Weapons of Mass Distraction

Keeping motivated and alert can sometimes be difficult late on a Friday afternoon. The weekend is just out of reach, the office feels unusually stuffy, and you find yourself side-tracked by amusing animal videos while scrolling through Facebook.

Maybe you’ve even been distracted from a conversation or writing an email by this blog. I don’t blame you. Everyone knows that loss adjusting blogs are the most entertaining! Well, it’s time to stop watching adorable puppies falling asleep in their food bowls (aww!!). Inc. has gathered some of the most useful tips to eliminate distractions in the workplace.


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Create a sanctuary

Having your own space, free from noise, distractions and even your phone, can lead to the best kind of creative thinking. In a solitary space, it’s easier to get in the zone and complete the project you’re working on. Think J.K. Rowling, who isolated herself in a suite adjacent to a castle while writing the seventh Harry Potter book. Where’s your castle?

Plan your hours

Allow yourself a set time during the day, maybe thirty minutes, to check social media and email. Then switch off any notifications. By not allowing yourself to get distracted in the first place, your performance will greatly increase. Not even by cat videos.

Log your good work

Keep a tally of your focused, undistracted working hours. Apparently, it’s a good way to confront reality, something that I generally try to avoid. Sometimes you think you’re working undistracted, when in actual fact you’ve forgotten about that Buzzfeed quiz you did that tells you what kind of potato you would be.

So next time you catch yourself slipping away to the world of Twitter or Instagram, try and remember one of these helpful tips. It might just save you time in the long run.

Words by Skye Jamieson

Moving and Shaking

Australia is no stranger to natural disasters. Fires, floods, cyclones – we’ve had our fair share over the years. But there’s one natural disaster that doesn’t often come up on the radar – earthquakes. Or does it?

Way back in science class we were taught that earthquakes occur due to tectonic plates moving and shaking against each other. So you can be forgiven for assuming that Australia is safe, given that it lies in the middle of the Indo-Australian plate.

The reality is that Australia is shaken by roughly one small earthquake a day. Turns out there’s a lot more going on under the surface than we know about.


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In December 1989, an earthquake that struck Newcastle became one of Australia’s worst natural disasters. The quake killed thirteen people and caused an estimated $4 billion worth of damage. According to National Geographic, the devastation was unusual for a relatively low magnitude quake. Experts say soft sediments may have intensified the shaking, the strength of which older buildings could not withstand.

It’s somewhat related to the parable about the wise and the foolish builders. Now, this bible story, taken at face value, actually has some sound structural building advice. The first man builds his house on rock, and it stands tall in the face of natural forces. The second man, however, watches his house fall after building it on a bed of sand.

Australian Geographic says that magnitude six earthquakes occur every five years or so due to pent-up stress from neighbouring plates.  Kim Henshaw, CEO of Strata Community Australia (SCA), says that people need to be more aware of their insurance arrangements in relation to earthquakes.

“We want people to abandon the complacent ‘this won’t happen to me’ psyche, because contrary to assumptions, Australia is a very active location for seismic events,” said Henshaw.

Guess there’s something in common with loss adjusting and seismology – they’re both trying to find out where the fault lies.

Words by Skye Jamieson

Waffling On

If there’s one thing the staff at the FT Adjusting office can testify to, it’s the fact that food can be a great motivator. In the kitchen, we’re lucky enough to have a bottomless supply of Tim Tams and Mint Slices. But there’s also the added bonus of our monthly pizza parties and spontaneous cake days. All those treats makes for one productive and happy team of loss adjusters.

So it’s not too surprising that Belgium has taken up a similar tactic of culinary persuasion. According to a report from Insurance Business, Belgium’s deputy director of economic and financial policy reporting used their famous Belgian waffles to lure insurers. The temptation tactics also included the country’s strong regulatory regime and its high quality beer.


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The waffles might just be making an impact on insurers after QBE announced plans to expand their Brussels branch, establishing the Belgian capital as its new EU base. Belgium is hoping that similar moves from more insurance companies will lead to big operations in the long run.

While we’ve got enough tea and biscuits to sink a ship, we can’t help but enviously daydream over the thought of fresh Belgian waffles on a cold winter’s morning. Maybe there’s some truth in the saying after all – the way to a loss adjuster’s heart is through the stomach.

Words by Skye Jamieson

Play That Funky Music

Here at FT Adjusting we have a pretty tight knit team. There’s just ten of us, to be precise. A team of ten, tackling the treacherous world of property damage, contract works, public and products liability and professional indemnity claims. Working in such a small team means that everyone gets to know each other quite well, and nothing is hidden behind closed doors. Seriously. My office doesn’t even have a door.

This sense of openness means that everyone’s happy to poke their heads in and have a chat. You can learn some interesting things, like the fact that our very own loss adjuster Zack is a huge fan of metal music. He’ll often plug his headphones in behind the desk and listen to some head-banging tunes. Zack says it helps with his concentration and focus.


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Personally, I’m also a big fan of listening to music to help stay focused at work. There’s nothing like the dulcet tones and soothing synths of Enya to help you concentrate while registering claims and composing engaging and hilarious blog posts.

But recently I’ve been delving into something a little bit different. It’s the sound of The Avalanches. With samples weaved throughout the psychedelic melodies, it’s hard to pin it down to a genre. But let me tell you, it makes the perfect autumn playlist. It’s funky enough to make you want to have a boogie behind your desk while you’re filing invoices away. The only downside is the irresistible urge to keep turning the volume up. I’m in serious danger of not being able to hear the office phone ring over the music.

Words by Skye Jamieson

Expectations vs. Reality

Loss adjusting can be a difficult profession to understand. Even the name itself doesn’t give much away. When I first applied for the position at FT Adjusting, I had to google ‘loss adjuster’ to find out exactly what I was getting myself into. And after speaking with some of the staff around the office, I now know that I was not alone in my ignorance.

It turns out that most people about to enter the industry have very different expectations of what loss adjusting is, compared to the reality of the profession. Shay, our Cadet loss adjuster, admits that he didn’t really know what loss adjusting was until he googled it prior to applying for the position. Even then, he says, the explanation wasn’t clear and was very different to the reality. Tunnel vision is something that can happen in a lot of professions, so in order to get the most out of loss adjusting, Shay says that you need to have an open mind the entire time.


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Zach agrees, saying that unless you know someone in the industry or work in the industry yourself, most people wouldn’t know what a loss adjuster is. Geoffrey is of the same mindset, as he says that understanding the industry is the key to knowing the reality of what a loss adjuster does.

So what is the reality of loss adjusting?

That’s a good question. A loss adjuster investigates and settles insurance claims on behalf of insurance companies. It involves finding out the details of a claim or incident – that’s the who, what, when, where and how. This usually happens by going on site and meticulously inspecting details, communicating with people and analysing all the available data and figures.

Phew, glad we got that one sorted. For some of you, this information might be completely out of your comfort zone. But for the staff here at FT Adjusting, it’s just another day at the office.

Words by Skye Jamieson

Burnout Balance

It can happen to us all – the weeks start adding up, the to-do list starts getting longer and suddenly you find yourself standing before a mountain of work. And despite all your tiresome efforts, the mountain only seems to get bigger and bigger as the days go on. Then you might find you’re having more trouble than usual falling asleep and staying asleep.

Things start to pile up. Soon enough, that mountain starts to take the shape of Mount Doom. You’re drained, both physically and mentally. Sort of like Frodo.

This exhaustion is called burnout and it’s pretty common. According an article from Insurance Business, burnout is a state of emotional, mental and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. Burnout can seriously impact on your work performance and on your quality of life. It’s important to recognise some of the main triggers of burnout in the workplace. Because not all of us have a Sam to carry us up the slopes of Mount Doom.


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Six typical drivers of burnout in business:

  • Over-committing – there’s only so much you can do in a day.
  • Avoiding – sometimes we need to make those tough decisions as soon as they arise.
  • Poor execution – as they say, failing to plan is planning to fail.
  • Aiming for perfection – no one and no business is perfect, and that’s okay.
  • Work-life imbalance – we all need time away from work to recharge.
  • Worry and regret – the worry cycle can quickly get out of control.

Knowing these key triggers of burnout may be the solution to avoiding it altogether. And if you’re currently in a state of burnout, knowing these tips might be the key to overcoming it, or ridding yourself of that burdensome One Ring in the fires of Mount Doom for good.

Words by Skye Jamieson

Adjuster’s Justice

In the Great Pyramid of careers, loss adjusting is a pretty niche field of work in itself. There’s a whole list of claims that loss adjusters can handle, including motor vehicle, personal injury and professional negligence claims. Then, on top of that, you have us. We’re pretty much as niche as you can be, because we only specialise in claims relating to construction and engineering. We’re a small business, but the members of our elite team are pretty great. There are some key areas that a loss adjuster has to excel in, in order to be the best at their job.


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Top 3 Requirements for Loss Adjusters:

  • Loss adjusters are constantly communicating with different parties, including through interviewing, so it’s very important that a loss adjuster knows what to say and how to say it.
  • Loss adjusters need to be more on the ball than Sherlock in terms of their detective work. Loss adjusting involves going on site visits to review every minute detail of a claim.
  • Loss adjusters need to be masters at analysing their collected data for reporting. One of the most important processes is double checking and triple checking all the facts and figures to make sure that everything adds up.

Being a small business also means knowing your boundaries. We’re strong believers in the KISS principle (Keep It Simple Stupid) because we know we’re niche, and we know our business. We’re not trying to be a company that we’re not. Like Leonardo Da Vinci once said, ‘simplicity is the ultimate sophistication’.

But the one area we don’t apply our ‘less is more’ philosophy is when it comes to customer service.  Because paying special attention to customer service means a satisfied customer is likely to be a returning customer.

Words by Skye Jamieson

Water Cooler Conversation

It’s only my second day in the office here at FT Adjusting and I’ve already developed a slight attachment to the water cooler in the corner of the office. Like the animals in the African savanna, us office-dwellers have long been drawn to the nearest water source for refreshment, particularly when the air conditioning has been overworked in the heat of the Aussie summer.


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For many years conversation around the water cooler was the perfect opportunity to ponder life’s unanswerable questions (like why on earth did Apple remove the headphone jack?) but with the rise of social media the office bulletin boards have been reduced to measly 140 character tweets.

And with the rise in social media use in the office, reports Insurance Business, comes a higher risk of cyber breaches in the workplace. Insurance Business believes that human error is one of the most common causes of cyber breaches. Yikes.

With mandatory breach notifications recently passing through Parliament, Lennon* noted that he expects to see the cyber insurance market continue its growth over the course of 2017 as businesses learn that cyber risk is an issue that reaches far beyond the IT department.

With this prediction we can expect to see even more ridiculously complicated password requirements. So stay hydrated, folks, maybe the water cooler isn’t so old school after all.

*Nick Lennon, country manager at cyber security firm Mimecast.

Words by Skye Jamieson

Ich möchte mich kurz vorstellen!

After spending one year studying abroad in Cologne, Germany, and after much travelling and beer drinking, I have made the difficult decision to come back to the real world of offices and paperwork as the new social media manager at FT Adjusting!

Very much looking forward to sharing with you all my love of pizza parties and eccentric ramblings: but here’s hoping that such an extended period of time living amongst Germans hasn’t dulled my sense of humour.

German Trumpet

Image: Pixabay.com

Ich möchte mich kurz vorstellen – I’d like to quickly introduce myself! I’m currently completing a Bachelor of Communications and International Studies; I have recently rediscovered my love for all things Vegemite and am entirely obsessed with Border Collie puppies.

I would like to thank the team at FT Adjusting for their warm welcome and am looking forward to what’s next. I would also like to say a big thank you to Jenny and we wish her every success in her future endeavours!

Words by Skye Jamieson

Food Glorious Food

It’s no secret that, here at FT Adjusting, we love our food.

My office always smells like something edible (a consequence of working near the microwave). Monthly pizza lunches are observed as religiously as the Ten Commandments. We are still working our way through the Chinese New Year leftovers crowding our tea/coffee station. And speaking of Commandments, I’m pretty sure keeping those Tim Tam lookalikes stocked is one of them.

Coffee and macarons

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Now, I came across a transcript from a recent interview with Shankar Vedantam, a social science correspondent for NPR (National Public Radio). He was talking about how people often eat the same food when they eat together, and described a series of experiments run by Ayelet Fishbach and Kaitlin Woolley from the University of Chicago. Fishbach’s thesis was that:

Food is about bringing something into the body. And to eat the same food suggests that we are both willing to bring the same thing into our bodies. People just feel closer to people who are eating the same food as they do. And then trust, cooperation, these are just consequences of feeling close to someone.


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So she and Woolley tested the effects of eating certain foods when people were together. In one experiment, volunteers played the role of managers and union reps agreeing on an hourly wage. Pairs were given either sweet or savoury snacks, and when they ate the same kind of food, they reached an agreement much faster than when one person ate sweet and the other savoury.

It might be unconscious, but it seems like food (specifically, eating the same food as someone else) plays a key role in promoting trust and cooperation between people. And frankly, I have no shame using that as justification for our ongoing pizza parties.

…not that we needed much justification for those in the first place.

Words by Jenny Ryan