One of my favourite podcasts is Eat Sleep Work Repeat hosted by Bruce Daisley, the European Vice-President for Twitter. I was delighted when I heard earlier this year that he was publishing a book, The Joy of Work (2019).
The subtitle of this his first book promises a lot: “30 ways to fix your work culture and fall in love with your job again”. The book is arranged into three sections which he claims together create happier work environments:
- Recharge—ways we can help recharge our own batteries.
- Sync—suggestions about how to encourage trust.
- Buzz—ideas, based on research, that can help teams reach a state of ‘buzz’.
Each chapter relatively short, easy to read and is packed with great, up-to-date research and ends with a few practical ideas about how you could implement that idea.
The first section offers 12 performance-enhancing actions to make work less awful:
- Have a monk-mode morning—silent and distraction free.
- Go for a walking meeting—seemingly, it makes you more creative.
- Celebrate headphones—they can really help you focus by shutting out the noise around you.
- Eliminate hurry sickness—don’t see gaps in your schedule as moments when you are not working, celebrate space—sometimes you have your best idea when you are doing ‘nothing’.
- Shorten your work week—stop celebrating overwork, go home on time, break your day into small chunks. Burnout and exhaustion are no good for your creativity.
- Overthrow the evil mill owner who lives inside you—don’t be a tyrant, don’t jokingly say ‘half day?’ when someone comes in at 10:00. Don’t give people a hard time about their hours especially when work has some flexibility.
- Turn off your notifications.
- Go to lunch—it’s better for your mental health.
- Define your norms
- Have a digital sabbath—for example, don’t email afterhours
- Get a good night’s sleep
- Focus on one thing at a time