40 Better Hours: Improve your workweek

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September 19-23, 2016 | Watch the videos | #40BetterHours

40 Better Hours is a project from Katie Hawkins-Gaar and Ren LaForme dedicated to improving your work life in small but meaningful ways. By fixing things like workflow and communication, providing ways to manage stress and monitor mental health, addressing ways to effectively lead through transitions, and sharing skills to combat information overload, we can create happier workplaces that are better equipped to innovate and respond to industry changes.

From September 19-23, we hosted a special week of free training here on Poynter.org. Each day included a video, helpful takeaways and opportunities to interact with presenters.

You can watch all of the videos in this YouTube playlist. And you can sign up for the 40 Better Hours pop-up newsletter, where we’ll keep you posted on future training.

If you're interested in related Poynter training, we've rounded up some webinars of interest. Bonus: Use the promo code '40BetterHours' to get 50 percent off!

40 Better Hours is Poynter's first crowdfunded project. It was made possible by the generous support of Ruth Ann Harnisch and dozens of other supporters. Thank you all for helping to make work better!

Poynter Results

  • Culture


    Ever wish work was better? This week is for you

    Being a journalist is tough. Some days, the breaking news and tragic stories never seem to stop. It’s no fun landing on the worst jobs list year after year. Newsrooms are operating with fewer resources than ever before. And there’s tremendous uncertainty about the future of the news industry.

    Some of these issues are a reality of the profession. Others will take an industry-wide shift to solve. But there are smaller problems within newsrooms that are fixable.

  • Culture


    How losing my dad helped me gain a new outlook on work

    The last real conversation I had with my dad was about work. More accurately, it was a lopsided exchange, where I complained about how miserable things had gotten and he patiently listened, interjecting here and there to reassure me that it would get better.

    If I had known it would be the last conversation we’d have, I wouldn’t have wasted the time complaining about things that felt beyond my control.

  • Innovation


    Why you should consider shutting down your newsroom...temporarily

    There’s a newspaper in my Rust Belt hometown that has barely changed since I learned to read. You know this story. The front page is a mix of town board trivialities and newswire articles. Somewhere there’s a photo of students beaming over an accomplishment. On Sundays, an old columnist hearkens back to the halcyon days.

    My hometown newspaper isn't alone. From staff and paycheck cuts to creeping errors and new competitors that siphon away readers and advertisers, there’s an urgent need for news organizations like this to modernize or fade away.

  • Commentary


    For nonprofits, mission is key to employee morale

    The headquarters of The Lens, an independent nonprofit newsroom, is a small, no-frills facility in an uptown New Orleans industrial park. Instead of windows, there are glass doors protected by burglar bars. The office modem awkwardly dangles above the toilet. The furniture is a mix of plastic folding tables, worn chairs and mismatched lamps bought from thrift stores. The staff is tiny, made up of eight full-time employees and two part-timers.

    Despite the odds, employee morale and sense of purpose are sky-high.

  • Commentary


    Fun at work is tougher than it looks

    Earlier this month, we spent an entire week at Poynter focused on the topic of fun at work. The concept was born out of a conversation during a work trip. It was the kind of idea that seems interesting but would require a lot of work, the type that often gets thrown around and rarely sees follow-through.

    But this idea was different. It was something I couldn’t shake.

  • Commentary


    Newsrooms face mental health challenge amid surge of graphic footage

    Tuesday, February 3, marked the first time Andy Carvin allowed himself to watch an ISIS execution video. The intensely disturbing footage, which showed a Jordanian pilot being burned alive, brought back a flood of memories and emotions for the journalist.

    “The impact really hit me,” Carvin said. “I had avoided [ISIS videos] up until that point. It didn’t seem worth the burden.”

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