities like jury duty.

Absenteeism: Absence from work for a period of time beyond the acceptable limit.

Frequent causes of absenteeism include burnout, harassment, mental illness, and the need to take care of sick parents and children.

Back when I was a manager, I wasn’t fully concerned about the difference between being absent and absenteeism. Because the cost of being absent is very easy to know, which is: it’s the cost of: Number of Days Absent / Number of Available Days

But when I read more about leadership and studied mental coaching and resilience to better understand the needs of people, I started to become more aware of the impact of presenteeism and absenteeism rates. 

I also began to dig deeper and deeper, and at the same time I started to get closer to my team and understand them more and more.  

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the 2018 US annual average absence rate was 2.9%. For the private sector, the rate was 2.8%, while for the public sector the rate is 3.3%. The last number which was measured from the Eurofound In Europe, the average rates are between 3% and 6%.  

But what is the acceptable rate for absenteeism?

Usually, 1.5% is a very good rate for absenteeism. A higher rate can indicate an issue. The important part here is that employers should always have a look at the rate and think about what to do and in which areas employees have absenteeism rates of above 1.5%.

Presenteeism Is Nearly 10x More Expensive Than Absenteeism

From my point of view, absenteeism is not the best indicator of whether or not companies are on the right track. 

For instance, in the Middle East, as per the new GCC Insights, the Global Corporate Challenge (GCC) found out that on average, an employee doesn’t go to work only four days per year  — this is somehow a good percentage.

But as per the same report, presenteeism was 57.5 days each – almost three working months!

Unlike absenteeism, presenteeism refers to situations when employees come to work but are unproductive on the job due to many reasons, including burnout, harassment, mental illness, demotivation, no chemistry with the team, conflicts, time management and stress. It could also be because of chronic diseases, which are caused by stress. 

The High Cost of Presenteeism

 

The cost of presenteeism to businesses is almost 10 times higher than that of absenteeism.

Absent workers cost employers around US$150 billion per year, but those who came to work and were not fully productive cost US$1,500 billion per year in the US, based on the BLS data.

Why is this so?

The reason is simple: Employees who are unproductive, demotivated, burned out, not resilient, feeling harassed or mobbed or not being treated fairly at work, could make a lot of big mistakes that are much worse than not being there.

Presenteeism causes companies to lose deals or clients, or have team conflicts and negative vibes in the whole department and across teams. I saw many of these instances during my 20 years of corporate work.

What Can We Do About Presenteeism?

There are few proven ways to measure presenteeism. But one surefire way to decrease presenteeism rates is having in place the right leadership.

If there is real leadership in a company…
  • They will dig in and find the reasons for absenteeism and presenteeism through a voluntary, anonymous survey among employees — which is actually the best and the only way to analyse presenteeism.
  • They will understand how presenteeism affects the company, the employee, the costs and the turnover.
  • They will know that life-balance is the key to a perfect result at the end of the year.
  • They will know how to put the right employee life-balancing program that empowers their employees, as well as teaches them to be resilient, eat healthy, take care of their health and body and family — in order for employees to be grounded enough and be able to give all they need to perform well at work.
  • They will understand that a life-balance concept starts from the management board.
  • They will understand that their balance at the end of the year could be highly affected by presenteeism and a lot of actions should be applied every year with a great monitoring system to control this issue.

A real leader will explore flexible schedules and remote work. The return-to-work interview routine is also the role of the leader. Improving the employee and workplace well-being and providing balance and rewards and recognition are essential.

How U-livewell Can Help

A study showed that some brands that were considered the best in the market had gone totally out of the market in a few days due to a very high presenteeism rate among employees.

The main reason behind this high presenteeism rate was the demotivation of the employees — seeing how the competition had much better and more modern technologies than their own; and seeing the gap get bigger between the company and the competition and at the same time between the management board and the employees.

It didn’t happen in one year but in a period of around 4-5 years wherein the management board ignored digging in to understand the reason for presenteeism. If they did, they could have saved the company. 

If they have engaged the employees more and shown them the love as well as how they should talk freely about their feelings and motivations with people, then they could have gone out of that deep hole they went into.

Leaders Must Help Their Employees Become Healthier and More Resilient

Employers need to understand that helping employees establish a life-balance is a process that requires a long-term plan supported by company policies. Employees need their leaders’ support in taking more deliberate acts toward maintaining their health and building resilience. 

We are very happy that in recent weeks, a lot of companies have discussed with us our holistic Life-Balancing live online program — U-livewell — as well as other programs in the market.

This means that companies have started to become more aware of the huge cost of not taking care of their employees and the huge positive impact of helping employees become more resilient through life-balancing programs.

Learn more about how our life-balancing program, U-livewell, can help you empower your employees to become healthy and resilient. 

CONTACT US: Support-Hotline: +43 664 2636997