People across the UK are confined to their homes during the coronavirus outbreak and for many, this means their kitchen or lounge has become their temporary office.
It’s tempting to stick on Netflix or Disney+ while you work, but it can be difficult to get things done with the TV on in the background. If you’re fed up of hearing the same songs on the radio or stuck for inspiration on Spotify, podcasts can be a great way to fill the silence.
Whether you want to learn or be entertained, there’s a podcast for everyone. According to research by ABC Finance, a quarter of Brits choose to listen to podcasts while working from home and 12% of the UK’s population – around 6.5 million people – listen to a podcast every week.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the number of Google searches for “podcasts for work” has increased by 90% since the start of March. Almost two-thirds of regular podcast listeners spend more time listening to podcasts than they do watching TV – suggesting that they not only listen to podcasts for productivity, but to unwind to.
For many, they are associated with leisure time, but there are plenty of podcasts to boost our careers and professional lives too. So with thousands of podcasts available to get you through the UK lockdown, which should you listen to?
Work Like A Woman with Mary Portas
Now a household name, Portas is widely recognised as a leading authority on retail and brand communication and has multiple strings to her bow. She is a business woman, advertising executive, retail expert, government adviser, broadcaster and consumer champion, to name a few.
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In her podcast, Portas is joined by Emily Bryce-Perkins to explore some of the most important themes from her book of the same title. She is joined by guests such as author Elizabeth Day to talk about all sorts of topics, from flexible working to chasing ambition, to childcare and sharing the mental load.
Stuff You Should Know
There is no better time to educate ourselves, given that we now have a lot of spare time that would normally have been taken up with social activities. Stuff You Should Know does what it says on the tin – you’ll learn all sorts of interesting and unusual information that you may not have known before.
Hosted by two podcasters who were formerly senior editors at HowStuffWorks.com, Josh Clark and Charles Wayne “Chuck” Bryant, the podcast is consistently ranked in the Top 10 on iTunes and is one of the most popular podcasts in the world. And for good reason, too. Topics include the Stonewall uprising, whether you can die from a broken heart, hangovers, tipping in restaurants and cheese. There’s a new topic every episode.
WorkLife with Adam Grant
We spend a quarter of our lives at work, but too little time thinking about how to make it better. Organisational psychologist Adam Grant – a TED speaker and the New York Times bestselling author of three books that have sold over a million copies – takes you inside unconventional workplaces to explore the ideas we can all use to get more out of our professional lives.
Topics include learning to deal with criticism – and even appreciate it – to using frustration for good. There is an eclectic mix of guests too, including Daily Show host Trevor Noah, Arianna Huffington, a crew of astronauts, Richard Branson, Olympic gold medallists, LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman and NYC marathon champ Shalane Flanagan.
This Is Your Life with Michael Hyatt
Hosted by a former publishing house CEO, Michael Hyatt, this podcast gives you tips on how to become a morning person, how to say no, how to delegate and how to stay positive – something we could all do with at the moment.
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Some of the most popular episodes include advice on how to avoid being a weak leader, why you should nap every day and how to be a happier person that others want to be around. The tips and advice on this podcast can help boost your work life and feel better in yourself, too.
How I Built This
Hosted by the same host of the TED Radio Hour, Guy Raz, How I Built This was launched in 2016. It explores the days before start-ups became big corporations, when companies had to borrow money from friends and family to get their company going.
Raz talks to entrepreneurs about the stories behind the companies they built, including Howard Schultz of Starbucks, Airbnb’s Joe Gebbia, Jane Wurwand of Dermalogica, Melissa & Doug Bernstein and Zumba’s Beto Perez and Alberto Perlman.