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Hannah Gannagé-Stewart

Deputy Editor, Solicitors Journal

Long hours kill creativity, warns Twitter boss

Long hours kill creativity, warns Twitter boss


Bruce Daisley sets out emerging 'mega-trends

The future of work is not about modern technology or new systems created by technology – it’s about humanity. That was the key message brought by Bruce Daisley, vice president of Twitter for Europe, the Middle East and Africa in his speech at LawNet’s annual conference on 8 November. LawNet, the leading network of independent law Žrms in the UK and Ireland, was celebrating its 30th anniversary and attracted a record 270 delegates.

Speaking at its biggest ever conference at Celtic Manor, Newport, South Wales, Daisley drew on scientiŽc studies to demonstrate the necessity of humanity in the workforce. He said people work best when connected to others; with the evidence showing that high performing teams tend to share a bond of a®nity. Daisley, author of Sunday Times number one business bestseller The Joy of Work – delegates received a free copy at the close of the conference – warned that we are in the middle of two “vast mega-trends”. First, in the age of mobile phones we are collectively working much longer hours causing a massive impact on our mental health and wellbeing. Second, he warned that “computers are going to start stealing part of our jobs”. These two trends matter, he said, because stress from the Žrst trend kills our capacity to be creative; and because we have “systemised” stress. In addition to the typical symptoms of stress, Daisley highlighted the risk of depersonalisation which is the “removal of humanity of those around us”.

Working relentlessly also takes a toll on our bodies and he explained how the evidence shows there are limits to the ability of the human brain to make decisions. Once our daily capacity to make rational and good decisions has expired we then either make bad decisions or Žnd we cannot make a decision (like choosing to eat chocolate in the evening when we would not have done so during the day). Daisley explained to delegates how we can start to liberate our brains by understanding: —— How we think: many of us have our best ideas when we are bored or walking the dog; —— How we team: when we feel connected it transforms how we work; —— How we relax: humanity is a critical ingredient of work and we need to bring humanity back to jobs; —— How we settle: eg. remote workers – how can you make them feel connected? They need to be made to feel part of the team; and —— How we belong: we need a sense of belonging; and technology has a direct impact on this sense of belonging. Daisley concluded by challenging Žrms to consider how we can help people who work for us to work better – it’s about human connections