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People Management Magazine: The Energized Workplace

People Management Magazine, July Print 2020

“Psychological safety is not a pipe dream; it is what we need most in the workplaces of the 21st century, with an unstable political environment, a climate emergency that could fail at any time.” This is just one of many statements made by PTHR founder and chief energy officer Perry Timms in his new book (The Energized Workplace) that are eerily prescient, and weirdly more powerful, for having been penned before coronavirus hit.

 Work, he says, was in a bad place for many even before Covid-19. “While it might not look like anything other than a first world problem, we have an epidemic of the proportions of plagues and influenzas on our hands and we’ve designed it like this,” Timms writes – again with uncannily apt language and disquieting implications for us now an actual pandemic has happened – regarding ‘peak work’. (Which he defines as “an intolerable excess of demand, pace, complexity, commitment, time effort, frustration, anger and energy”.)

Drawing together the latest stats and thinking on overwork, and the costs for worker wellbeing and organizational success, Timms’ latest book, then, is a persuasive manifesto for change. And he includes plenty of inspiring examples of organisations that have decided to buck the trend. His section on chakras and the workplace won’t be for everyone. But it’s here things get perhaps most original and interesting. “What can measured levels of the quantum energy of human beings tell us about how they will perform in certain roles, circumstances and tasks?” Timms asks as he unpacks nascent research in the field. It’s an intriguing, provocative concept, and one perhaps meriting more detail.

Nonetheless there’s much food for thought here – and inspiration for change now worker wellbeing has been thrust even more urgently into the spotlight.

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