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Inflight Magazine #2: Tips for working smarter, not harder

by Imogen Lees2 November 2022 3 Min Read

Inflight Magazine is our irregular newsletter where we share the latest product thinking, updates from the products we’ve built, and tips for happy product teams (like ours).

In Issue #2 we chat burnout and how to make the workplace work for more people.


Identifying better ways of working 📝

How hard have you worked this week? No one knows apart from you. Feels kinda freeing, doesn’t it?

The good team over at Spill told us that contrary to popular opinion, we don’t actually work more than we used to. About 100 years ago we’d clock up around 65 hours a week. These days we do more like 45.

So why do we all feel so goddamn burnt out?

It’s more to do with the role work plays in our life. We put a lot more importance on work than we used to.

No surprise that as a team working in product and tech, at Planes we’re kinda obsessed with finding better ways of working – GPT-4 is just the beginning.

We've jotted down some of the ways we’re trying to work smarter and not always harder.

On the 8th day, God gave us meeting-free days 🙏

Your sneaking suspicion that meetings are a waste of time has finally been proven (New Statesman). But, what to do?

Recently, we’ve been exploring what work/life balance means for the team, and what impacts it.

*All fingers point to meetings*

The general consensus was that too many meetings mean we have less time to get our heads down and ultimately do our best work. So we tested a company-wide meeting-free day every week on Wednesdays.

That means no meetings as a company, with clients or internal meetings like 1:1s. Although we can pair to do tasks together or take a course.

What does your company do to relieve the meeting strain? We’d love to hear other ideas.

Design time is precious 💎

They say a bad worker blames their tools, but that was before they invented Good tools and Bad tools.

We’re pretty smug about our tool stack at Planes; Figma and Notion are pretty ubiquitous and it does streamline a lot.

So when Figma announced a bunch of new updates at Config 2022, the crowd (design team) went wild.

Favourite features include the absolute positioning feature, for moving objects around without affecting the auto layout, and the negative spacing between objects feature, which means you no longer need to manually order frames.

Watch 7 neat GIF demos of our design team’s favourite Figma updates

Making the workplace work for more people 🏋️‍♀️

There’s no point in streamlining how we work if it only works for some of us.

How does your working environment make space for your neurodivergent employees? Our last Fika had Ellie Middleton, a powerful voice in the Neurodiversity space, sharing her journey through a late diagnosis of ADHD and Autism. Play back the event recording here.

Our Fikas are open to everyone, run monthly and virtually, and you should join in the fun next time.

Products + businesses we wish we’d built 🧱 Async work with Loom (check out the Figma plugin) Donate smarter with blockchain Design smarter with AI Better track customer experience Easier ways to build new financial products

Content roulette 🎯

Some of these articles are ours, some of them aren’t. Click on the ones you want to read and the all-seeing marketing tracking gods will tell us if we’re interesting or not!

I’m our marketing lead and I’m in charge of our brand, content and Planes fan club. I’m tracking your every move on this website, including how long it takes you to read this bio.
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