The Seeds of Deskguru

By Olly Thomas

An Introduction

As an employee in my previous roles I had always struggled with mental health and often times felt powerless to do much about it. It had effected my relationships with coworkers and played into the hands of office politics which I despised with a vengeance. 

As my career developed I transitioned into the world of freelancing and remote work. This presents it’s own set of daily challenges as the lines between work and home life are blurred at best. At worst they are one and the same never really ‘turning off’ from work. Remote work presents it’s own unique set of challenges when it comes wellness. Deskguru was born out of my observations and struggles working in the modern workforce and our attempts at shifting an organisations priorities toward a holistic approach to wellness with the aim of building healthy, productive and mindful companies for the future of work.

Getting the work done was never something I had struggled with, but I knew many others that just didn’t fit into the regular 9-to-5 existence. Many brilliant minds don’t fit into the same box, the same environment or the work hours. When remote work came into my life I finally understood a way forward for so many people who didn’t fit into the cookie cutter mold which the modern workforce expects you to fulfil. To top it all off distractions can be a major headache for many knowledge workers. With remote work you’re in control of this. You can decide when to be distracted, when to get into your flow state, dictate your own environment, working to your own rhythms at timings that suit you. Remote work is about results, how you achieve this is up to you. Autonomy I discovered, is a powerful thing.


The Wellbeing Trend

I had also noticed a trend on a consumer level around wellbeing, fitness and mindfulness. Every week there seemed to be a new app helping with one of these areas. This came at a time when I was helping one of my clients with a successful fitness app. I loved the feeling of really helping people in their day-to-day lives. We thought deeply about habits, how to make them and how we break them. I became fascinated with the world of habits and the power these had to shape our outlook on the world. But to me there was a glaringly obvious gap. Most of our waking lives were spent at work, and even when we weren’t at work we were still thinking about it, worrying, stressing. In the modern workforce it is so hard to detach from our worklives. Our ‘always on’ culture demands instant answers, instant collaboration, busy work and anxious meetings, and yet there was startlingly little to help with the mental and physical health of an employee and even less for a remote employee where they struggle with similar but in some ways more extreme versions as an ‘in-person’ culture.

This got me thinking about how I could create simple, approachable and inclusive tools that go some way to help employees with their own mental and physical health. I began to think deeply about how we could help employees form small daily habits with little-but-often nudges that lead people down the right path toward working in happy, healthy and mindful teams. This began the journey that formed Deskguru and I can’t wait to see where it goes.


Employee Wellbeing & Culture

It is no longer enough to just offer a competitive salary and provide good perks to your employees. Employers are now realising the importance of company culture and along with this health and wellness in the creation of highly successful, productive and happy teams. The best companies and products are the output of your people being the best they can be, collaborating together as a team. Now imagine if everyone was mentally and physically fit. Imagine what they can achieve and dream up if everyone brings their best selves to work.

Employee engagement is big business. More engaged employees are less likely to leave, more likely to make personal referrals, be more innovative and contribute to creating a culture that truly shines. A huge piece of the puzzle is wellness in the workplace. If people are feeling happy, heathy and productive they will ultimately create the best place to work by proxy. Investing in employee wellness is one of the key priorities a company should have in creating a world class organisation. After all, it’s the people that make a workplace great.


Wellness and the Rise of Remote Work

With the rise of remote work it has amplified the need for leaders to take an active stance with employee wellness. Remote work allows people the time, flexibility and autonomy to create healthy workday habits on their own terms that have a lasting effect on their mental and physical health. Deskguru was born to help ingrain small daily habits into the workflows of employees and encourage wellness throughout an organisation. Investing in your employees wellness can pay off tenfold in the long term success of your business. We believe the future of work needs to incorporate these values in order to be sustainable on a human level creating a better more fulfilling life for all.

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