QTalks 2019 - The Joy of Work with Bruce Daisley

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On 27th March, we were delighted to host Bruce Daisley - VP of Twitter EMEA, bestselling author of ‘The Joy of Work’, and creator of the Eat Sleep Work Repeat podcast. The Times said that ‘he is on a mission to change the world of work’, and he kindly joined us in the Qubit London HQ to give us an insight into his recipe for success.

We discover the lessons for a happy working life

‘Honking the horn’ was the closest comparison I could think of to capture the office buzz following the announcement that Bruce would be kicking off our 2019 QTalks series. The Qubit Customer team jubilantly honks a retro bike horn whenever a renewal is completed. A playful, unconventional nod to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) opening and closing bells.

Like many innovative technologists and leaders, Bruce did not land where he is now by walking a straight and sunny path. He grew up on a council estate in Birmingham and began working life in fast-food restaurants to help him pay his way through university, making him the first member of his family to attend.

20 years on, Bruce is responsible for Twitter's business throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Before this, Bruce ran sales for Google's UK display business across YouTube & the Google Display Network. If this isn’t enough ‘busyness’, in his spare time, he also runs a top podcast.

In this QTalk, Bruce shared his thoughts from his years of delving into the alchemy of organisational psychology and investigating what can bring joy into 21st-century office. While we would like to stow away all his shared wisdom here are just three of the lessons he shared:

Lesson #1 - Recharge by switching off

Bruce warned that “people accepting emails on their mobile phones can add up to two hours to the average working day”. Unwittingly, we’ve created an operating system of modern work which is perpetually stressful. Giving examples from the research of Gregory Burns and his colleagues at Emory University, he demonstrated how this stress may kill our capacity to be fully engaged and creative.

Easy action - Switch off phone notifications outside working hours. Being disconnected from a barrage of work alerts is pretty much the most effective way to make the usually ever-connected feel a little less overwhelmed by work.

Lesson #2 - Energize your teams

Take a lunch break! Bruce told us that it has been proved that this measurably improves your productivity and helps hand back your weekend. Citing various physiological studies and an example from Daniel Kahneman’s ‘Thinking, Fast and Slow’, it understandably allows you to not feel so completely exhausted.

Easy action - Reclaim your lunch. Take breaks away from your desk. No eating al-desko!

Lesson #3 - The good sh*t doesn’t happen in the meetings you are not in

Bruce let the audience in on an all-too-believable stat that the average British person spends two days a week in meetings and the average manager spends three. As Bruce colourfully put it, “the good sh*t doesn't happen in the meetings you’re not in”, making fun of the ever present FOMO trend that scares us into saying “yes” to every meeting we are invited to.

Free up cognitive space. Cull your calendar. Ask yourself: what do I need to do? How should I do it? How can I do it most effectively?

Easy action - Take a moment to question which meetings you really should be in and where it would be better to close your diary off to personal work time. Work smarter not harder!

Culture doesn’t have to be top-down and, as Bruce says, can “actually exist, despite bosses”. Anyone can change culture with a little persuasive evidence, and Bruce’s book ‘The Joy of Work’ is a great force to add to your armory.

To find out more about Qubit's QTalk initiative, click here to find out more.

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