• Michelle Minnikin

What Can We Do To Unf*ck Work?

Updated: Feb 15


At February's Work Pirates Gathering we explored the question... If we had £1M what could we do to unf*ck work? 🏴‍☠️😉


We've done a bit of an analysis and have come up with the following 'themes'.


1. Do our own research

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  • Stop everything and listen first

  • Research of employees to build data of how fucked work is - regular, rolling programme to track sentiments and surface the issues

  • Do some qualitative research

  • ASK WHAT THEY WANT

  • Approach research like you would Marketing research on your customer - Who What How framework - deep dive beyond surveys to understand the drivers behind this


2. Community building

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  • Keep building communities of work pirates to unf*ck work from the inside

  • Join forces with people already doing work in this space - share best practice


3. Create spaces for sharing

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  • Work is f*cked because ..." website to gather people's accounts of their lived experience

  • An event for influencers and business leaders to think about what unf*cking means for them

  • A conference


4. Spreading the word

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  • Guerilla marketing campaign

  • Share good ideas to help everyone unf*ck their environs

  • Buy a Pirate bus and drive around employers to spread the message

  • A very large banner on a plane flying over a major city.

  • Rum

  • A protest

  • A protest on a boat

  • Paint the Tyne Bridge (Newcastle) in Pirate Colours! Budget option - lasers and lights projected.

  • Lots of small bold steps you can take. E..g if you see a job descriptions that's shit - too narrow, prescriptive or not inclusive. Annotate it (in a fun way). Post it on LinkedIn. Show what the alternative could be

  • Netflix Series!

  • Sponsorship: celebrate and highlight the unf*cking going on

  • Work Pirate Awards

  • Community podcast / radio station

  • Send copies of Be More Pirate to people anonymously

  • Dummies guide to unf*cking work

  • A conference

5. Unf*cking work toolkits

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  • Develop and deliver unf*cking workshops to empower people to unf*ck their workplaces

  • Unf*ck-work-in-a-box (A la Camerados)

  • I think we know all the rules that need breaking we'd just put lots more resources behind making them visible, showing what the alternative is training people, and making a splash

  • Write a book

  • Develop some cool (controversial!) stuff that costs money but we give away for free/make available to build traction around the idea of Unf*cking Work'

  • Offer leadership training and coaching because so many colleagues are promoted but are not given the skills to lead

  • Game installations to make people think about how institutionalised they are then send them on a journey with a treasure map to how they would like to be ideally

  • Self- and team agency

  • EQ training

  • Set up 'lunch & learn' sessions in as many companies as possible to bring this discussion out in the open

  • Pirate mentors

  • Pay people to second into different firms to disrupt things, upset some people and tell some hard truths

6. Be a Work Pirate

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  • Be vocal and brave in calling out bullshit at every opportunity

  • Be more honest

  • Just do it - #doittolearnit; be the revolution we wish to see in the world

  • Role model respect, transparency, difficult conversations, treating people like human beings with real lives, mental health, connection....Encourage people to think for themselves


7. Ideas to unf*ck workplaces

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  • Give people the opportunity to spend some time at work to work on what they like with whom they like

  • Make therapy more accessible to all

  • Buy a puppy for some workplaces

  • Mutiny!

  • Send the leaders away for a year and let the people doing the work run the show

  • Having a 'Bias Disrupter' in meetings - someone who has the role of asking awkward questions


8. Turning kids into Work Pirates

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  • Deliver sessions educating kids and adults that anyone who is neurodivergent belongs as they are and don't have to fit in!

  • Make the curriculum for kids about finding out and using their strengths

  • Work Pirates for kids (without the bad language!)


So much we could do!


What do you think we should do first? What would you want to be involved in?


Find out more about what we're up to here!


Drop us an email ahoy@workpirates.com or join our Mutiny over on Facebook!


At our next gathering we're looking at the question... What does an unf*cked workplace look like?

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