Increasing Productivity During Ramazan


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CareersAccording to a survey published by the BBC, as well as a study conducted by the Cairo Institute of Social Sciences, employee productivity during Ramazan decreases by 50%, thereby affecting organisational performance negatively. So no wonder that one of the biggest challenges for organisations during Ramazan is to maintain employee productivity despite reduced working hours and low energy levels.

Yet, Ramazan can be a productive month if the following steps are adhered to by HR managers and employees:

1. Flexible timings. Organisations should allow employees to select their own timings, based on when they are at their most productive. This can either mean coming to work earlier, soon after sehri, or much later. This will ensure that the quality of work does not suffer.

2. Work from home. Employees can be given the option to work from home at least once or twice a week. However, this should be managed in a way that all key employees from the same department are not away from the office on the same day. Another option worth considering is allowing employees to leave the office early, and work from home for the remaining hours.

3. Say no to multitasking. Employees often multitask during Ramazan due to shorter working hours. However, this can result in wasting energy and time. It is recommended that each assignment is completed before moving on to the next one.

4. Plan and prioritise. Plan and prioritise your daily work list according to how much focus and energy are required to complete each task. For example, tasks which require more energy and attention should be completed earlier in the morning (or when you are at your most productive), while tasks which require less focus should be left for later. Furthermore, meetings should be kept as short as possible as this will save a lot of time in the long-run.

– Zeeshan Lakhpaty
The writer is a professional corporate trainer and international speaker.


The Magna Carta Turns 800


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3rd boxJune 15 marks the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta (Latin for the ‘Great Charter’) signed between King John (who ruled England during the 12th century) and his nobles who had earlier rebelled against his tyrannical rule, which included the absence of any adherence to law, seizure of people’s assets and a general disregard for the safety and well-being of the people. The Charter was drafted in an effort to restore peace and order to the land. Continue reading

Mum-Friendly Work Practices


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CareersToday, the number of mothers who work in Pakistan is greater than ever before. Yet, despite this, they continue to face tremendous challenges.

Not only are they often viewed as lacking the determination to move ahead, they may also be regarded as breaching social norms by failing to be ‘ideal mothers’ – that is, putting their work before their children.

Furthermore, working mothers’ contributions are generally undervalued because the barometer for productivity is hours logged in the office and not actual work delivered. However, working mothers work extra hard to meet deadlines because they have a very powerful motivation to do so – they want to make sure they can leave to have dinner ready, pick their children up from school/day care, manage their households and business goals. Continue reading

Brain Training


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Regardless of age, your grey matter has the ability to shrink or thicken; new neurons and new neural pathways (connections) are created throughout your life. When you have a new experience or think in new ways, new pathways are formed. Changes in the physical brain are manifested in changes in our abilities. For instance, if you learn a new word, it reflects a change in your physical brain. With repetition, this pathway is strengthened.  Continue reading

Listen Up! Turn Down The Volume


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According to research conducted at Penn State College of Medicine in December 2013, one in six teenagers suffers from a degree of preventable hearing loss due to constantly being ‘plugged’ to their music devices, such as MP3 players and iPods.

Similarly, the I Hear Report (compiled by the National Acoustic Laboratory) concludes that 64% of the 1,400 people who were tested, suffered from a constant ringing sound in their ears caused by a condition called tinnitus, which is believed to be the precursor to hearing loss and is on the rise in people between the ages of 11 and 35. Caused by listening to loud music, tinnitus can also lead to depression, poor concentration and sleeping difficulties. Continue reading

Investing In Penthouses


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Real LeadUntil the early noughties, penthouses were primarily limited to Karachi. However, over the last five years, their construction has increased in Islamabad, and recently in Lahore, due to an increasing annual demand of five to eight percent. No wonder then, penthouses are gaining traction among investors and homeowners alike.

Continue reading

Watercress Wonders


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Last month, research at William Paterson University in New Jersey ranked 41 powerhouse fruits and vegetables based on their nutritional composition. Guess the name of the vegetable that topped the list? No, it wasn’t kale or carrots which were hailed super foods recently –  it was watercress. 

Here are five reasons why you should make watercress part of your diet: 

Brain, circulation and skin. Watercress is an excellent source of vitamin K, which limits neuronal damage in the brain, and is believed to treat the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. The vitamin also performs the vital function of blood clotting and consequently prevents haemorrhaging. Recent research suggests that vitamin K helps improve insulin resistance and protects the cells that line blood vessels. It also helps keep your skin smooth and wrinkle-free. Continue reading

Attention Please !


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Health 3

Think ADHD and you think ‘kids’! But have you ever wondered what happens to children who are diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder when they grow up? Do they simply grow out of it?

Only approximately three to five percent of children exhibiting the symptoms of ADHD are diagnosed; the rest end up being labelled as ‘problem children’, expected to fend for themselves, and they carry the stigma for the rest of their lives.

Recent studies at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have shown that 30 to 70% of children with symptoms of ADHD (distractibility, restlessness, impulsivity) continue to exhibit them in their adult lives and may be diagnosed with ADHD ‘retrospectively’.  Continue reading

Home Office Essentials


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Real LeadWorking from home is emerging as a popular trend in Pakistan. Consequently, an increasing number of people are opting for home offices.

If you are looking to set up a home office, factor in the following to ensure aesthetics and efficiency:

Before establishing a home office, you will require legal permission from local authorities (e.g. DHA or LDA), because commercial activity within residential areas is often prohibited. Continue reading

History, Education And Shopping


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The NCA Building was built in 1880 with red-stone bricks

The NCA Building was built in 1880 with red-stone bricks

Mall Road, also known as Shahrah-e-Quaid-e-Azam is one of Lahore’s primary thoroughfares. Several colonial buildings line the road, and one of them is the National College of Arts (NCA), one of Pakistan’s leading art schools. 

From a school to a college… The NCA was established in 1875 as the Mayo School of Arts in memory of Lord Mayo, the British Viceroy to India. In 1958, it was upgraded to the National College of Arts and Fine Art. Since then, several departments, including architecture, ceramics design, multimedia arts, film and television have been added. Well known alumni include architects, musicians, painters and sculptors such as Jamil Baloch, AR Chughtai, Nayyar
Ali Dada, Jamil Naqsh, Nayyara Noor and Ali Zafar.  Continue reading


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