Welcome Julie; Congrats Justin and Chris!

Hey folks! Long time, no blog – I promise to be better about this over the summer!

While I love to write on a range of topics, this kind of content ranks among my favorites. That’s because it celebrates what (or rather, whom) makes WorkBook6 special: the people. It also speaks to our business’s growth, but the real message is that our team is growing and developing in way that make me really, really proud. So, if you like to smile and be happy for other people, read on!

Welcome Julie Bohling!

I’m thrilled to welcome Julie Bohling to WorkBook6’s partnership development group, where she’s already begun to improve our reach within the digital publisher ecosystem. Julie’s background is exactly what we look for in a colleague. She’s hard working and easy going. She likes silliness (a near must, here), but she gets that the work is ultimately what’s important. Speaking of work, Julie’s done lots of it in some really dynamic and diverse environments. She’s sold and managed sales people in the sports and entertainment world (for the Washington Capitals and the Phoenix Suns); she’s a former educator (and holds a masters degree in education); and she’s deeply experienced within the software as a service (SaaS) space (most recently focusing on educational technology at Pearson). More important than any of this, though, is the fact that she’s an excellent intensely positive human. She’s curious and passionate – a combination that I believe represents lightning in a bottle. We’re lucky to have her, here. Welcome, Julie!

Congratulations to Justin Guido and Chris Cox

As the partnership development team grows, it’s exciting, also, to share that both Chris Cox and Justin Guido have been promoted to more senior roles within their existing disciplines. Each will assume Senior Director titles; this is reflective of their leadership and material impact on our success, here.

Well done, guys.

So, who’s next?

We will be steadily adding to this team throughout the remainder of 2019. So, if you hold superpowers in sales, business development or account management, we want to know your story, and we’d love to tell you ours. If you’re just getting started, and don’t yet know if those are your strong suits, that’s ok, too. Let’s work on figuring it out, together. We love helping people find their truest talents.

In either of the above scenarios, it all starts with a discussion. So, let’s start there; if you’ve got a hunch that you’d be a great fit for our team, reach out any time and let’s start the discussion!

Improve Your Job Performance: Get A Hobby

By: Kara Hutcheson

Hey. Kara, here. I keep things running smooth and on time, here, at WorkBook6. Spend just a few minutes with some of the folks on our team and you’ll know that job is easier said than done. By design, this business is a buzzing hive of activity. Our team is dynamic, and often very, very busy. It’s my job to help them keep it all straight and to help us all maintain sanity. Playing an insider’s role in each of the team’s day to day has given me a unique perspective around how to maintain such an intense workload while staying happy and healthy. And while every person here is different, they all have a commonality – they’ve got something else they’re passionate about. For many on the team, music is the go-to. Brett and Sav are both obsessed with electronic dance music (EDM). Kyle’s a DJ and Max plays guitar. Others aren’t quite so indoorsy – Anna can be found on a horse at least one afternoon or evening each week and Chris is a free-diver and avid surfer. JT is flat-out obsessed with fishing, yardwork, and anything else outside. Justin hits the gym (and he never skips leg day). My hobby is in all things film, in particular screenwriting, at least for the moment. The point is this – every one of us has a counterbalance to help put the hours in the office and on the road into better perspective. And I’m convinced that this might be what enables us all to go so hard at work!

While it may seem contradictory, investing more time in your personal life and interests outside of work can help you improve your job performance. Despite the traditional idea that ‘workaholic’ behavior drives success, the ability to thrive in today’s business world requires more than just showing up to work. Investing some time in hobbies helps develop your skills in a rounded way making you even more productive (and marketable) than you are now.

Get the Creative Juices Flowing

For many of us, our job roles and functions are straightforward. Typically our day-to-day activities in the office are often predictable – which is in not necessarily a bad thing! It would however, be a terrible thing to assume that because we do one thing well, it’s the only thing we do well. Having hobbies furthers our understanding of our creative capabilities. Putting ourselves in unfamiliar situations lets us tap into our creativity in a different way than we usually would.  This can spark inspiration to get us past ‘just showing up’ to work, and rather pushing hard for progress and innovation.

Playground for Failure

Personally, my favorite reason to participate in a hobby is the opportunity to make mistakes without any really scary consequences. When was the last time you spent time doing something for yourself where you hadn’t considered the return on investment? Are you willing to be challenged and work at something, even if it doesn’t produce a paycheck? I challenge you to find any successful person who can truthfully say that their success came overnight, without much work and without any failures. If you walk into a photography studio, you’re likely not going to be Ansel Adams on your first day. Take a boxing class, you’re probably not ready to get into the ring with Mayweather any time soon. Sitting down to write? Ask Tolkien, Rowling or Martin about failure before their masterpieces became our current obsessions! Giving ourselves a creative space to be daring without the fear of getting fired or endangering our livelihood can give us the confidence to unravel some of our underlying talents. While taking chances may be a little daunting at the office when there is much at stake, the journey in our personal interests have a way of taking us on a much more adventurous path.

When it rains, it doesn’t have to pour

Have you ever had one of those days at work where everything went wrong? You come home, only to continue thinking about work. You wake up the next day, only to dread going in to work to deal with yesterday’s fallout. Having a hobby can help take us, even if just momentarily, out of a bad situation, refresh our perspective and force a little joy into our lives even on the worst days. I guarantee your ability to solve problems when you are refreshed and optimistic is far better than when you are in a stressed and overwhelmed state.

The beautiful thing about a hobby is it can be anything. It doesn’t have to be something you are naturally talented at, or it could be your secret passion that opens up brand new career doors. It’s an opportunity for extroverts to observe, or for introverts to take the lead. If you ever doubted whether investing time in a hobby is worth the effort, remember – if the return of growth, accomplishment and happiness doesn’t quite get you there, a new hobby may be just the tool you need to take you to the next level at work!

996 workweek

By: Max Richardson

What does a productive week at the office look like for you? If you work in the software industry in China, there’s a good chance that your job feels a little like a 19th century steel worker, minus the smelting.   Over the past few weeks, a movement has gained momentum on Github among Chinese developers at more than 40 tech giants called the 996.ICU – a reference to the 9am-9pm workday, six days a week – and the place you end up afterwards, the Intensive Care Unit.

For non-developers, Github is a centralized development platform that is used by nearly every development team to consolidate files in one location and track changes in code. So why protest on Github? For starters, China’s heavy-handed internet policy and media restrictions prohibits more typical forms of protest. Ultimately, tech workers in China decided to take a different strategy: create a license that prohibits use by companies not adhering to labor laws. While this won’t keep companies from enforcing the 996 policy, by releasing software under this license, those same companies would be unable to benefit from the use of open-source development tools created under the license.

While working at a computer doesn’t compare to the factories of the industrial age, ­­­it comes with its own set of issues. In the Chinese tech sector, unpaid hours are both common and expected, and for those who want to move up the corporate ladder, the 996 work culture is a bare minimum. While companies frequently offer amenities such as sleep rooms, showers, and food to entice their employees to stay in the office, the corporate culture is decidedly work-first and many employees face internal shaming for leaving work before their superiors.

The big question is whether any more work actually gets done. Being at the office doesn’t mean you’re being efficient. In 2018, Inc. Magazine reported that the average 8-hour worker is only productive for around three hours a day! We all know the feeling of hitting the wall at the end of a day, when everything feels harder and your mind moves slower. Now add another 4 hours to your day – do you get more done? Probably not much.

Personally, I find myself most productive from 11am to 3pm, with 10 minute breaks ever 90 minutes or so for a walk. That downtime helps me digest and retain the information I’m taking in and gives my mind the break it needs for behind-the-scenes problem solving and maximizes creative thinking.

What’s your routine for a productive day? How much of your work day do you actually spend productively working? How many hours a week is your sweet spot for work/life balance?

Let’s Connect!