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[00:00:00] Vim: Hi, I'm Vimla Appadoo.
Tim: And I'm Tim Panton
Vim: and welcome to the distributed futures podcast.
So I recently did an interview with Penny Lee who's the co-founder of a conference called www, which is walking Wellness whiskey and she also runs her own company specializing in female branding well. That she does The Branding for businesses that are directed to have female directors, which is really interesting and her kind of philosophy is find your Niche and run with it.
So I actually went to the conference that she ran a few weeks ago up in Avimore in Scotland and it was really interesting because the whole ethos and. The reason why she put on was to try and get people to do more business outside and we ended up speaking quite a lot about work culture at the moment and different trends that are [00:01:00] happening and like mental health and well-being within the workplace and Tim would be really interesting to hear from your perspective particularly of startups in Berlin compared to what you've seen in Manchester about what culture.
It's like out there
Tim: Right? I mean, I think kind of it's hard to be clear because my experience is little different and and part of that is to do with the fact that I deliberately got myself an apartment in the Centre of Berlin, which means that I'd cycle to a co-working space from going to a co-working space I cycle to it.
Or I'm or I walk if I feel like it so that means that's different from my experience of Manchester where I always use public transport to get in or occasionally drive, but but where I don't get the. The Traveler travel on foot or by bicycle and I I realized actually now that I'm doing that a lot how much I miss it.
I used to in Holland. They [00:02:00] used to cycle a lot commute to work on a bike actually and I missed it but I didn't realize quite how much I missed it. But I really like it here and I have some really good ideas when I'm cycling along. Somehow you're sort of disconnected from the stress of the screen or something and like
ideas pop into your head when you're you know, passing a bus or whatever which is quite unexpected, but it is definitely true.
Vim: Yeah. Well, there's loads of scientific research that backs up as well in terms of the way. We problem solve isn't by tackling the problem head-on. It's actually by giving ourselves the space.
Think away from it and I think that's something that is lost quite a lot in England in particular City Center working where you either don't give yourself the time or space to take a 10-minute walk away from your desk or in my experience. The work culture has become [00:03:00] like presenteeism. So the more time you spend at your desk the harder
it seems you're working and the more likely you are to to figure things out. Where is what this weekend away really taught me was actually giving yourself the time and permission to be outside and have those conversations in a different environment leads to much better ideas.
Tim: Yeah. I've not done that as a group exercise.
I mean I don't attend to. See kind of particularly the traveling or going up. Maybe that's not true. You know, we always used to go out at lunchtime and go for a walk at lunchtime and that that sort of those conversations weren't always directly work-related. But quite often you have an idea as a side effect of that think that the hard thing is well, the climate is obviously an issue.
I mean particularly in Manchester, but also here that like it's cold enough that you don't necessarily want to go out without a reason. I imagine in a few more like that's true for about nine months of the year.
Vim: Yeah, that's very [00:04:00] true.
Tim: Yeah, so I think trying to work it. I mean that's why I like about doing it as part of the commute.
Is it sort of like you kind of have to do it and it's the beginning of the end of the day so kind of dressing up for it isn't such a big deal the popping out for like 20 minutes at lunch time. Five of those minutes it's like putting coats on and finding umbrellas and stuff it is like somehow kind of consumes the time so, you know gone
Vim: do you know, there's been a shift in culture around focusing on well-being and that aspects recently.
Tim: I think people are much more aware of it particularly in the startup space. I think people are realizing that there really is a price that's paid for this sort of the obsession that was used to be I think it still is prize that you know, the more obsessed your Founders were the more likely they were to succeed was the sort of viewpoint.
That [00:05:00] was at least, propagated now whether it was actually held by investors, but it was sort of you were told that that's how investors regarded it that you had to be like, you know, very single-minded about making your startup succeed and. But kind of pretty much any cost and that I think that attitude is sort of faded in that, you know that the realization is that these these you do that you burn out and you're like, you know, unless you can actually turn this startup around and sell it off within a couple of years.
You're not give me any fit state to do anything with it. If you if you're not, you know treating yourself reasonably well, So I think there is a realization. I'm not sure whether it's being properly acted upon yet.
Vim: Yeah, I'd agree and I almost think it's umm it's a face value recognition. I think there's a lot of talking about it but not a lot of action.
[00:06:00] So even where we we know, we all know the kind of facts around giving yourself a break and regular breaks and regular time away from your screen and. The side effects are not sleeping. I don't think there's a lot of practice of that. So and I think even though we might say don't work on weekends or have flexible hours.
There's still an expectation to be contactable 24/7 or to respond to an emergency when it's needed and until that changes our until there's. Better communication between that I don't I don't see how the kind of well-being side of things can lead
Tim: the only approach I've seen that bike and this was years ago, but the Dutch used to have an attitude which was that if you were regularly working overtime then it meant that either you or your boss was incompetent.
Like if you couldn't do your job within you know 40 hours a week then either you weren't any good at [00:07:00] the job and you shouldn't have been in it in the first place or your boss was trying to pack too much into that that working week. So one of you was in trouble, so that was a really interesting way of looking at it.
And typically it was the boss because they assigned you that task.
Vim: Yeah, that is really interesting. I guess. How do you then account for different pace of work? Might be you could be producing the same quality of work, but it just might take someone a day longer than someone else.
Tim: yeah, I mean, I think there are their businesses where a day longer makes a huge difference and I think there's a lot of lot of spaces where that's simply not true that you know the over the lifetime of the 18-month lifetime of the project it pretty much evens out.
Vim: Yeah
Tim: and that you know, somebody's like it's finding this particular task of struggle and is therefore [00:08:00] taking maybe even twice as long as one of the peers would have done then at some point later in the project.
You'll find something else where there much quicker so it's like it averages out I think. I'm sounding going to sound a bit like an old fogey here. But I do think that some of this Agile development with like, you know, weekly releases and all that other stuff all of those things tend to lose that aggregation.
You don't see the flow in the same way. I mean you do get you hit deadlines probably more easily, but I wonder if there's a price involved in that.
Vim: Yeah, yeah, that's true. And it puts a lot more pressure on. I know it's meant to relinquish pressure. But I think all those Fortnightly sprints mean there's there's a constant pressure to deliver.
And again, it might be down to the way that I've been Sprint planning [00:09:00] but maybe packing too much into those two weeks rather than doing what's realistic or what. What's needed?
Tim: Yeah, I mean we I think these things aren't really get better with a team that's worked together for a long time and knows each other's strengths and weaknesses and appreciates them. That certainly that was my experience that we got much better at producing, you know was small group of us much better at producing things on time.
Because we will just will you genuinely better at doing stuff because we knew what each other could do but also that the estimation got better because you could look back at a similar sort of thing you'd all done together a year ago going so well, actually that took us twice as long as we thought because I know there was this unknown and we couldn't deal with it and whatever so your next estimates actually much more accurate because.
You've gathered that knowledge and I think this sort of thing about particularly the sort of [00:10:00] contractorization of the workforce and the Outsourcing you lose those that that information as well because it's not like you don't keep the team together and same way.
Vim: Yeah. Yeah, that's very true. And when it comes to screen time, do you manage your screen time?
Tim: No well to some extent. I am really conscious of making sure that I have typically an hour in the day and ideally in a couple and one of them in the evening when my focal length is yards rather than inches so the like I'm.
I've got a television maybe that's the far side of the room and I'm looking at that or I go for a walk and I looking I'm looking where I'm going or I go for a drive or something but something where my my visual focus is is distant rather than close and I find that makes a huge difference to my well-being like, you know, just like
I think [00:11:00] that thing is like focusing closely on a screen right next to you somehow, you know, it's different from from looking at something the far side of the room or you know you whatever your driving focal length is, you know, 20 meters or something.
Vim: Yeah, that's very true because so I have the kind of the tracker on my phone that tells me how many times I've unlocked it and what apps I'm using the most how much.
I've been on my phone and but very rarely changes my behaviour. So even if I've spent like 2 hours on my phone a day, it doesn't they make me think work today. I'm only going to spend an hour. It just makes me feel bad for having spent that long on it.
Tim: I've started noticing that actually I have multiple devices and they all claim.
I don't spend very long on the screen. It's just because like each of them gets an hour each and then [00:12:00] like, you know, so the total doesn't come to a big number but I mean the total comes to a big number but each of them thinks I'm being well-behaved which I think is quite funny but but little things like for me, like I said actually not watching videos on on the laptop, but plug in the laptop into a big screen and sitting the far side of the room makes a difference and it's not hard to do.
It's just like somehow and it's much more sociable as well because like other people can watch it with you. So I think that like that helps actually. The other thing I make a thing about doing is when I finish work the day I cook because it's a totally different activity it disconnects me from from the all of the kind of stuff.
I've been working on and then I try not to work again after I've cooked so that's the that's a line.
Vim: Is interesting that you mean cooking because one of the things that we spoke about on one of the key [00:13:00] themes of the conference was food and the way food actually dictates a lot of culture. and a lot of attendees were so who had worked on Mainland Europe was saying how the businesses that they'd worked for would had made the point of having a collective lunch time.
So they'd often pay you for catering or have in on-site facilities for people to have lunch together. But everyone knew that the day everyone took an hour lunch break to sit together and eat together and the positive impact way outweighed any kind of cost to the company or or anything like that and it meant that everyone did end up working more collectively as a team and.
I think that's something that's been lost significantly not just in startups, but kind of in Big City working.
Tim: Yeah, I did a guess. It must have been four or five months contract with a [00:14:00] company here in Berlin who had a had a collective lunch. There was a catered lunch and and it was wasn't sort of as formal sit down sit down at the table at once but you know lunch would turn up around 12 and some but time between 12 and 2 you'd go and eat it and some people would have already eaten in you wouldn't talk to them and other people who hadn't eaten, you know would be there and you chat with them and and the tendency though was that you you mostly ate with your tea, which I think is a pity.
I mean, I'm at a point because I was like only really visiting. I made a point of like eating with other people because I thought it was was interesting and I could get away with it as a contractor, but but it was interesting to kind of talk to other people but I sort of miss the ability to get out and
Vim: Yeah
Tim: do [00:15:00] something and like literally go for a walk because I think that's the downside of of those.
Those catered lunches is that you it deprives you of the opportunity to buy a sandwich from something that's a mile away and get away.
Vim: Yeah. Yeah, they were the their definite pros and cons.
Tim: I think the bigger organizations you have a canteen. I'm going to works at European Space Agency very long time ago.
And that was good because you would you'd have to walk down to the canteen admittedly. It was only like 10 minutes walk if that, but like you had to go out and you would go down to the canteen and you'd see people in the canteen you would probably never see anywhere else because they worked on different projects or whatever.
And so you got a you got a sense of the organization and very occasionally like, you know an astronaut would turn up or you know. The project director will turn up and you get to see them in a in an informal setting which was which was [00:16:00] really interesting actually. So I think for a big organization those things can work really well.
It's smaller ones runs the risk of kind of reinforcing cliques.
Vim: Yeah, yeah, that's very true. Really really true.
Tim: So did you get Whiskey on this trip as well?
Vim: Yes. Yeah, we did there was one of the kind of the partners for the event was whiskey Brewery Distillery and in Scotland and it was absolutely incredible they did and they did a whiskey tasting part of that and we did kind of wild swimming so we went swimming in a river in the middle of October which was interesting to say the least but a lot of fun.
Tim: without a wetsuit nothing to warm you up.

Vim: No, there was that there was a sauna on either side so that that helped.
Tim: Okay. Yeah, I noticed until I don't know if you went to it [00:17:00] there was discussion think it was last week in Manchester about the the. Kind of tie up between booze culture and startup culture how like, you know startup events in the evenings.
There's always beer and that's kind of seen as pivotal to getting the evening going and yeah weird that is and how unprofessional is in some respects to those interests.
Vim: Yeah, it is really interesting. I mean that was that I didn't go to the event but I've heard quite a lot of discussions around it and I think that some symptomatic of British culture and the kind of going to the pub and after work drinks that you don't get in many other cities those so much of British socializing is focused around drinking.
And that's right permeated into networking events as well and I've recently stopped drinking. So I [00:18:00] don't know. Yeah, I don't drink and it hasn't stopped me from going to events. But I know that it's there's such a taboo around not drinking that it's almost made it not worthwhile. Like I can't I don't have the account put the effort in to keep explaining to people that I'm okay not drinking.
Tim: Yeah, you kind of almost need a. Like there are people who have like easy reasons which just like it's disconnects that conversation. You know? Yeah. I'm an alcoholic or you know, yeah, I'm pregnant or yeah, you know antibiotics like, you know, yeah, I mean even that is tedious but it's like manageable. But if it's just like a decision you've made your own.
Vim: Yeah,
Tim: whatever then like. It's not being vegetarian to explain it to everyone which is just tedious.
Vim: exactly but it's also really funny because for the [00:19:00] when I first started telling people I wasn't drinking I almost had to justify that I used to drink it. I like felt a pressure to let to reassure people that it was that I used to drink and I know what it's like.
Tim: weird.
Vim: Yeah, it was really weird. It was really really old but no, I do think there is a non-issue, but there is a problem with that kind of. I don't want to say Bros Club because I don't think it's that but that there. The focus on free beer and pizza at Tech events and particular like that shouldn't be it doesn't need to be there.
Tim: I think I mean depending on the timing the food either does need to be there or doesn't like you either have to give people an opportunity to eat before or after
Vim: I mean specifically the pizza aspects like I agree food, but it doesn't need to be it doesn't need to be Pizza. Yeah. It most often is.
Tim: it really doesn't [00:20:00] actually because Pizza is always pretty dull.
Vim: Yeah
Tim: the third time in a week you think yeah again,
Vim: Yeah, exactly.

Tim: So what do you think? We will learn from this from the interview?
Vim: I think you'll learn more about what more about the importance of getting outside and the value it can bring not only to you as a person but to work and. Professionalism and the future of of doing business.
Tim: Cool, I'm looking forward to that.

Vim: Hi so this is Vimla Appado from Distributed Future, and I'm here with Penny Lee.
Penny: Hello,
Vim: Penny. Do you want to give a bit of a background into what you do and the conference that we were both on?
Penny: Yes, so my background is. Brand design, so strategic brand thinker who loves to bring people together.
[00:21:00] So I work with brand design itself. But I also very much like to create Gatherings to help make ideas happen. I run an event once a month in Sheffield "create morning Sheffield" and that led to. Me thinking of doing the walking whiskey Wellness, which is the conference of business conference in Disguise.
I should say that we were on last month in October. I can't believe it's only a month away
Vim: flown by
Penny: and the idea with walking whiskey Wellness was the business conference in Disguise. Its do your business outside is the line and this is going to be an annual occurrence. So the business conference in Disguise is basically getting a lot of Business Leaders together delegates workshoppers and doing the kind of things that you would have done in a conference [00:22:00] but not being in a conference Hall being in outdoor space fresh air long walks being able to really connect with people that you're with and enjoy what you're doing.
Vim: And where did the idea come from?
Penny: It's how I used to it's how I used to unwind so I was living in the center of Amsterdam for 10 years and they don't have any Hills and I come from the hills. And so when we all got a bit citified I would take myself off primarily the Yorkshire Dales. For three days stay in a B&B and I would walk all day read all night with a whiskey by fire a nice book and I would go back and tell this formula and people like oh, that sounds really good.
And I thought well. It's really good for restpite but I think if I always I also used it for inspiration. So the things I was reading or formulating ideas letting I do [00:23:00] settle while I was walking and so I thought well if you could bring others along with it surely that multiplies and it was very much the case.
Vim: Yeah, and I know that a big kind of part of who you are is embracing your Niche. Would you think that this is a part of what your Niche is?
Penny: Yes, I would for my brand practice. The niche is very much more working for Kick-Ass women so women led businesses. But so then the niche this I guess I guess it's really about finding new ways of doing things.
So I guess the niche for this is that it's a difficult place to get to you've got to want to go there. Yeah, and you've got to have a certain mindset that you are curious that you're looking for new ways of doing things your yourself all the [00:24:00] attendees and delegates that were there. Everybody was changing
their own way of working and also a way of working for this or what service that they were delivering that was changing. So I guess I guess it's niche that sense it. I don't think it's necessarily going against the grain any more. I think the more you look into it. There's a lot of this happening and it's all in your write-up as well about the future is you know, the future this is the future and not.
In the sense that change is coming.
Vim: Yeah,
Penny: so I guess it's nation that sense that it. It's not a conference hall for six thousand delegates with Tony Robbins with Big Mac one up at the top. It was an intimate group. I like small gatherings. Yeah, intimate settings. So the same thing with the brand practice with the brown directorís very much one-on-ones or small team [00:25:00] meetings very much out of the office conversations.
Getting everyone feeling much more comfortable that work work doesn't have to be behind a desk and in a white box.
Vim: Yeah.
Penny: So yeah, I would say it was niche that point
Vim: and what's the response been like for you?
Penny: Its been amazing. I guess. I listening to Tim Ferriss early in the early last year and he said like when he wrote the four hour work week about how he writes it very much just for himself or directly for a friend and that was his starting point.
And I guess that's what this did. It was what I did to inspire myself and get some really really good R&R whilst doing it.
Vim: Yeah.
[00:26:00] Penny: So I formulated it based on that the speakers around wanted to see make sure the lineup was really diverse really interesting different people from all over the place different walks of life.
and it was the thing. I would want to go to, you know, great food great whiskey great people outside, you know stunning a estate. Wild and if that worked for the people and it really did I think actually one of the speakers are speaking to him last week. He described it as the best pub in the world, but nice.
Vim: Yeah, I think that sums up Well,
Penny: which yeah, I think I might run with that. Yeah. yeah, no, I both attendee and speakerwise. I think I think it took Everyone by surprise. Yeah, including myself and so [00:27:00] we have booked the place again for next year. So we'll do the same location next year. And so I my head is already filled with all new people that I keep seeing now who I think would be awesome for next year's lineup.
Vim: Yeah, that's incredible. And what do you think the role of technology is within? Pushing people outside.
Penny: Well, one of the things that we say which we had Department Two (ARRAN CROSS AND FERN MERRILLS) that documented it and. She kind of in the summer. I was speaking with Fern and she had a good way of putting it like it's not a digital detox.
It's not about getting away from it all, like phones in the basket this kind of thing. I think technology means we can go outside more. [00:28:00] I think we can work we can work more but you know, I'm saying that all wrong we can be more mobile and how we work. It really helps with the not being stuck behind a desk.
Vim: Yep.
Penny: That's why I find it crazy sometimes with all the smart technology that we have with mobile that we feel that we have to sit on motorways for a long length of time to go and sit in a box room to go do it. I understand the connection of people being together. But I think this is a way you can be together and connecting at this is kind of like just side shifting your brain into thinking.
Well, we could do that, but then we could do it outside and at least four more proportion of the time than a lot of us currently do so I think whilst. Obviously too much screen time which were all including myself guilty of I think if we can get that under control, [00:29:00] I think it enables this way of working Much More Much More Often.
Vim: That's really really interesting. I think I agree. I think there's an element of just being conscious of it.
Penny: So and the other thing with technology of course is like people like Veronica Fossa who was we had come over from Italy and who did a talk on workplace food culture. We met on Instagram.
Vim: Yeah,
Penny: there's been there was a lot of that. There's a lot of people that I've connected with. Everyone was from all all over the UK and Veronica from Italy and outside contacts with people. Across Europe and even even New Zealand and that's through technology as well.
Vim: Yeah,
Penny: which 10 years ago. I could not have promoted or being able to get in touch with people so easily.
[00:30:00] I also curated the event from my camper van in summer through conference calls, you know through video calling. You know it so I helped massively so I don't see it as a battle it absolutely enabled this to be able to happen.
Vim: Yeah, would you think the risks are of the way that we're kind of absorbing technology at the moment to the kind of getting outside and more natural ways of working I guess.
Penny: I think I feel the biggest issue is, you know, Children of the future. I think I was really encouraged there was Charlotte Lucas. Who was there whose runs free range nurseries and its really leading on the forest School movement and I am encouraged to see more of that happening are people taking more [00:31:00] notice that but
there's so much for schools. Like you're seeing you know, and like and culture taking off the syllabus playtime's not seen as as important also have any physical activity. It's all about the grades and the stats then we've got that people, you know kids just are on the screenshots and plan out more than they used to do which I know is a is a constant cry, but I.
I think it almost starts there.
Vim: Yeah,
Penny: and I think I hope yeah, I think I think that's the biggest issue and I'm and I would like to see the forest School set up become more normal bring it a bit more outdoor physical. See another important in you know, it's important to team build and it's important for mental health.
It's important for growth and development and [00:32:00] for good habits so that for then, you know next people coming through they're used to going outside and being outside and not. That default is not to just sit in front of the screen. Whatever that be.
Vim: Yeah. What is stopping us from getting there?
Penny: I think for some people it's really difficult.
I think especially living in really built up areas. I live more rural or so. It's really easy for me to get outside and I understand that that for a lot of people that's just not possible.
So I think the way with like urban planning and things are going to be one of the interesting things is that the High Street declining retail the turn the upturn will be in more leisure activities. So even though that's you know, it's not. You're not deep in the countryside, but at least [00:33:00] outside and connecting which I think can be is going to be a really interesting turn and.

Yeah, I'm not sure. What do you think about it?
Vim: Um, so I I'm really torn because I think I'm probably not as optimistic as you are that this is becoming more of the norm. I can see both sides of it. So I think for a select few. People as a real conscious effort to use weekends to get out and be in the fresh air and to do it, but I do I still think it's massively the minority of people and I think the majority of people are still kind of kept up in this like City living lifestyle that perpetuates kind of going into the city center and driving in and not really leaving the leaving it.
And I think there's almost. The [00:34:00] time is running out aspects to the moment where you're pushed to make the most of life in the city without really stepping back and thinking what's outside of it and I say not I don't think it's necessarily a negative thing. But I think there are long-term Health impacts of doing that.
I think you know that there are countless studies done on the benefits of being outside and for mental health and well-being that you just don't get when you're. You're living on a screen.
Penny: No, I know well and I think you see it with a lot of a lot of the rise of mental health. I mean something that I loved with something that looked with Amsterdam was even though in the in the center.
One of the things I went for was how much you cycled how much you were outside? Yeah, so I would. I would cycle to my work but also you will see people going to school the kids sake of [00:35:00] work if they live my rural so they're getting a lot more exciting and the parents cycle their kids to work. So either in the boxes on the front or a seats at the back and just having that element of outdoors in the morning and that connection rather than.
I see the school rooms here and the cars are just nuts around the schools and then you've got screens on the back of car seats. So not only are they in the car the car even just sit and look out of a window at like there's no comes in. It's just it's just this very. Or in restaurant. Like I hate that in restaurants.
They just give the kid the iPad: 1 put the sound on so that everyone has to put up with it.
Vim: Yeah,
Penny: but two like just like, how are they learning to have a conversation?
Vim: Yeah, it's constant entertainment
Penny: Just this distraction all the time when this disparate and I think. That's I mean, maybe we need to do like walking whiskey.
Wellies, he's or something together. [00:36:00] Yeah, just the art of conversation or play or just sitting sometimes like just being rather than constantly having to be entertained
Vim: and the Art of listening so being able to sit and listen.
Penny: Yeah,
Vim: and like take it in and I think there's the I think we're losing the ability to be bored.
And I think there's a huge connection between boredom and creativity that we're at risk of losing so we don't turn like use our imagination anymore.
Penny: Well, it's the fear of being bored or the fear of not feeling happy all of the time. So pushing any bad feelings away by distraction. Yeah, but. I don't know.
I guess I have to feel hopeful because I also am conscious of. Sounding like back in [00:37:00] my day. And I appreciate that back in my day. The people before would have also been back in my day. I do think it's speeded up.
Vim: Yeah,
Penny: I'm probably doing back in my day quicker 20 years earlier than than the last generation and I don't know I feel that.
It's gone quicker than people know how to deal with. Yeah, I think that's I think that's I think that's the main I think that's the main problem because I think it's just been it makes it easy and I don't have children myself.
Vim: Yeah,
Penny: and so it's very easy for me to say well these days are like you're really busy in your life and you're working and that just helps them.
And it keeps them quiet for but I can understand why you would ya do that. I think it's a lot of effort [00:38:00] to not but I certainly I mean it's interesting whether it's true or not. I guess it is, but all the tech Giants that don't allow the children screen time and like they understand.
Vim: Yeah
Penny: dangers of it.
I think it's not the big bad wolf. Like I always heard people like oh Instagrams to blame for this is that it's not it's tool it's how we use it. Yeah, I think instagrammers allowed me to connect it's allowed me to work where I want to work. It's allow me to do more outside. It's allowed me to not have to live in the city center.
But stay connected with a lot of people who are doing really interesting things.
Vim: Yeah.
Penny: But if you're only following. You know if it depends who you're following what you're looking at how often you're looking at it. Is it stopping you doing other things that you could be doing and creating? Is it stopping you talking to people?
You [00:39:00] know, it's a tool of how we use it and also that they are created like an interview with the guy who was responsible to the endless scroll.
Vim: Yeah,
Penny: He's feeling a bit guilty. So there's things like that but the science hasn't been used. Well, yeah, I'm used to to keep us addicted. To keep us (inaudible) and I guess it's up to us to fight back.
Vim: Yeah. Yeah, definitely
Penny: what ways you can and just not aimlessly go forward, but I certainly don't think it's so bad. I just think I just think we need to educate. How we are . Educate how are you using it?
Vim: And do you have like rules or mantras for yourself that you try and use to limit or monitor your use?
Penny: I go through stages are it's the same with everything. I'm not very consistent. So I will have Angelic [00:40:00] periods,
but I'll also have periods late if it's down time where you do you end up picking up. So the things that I've started lately is I bought myself a little Braun alarm clock.
Vim: Okay,
Penny: so that the phone is out of the bedroom.
Vim: Yeah.
Penny: So at least at least at night and because that that was starting to become like ridiculous for me and just as we were discussing before about how important sleep is.
So yeah alarm clock in the bedroom and try not to look at the phone before I've had my first cup of tea and breakfast right here sit with the morning little bit because. So just to at least that at least that morning and evening time and are mine and that's starting to help and it starts to creep in. I think that you can't do it all at [00:41:00] once.
It is an addiction.
Vim: Yeah,
Penny: and you know, and it's useful for work or whatever and what were their excuses you give but that that's really helped me at the moment to just not in the bedroom and not first thing in the morning. Not be the first thing I do. And what was interesting when we were up in Scotland for walking whiskey Wellness, we it was limited Wi-Fi and Graham and my partner set up a set up a Wi-Fi hotspot, so we could have it in the house.
But what was interesting was that we were trying to play the music of the. The system that it couldn't cope with everyone's internetting as well as the music. So it meant that it got to seven eight o'clock and be like right the wifi. I would just make it we just made two channels or whatever you call it.
So what it was [00:42:00] just for the music, so everyone could just in you know, do their emails whatever in the day. And I think that really helps I think you know in the evening, it just no phones not because if not for any of it was kind of serendipitous that that happened. Yeah, and I think that was quite good because it kind of made time like okay in the morning then everyone will get on it at the same time, but maybe there was an hour of that everyone catching up everyone doing their thing but alotting it to the slot.
Vim: Yeah.
Penny: And then carrying on with everyone I'm back in the room kind of was like,
Vim: yeah,
Penny: so I think that I think that was quite interesting so like not not stopping it completely but but not having it as a continuous endless just like extension of your arm.
Vim: Yeah
Penny: a good way to do it.
Vim: Yeah. Yeah, it made a huge difference though from a.
Attendee perspective. Actually, we're just working within the constraints that we [00:43:00] have. It's not a hard and set rule which just there's no Wi-fi here. So this is what we're going to do and everyone wanted music over the ability to check WhatsApp and I think that really interesting.
Penny: Yes. We're not lost yet.
Vim: Yeah,
and if you had to think of what you want the future of kind of work culture health and well-being outside business to be what would you describe as.
Penny: Balance sounds a bit. Washy, wishy washy, but I guess that's I guess that's what it is. Like I love going into the City and I love going invited places and offices and I love getting out and doing the business outside and I guess it's just about.
Not one over the other yeah and recognizing and instead of autopilot thinking like, [00:44:00] oh we need to you know, just where is there an opportunity that you could take it outside?
Vim: Yeah,
Penny: so we are doing we're doing the annual conference, but we're also setting up next year bespoke smaller Day event. So either bespoke for.
Teams of companies or local, you know location specific open ticket, but just to say like, you know, if you've got if you've got a team meeting that you would normally just do in a stuffy office and it's really important for all of your staff and it could just be that everyone takes half a day.
Would it be that crazy to make that a really pleasant experience for everybody? That's good for health good for connecting much more about team building where people genuinely talk and phones are in the pocket rather than on the desk.
Vim: Yeah.
[00:45:00] Penny: So I think just kind of getting into that mindset that you know, the outdoors doesn't have to just be the weekend or just the the app, you know, just be the evening like how how can you incorporate it more?
Just kind of consciously getting into a habit of thinking about what points in a week. You couldn't you could include it.
Vim: Yeah. Yeah, 100%,
Penny: and do it instead of booking an office. Could you both go on a walk?
Vim: Yeah,
Penny: you know, even if it's around the campus around a city doesn't have to be up in the hills of Scotland.
But just kind of making that conscious decision each time. You have a meeting or each time. You have a brainstorm or each time. You need to have a discussion or each time. You have to think of an idea. You know could that location be a little bit more imaginative.
Vim: Yeah, and do you think it's open to everyone?
[00:46:00] Penny: to a certain extent. to a certain extent. I'm sure again and it can just be me. It could just be elements. Of like I spoke to someone last weekend and they were saying that when it gets to this time of year, they don't see the sunlight and the day they have a really good job, but their office doesn't have Windows right?
Vim: Wow
Penny: in London, so it's dark when you go in you sit in a windowless room probably of your didn't you know? Lunch inside. leave and it's dark. I think that's a serious things to you.
Vim: Yeah, that does not sound healthy
Penny: humans. Well, I can't imagine that that's good for you long term at all, you know, so for somewhere like that as a leader of that company.
Could you not be aware of those things and [00:47:00] they said like get Veronica get Veronica Fossa down and do like where would you do your workplace food culture is, you know, it does break times to get people outside and make it make it more of company policy.
Vim: Yeah.
Penny: So for all you know for all different Industries, you know, it's the lunch behind the desk culture.
It's the quick grab a sandwich. Coach and I think while some jobs will require maybe require much more being in one place those break times don't
Vim: ya
Penny: and I've worked at places where it's looked down upon if you go outside of the office if you go out at work or if you go get lunch. It's it's the unspoken.
Vim: Yeah,
Penny: but it's certainly not seen as it's not encouraged.
Vim: Yeah, as well.
Penny: So I think [00:48:00] if at least there's those moments or if people are working late like maybe you know, is it like. A half an hour stroll that everyone does together outside before cracking on into the evening, you know realistically yes, sometimes we have to work over or late. But again just having that thought in there of how can you thread it?
Into becoming more more of a habit than an add-on or a nice if you see it in the importance of it. Does that make sense?
Vim: Yeah, definitely. It's how you can make it a habit make it a part of your everyday rather than falling in.
Penny: Have it even come into your head. Yeah, you know and have it have. Team leaders celebrate that and and bosses and team-leading managers understand how important that is to you know, sick [00:49:00] days cost a fortune.
Vim: Yeah,
Penny: it can just be very small bites. You don't have to do the big dramatic going away for two weeks, you know, it has to be that everyone's out for two days just start to incorporate it. Mm. Oh,
Vim: yeah.
Penny: It was something that I saw it was why I was interested in Veronica's talk as well because it was something as well that I saw happen more in in Amsterdam than I've seen here people would the hire Chef like you would have kitchen staff and and that and that everyone would write its break its lunch and everyone goes off together and you were actually more berated for not taking lunch.
If you were going to stay it at your desk to work that you know, you get berated more than that then and people would talk then and different levels different departments. If it was a nice day will be put outside and it's just such a little gesture but I think the [00:50:00] results are huge.
Vim: Yeah, I think the it's it's such a big thing work culture and like the way we eat the way we communicate all of those stuff is massively important.
Penny: Yeah, and you know, you've got a break. So instead you've been staring at a screen all day. So why spend your lunch hour then just screening through Facebook?
Vim: Yeah, exactly.
Penny: That's not a break then is it so it's something that I've started with myself I guess so. I've changed changed made conscious decisions changed how I work how I work my day around it and then tracked through walking whisky Wellness try and help that with others.
Vim: And it's amazing is incredible. I think I left I left walking were walking Wellness whiskey with a sense of [00:51:00] where I need to make a real conscious effort to do this more because I just felt so good but it felt incredible leaving
Penny: fantastic and I don't think I think everybody learned as much as if not more and I think everyone connected more.
Vim: Yeah.
Penny: That was that was the feeling I got. Anyway, I don't think that's just me wanting my I think that happened.
Vim: Yeah, I think it's genuine
Penny: and it was really encouraging and so that's the only degree the weekend business conference in Disguise annually, but that's quite a big thing to organize and like we say again, it's quite the grand gesture.

Vim: Yeah,
Penny: and so I would like to make my plans at the moment and my goals for next year. Are about doing the more bite-sized more around the country and collaborate collaborating people on that.

Vim: Amazing. Is there [00:52:00] anything else you'd like to say before we wrap up?

Penny: if if anyone's listening to this if think of a time today that you could go outside.
Vim: That's really lovely without
Penny: I think it's as simple as that and the difference that it can make just half an hour an hour. If you can more if possible the just yeah connect with the ground connect the people around you breathe the air.

Vim: Yeah you the world of good amazing. Thank you so much. Thank you for your time.