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Hackernoon logoMastering Workplace Wellness by@steffi

Mastering Workplace Wellness

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With Byron Reese, Sujan Patel, and Scott Brinker

Image Source: Canva

It’s interesting to know how the next wave of evolution is taking over at a quicker pace than ever. I have been reading up and listening to several thought leaders who’re determined to make this shift pleasurable for all of us.

Some say that this transformation will act in favour of humans such as helping us to be the better version of self while others have things contradicting the former opinions. By all means, switching from lethargic and conservative mindset to broad and accepting mentality is much needed to live through this wave.

My team and I are speaking with some of the listen-worthy thought-leaders and workplace experts on WorkMinus and getting to know several aspects of workplace wellness. The needs and wants to transform our workplace into something that every one of us would love to stick around. Things we know and do not know about advanced technology and other things that are contributing to our growth.

As Steven Pinker, a renowned psychologist mentioned in his TED talk “Is the world getting better or worse? A look at the numbers” how the world has actually grown which is opposite to our assumptions about it.

We think that day-by-day the world is getting degraded and deteriorated but the numbers don’t lie and they show that the world has gotten better than before, a lot better actually.

So we spoke with three tech optimists to understand things that they think we should get rid off from our existing workplace in order to make it a better place to work and thrive in. The topics we had were:

Work Minus Monotony with Byron Reese

We asked Byron, what do you mean by Work Minus Monotony?

“I have a thesis and it says that if you can think of any job that someday we’ll build a machine to do, I mean, forget whether we have a machine to do it now, just some jobs that you could imagine a machine doing in the future like, a drone window washer, like you, can imagine someday there’ll be a drone flies up and cleans all the windows in the side of the building.

If you take a job that a machine could do, and you ask a human to do that job, there’s a word for that, the word is dehumanizing. The work is by definition dehumanizing because if you say the machine can do it, then it doesn’t require passion, creativity, emotion, nothing that makes humans human. In fact, it really is you asking a person to just be a stand-in for the machine until we invent some machine to do it.

I think those sorts of the job are the very worst. I think humans are meant for more and so that’s what I mean by monotony. And you can think of it in a macro sense of, you know, the example I gave the drone that cleans windows, but I think you can also think of it in a micro sense–individual tasks that you and I do in our jobs that machines could do.

So, even if you have a great human “human job” that requires unique human abilities, there’ll probably be still parts of it that machines could do and that’s what I think of this, the monotony part because it’s a non-human part, it’s a part that is just you physically being a machine, and that’s what I think we’re on the path to getting rid of for everyone.”

Work Minus Everything with Sujan Patel

By Work Minus Everything what we really mean is: how can anyone do 9 different things at the same time? After which Sujan took us on a long journey of how he does things in a way that there is no situation called “burnout”.

“One big thing is, as a company, as an individual contributor to a company, so whether you are employee low level, entry level or an executive or founder, everybody has the same amount of time in their day: twenty-four hours. If you really think about it, you probably have eight and some people have sixteen productive hours in their day. I don’t know about you but I’ve got maybe five to six good hours in me and the rest is just like maybe I can do some spreadsheets, some brainless work but I’ve got a good couple hours in me and then I’m kind of done.

I look at this as more — not just like privatization or productivity, I look at this as brain power. So how much brain power can expand in a given day? I’ve actually burned out in the past running one business where I had thirty employees working for me, most of them were direct reports but we were doing a lot. And I learned this from actually failing miserably at this and ended up doing a fire sale of this business because I just wanted to get out. And at the end of the day, I’m happy I went through this experience but ultimately productivity comes after prioritization.”

Work Minus Either/Or with Scott Brinker

We asked Scott to share with us the idea behind neglecting “either/or” way of working and ways we can manage to do both. Here is his thought:

“I think it’s actually how you think about centralizing almost with a platform mentality. And there’s so much great literature out there these days about the platform not just from a technical perspective but from like a business model perspective, a great book called Platform Revolution that’s worth reading for pretty much anyone in business today.

But, if you bring this platform mentality it’s like, okay, we’re going to standardize on certain platforms to provide that cohesion at the centre of the organization but the whole point of the platform is it enables creators on the edge of the organization to do all sorts of highly specialized tasks or create things on their own on top of that platform. Then you get the best of both.”

More learnings about workplace wellness from the upcoming episodes will be shared in the next blog.
Stay tuned.



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