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Image courtesy of MRS

by Sarah Davies

Well, we might have all been a bit more reluctant to embrace our lovely new work smartphone if we had known that was going to be the outcome! This startling fact and other such insights were soaked up by a fascinated audience at the opening presentation by Bruce Daisley, VP, EMEA of Twitter on Tuesday at the start of the MRS Annual Conference.

Bruce’s skill at engaging his audience had us all hooked immediately with his opening gambit and title of his talk ‘THE FOUR WAYS IDIOT BOSSES RUINED WORK FOR THE REST OF US’.

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Image taken from Sarah’s phone

Taking the four topics of Stress, Working Hours, Working Environment and Family Life, with a few nods to his new book The Joy of Work, Bruce effortlessly retold stories of bad business and how it can easily have hugely detrimental effects on the performance of teams and individuals.

Here at McGowan Transcriptions, working environment, the well-being of our staff, and quality of life have always been hugely important to us so we wanted to take this chance to health check ourselves using the Bruce-ometer.

STRESS – the fear system is the most dominant in our brains and it has been proven that fear and stress kills our capacity to be creative.

McGowan Transcriptions work in a friendly, relaxed style and have an effective messaging system that allows our staff to question and ask for help if they are unsure or simply don’t know. SCORE 8/10

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Image taken from Sarah’s phone

HOURS – Elon Musk famously said that ‘No-one changes the world on a 40-hour week’ and is reported to work 80 hours a week himself! Contrary to this, it has been shown that as soon as you hit 56 hours of (physical) work, you are better off not working at all. There is a point at which our brains virtually switch off and lose their ability to function correctly and, most importantly, make decisions. Bruce advised that we all must have substantial amounts of unscheduled time when we are totally switched off and allow ourselves to think, reflect and be creative.

McGowan Transcriptions encourage flexible working and allow their staff to choose the number of hours they want to commit to. There are many happy dogs as a result, who don’t have to wait until the end of the day for ‘walkies’. SCORE 9/10

WORKING ENVIRONMENT

Open plan offices weren’t spared and Bruce stated that a staggering 67% more emails were sent in this environment and, although they can cost 1/3 less to build, he claims that they are the enemy of ‘getting our work done’ due to constant interruption and lack of privacy.

Each team member of McGowan Transcriptions has their own office, although as these are home offices we can score highly on privacy but are not sure if it counts! 10/10

FAMILY LIFE / BELONGING

Reid Hastings, CEO Netflix, claims that ‘We are a team, not a family.’ However, ‘belongingness’ is far more important to us than we believe. It is argued that it is equally as important to us as food and shelter and is not a luxury. Indications that loneliness could be a bigger cause of death than obesity are alarming but should not be ignored.

Despite the McGowan team being spread across the UK the sense of belonging within our team is high. This is fostered through chat on Slack, ZOOM and face-to-face meetings, meaning that despite the distance, we feel close and supported by one another. SCORE 7/10

So, this just leaves the challenge for you to see how you honestly feel you score, and challenges us all on what we should be doing to improve and maximise the well-being of those we work with.

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