Blog Striking The Balance

Striking The Balance

The latest thought piece by one of our Creatives, Niall Killeney Taylor, on Radiocentre's Tuning In 2018 conference.

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One bacon bap with ketchup, two rounds of filtered coffee and one oversized shot glass filled with a delectable combo of granola and yoghurt. I stand perched against a wall, arms distance of the lovely looking selection of croissants, in a room occupied with people that call the UK Radio industry their bread and butter. Eager and energized from the quick succession of coffees, an announcement is made over the Picturehouse Central Cinema tannoy:

“Please can everyone attending today’s Tuning In conference make their way to screen 1”.

This of course sounded the beginning of Radiocentre’s Tuning In 2018 event.

We were graciously greeted on stage by CEO, Siobhan Kenny of Radiocentre who opened the conference with a showreel of this year’s biggest stories broadcast on radio, adding a touching and personal tribute to the recent passing of Dame Tessa Jowell.

The event itself went off without a hitch. We heard from many great speakers and industry leaders, including Radio Player’s Managing Director, Michael Hill, Nick Pugh of Ebiquity, an ever impressive talk from the Creative Director at Global, Jo McCrostie. Plus the gracious presence of some top radio DJs and much more radio industry delight.

When Bruce Daisley, VP EMEA, of Twitter informed us of what his talk would cover, my attention was captured. It also set off a series of lengthy internal conversations with myself; 24hrs later, I now find myself sitting at my desk reviewing all I learnt from his talk and the Tuning In event itself.

You see, Bruce didn't just grab the mic and talk for 15 minutes about the future advancements of the radio landscape, or provide a case study on how radio advertising boosted the awareness and sales of a certain international online auction site.

No, what he did was speak about a very important topic: ‘Is stress killing our ability to be creative?'. It was not just about how we could boost our work productivity, but also how we as individuals could increase our own well-being and personal satisfaction within our work, all cited from his “New Work Manifesto”, or at least that's what I got from it.

Daisley, who runs his own podcast, ‘Eat, Sleep, Work, Repeat’, which explores workplace, culture and practice, said: "Anytime you have any fear, or any anxiety in an environment where you are expected to be creative, it kills that ability." He spoke of work as being chained to your desks, that our wellness is being damaged from working longer hours with less time to enjoy the things in life that make us happy. This all creates a highly-stressed state, with 78% of people reporting that they go to work and shut off, while one in five sick days are stress-related. Daisley said this data is "a sign that work is becoming too much for us."

And Bruce’s question “are we working too much?” and “are we too stressed at work?” closely related to the talk by Siobhan Kenny presented to us at the start of the day.

Siobhan introduced an important segment on how, for the first time in history, hundreds of radio stations across the UK came together to broadcast the #MentalHealthMinute – a one-minute message from some world famous voices to let everyone know that whoever you are, however you’re feeling and whatever you’re going through, it’s okay to say. And with that, like a quilt, the threads began to intertwine and the picture became clear: that work and our mental health go hand-in-hand, and that one should not be taken for granted, nor abused by systems in place that, surprise surprise, may not suit the needs of everyone.

Daisley backed up his work with the facts and figures to eliminate the long hour myth, that “40 hours is enough” that the marginal gains of working longer than this are miniscule. That we need to reclaim our lunch, escape the digital landslide of cascading after hour emails, question whether a meeting is really needed or is it just a distraction and added pressure? To make time to have a laugh at work, chit-chat with colleagues over your fave trash telly and most importantly, make sure that our work should celebrate our true selves.

Now, this is not to say that every uttered word from his mouth is gospel, that we should all lay down our Macbooks and stage a walkout demanding a 3 day week. But what it does do, is make you ask yourself a rather important question:

Have you found the balance? Not just between work and family, but a balance between the needs of others and the needs for one’s self...

And with that in mind, I’m off for a lunchtime stroll in the sun.

Niall Killeney Taylor,



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