A review of The Joy of Work: 30 Ways to Fix Your Work Culture and Fall in Love with Your Job Again by Bruce Daisley
This month’s recommended book is The joy of work: 30 ways to fix your work culture and fall in love with your job again by Bruce Daisley creator of the podcast Eat, Sleep, Work, Repeat.
Books written by CEOs, VPs of Google, Yahoo and Huffington Post telling the rest of us how to relax and enjoy life generally fill me with cynicism. However, I do have clients who work for companies that leave them in great need of tips on how to survive their corporate culture.
Many of the leaders and managers I advise spend a great deal of time trying to improve their workplace culture. Finding books that I believe will inspire them helps us all.
To manage my risk, I decided to take a gamble on this book as an Audible I can listen to while I run. I ended up really liking it for three and a half reasons.
3.5 Reasons to read The Joy of Work
1. Handy data set of researchers and thinkers when it comes to productivity and staff engagement
The book is a very handy database of researchers in the productivity, wellbeing and social psychology research space. Take for example the work of Professor Alex Pentland at MIT. Pentland has combined big data and psychology to create a new field of research called social physics.
While I am not a fan of big data research in general, the approach Pentland is using will make many psychologists jealous.
I also enjoyed discovering the work of Julianne Holt-Lunstad and her large study of over 3.4 million adults which showed that isolation is really bad for us. Discover her work with this keynote talk we found on YouTube.
2. The double focus: individual and team
In the first half of the book, Bruce writes about what individuals can do to recharge. While I did not find much new information in this part of the book, I enjoyed the overall message that emerges from the 12 tips: self-care and me-time are vital even at work!
The team section had a number of simple yet apparently effective tips such as tea break, laughter and giving people space. I am not convinced about halving meetings though.
3. Interesting factoids
The book is populated with curious facts and stories that are just interesting to know although hard to remember. A good reason to revisit the book for me and to check it out for you.
3.5. The author
The author comes across and openly makes the point of saying he’s just a normal average guy with good intentions who comes from up north. Perhaps this is the reason why his approach to corporate culture seems to bring inherently more heart.
As I listened to Bruce on the Audible I thought it would be great to meet him. He seemed genuinely passionate about helping everyday folks get the tools to enjoy work more. And that in my experience is actually rare.
Summary and future outlook
I’m recommending this book because:
- it can be read in small bites,
- you can surf through the table of contents and start where you feel you will find the ideas you need, and
- I am sure you will learn something new and gain more ammunition to make a positive change in your life.
No doubt, hidden within the pages of this book is a giant Rolodex of key influencers in the conversation about staff engagement and workplace productivity.
What is key here is a more sobering message: we are yet to crack how to make people feel safe and valued in the workplace. Bruce is right. This movement begins in every mind and heart.
The Grid help people create better lives and be more happy at work
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In the meantime, keep on reading and keep on learning.