Posts tagged "Life/Work Balance"

Remote Working from a laptop overlooking a pool in California USA

Do More Work, Don’t Go Into the Office. Our Take On Remote Working.

December 10th, 2018 Posted by Life / Work Balance, Social Media 0 thoughts on “Do More Work, Don’t Go Into the Office. Our Take On Remote Working.”

“Remote working” – one of the buzz phrases of our decade. Some see it as the lazy millennial’s way to avoid “real” work, others see it as an innovative way to be more productive, efficient and deliver better quality work as a whole. Either way, as I write this article I’m remote working from the Royal Festival Hall on London’s Southbank, overlooking the River Thames glistening in the morning sunlight. It’s a gorgeous day, I’m enjoying a great coffee and I’m surrounded by nervous-excited graduates, dressed up being admired by their proud families. It. Is. Buzzing. I am inspired.

Why am I here and not in an office like most other agencies? Because I chose to be. Why did I choose to be here?  So I could get more work done.

I just don’t work nearly as well in an office as I do elsewhere, on my own terms. When I need to knuckle down and get shit done, this is what I do. I get out of the office, away from actual distractions and into an environment like this. Remote working works for me.

I once said to a former employer: “Hey, what if we gave everyone in the company the option to work remotely once a month?” and was shut down completely without any real rationale or reason. When I suggested the same to another employer I was told “we can’t trust them to actually do any work” this surprised me entirely.  

I felt that if that was really the case then why did you hire these people? I wondered if the team would actually respect the employer more, and thus do more work, if they were given this option. Both times I had suggested the idea of remote working from a point of view to IMPROVE productivity for the business, not hinder it.

Sitting here now, I look around and see young people proudly taking selfies with their degrees and throwing their hats in the air for the perfect Boomerang (the social app, not the Aboriginal hunting implement) and thinking… how do these people want to work for their future employers? What do they demand for their lifestyle? How can I build my business to inspire them to deliver our clients more than the average agency?

There must be good reason why Shoreditch House looks more like a work space than a members club during the week, why WeWork, Spacious and Workshop Cafe are booming all over the world. Additionally, co-working spaces like Campfire have proven (to us at least) to go out of their way to help businesses like ours, with teams that you could go for a beer with after work.

We were one of the first companies to sign up for Spacious in Brooklyn, we’ve both witnessed it growing from strength to strength. There is a huge market for a flexible, affordable place to work, to share ideas and to drink coffee. Shouldn’t have to cost the equivalent of your rent in order to get this experience.

Even Slack the MSN style comms tool is so integral to companies around the world now – and both our Carluccio’s and Regal Rogue clients have rolled out Slack across their businesses thanks in part to our advice. Many businesses can struggle with closed minded perceptions of how things are done. But why can’t we go against the grain if the end result is better?

So far, YesMore Agency is only 13 months old (at the time of writing this). We helped grow results for 13 clients and we’ve had 10 staff work at YesMore – all without ever being in the same room. We’ve had our team working as they would in an office but on their own terms from London, New York, Ireland, California, Brighton, Hawaii, Scotland, Philadelphia, Amsterdam, Spain, Poland and more.

Dan, my business partner, lives in Brooklyn New York whilst I live in East London – we speak every day (and collaborate seamlessly) whilst only actually having worked in the same room for 9 working days so far in the business. We just don’t need to. In fact, we’re more productive when we don’t.

Not sure about you but this doesn’t inspire much in us

We’ve hired people with a work ethic like ours, we trust everyone to deliver on the promises they make and we all communicate instinctively. And when people don’t pull their weight you actually notice it more in the drop on deliverables, whilst in an office you can whittle hours away hiding hungover behind your screen.

As a result, all of our clients are happy. I believe that’s down to us and our team being allowed (encouraged even) to work in more productive environments. Above all else enabling us to continue being passionate and dedicated to both our work and our lives.

Dan and I are discussing how this will manifest itself in the future. We’ve got a good idea of our direction but will always have questions… Will we always allow our teams to work remotely? What problems could we encounter? What do our clients think? Do we tell our clients? Will people’s perceptions hold us back? What is the future of the service agency? Do people want to commute to an uninspiring environment? Can our team work from our client’s spaces for added creativity?

“Great ideas start out as polarising, they either really tug on someone’s emotions or they really perturb them in some way” – Joe Gebbia, Airbnb

When we talk about this way of working it’s already becoming very clear that some people LOVE it. At the same time some people think we’re idiots. Exciting. So re-listening to the How I Built This podcast interview with Joe Gebbia, founder of Airbnb, this morning I’m inspired to see what YOU think too.

What’s your point of view on building an agency around flexible and remote working?

Be brutal if you want, we’re thick skinned and love the challenge of both criticism and belief.

Thanks to Southbank Centre for the wifi and view of the river Thames. I’m now going downstairs for a quick skate and a sandwich in the sun before getting back onto work after lunch refreshed.

Hope you enjoyed the read. For more opinion, interviews and news from the wonderful world of alcohol marketing sign up to our monthly ‘Top 5 Alcohol Marketing Stories‘ email, takes just 25 second read each month and arms you with fascinating stories.

If working with us sounds fun, email Jobs@Yesmore.co.uk Or if you’d like to hire our excellent team just say hello – hello@Yesmore.co.uk

Event at WeWork Holborn in London about Mental Health in the workplace hosted by Poppy Jamie

How to improve mental health in the workplace

October 10th, 2018 Posted by Life / Work Balance 0 thoughts on “How to improve mental health in the workplace”

Right now as I write this post, these are the top 5 trending topics on Twitter:

#WorldMentalHealthDay #MentalHealthDay2018 #MentalHealthAwarenessDay #WMHD18 #PMQs

It’s clear that, finally, people are talking about mental health in the workplace. And that today, finally, the government is hosting the first ever global mental health summit with 50 countries around the world attending. And that today, finally, the prime minister is announcing that she will appoint a Suicide Minister to kerb what has become an epidemic in the UK – particularly amongst men.

I, like many men, don’t really express my emotions. My wife jokes that I’m a robot and pauses The Bodyguard to say “you can cry you know, if you want to of course” and whilst I know that I CAN express my emotions if I want to, I just… well… don’t. I don’t really know if it’s because I’m suppressing them, or if it’s because I just don’t need to express them visually. I don’t know.

What I DO know, or at least believe, is that we can explore this whole area of emotion and mental health in the workplace by doing two things:

  1. Proactively seek knowledge, insight, information and general learning.
  2. Proactively talk about it, share what I learn, share how I feel and be more open.

So to proactively address point one, I went this morning to a discussion about Wellness + Mental Health in the Workplace hosted at WeWork by a truly inspiring and highly motivating woman, Poppy Jamie – founder of an app I’ve just downloaded: Happy Not Perfect. She is practicing, and influencing, a change in cultural perception and behaviour towards mental health and how it should be treated with as much (or more) attention as we treat our physical health.

She was joined by Suzy Ashworth, a wonderfully charismatic and relatable mentor for mindfulness in business, Anisa Kurti of Hatch Analytics, and Geraldine Calpin, CMO of WeWork for Europe and Australia.

And to proactively address point two, I’m now going to tell you about it by sharing some of the most poignant quotes before sharing some of the key learnings that resonated with me.

 

“Right the way through education and careers we are taught to perform and achieve, rather than to be and enjoy just being” – Suzy Ashworth

 

Don’t get me started on this – our schooling, higher education and work environment are not geared for happy joyful lives. We put so much pressure on ourselves and compare ourselves to people on completely different journeys to us. Read The Book Of Joy which I found really helped keep me focussed on my OWN goals and avoid distraction from others – it’s based on conversations between the Dalai Lama and the Archbishop Desmond Tutu… it. will. transform. your. life. So. GOOD.

 

“When I was growing up there was just one screen with four TV channels and we all looked at it together. It was just one thing to process” – Geraldine Calpin

 

She went on to talk about how now we have an infinite number of things to bombard our brains to process and that we’re not built as humans for this. It got me thinking about how a phone screen is singular and solo for that one person to consume whatever it is they’re engrossed in, whereas a TV (or cinema) screen might still be a screen, but it’s for consuming together. It’s a shared experience.

 

“There’s a fear of being yourself in the corporate world. And that needs to change.” – Anisa Kurti

 

I have stubbornly battled against this for some time. We have an innate desire to fit in. We want to be liked, and we’ll sacrifice who we are deep inside to show that we are like those around us. Whilst most of my peers go to the gym after work, I go skateboarding with my mate Danny B, and many times at past jobs I brought my skateboard into work – BUT I’d have to battle against demotivating comments like “hey sk8r boi” or “where’s Avril Lavigne” or “lol, you STILL skate” or everyone’s favourite “do a kickflip” as if I would put up with the same commentary holding a 5-a-side football kit. Fortunately now I run my own business I’m in a position to allow myself to be myself when confronted with the corporate world.

 

“There needs to be a shift in what metrics we consider to be success” – Suzy Ashworth

 

“How do I feel right now? And how do I want to feel? If you’re feeling a 5/10, what’s the one thing you can do today to push it to a 6/10. You don’t have to live everyday at a 10/10 and you can accept that” – Suzy Ashworth

 

“Success for me is about self acceptance” – Poppy Jamie

 

Similarly to Life/Work Balance (purposefully not ordered as Work/Life Balance) this was touching on that perpetual feeling of treading water with your goals, achievements and even our never-ending to do lists and instead trying to reconfigure what you measure as success and how to accept that you are who you are and other’s achievements don’t reflect upon yours.

 

“When asking ‘How are you?’ to a colleague or friend and they reply with ‘Fine’ remember this acronym to show what they really mean: Fuckedup, Insecure, Neurotic & Emotional” – Anisa Kurti

 

This got me thinking about a lovely post on Linkedin from George Bell of Sanctus.io about giving someone the space to answer ‘How are you?’ as genuinely, openly and honestly as they wish to help them get things off their chest and help you look out for those around you – or reciprocate.

 

By this point, if you’ve got this far (well done, leave a comment below or share this so I know people actually read my ramblings), you might also be asking:

Why is an Alcohol Marketing agency blogging about Mental Health?

Good question. With a good answer: Because they go hand in hand.

Alcohol abuse is rife in our country. But alcohol is not necessarily the enemy. In fact at YesMore we believe it’s about us all stepping up to treat the CAUSE of alcohol abuse (poor or neglected mental health), rather than just the EFFECT (drinking away problems, etc) and work together to reduce stress, anxiety, pressure and closed-mindedness. And that’s why we’re an entirely flexible and remote working business, so our teams can work from where and when they are most happy to deliver their very best work for our clients. We do A LOT more than this in our mission to reduce alcohol abuse, but that’s a whole other blog post and you can read (a little) more about this in our post: Why Alcohol Marketing Is Our Niche.

Event at WeWork Holborn in London about Mental Health in the workplace hosted by Poppy Jamie

So finally I urge you, yes you reading this, to:

  1. Proactively seek knowledge, education, insight and learnings about mental health
  2. Proactively talk about it, share this post if you wish, tell a friend, open up

Hopefully if we all do this we’ll be able to improve mental health in the workplace… and cry watching series two of The Bodyguard.

 

Thanks to all the panelists, and WeWork, for today’s session and in particular thanks to both Poppy Jamie (download the Happy Not Perfect app here) and also to Lisa Graydon, a fellow spectator and voice over artist who I really enjoyed debating mental health with afterwards. Follow me on Linkedin here or get in touch with us on jobs@yesmore.co.uk if you’d like to work with us or hello@yesmore.co.uk if your brand/bar/service/event/organisation in the drinks industry needs marketing advice.