HONG KONG, CHINA – Media_OutReach – 11 Jun 2019 – Sleep is a longtime pursuit of Hongkongers in a metropolitan city where work and learning is done in immense pace. The arrival of summer, when relentless humidity adds to the languor and worsens the situation, making many of us in microscopic living spaces tossing and turning in bed, restless and sleepless. For Hongkongers, here are a few tips on creating a cosy bedroom that invites quality sleep and rejuvenation every day before starting the busy life.
Tip 1: Quality mattress for undisrupted slumber The importance of a good mattress should not be overlooked for it supports the body for a few continuous hours every night. IKEA’s 100-day mattress trial ensures sufficient time for choosing your ‘perfect match’, and the 25-year guarantee means the pursuit of a good mattress can be done once and for all. IKEA believes everyone deserves a good sleeping environment regardless of the room size, and therefore offers ranges of mattresses from the most common 4 x 6-feet mattress to other larger-sizes .
Tip 2: Beat the summer heat with breathable fitted sheet and bed items Gaining quality, restful sleep on a summer night is an art. Mattresses and pillows with a layer of gel moulds induce a cooling effect, and, therefore, entice you to sleep. Taking longer time to transfer heat, the layer of gel moulds keep the mattress and pillows cool, while fitted sheets and pillowcases made with breathable and dehumidifying materials such as nylon, lyocell, linen and cotton create a cooling tactility that ensure undisrupted sleep through the night.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________ | HÖSTVÄDD| KNAPSTAD | KRÅKKLÖVER| |fitted sheet| mattress pad | memory foam | | and | $1,790 | pillow | |pillowcase, |The memory foam topped with a layer of gel moulds fits your body’s | $349 | | blue |curvature. One side offers cooler sleeping surface for you to choose from.|On one side | | $209.8 | |is a cooling | |Nylon fibres| |gel layer for| |are woven in| |warmer | |a special | |nights, while| |way to | |the memory | |transport | |foam on the | |heat away | |other side is| |and invite | |suitable for | |coolness and| |cooler | |relaxation. | |nights. | | | |Covers are | | | |available to | | | |suit personal| | | |needs and | | | |offer | | | |flexibility | | | |in creating a| | | |cool sleeping| |____________|____________________________________________________________________________|environment._| | NATTJASMIN | PUDERVIVA | RÖDTOPPA | |quilt cover | quilt cover and pillowcases, white | quilt | | and | $699 | $249 | |pillowcases,|Composed of linen, these quilt cover and pillowcases will give you many |The mix of | | light grey |nights of sweet dreams, and they are easily manageable. |breathable | | $479 | |and | |Sateen-woven| |dehumidifying| |from the | |lyocell and | |finest yarn | |polyester | |made of | |filling | |lyocell and | |provide an | |cotton | |environment | |fibres. The | |of suitable | |natural | |temperatures | |cotton | |and are easy | |fibres used | |to care for. | |for the | | | |quilt cover | | | |offer soft | | | |tactility | | | |and are | | | |sourced | | | |sustainably.|____________________________________________________________________________|_____________|
Tip 3: Bring calm throughoutyour home with materialism The TÄNKVÄRD Limited Edition celebrates materialism with its tactile collection of garments, fabric and bedroom items made of natural materials and fibres. Here’s to summer days of cool tactility despite the heat and humidity!
_________________________________________________________________________________________________ | TÄNKVÄRD | TÄNKVÄRD | TÄNKVÄRD | | blue cushion | curtains, 1 pair | easy chair | | cover | $249.9 | $899 | | $149.9 |Let the minimalistic and natural design carve out a sanctuary for |Relax in the | |The soft |you in the bustling city. |clear | |cotton cushion| |lacquered | |cover soothes | |rattan chair | |the skin as | |and find peace| |much as the | |in the hustle | |mind._________|___________________________________________________________________|and_bustle.___| | TÄNKVÄRD| TÄNKVÄRD | TÄNKVÄRD| |flatwoven rug | Kimomo (S/L) | quilt cover | | $349 | $349 | and | |Made of |Relax in the soft tactility of the kimono as you saunter at home.| pillowcases | |seagrass, this| | $899 | |rug will keep | |Additional | |your every | |comfort just | |step cool and | |within reach | |refreshing in | |in bed with | |the summer | |bed items made| |heat. | |of natural | |______________|___________________________________________________________________|materials.____|
Make summer the season of intimate gatherings and parties to your heart’s content with the ÖVERALLT collection.
___________________________________________________________________________ | ÖVERALLT Collection | ÖVERALLT Collection | | in/outdoor rocking chair $699 | flatwoven rug $799 | | footstool $399 | cushion cover $49.9 | |Regale friends and family in the |Running out of seats? Pull out this | |rocking chair or on the stool. |colourful rug and fit your cushions | | |with these covers for that chat that| |______________________________________|stretches_through_the_night.________|
Be at IKEA today to choose your favourite products and create a home for quality sleep. For more IKEA tips on better sleep, visit the website or stores: http://campaignsite-hk-qualitysleep.com
High-resolution images are available for download here: http://bit.ly/2JmiGsN Customer Service Hotline: 3125 0888
IKEA Store and Merchandise Pick-up Point Locations: Kowloon Bay Store L4, MegaBox, Kowloon Bay Causeway Bay Store Basement, The Park Lane Hong Kong, Causeway Bay Sha Tin Store L6, HomeSquare, Sha Tin Tsuen Wan Store Level 3, 8½, 388 Castle Peak Road, Tsuen Wan Hong Kong Island East Merchandise Pick-up Point Shop No.11, G/F, Hing Tung Shopping Centre, Shau Kei Wan Macau Merchandise Pick-up Point Shop EH3, Level 2, Macau Tower Convention and Entertainment Centre, Largo da Torre de Macau
Distributed on behalf of IKEA Hong Kong by Weber Shandwick.
Return to work: Flexibility, preparation and communication are key
By Matt Weston, Managing Director, Robert Half UK
As lockdown restrictions ease for the foreseeable future, conversations across the business world are starting to turn to how employers can safely and seamlessly prepare for their workforce to return to the office.
Research from Robert Half has found that over half (54%) of employees are worried about working in close proximity to their colleagues, while a similar proportion are eager to return to the office due to loneliness working from home (45%) or concerns about missing out on career opportunities (30%).
Unsurprisingly, after everything companies and their employees have done to successfully adapt their operations and working practices to social distancing rules over the last few months, immediately returning to the old ways of working will likely neither be sensible or practical. With safety being the key priority for the ‘new normal’ of office life – communication, flexibility and preparation should be the main focus areas for employers.
With this in mind, what are the challenges and opportunities that employees anticipate as they prepare for the return to work, beyond government and industry supplied health and safety best practice? Furthermore, how can employers best support their staff during this period?
Keep people at the heart of change
It is important to recognise that your workforce has been working through an intense period of uncertainty and change for months, which can be incredibly unsettling. On top of this, working for weeks in isolation without the usual physical interactions with team members could be potentially detrimental to employee engagement and mental wellbeing.
Having adjusted to keep staff connected with one another from a distance with virtual team building exercises, video calls and daily check-ins, as teams begin working in hybrid models with some in the office and others remote, staff engagement will need to adapt again.
Managing people with greater sensitivity and maintaining positivity throughout will be crucial. To help instil a sense of normality and engagement, encourage maximum collaboration between individuals (in accordance with social distancing rules), and make sure teams feel part of company goals and opportunities through regular meetings and communication – no matter their location.
Continuing to invest in technology and offering flexibility will also be important to ensuring that people can continue to work remotely or on-site, either in accordance with their own wishes or as part of your staggered return-to-office plan.
Communicate, communicate, communicate (and listen)
Reassuring staff that they are able to safely return to the office will require continuous communication. From expectations of the physical office, to expectations of how to operate within hybrid teams, these new expectations and new workplace requirements should be communicated to all staff clearly to avoid confusion.
Regular email updates, updates on the company’s intranet and social media channels, as well as frequent town hall meetings (either online or in a smaller setting) could be key elements of an effective communications approach.
Also, consider a feedback channel to allow staff within the team to offer thoughts on their experience of returning to the office and any suggestions on improving the process. Whether on a company-wide basis or a team-by-team approach, schedule regular check-ins to engage with employees’ questions and concerns.
Maintaining open communication channels with your team will be essential for keeping up employee morale and ensuring clarity. For example, if some employees aren’t comfortable with coming to the office every day, then they should have plenty of opportunities to voice their concerns and have them dealt with promptly, respectfully and fairly.
Staggered return-to-office planning
Depending on the size of business and density of office space, maintaining home working arrangements across teams on an alternating basis could make it easier to implement safe social distancing. This involves select teams working remotely while others work on-site on any given day.
An alternating approach to remote working might also reduce the risk of staff feeling pressured or overwhelmed by an immediate return to the office five-days-a-week. After all, some families might be juggling temporary disruptions to childcare arrangements and public transport systems will likely become crowded again. So, a transitionary period will help everyone adjust to post-lockdown office working.
Finally, if you have developed your technology infrastructure to facilitate remote working, you would do well to continue to leverage these new capabilities as in all probability, a mixture of remote and at-office work will be needed for some time.
How sustainable AI improves the triple bottom line
An investment in green AI enables financial services firms to align people, profit, and planet
By Nick Dale, EVP business development, Verne Global
Green investing is widely regarded as a mega trend, with chief executive Larry Fink of BlackRock, the world’s largest money manager, stating, “Climate change has become a defining factor in companies’ long-term prospects … awareness is rapidly changing, and I believe we are on the edge of a fundamental reshaping of finance.”
The recent seismic shift in public opinion about climate change has not only increased attention on the sustainability and societal impact of investing in a company, it’s also influencing the decisions being made in finance industry boardrooms overall, whether that’s implementing innovative business models or adopting new partnerships and technologies. However, as business leaders strive to make green choices, many are unaware of the hidden environmental costs of the technologies they are employing.
AI in the finance industry
The use of AI has become ubiquitous across industry sectors, and is now an integral part of the technologies being used in financial services, from optimising asset portfolios and underwriting loans to assessing risks.
AI is especially beneficial for things like quantitative trading, which uses large data sets to identify patterns that can then inform strategic trades. AI’s machine learning models can analyse vast and complex data and make predictions accordingly. But AI models are not only data-hungry, they are power hungry.
Supercomputers train and test mountains of data for AI models, and can run 24-hours a day, for hours, days, or even weeks. These applications consume huge amounts of energy, and as AI technology continues to grow and develop, the computations behind it are also increasing in size and complexity. The carbon emissions from training a single AI model for language translation is roughly equivalent to 125 round-trip flights from New York to Beijing (AI Now 2019 Report).
The carbon cost of AI becomes even higher when you factor in the energy required to keep the computing equipment housed in data centres cool – overheating can impact performance and damage equipment. As a result, in a conventional data centre, at least 40% of all energy consumed goes towards cooling.
But sustainable AI is possible if financial services organisations take positive steps to minimise its environmental impact.
Minimising AI’s carbon footprint
Location, location, location
Many tech giants are committing to reducing their carbon footprint, with Amazon pledging to reach 80% renewable energy by 2024, and Google investing in data centres in Nordic countries specifically for better energy efficiency.
This is because in the Nordics, data centres are largely powered by renewable energy sources. Iceland, in particular, uses 100% renewable hydroelectric and geothermal power – with no nuclear power sources – and is connected to a reliable power grid. These renewable energy sources are much less harmful to the environment because, unlike fossil fuels, they don’t cause pollution and don’t generate greenhouse gases. Not to mention, renewable energy is based on natural resources that can be replenished within an average human lifetime, as compared to fossil fuels, which can take thousands—or even millions—of years to replace.
Over 80% of compute doesn’t need to be near the end-user, and in those situations, choosing data centre locations in cool climates has a significant impact on carbon emissions. AI compute can be located in places like Iceland, which can utilise all-year-round, free cooling due to its temperate climate.
Data centres that are located in hot climates, like Arizona in the US, require high-powered cooling systems in operation around the clock. With average high temperatures of 40° Celsius in the summer, these data centres can use up to 4 million gallons of water a day to absorb heat through evaporation into cooling towers. Consequently, when location doesn’t hamper performance or accessibility, housing AI compute in data centres with natural cooling is a no-brainer.
Energy efficient and cost-effective
Many in the financial sector have traditionally viewed sustainability as a trade-off between profit and planet, but when it comes to green AI, financial services firms can have it both ways. By housing the servers that train AI models in data centres powered by renewable energy sources, businesses can substantially reduce energy expenses and benefit from long-term, fixed pricing.
And when renewable energy sources are combined with year-round, cool climates, the energy demands and costs of AI can be dramatically reduced. AI is here to stay, but by making the right choices, companies in the finance sector can still drive profitability whilst making real and measurable progress on sustainability.
The impact and implications of Covid-19 on financial reporting
By Mark Billington, Regional Director, Greater China & South-East Asia, ICAEW
The economic consequences of Covid-19 have been unprecedented, affecting activity in nearly every country in the world. Indeed, the latest forecast from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) projects that most economies in South-East Asia (SEA) would fall into recession in the first half of 2020 and Gross Domestic Product will contract by 1.9 percent over the whole year. Across the region, governments have had to bring in various fiscal stimulus measures to protect the economy.
Exceptional times bring tremendous challenges for businesses and requires leaders to have a clear view on the short- and long-term effects of Covid-19 on their businesses, and to respond accordingly. This starts with taking extra care to recognise the impact of Covid-19 in financial reports, especially of events which have occurred between the balance sheet date and the date when the accounts are authorised for issue.
Distinguishing between adjusting or non-adjusting events
As the coronavirus outbreak continues to evolve and more information comes to light about the nature of the virus and its impact, companies with 2020 year-ends need to consider how it has affected their business and how the effects should be reflected in the accounts at the end of their reporting period. This boils down to distinguishing whether Covid-19 should be accounted as an adjusting or non-adjusting event.
In December last year, China alerted the World Health Organisation (WHO) to several cases of an unusual form of pneumonia in Wuhan, central China’s Hubei Province. But it was only early this year when substantive information on what has now been identified as coronavirus (Covid19) came to light. As a result, for companies with a 31 December 2019 year-end, Covid-19 is generally considered to be a non-adjusting event.
This changes for companies which have early 2020 year-ends, who will need to consider the timelines more carefully to assess the conditions at the end of their relevant reporting period. For companies with 31 March 2020 year-ends, Covid-19 is likely to be considered a current-period event, which means that companies need to assess and record all events and conditions that existed at or before the reporting date. When it is determined to be an adjusting event, a business will need to review all areas of the accounts that might be adversely affected by the COVID-19 virus.
There may be a greater degree of judgement required when identifying the conditions at the end of the reporting period, and a closer assessment needed of whether developments are adjusting or non-adjusting.
Exercising judgement about conditions at the balance sheet date
Companies have to exercise significant judgement to determine the conditions that existed at the balance sheet date. This is heavily dependent on the reporting year end in question, the company’s own individual circumstances and the events which are under consideration.
A number of factors should be considered when making judgements about conditions at the balance sheet date. This includes the timing and impact on stakeholders such as staff, customers, and suppliers, of travel restrictions, quarantines and lockdowns, closure of businesses and schools; and government support initiatives. With each of these events, companies have to determine whether an event shines a brighter light on conditions at the balance sheet date or if conditions changed after the reporting date.
This evaluation in financial reporting is important because it affects the forecasting of future income and cash flows, which are based on conditions that existed at the balance sheet date. Estimating recoverable amounts might be very different for the same asset if the calculation was performed for a 2019- or 2020-year end.
Upholding values of corporate transparency and trust
In these times of uncertainty and crisis, it is even more important to be transparent about risks and assumptions used in financial reports, and to make disclosures as specific to the business as possible, to avoid the risk of financial reporting being downplayed. In fact, market regulator Singapore Exchange (SGX) and rating agency Fitch Ratings have recently cautioned companies against using alternative performance measures such as Ebitdac (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortisation and coronavirus) in their interim financial reports to flatter results, and stressed that “disclosures must be balanced and fair and avoid omission of important unfavourable facts”.
More than ever, businesses must continue to diligently uphold values of corporate transparency and trust and continue to disclose transparent and quality information to investors and other stakeholders. In order to do this, directors are tasked with the important responsibility to comply with various reporting standards and understand the circumstances of particular disclosures to provide a fair and balanced assessment of the company’s financial position and performance.
Covid-19 also has significant implications for audit reports on company financial statements. Preparing and auditing financial statements poses tough calls in difficult and unclear circumstances for directors and auditors. It is vital that these uncertainties are interpreted appropriately and in the context of the current unprecedented circumstances
As the business impact of COVID-19 continues to unfold and affect economies and the future of many organisations, businesses should continue to consider both their situation but also the wider economic landscape they operate in and reflect that in their financial reports.
 SGX warns against use of ‘earnings before coronavirus’ metric, The Business Times, 27 July 2020
Return to work: Flexibility, preparation and communication are key
By Matt Weston, Managing Director, Robert Half UK As lockdown restrictions ease for the foreseeable future, conversations across the business...
How sustainable AI improves the triple bottom line
An investment in green AI enables financial services firms to align people, profit, and planet By Nick Dale, EVP business...
The impact and implications of Covid-19 on financial reporting
By Mark Billington, Regional Director, Greater China & South-East Asia, ICAEW The economic consequences of Covid-19 have been unprecedented, affecting...
Contis enters RBS Capability and Innovation Fund bid seeking £35 million for disruptive SME growth strategy
Leading payments provider, Contis, has applied for two grants from the RBS & BCR Alternative Remedies Package, totalling £35 million. Unlike most applicants who...
Four years of digital transformation in four weeks: UK lockdown puts pressure on brands to digitally deliver
Nearly a third (32%) of consumers would switch providers if a brand’s website is unavailable for more than 24 hours...
Demonstrating the value of collaborative leadership during crises
By Jean Stephens, CEO, RSM International In 2000, a leading expert in behavioural science, Daniel Goleman, outlined the six key...
Empowerment Accelerates Continuous Improvement
By Larry Sternberg, JD, Fellow, Talent Plus, Inc. Empowerment First, let me clarify how I am using the word “empowerment”...
What is loneliness and how can you manage it?
By Iris Schaden Your Business and Personal Coach A mere century ago, almost no one lived alone. Today, many do...
How banks can build digital transformation into business continuity
By Andrew Warren, Head of Banking & Financial Services, UK&I, Cognizant Businesses around the world are falling victim to the...
Akerton Partners S.L. is a Spanish independent mid-market corporate finance advisor founded over a decade ago, in 2008, amid a...