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We are all prototypes, with a lifetime of learning ahead of us. That’s the insight that led Wouter Smeets to cofound Prototype You, an organisation that runs workshops to help people work towards their ideal work experience. For Wouter, the office is just another tool, and moving a mouse or typing at a keyboard are not signs of productivity. And conversely, sometimes working less is the better way to achieve good, sustainable work. Wouter is a Dutch entrepreneur, innovator and ideas guy that loves to hang out on the beach. By reinventing why and how we work, he helps move the needle towards a society that optimises wellbeing over wealth. As co-founder of Prototype You, he helps organisations create a positive impact on employee wellbeing, happiness and productivity through programs where employees experiment towards work-life harmony. Links Connect with Wouter on LinkedIn ( Prototype You ( Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman (, by Yvon Chouinard Happy Startup Summercamp ( The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups (, by Daniel Coyle The Fearless Organization - Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation, and Growth (, by Amy Edmondson David Bowie on why you should never play to the gallery ( Four Thousand Weeks (, by Oliver Burkeman
A third of all carbon emissions are created by the food system – in production, packing, distribution, and consumption. Ruth Anslow spent 15 years in the corporate sector and formed the HISBE supermarket brand to try and change that. Ruth is a social entrepreneur and a keen advocate of doing business for social benefit, beyond just making profit. In 2010 she decided to take on supermarkets and cofounded HISBE Food with her sister, Amy. HISBE is a supermarket chain with a difference, built on a social enterprise business model and designed to support a sustainable future for food and farming. Alongside running HISBE, Ruth cofounded The Good Business Club, to connect entrepreneurs who are starting, running and growing a “business for good” with the support and resources they need. Links Connect with Ruth on LinkedIn ( HISBE ( The Good Business Club ( Katie Paterson ( Living Wage Foundation ( Lizi’s granloa ( Ethical Consumer organisation ( If you think you're too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito (
Aoife O’Brien is the founder of Happier at Work, a business with the mission to support organisations in retaining top talent. She is passionate about fit and specifically how creating the right environment can help individuals to reach their full potential and support organisations to thrive. She partners with HR and business leaders to focus on four pillars: engagement and belonging; leadership equity; performance and productivity; and the future of work. She is a self-professed data nerd, with a 20+ year career in market research in the fast-moving consumer goods industry working with clients like Coca Cola, Unilever and Heinz to solve marketing problems using data analytics. Aoife has been featured by several national media platforms and public speaking events talking about imposter syndrome, fit, employee engagement, productivity, and remote working. Her podcast, Happier at Work, features a combination of interview-based episodes as well as solo podcasting, and has 50,000 listens in more than 50 countries. She has lived and worked in Dublin, London, Perth, and Sydney and has a MSc in Work and Organisational Behaviour, a Diploma in Executive and Life Coaching and a Certificate in Career Coaching. Links Connect with Aoife on LinkedIn ( Happier at Work ( ( Follow on Instagram ( Follow @happieratworkHQ on Twitter (
Sarah Metcalfe is passionate about happiness in the workplace, and she knows the positive impact this has on the customer experience. Through continuing to innovate and improve the customer journey, Sarah joined Sure Petcare in 2010, taking responsibility for the company’s customer service and guiding it through an extraordinary period of expansion and growth. She now leads a talented multilingual team who deliver outstanding customer service and happiness to all Sure Petcare customers around the world. Sarah left Sure Petcare with a Net Promoter Score of 90+ in over 20 countries. Sarah now runs her own consulting company, Happy Coffee Consulting to help companies create great customer service and happy workplaces. She is now a partner with Woohoo Ltd and runs the Woohoo Academy, creating Chief Happiness Officers within organisations worldwide and spreading the word that the future workplaces are those that put their people at the heart of what they do. Sarah is also the founder of the International Week of Happiness at Work summit which takes place each September – an international online summit with Keynote speakers at the forefront of workplace happiness sharing their insights. Links Happy Coffee Consulting ( International Week of Happiness at Work ( Humankind (, by Rutger Bregman Maverick (, by Ricardo Semler The Culture Code (, by Daniel Coyle
Elena Kerrigan is the MD of Think Productive, a UK-based global company that enables organisations to reimagine how they work with productivity tools. They have helped companies as diverse as Aston Martin, American Express, Audi, Boots, GSK, Sainsbury’s and Volkswagen. Through their courses and workshops they help organisations reclaim time from distractions, unproductive meetings and getting emails under control. This has allowed Think Productive to not only talk the talk the talk but also walk the walk. Since 2011 they have worked a four-day week: paid for five days but only working four days. Elena shares how they have done just that and the benefits they have experienced. Think Productive are presently advising other UK companies who are trialling the four-day working week in 2022. Links Think Productive ( 4 Day Week (
Stephen and Liliana are joined by author, conference organiser, and remote work expert Liam Martin. Liam is the CMO of time tracking and productivity platform and also co-organizer of the Running Remote conference, and author of Running Remote: Master the Lessons from the World’s Most Successful Remote-Work Pioneers. He has spent 20 years working remotely before we all entered a forced world of work we never thought possible. In his conversation with Stephen and Liliana, he examines the impact 20th century ideas of work have on 21st century work environments, using Tesla as an example. He also unpacks the concept of asynchronous management: where platforms do the role of reporting across an organisation, rather than relying on layers of management. Links Time Doctor ( Running Remote conference ( Running Remote ( the book ReWork: Change the Way You Work Forever ( Better Help ( Juno (
Joining Stephen is Henry Stewart, Chief Happiness Officer at London-based training company Happy Ltd. Henry is the author of the Happy Manifesto, a book that helps organisations become great places to work. An international keynote speaker, Henry advises others like Stephen on how they can transform the world of work for the better. Links The Happy. Manifesto ( ( The Customer Comes Second: Put Your People First and Watch 'em Kick Butt ( Maverick: The Success Story Behind the World's Most Unusual Workplace ( No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention ( Bullshit Jobs: A Theory ( To learn more about breathwork, visit BreatheNow Hub (, and to learn how to create happier workplaces, visit (
Laurence and Carlos from the Happy Startup School do business differently, and want to help others think differently about the work they do. After running a design agency, their approach to business – integrating ease and play – became their focus, and the Happy Startup School was born. In this conversation with Liliana and Stephen, the founders of this purpose-led business school unpack what brought them from founding Spook Studio to running a thriving community of entrepreneurs, how they're transforming people's approaches to business, and providing more opportunities to escape Zoom fatigue. Links The Happy Startup School ( The Second Mountain, by David Brooks ( Vision Tribe ( Summercamp ( Stop closing the deal and get to the truth, with Tad Hargrave ( The 100-Year Life (, by Lynda Gratton and Andrew Scott To learn more about breathwork, visit BreatheNow Hub (, and to learn how to create happier workplaces, visit (
Advancements in technology, productivity, knowledge-work and leadership have yet to address the problems of work-life balance and burnout facing people in modern workplaces. This week, Liliana and Stephen dig into the ways in which shrinking the working week can expand our potential to be productive, healthier and happier. Links Work-Life Balance Is a Cycle, Not an Achievement ( Parkinson's law ( Happy Workplaces conference ( Maverick!: The Success Story Behind the World's Most Unusual Workplace (, by Ricardo Semler The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing (, by Bronnie Ware To learn more about breathwork, visit BreatheNow Hub (, and to learn how to create happier workplaces, visit (
This week, Stephen and Liliana talk mojo, and finding intrinsic motivation where it feels like none is available. Stephen shares his passion for the Frisbee, and Liliana describes her yoga practise and her love of rollerblading. The main topic for discussion is intrinsic vs extrinsic motivation: doing things because we're satisfied by the task rather than because we expect a reward. Drawing on evidence from past experiments, Stephen lays out three steps organisations can take to instil a greater sense of autonomy. Links The formation of learning sets ( The intrinsic motivation of Richard Ryan and Edward Deci ( Alive at Work: The Neuroscience of Helping Your People Love What They Do (, by Daniel Cable Bullshit Jobs (, by David Graeber When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing (, by Daniel Pink Putting a Face to a Name: The Art of Motivating Employees (
Liliana and Stephen are joined by Patrick McKeown (, author of Atomic Focus (, The Oxygen Advantage ( among several other titles, to discuss the ways poor breathing affects day-to-day living, and hampers our success. Patrick is an international breathing expert and author based in Galway, Ireland, working with members of the military, special forces, Olympic athletes and more. Success has three key ingredients: focus, concentration, and attention span, and Patrick argues that you can't enter a state of flow if your breathing is dysfunctional. So Patrick shares some techniques you can implement today to keep track of your breathing and your attention span, and advocates techniques covered in early episodes of Wow@Work. And if you want to learn any more about breathwork, visit BreatheNow Hub (, and to learn how to create happier workplaces, visit (
Liliana and Stephen are joined by behaviour designer and serial entrepreneur John Ellison ( John he started his entrepreneurial journey when he dropped out of university at the age of 18 to start his first ecommerce business. Since then he's been working at Harvard's Intersection of Business, Design, and Technology, to help make a world a better place. He honed his craft as a UX designer at Brighton agency Clearleft (, and went on to lead a product team at civic tech startup Peak Democracy in Berkeley, California, where he experienced his first acquisition and ended up meeting Dr BJ Fogg ( and becoming certified to teach behaviour design, the methodology used to create habit-forming startups like Instagram. In this interview, John shares his new project: Happy Habits (, and his plans for turning his newsletter into a deck of cards with prompts to help build happier everyday habits. Along with Stephen and Liliana, he examines happiness in the workplace, and shares some of the methodologies successful companies are already employing to improve their employees' wellbeing.
Stephen discusses the Great Resignation, looking at a number of studies into how people feel about returning to work. Liliana leads Stephen into a test to discover his body oxygen level (which you're invited to follow along with), and discusses ambidexterity in organisations. Explore How breathwork can help your team ( Building a happier workplace ( Links and resources The Great Resignation: How employers drove workers to quit (
Stephen and Liliana introduce the Wow @ Work philosophy by talking about workplace happiness: what it is, and how organisations can go about achieving it, by creating a safe and trusting environment. They also discuss the science and benefits of breathwork, and how we've forgotten how to breathe more effectively as we've aged. Explore How breathwork can help your team ( Building a happier workplace ( Links and resources Microsoft releases findings and considerations from one year of remote work in Work Trend Index ( Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art (



Welcome to the WoW at Work Podcast, with Liliana Ashton and Stephen Dargan. We are here to help you navigate the science, research and practices that shape and enhance the happiness of the modern working environment. The world of work is transforming, we can already see evidence that remote working is here to stay. The 4 day week, greater employee trust and autonomy and employee engagement are at the forefront of what modern organisations are now embracing. Great organisations realise that making their people feel good is key. They see happiness and health at work as a priority rather than a nice to have. Subscribe to the podcast now, and join us for episode one, launching in July.
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