The 9-5 Monday to Friday work week has been the undisputed norm for over a century, but according to many that needs to, and is, changing.
A couple of weeks ago, we wrote about the importance of understanding what motivates your team in order to maximize both workplace results and overall morale. A shift to focusing on the internal motivating factors of employees has replaced the traditional carrot-and-stick approach to motivation and is changing the way we work.
In today’s post, we’re looking at another concept that has been disrupting the traditional workplace structure: ROWE, or a Results Only Work Environment. This concept was introduced by authors Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson in their book Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It and takes things beyond the flexi schedules and compressed work weeks that have offered some flexibility to the work week in the last few decades.
Ressler and Thompson describe ROWE as an office environment in which everyone is “free to do whatever they want, whenever they want, as long as the work gets done.” Employees can skip meetings, get to the office at 10 am, run errands in the middle of the afternoon, and just generally structure their day in any way they like. The strategy gives staff complete freedom over their day.
Of course, to have this system run smoothly, clear goals and outcomes need to be defined so everyone on the team knows exactly what they’re expected to accomplish. As the authors put it, 100% autonomy + 100% accountability = results.
Much like Daniel Pink’s focus on internal motivators vs. external, ROWE seeks to improve the workplace by understanding what truly motivates and inspires people. The idea is that the traditional work week model is disempowering because it treats employees with a certain degree of distrust. Under ROWE, the employees are treated as trusted adults that will get their work done without having to be monitored or stuck in an office for a set period of time.
At Catalyst, we’ve implemented the ROWE method with great success. We’ve adopted a system that includes regular team check-ins and goal setting, so we are all clear on what is being worked on and what everyone’s role is in making it happen (we’re big fans of Asana!), and from there, our entire team is free to work on these projects on their own schedule.
While complete flexibility may not be realistic for all workplace environments, aspects of ROWE can still be implemented. Remember, the key idea is to fuse accountability and autonomy, so finding ways to provide this to your employees can apply to almost all workplace situations.
Interested in learning more about ROWE? Check out the official website here.
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Father’s Day is just a few days away, and we’re sure none of you out there left their shopping to the last minute (…right?), but in case you’re last minute shoppers (like us), we’ve put together a few last minute gift ideas that are sure to secure you in Favourite Child status.
To find any of the products we mention in a showroom near you, simply search the brand name on our
Where to Buy page.
DALS Smart Bulbs
Whether your Dad is a tech-whizz or needs your help with even the simplest smartphone tasks, the Smart Bulbs from DALS Lighting are sure to be a hit. The bulbs simply screw in like any regular bulb and are controlled with either your smartphone or smart home assistant, no hub required! Turn lights on and off, dim them, change colour, set them to a timer (we like using them as a circadian alarm clock!), and so much more, all with a tap of the app.
Learn more about the DALS Smart Bulbs here.
Help Dad create his dream backyard with an outdoor speaker from Nuvo. Available in a variety of options, these speakers deliver crystal clear sound and are easy to install.
See the full selection of speakers here.
Dimplex Outdoor Heater
Continuing on with the backyard theme, the outdoor heaters from Dimplex are the perfect outdoor addition (especially with Atlantic Canada’s temperamental weather!). They go from cold to fully heated in 8 seconds with the tap of a remote and will really extend Dad’s outdoor season.
See the Dimplex outdoor heaters here.
Radiant Wireless Charger
Let your dad charge his phone in style with one of the wireless chargers from Legrand’s radiant collection. These sleek chargers offer a clutter-free charging station that are perfect along kitchen backsplashes, office spaces, bedsides, and more.
See the radiant wireless chargers here.
To find a showroom near you that carries these, and any of the products we rep, head over to our Where to Buy page.
And for questions on any of our products, give us a call at 902.452.3899 or email us at email@example.com
“Control leads to compliance; autonomy leads to engagement.” – Daniel Pink
For decades, our model of motivation in the workforce has been the carrot and stick approach. Incentivising employees to push themselves at work either out of a desire for a reward or to avoid repercussions has been the de facto mode of motivation for so long that most of us don’t even stop to wonder if there could be another way.
In his bestselling book, Drive, author Daniel Pink argues that not only is there another way, but there is a much more effective way, and switching how we look at motivation is essential for creating a happy and successful workforce. Motivating your team, he says, comes down to understanding what truly drives them to do and be better.
In the old way of thinking, we might say, “We need to increase sales by 10% this quarter. Anyone who reaches or exceeds these numbers will receive a bonus, and anyone who drops below ‘x’ will be fired.” Classic carrot and stick, and sounds pretty motivating, doesn’t it?
Studies show, however, that the opposite is true. Creativity, motivation, and ultimately, results, are paralyzed under these kinds of incentives.
Why? Making more money or getting fired seem like pretty good reasons to achieve results, right?
In reality though, they don’t work because they are external motivations, and we thrive when we are motivated internally. A sense of pride in our work, the freedom to explore our creativity and reach our own personal best- these are the things that really drive us to reach for more.
Pink takes the example of Microsoft Encarta vs. Wikipedia. In the mid-’90s, Microsoft decided to invest heavily in creating an online encyclopedia, Encarta. They hired well-paid experts and dedicated significant time and money into the project, and at first glance, it should have been a sure success.
Around the same time, Wikipedia entered the scene, motivated not by any financial return but rather the simple enjoyment of creating the site. The carrot and stick approach would have us believe that Encarta would come out on top but as we all know it was Wikipedia, driven by the simple internal joy of creating for the sake of it, that went on to dominate.
Of course, there is no one size fits all when it comes to motivation and to truly inspire their team, managers should have at least a general knowledge of how each of their staff is motivated. Also, some positions really do respond well to external incentives. Algorithmic tasks, that is jobs that require a lot of repetition and formula following, can be motivated in the traditional way. Jobs that require more creativity and outside the box thinking, however, are generally motivated more by internal factors.
When it comes to getting the most out of your team, it’s essential to understand what is truly driving your employees. While the traditional approach has been to incentivize with external factors (bonuses, job loss, etc.), this is often not a beneficial factor in today’s job force. Instead, understanding the deeper, internal factors that drive your employees can result in creating a work environment that is happier, more motivated, and gets the job done well.
For more on what drives us, check out Pink’s TED Talk here.
In our next post, we’ll look at another key factor in motivating and empowering your team- creating a Results Only Work Environment (ROWE).
Stay up to date on all of our latest posts by following us on LinkedIn.
Mendocino pendants by Troy Lighting
From functional step lighting to decorative string lights and pendants, outdoor lighting comes in all shapes and styles, and navigating the options can be tricky. In this week’s blog post, we’re taking out the guesswork and walking you through the best outdoor lighting options for your home.
To find any of the fixtures we rep in a showroom near you, head to our Where to Buy page!
STEP AND PATH LIGHTS
- Path lights by DALS
- Step lights by DALS
- Harbor lights by DALS
Illuminate your walkways with step lights, wall sconces, and path lights. We love Hinkley Lighting’s selection of decorative post lamps and their landscape line, and for step lights, you can’t beat the sleek styles from DALS Lighting and CSL.
Where to use them: patio or porch steps, along your front and back walkways, in your garden/landscaping.
Outdoor Tape Lighting from GM Lighting
Tape lighting is our go-to for accent lighting- it’s so easy to use and has so many great applications. If you’re not familiar with them, they’re pretty much exactly as the name suggests- a flexible strip of thin LED lights or “diodes” with a tape backing, which can be adhered to different surfaces including aluminum mounting channels to provide linear lighting in thousands of different ways.
We love the tape light options from GM Lighting and DALS Lighting.
Where to use them: railings, stairs, pergolas, patios, and so much more.
- Plantation by Hinkley
- Atwell by Hinkley
- Sawyer by Hinkley
- Finley by Hinkley
Accessorize your outdoor space with decorative pendants, flush mounts, and sconces. Often, decorative lighting is reserved for the indoors only, but there are so many beautiful outdoor pieces available, it’s a crime not to take advantage of them!
We love matching sconces and a pendant for the front door or a gorgeous chandelier over an outdoor dining space. The options are endless!
Check out the outdoor lighting options from Troy Lighting, Hinkley Lighting, Sonneman, DALS, and Eglo.
Where to use them: front door, back door, pool area, porch.
For more outdoor lighting inspiration, check out our 6 Must-Have Outdoor Light Fixtures for 2019.
You can find showrooms carrying any of these fixtures on our Where to Buy page! And for more of our favourites, check out our Outdoor Instagram highlight!
For questions on these or any of the products we rep, give us a call at 902.452.3899 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
In our last blog post, we talked about how renewable energy is rapidly changing the electrical wholesale landscape in Atlantic Canada. As we discussed, we’ve seen a recent boom in demand for renewables, particularly solar energy, and far from being a flash in the pan trend, this is set to become the new norm.
While solar energy has been available for decades, we’ve seen a recent increase in our part of the world thanks to new initiatives that are making the switch to solar energy more affordable for homeowners and community buildings.
In this post, we’re going to focus on the current initiatives available in Nova Scotia. If you’re a distributor or contractor, this is great information that you can pass on to potential customers who are considering the switch to solar.
Efficiency Nova Scotia’s SolarHomes Rebate Program
The introduction of Efficiency NS’s SolarHomes rebate program, which is available to homeowners throughout Nova Scotia, earlier this year was met with so much interest that they have already had to scale back to maintain funding. Despite the cutbacks, It continues to be a huge benefit for anyone interested in switching to solar.
The updated SolarHomes rebate offers $0.85/watt (down $0.15 from the original $1), up to 35% of the eligible system costs (excluding HST) or up to $8500, whichever is less.
To date, the program has almost tripled the number of net metering installs from the previous year. The program will be available until funding runs out (approximately 2000 homes), but the rebate will be scaled back incrementally in an effort to support as many houses as possible.
HRM’s Solar City Financing Program
Residents of HRM are also eligible for the city’s Solar City financing program. The program will pay for installation costs upfront at $0 down, and you’ll have 10 years to pay back the loan at 4.75% fixed interest.
Solar Electricity for Community Buildings
This program is a pilot project of the Department of Energy, which aims to support community buildings in making the switch to solar. Under the program, community buildings are able to generate electricity through their solar panels (up to 75kW of solar photovoltaic electricity) and sell it to their utility under a 20-year contract.
Applications for 2019 is set to open in June.
Nova Scotia Power’s Enhanced Net Metering Program
NSP’s Enhanced Net Metering Program provides protection for solar energy users during low energy production periods. Certain times of year (i.e. summer) are better than others for generating power, and the program balances out these surpluses and deficits. Residential and commercial properties will have a bi-directional electricity meter installed. When a system provides more energy than is required, it will flow into the grid for others to use. When it isn’t producing enough, it can pull energy from the grid.
Combined, these programs have made solar energy a viable option for homeowners and commercial buildings throughout Nova Scotia. The government’s commitment to these initiatives shows that Nova Scotia is ready to make a name for itself as a global player in the solar industry, and there has never been a better time for homeowners, building owners, contractors, and distributors to get on board.
If you’re not already, make sure to follow us on LinkedIn for more industry news and developments!
And for more information about any of these initiatives or any of the solar energy technologies we rep, give us a call at 902.452.3899 or email us at email@example.com
Allegheny by Troy Lighting | SF Girl by the Bay
Spring is officially here, and that means we’re in outdoor decor mode! More specifically, we’re in outdoor lighting decor mode, and this week we’re bringing you some of our top picks for the season.
When most people think of their outdoor decorating lighting often gets overlooked, and we think that is a true crime! These days, there are so many gorgeous outdoor lighting options that can add so much style to your home’s exterior. Any outdoor area in your home, from your front porch to your walkway to your outdoor eating area, can benefit from a stylish light fixture.
Of the lines we rep, the following carry outdoor (residential) lighting lines:
Their styles range from sleek and functional to trendy and decorative, and there’s something for every need and preference.
For this list, we focused on style and picked out just a few of our favourite pieces.
If you’re looking for a showroom near you that carries one of these lines, just head over to our Where to Buy page and you’ll see all of the locations in your area!
GENEVA – TROY LIGHTING
We love the classic antique-y look of Troy Lighting’s Geneva sconce. It’s available in a variety of sizes, so you can go for a subtle accent or an elegant focal point.
See the Geneva sconce here.
PLANTATION – HINKLEY LIGHTING
It doesn’t get much cuter than a pineapple lantern! The Plantation pendant from Hinkley Lighting gives us major Southern vibes, and it’s easy to see why it made the list!
Available in two finishes, these lanterns are the perfect touch to a back patio or outdoor seating area.
See the Plantation lantern here.
ALLEGHENY – TROY LIGHTING
The Allegheny sconces from Troy Lighting are the perfect blend of rustic and modern industrial and are a subtle yet stylish touch to your home’s exterior. It’s also available as a pendant, and each style is available in two sizes.
See the Allegheny here.
PRISM – SONNEMAN
If you’re looking for something sleek, modern, and minimal, we recommend the selection from Sonneman’s Inside-Out collection. With clean lines and modern design, these fixtures will give your space a refined, high-end look. All of the fixtures in this collection are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, so you can tie in your entryway with your exterior style.
The fixture pictured here is the Prism. See the full collection here.
BOUNDARY – TROY LIGHTING
The Boundary’s geometric shape and simple detailing allows it to fit with just about an exterior style. This versatile fixture is available in three different sizes and also comes as a pendant.
See the Boundary here.
ARCADIA – HINKLEY LIGHTING
Hinkley always nails the modern-meets-vintage style and never is that clearer than with the Arcadia lantern.
Can’t you just picture these hanging over an outdoor dining area or running the length of a porch? Swoon!
The fixture is also available in a variety of wall sconces and a mounted pier.
See the Arcadia here.
You can find showrooms carrying any of these fixtures on our Where to Buy page! And for more of our favourites, check out our Outdoor Instagram highlight!
For questions on these, or any of the products we rep, give us a call at 902.452.3899 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
With some small exceptions, the electrical landscape has remained more or less the same over the last 50 years. Yes, there have been advances in technology and new product releases, but nothing truly groundbreaking has occurred, and both wholesalers and electrical contractors have been able to work with the same technology year after year.
Well, all that is rapidly changing as renewable energy has hit the scene. No longer a fringe technology for the wealthy elite, renewable energy sources have gone mainstream, and we’re at the point that both wholesalers and electrical contractors need to get on board or risk being seriously left behind.
A lucrative (and booming) business
The boom in renewables has seen a shift from traditional methods to a rapidly increasing demand for renewable products and installations. As we mentioned in our last post, government-backed programs and rebates are making the switch to solar energy easier and more affordable than ever in Atlantic Canada, and Nova Scotia’s SolarHomes program alone has created a massive jump in demand for installations. While photovoltaic installations are similar to other electrical work, they do still require separate training, so any contractor with this training is going to be in high demand.
Similarly, not all wholesalers have yet brought in solar technology, so those that do have a leg up in the game. Establishing yourself as a go-to source for renewable supplies will pay off both now and in the long run.
The electrification of everything
In order to meet our commitments to greenhouse gas reductions, the way we power our lives is changing. From powering our homes with solar, to running our communities on wind turbines, to driving electric cars, we are shifting into an era where our lives will be powered by the electrification of everything. Far from being a flash in the pan trend, this is fast becoming the new norm and our future will be one of almost complete electrification.
This new era will encompass a whole range of products and charging options, but in particular, manufacturers and contractors would be wise to focus on the following areas: solar energy systems (both residential and commercial), residential wiring and chargers for electrical cars, battery storage, and electric heating systems to replace traditional gas and oil fired systems.
How we can help
At Catalyst, we’ve made solar energy one of our top priorities for the year ahead and beyond. We believe passionately in the power of this industry both as a driver of our economy in Atlantic Canada and as a vital factor in protecting our environment.
If you’re a wholesaler who isn’t already carrying solar energy products or if you’ve seen the benefits and are ready to expand, now is the time. We carry a range of products from some of the top solar manufacturers on the product and can provide support and education on them for you and your entire team.
You can find our renewables line card here and more about the lines here.
Electrification affects a multitude of industries, including real estate, contracting, home building, and beyond. We offer free lunch and learns to share the ins and outs of the residential solar industry with your team- book one today by sending an email to us at email@example.com
To learn more about the product lines we carry and how we can help you and your business to take advantage of the electrification era, give us a call at 902.452.3899 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hey guys! We’re back with our third and final giveaway in celebration of our website launch! If you haven’t had a chance yet to check out the new site, make sure you take a look around! We’ve added a ton of new features including a Where to Buy page, which lets you easily search for the lighting lines we carry.
For this giveaway, we’ve teamed up with our favourite restaurant, The Canteen!!
One lucky winner will receive
1. $150 gift card to The Canteen
2. An Amazon Alexa + 2 Smart Bulbs from DALS’ Lighting
How to enter
All you have to do to enter is..
- Follow @catalystelectrics and @thecanteenns on Instagram
- Tag as many friends as you’d like (in separate comments) on the Instagram giveaway post- the more comments, the more entries you’ll get!
It’s that simple!
1. Contest runs from Wednesday, May 1 to Sunday, May 5 at 9pm
2. Winner will be announced on May 6 at 10 am.
3. Participants must be 18 years old or older and located in Atlantic Canada.
Thank you to everyone who has participated in our website launch giveaway series and good luck!!
For questions on any of our products, give us a call at 902.452.3899 or email us at email@example.com
Mia lamp by Mitzi | Kathryn Baugher of Up to Date Interiors
With all of the cute decor and accessories available, kids’ rooms have to be one of the most fun rooms in the home to decorate! Choosing the right lighting means not only picking something that matches your decor but also lighting that works for your kids!
In today’s post, we’re sharing a few of our favourite pendants, lamps, and night lights to help make your kids’ space their own little oasis.
adorne’s Portable nightlight
We started off with our top pick, the portable nightlight/flashlight from Legrand’s adorne collection! This cute night light, set in one of adorne’s designer wall plates, pops out to double as a flashlight. Stylish for you, comforting for them.
Find an adorne showroom near you on our Where to Buy page.
Cute and colourful wallplates are a fun way to accessories and the adorne collections extensive options are the way to go! Their plates are available in a wide range of colours from your basic white to pale blue, plum, honey, and beyond. You can even customize your wallplates to perfectly match your colour scheme or wallpaper! You can explore the collection here.
Add a splash of fun and colour to the room with one of Mitzi’s pastel light fixtures! They are available in a variety of colours and styles and add a super cute and unexpected touch!
Find a Mitzi showroom near you on our Where to Buy Page.
As much as we love the style of an overhead light, you don’t get the coziest lighting from a bright pendant. Instead, we recommend using layered lighting throughout the room. A bedside table lamp and a corner lamp offer the perfect set up. We love the Lena lamp from Mitzi- it has a fun, playful, almost celestial style that we love for a kids’ room!
You can find showroom locations for all of the products we rep by searching for the brand on our Where to Buy page. And for questions about any of the lines we rep, give us a call at 902.452.3899 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org