It may sound counter-intuitive, but taking time to relax and invest your spare time into soul-fulfilling hobbies is actually the best trick to improving your productivity at the work place. A study conducted by Harvard in the mid-2000s revealed that, across the sample of American corporations included in the research, those companies whose employees reported higher rates in stress and sleep deprivation lost just over $63.2 billion a year in productivity. We take our time off very seriously here at O and we would encourage you to also find ways to recharge and feel inspired. Hopefully, this list will serve as a starting point:
Otter.ai: Otter Voice Notes – Face-to-face interactions with our clients play a huge part of our day to day tasks, but sometimes putting everything that has been discussed in a meeting on paper can feel like an overwhelming task. Chatting makes ping-ponging ideas back and forth so much easier than through emails or Slack messages, which makes transcribing an absolute nightmare. Fortunately, we found an app that almost does the job for us. Otter is a speech-to-text app designed to save us all some time and take the weight of pressing play, pause and rewind endlessly while transcribing important audio material. A quick disclaimer is worth noting – as much as the developers have worked on the app’s speech recognition algorithm, some accents may be harder to process than others, so it’s worth proof checking the documents before sending them off.
Tagomatic – We work very closely with social media here at O and we’re always keeping up to date with what is trending online these days. However, finding the best hashtags is no easy job but thankfully there’s an app that has our backs. TagOMatic essentially works as an endless collection of hashtags which you can browse through to see not only which ones fit your posts best, but also what other related topics are doing much better than the hashtags you would normally use.
Digital Doesn’t Have To Be Disruptive – A long, but very insightful piece on the myths and false expectations businesses sometimes hold against digitalisation. Although by no means a new phenomenon, Furr and Shipilov argue going digital has long been perceived as a disruptive business decision, leading to the word slowly becoming stripped of meaning and casing confusion among executive boards.
Indra Nooyi and the Vanishing Female C.E.O – This article makes a really good point about the state of the contemporary female CEO following former PepsiCo chief Indra Nooyi. Kolhatkar’s comments about the dwindling numbers of US female chief executives in recent months despite “more women than men are now earning college degrees, and about as many women as men go into business careers.”
From empowerment to performance: Why brands need to shift the narrative around women’s sport – With the FIFA Women’s World Cup having recently ended, there’s no better time to talk about the gender bias woven into many of the official communications recently released by sponsoring brands. In this piece, Rogers makes a great point about the dichotomy between male and female-centred advertising, claiming that for so long narratives around women’s sports have focused on empowering them to pursue traditionally masculine career paths, instead of valuing the top-tier physical ability and skill World Cup female footballers possess.
The Habitat – Did you know that at the top of a remote Hawaiian mountain there is a planet Mars simulator called The Habitat? If you’re a science fan but have a soft spot for Big Brother-y type plotlines, this podcast is perfect for you. Gilmet’s The Habitat tells the story of six scientists and engineers selected by NASA to live on fake Mars for a year, in hopes of generating more concrete insights into what challenges future astronauts will face on their trip to the red planet. Structured as a mix between daily diaries sent in by the fake-Mars crew and contemplative bits produced by podcast host Lynn Levy, The Habitat presents itself more as a fascinating social experiment than a scientific endeavour. As relationships flourish and tensions arise, the classic reality-show plotline slowly transforms into a surprising investigation into the intricacies of human interaction and the importance of space research.
Uncover: Escaping NXIVM – If you’ve been keeping up with the news, then surely you’ve heard Keith Raniere has been found guilty of all charges against him in the world-renowned case against NXIVM. Despite the publicity, the media coverage on the details of the six-week trial has been rather scarce, leaving many confused as to what the controversy was all about. Uncover’s first season provides a brilliantly written analysis into Raniere’s NXIVM, a rapidly-growing sex cult marketed as a self-help community. Perhaps what makes this story even more gripping is the candid relationship that unravels between host Josh Bloch and ex-NXIVM member Sarah Edmondson as she unravels the secrets of a group she’s been involved with for more than a decade.
Song Exploder – This is the perfect podcast for a curious mind with a soft spot for behind-the-scenes insights and a massive passion for music. The concept is pretty straightforward: the host, Hrishikesh Hirway, invites musicians on the show and asks them to dissect the process of making one of their songs. Although the podcast is now considered old school due to having premiered in 2014, the episodes never get old, making it a great listen for your commute or the soundtrack to mindless tasks that need to be done.
Stranger Things: Season 3 – If you aren’t caught up with the previous two series of Stranger Things, then you might want to reserve a weekend or so for binge watching the previous seventeen episodes and become fluent in the show’s jargon, as it will make understanding the freshly-released seasons so much easier to follow. Now, without dropping too many spoilers, we can only say this: the third season is set a few months after the cast comes to the conclusion that the Upside Down is posing much greater threats to the world than they might have thought. As the Hawkins crew starts venturing into adolescence and young adulthood, relationships blossom and feuds burst out, all the while human world is faced with enemies old and new.
Killing Eve: Season 2 – We have mentioned Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s work in a previous Monday Musings, and we can’t help that we love her work so much. After a seductively addictive first season in 2018, the critically acclaimed BBC One show returned to the screens in April this year with a whole new set of challenges for both MI5 agent Eve Polastri and her designated assassin, Villanelle. Scoring a roaring 93% on Rotten Tomatoes, the second season plays a fascinating twist on the hyper-masculine detective/spy genre and reveals a more profound interpretation of the film noir, the tension between Villanelle and Eve building up as a commentary on the power of modern femininity.