TED Radio Hour: How can we make work more meaningful?

TED speakers explore our values and motivations when it comes to the workplace

TED Radio Hour: How can we make work more meaningful?

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On the NPR TED Radio Hour, Sunday 6th of December at 6pm 

'The meaning of work'

Love it or hate it, most of us have to work for a living. So how can we make work more meaningful? This hour, TED speakers explore our values and motivations when it comes to the workplace.

Drawing from an experiment with chickens, entrepreneur Margaret Heffernan explains how our cultural obsession with individual success is threatening our potential for collaboration and productivity.

She says ‘there’s this belief that the only way to make people successful is to make work a fight to the death’ but when that doesn’t work employers introduce money into the game and ‘it gets more vicious still’.

She feels money might make you work harder but it might not make you work better with other people.

Psychologist Barry Schwartz says our current thinking about work focuses too much on paychecks and too little on ways we can find fulfillment even in jobs many might consider mundane.

Behavioral economist Dan Ariely says we work hard, not because we have to, but because we want to. He examines the intrinsic values we need to feel motivated to work.

His research shows that we become more motivated when we feel a sense of pride and ownership in our work.

What's in a name? For tech entrepreneur Dame Stephanie Shirley, bidding contracts under the name ‘Steve’ enabled her to launch and grow a freelance software company with a virtually all-female staff.

The TED Radio Hour, Sunday's from 6pm on Newstalk 106-108 FM. 

Listen back to 'The meaning of work' here