WhyWork Podcast

40 Episodes

By: Alan Girle, Trajce Cvetkvovski, & Sara Pazell

The WhyWork Podcast is an organisational strategy session and legal dissection of workplace events that are laced with humour. Your bloggers, Alan, Trajce, and Sara, explore the contemporary and uncomfortable realities of work and the boundaries that are tested. Alan and Trajce dismantle case law and Sara pushes all to consider how to redesign the world of work so that business objectives are realised and that people thrive. Good stories are told. The WhyWork team throws shade on some of the stories and the people involved as they consider defensible and remarkable work design strategy. When you listen to the...

S03 E02: WhyWHAT? Reflections: Disassociated from reality
Last Monday at 6:30 PM

Warning: This episode refers to vicarious trauma and suicide in the workplace.

Season 03 Episode 02 reflects on vicarious trauma in the workplace. Alan recaps on mental health first aid programming and the boundaries around that service scope requiring effective referrals to qualified and trained healthcare professionals. When the crew consider their work from home ideals, Sara dreams of her backyard spa, sauna, and wet kitchen for more outdoor living. Trajce lowers the bar and dreams of a damn good coffee machine, scratch that, he reverts to an 'all-you-can-eat' buffet. Alan agrees with Sara's position on considering fatigue in...

S03 E01: WhyWHAT? Reflections: Do not carve another man's turkey

“The stripper keeps coming back, straight out of the bottle,” says Alan. "You do not carve another man's turkey," is the meme entertained by Sara, as she reflects on a work party gone wrong. There were no boundaries and no planning, and the staff was teaming with Maslow's hierarchy of primal needs: hunger! "Does the prawn want to be peeled?" asks Trajce. Alan, Sara, and Trajce discuss the skills of a psychologist who can deescalate emotionally charged scenarios and help regain control of social situations. Trajce pontificates, “Power can be conveyed and transmuted through tribal culture and tradition, through the le...

S03: Ad: Let's kick off - a reflection on our sports stories

Let's reflect on Season 02: Sports field and work from anywhere, Season 02 Episode 03, 'What is life really like in sport and s-e-... Okay, just sport', and Season 02 Episode 04, 'The safey of sport without losing the spirit of sport',

BONUS: WhyNOT: A Wisdom Shot: Stop hazard chasing and contextualise work strategy

WhyNOT - This Wisdom Shot begs operational managers to contextualise work strategies and ensure that they are not hazard hunting - identifying psychosocial hazards without understanding the vulnerable population and the context of work. This extends Season 02 Episode 13: An upstanding citizen with salmon in his pocket.

S03: Ad: Theme parks, White Island Disaster, Transport, Stay Tuned

Get ready: Theme parks, White Island Whakaari disaster in New Zealand, transport, workplace culture, healthcare, and more - let's get started. Coming your way soon.

BONUS: WhyNOT: A Wisdom Shot: Work design in all manner of workplaces

This WhyNOT kernel of wisdom reminds us that workplace law prevails in all manners of workplaces, including brothels, from Season 02 Episode 05: It's Cougar Time and Season 02 Episode 06: Mi Casa es su Casa. "We cannot shy away from the difficult or discomfiting topics," Alan reminds us.

S03 Ad: Recording fails & fun: We are back

New season 3 jingle, more laughter, and some serious stuff coming your way soon. Listen in.

BONUS: WhyNOT: A Wisdom Shot: Work-from-anywhere, even when it is out of this world

WhyNOT: A wisdom-shot, wicked-wisdom kernels of insight to prop good work design in your business! This pearl of wisdom encourages you to engage a human factors specialist anytime you work may be designed or redesigned, in any work setting or context of work. A take-away bonus soundbyte from Season 02 Episode 12: Space-o-Rama .

BONUS: WhyNOT: A Wisdom Shot: Work-from-anywhere, anytime, anyplace, by anyone

WhyNOT Wisdom Shot: Work-from-anywhere in all settings. This kernel of wisdom reminds listeners that anywhere, anytime, anyhow work happens with anyone involved, the unexpected could happen. The boundaries get bigger, but work design must be considered. This is an extension of Season 02 Episode 02: It's Hollywood, and it's a gas.

BONUS: WhyNOT: A Wisdom Shot: Get back to basics to understand physical work - Mi Casa es Su Casa

WhyNOT Wisdom Shot: Season 02 Episode 06: Manual task risk management - this wisdom shot extends Season 02 Episode 06: Mi Casa es su Casa. It challenges subscribers to get back to basics and be a sleuth to follow the evidence (whether assessing workers in a brothel, on the moon, on the sports field, or in an industrial environment).

S02 E14: Spirit Animals

OWL-in, Deer, Otter

S02 E13: An upstanding citizen with salmon in his pocket

Season 02 Episode 13: This episode is dedicated to our teaching community. The podcast crew acknowledge that generalised stress can lead to dissociated behaviours and odd events can arise, like it did in the story of salmon stuffed in the professor’s pocket in a grocery store. Stress froths over in funny ways. Sara discusses the ‘God complex’ that might be needed to be successful in demanding roles, such as for surgeons, top lawyers, or professional athletes, “But when does it shut off?” asks Trajce. “It needs to shut off,” agrees Alan. There are immense pressures in accepting job roles when the personal l...

S02 E12: Space-O-Rama

Season 02 Episode 12: Worker health and wellbeing on the moon and in outer space: Can you dream it? "You can't escape the iron cage of health and wellbeing," says Trajce. "Not a cage, an opportunity," Sara implores, as she imagines working on the technical requirements for the astronauts during their extra vehicular activity ('EVA') suits. The podcasters envision Jamie from 'The Outlander' in his kilt and how it might fly in outer space, while Barbarella makes her impressionable mark on the imagination of the team. Alan, Sara, and Trajce consider caring for our astronauts and imagine those who pay the...

S02 E11: Hip Hop Tragedy & The Ninja Warrior

Season 2 Episode 11: WARNING: A fatality is discussed in this episode.

“Back to your techno days, Trajce,” says Alan. “I have a friend who organises amazing movie stunts,” says Sara. “Are you up for a ‘burn’?” asks Trajce. “With gel lathered all over the body and you light yourself on fire?” queries Sara, “I’ll try anything once!”she proclaims.

Music videos and movie sets: the team debate a case resulting in a fatality during a hip hop music clip film. What is the appetite for human factors, safety management, and work systems design in movie making and on reality TV s...

S02 E10: Name & Shame: Where is the filter?

Season 02 Episode 10 explores psychosocial impacts when naming and shaming go too far. "Cottage cheese thighs!" yelled the yoga guru, "You're obviously not vegan!". "The Matryoskha dolls keep opening," explains Trajce, as a metaphor. ‘Don’t push the envelope, don’t say it,” warns Trajce. ‘But if you say the regretful words, and you can’t wind it back, acknowledge it, and apologise,” says Alan. This episode fits with chapter 7 of the Ergonomics Insights book: Reshaping lifestyle changes in a heavy weight world.

S02 E09: Quid pro quo: Go hard, go prosecutorial

S02 E09:

S02 E08: Reality TV and me

Season 02 Episode 08: Trajce ruminates over his fascination (read: obsession) with reality TV. He's even written a book on it! The crew, Alan, Trajce, and Sara discuss reality TV and the phenomena of naming and shaming. "I can see how the camera person may be considered a worker (under current health and safety legislation)," says Sara, "but I would never have considered the contestant as a worker." "There is no voluntary acceptance of risk," warns Alan. Psychosocial hazard exposures are discussed when people are named, shamed, or exploited. "The reality TV contestant might not have ever truly understood how being on...

S02 E07: 4 Men and Women 2: I piss on you

WARNING: This episodes discusses confronting issues about sleepwalking and a urination faux-pas. Gender pay inqueties are addressed in a round-about-way.S02 E07: Explores work travel antics and the constraints when an employer expects workers to share a room. Sara reminds Trajce and Alan about a past state government jingle, “4 Men and Women 2,” and the culture of acceptable alcohol intake. “Work travel seems to erode behavioural boundaries,” marvels Sara. Alan tells a miraculous and confronting story about drunken ‘non sleep’ behaviours and the resulting trauma. “That’s a scene from Shogun,” says Sara. Alan admits, “I think I’d be pretty depressed if th...

S02 E06: Mi casa es su casa

Season 2 Episode 6: How are you going to risk assess the work of sex workers? “Sometimes the legal structure is too good for it’s own good,” says Alan. When you operate with blurred lines in the structure of employment, you can be subject to full employment laws as a Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking and a worker can be eligible for compensation. “Its problematic when alcohol intake or other such behaviours are the norm and part of the workplace culture,” laments Trajce. Sara ponders on how the same legal frameworks and work design considerations apply, and who enacts or regulat...

S02 E05: Its cougar time

WORKPLACE AGGRESSION AND VIOLENCE IN BORDELLOS is mentioned.Season 2 Episode 5: Alan annunciates 'C-o-u-g-a-r,' in honeyed tones. "Silicon chip inside her head" (not 'inside her hip'), Trajce finally realises the lyrics in Bob Geldof and the Boom Town Rat's song, but he laments that 'hip' would rhyme better with 'chip'! Traumas with psychosocial injuries are explored when aggression arises between two cougaresque workers (Or were they? The business argued that they were contractors - that was up for debate). Sara explores the idea of manual task risk management in all kinds of workplaces, even those in which the patrons...

S02 E04: The safety of sport without losing the spirit of sport

Season 2 Episode 4: The crew discuss the work-from-anywhere phenomenon when the enforcement of regulations is a reluctant approach in sport, and we (society) want the fighting spirit exhibited on the field. “This is food for thought”, says Trajce, “criminal law (sanctions) can still apply to illegal acts occurring on the football field… (we must explore) the idea that those involved in the sport, the corporations, the owners… empower themselves through self-regulation and codes of conduct to try and lift the game.”For more on sport, list to Season 2 Episode 3.

S02 E03: What life is really like in sport and s-e-... Okay, just sport.


Season 2 Episode 3: What do you do when the sporting field or tennis court is your workplace? "Aggression and the will to fight is part of the game," says Sara. "We love our sport," says Alan. In football, a shoulder charge has caused a fatality. The athlete's condition was determined to be 'incompatible with life'. Tragic. Listen as Trajce presents the inquest. We learn about Trajce's brush with tennis stardom and his claim to two minutes of fame: being berated by John McEnroe.

S02 E02: It's Hollywood, and it's a gas

WARNING – A FATALITY IS DISCUSSEDSeason 2 Episode 2: The wheels are slow to turn in the Hollywood industry to minimise risk on the set of television or movies. Harrison Ford is injured on a Star Wars set in the Millennium Falcon. Alec Baldwin was involved in an on-set fatality, and there are challenges with work events that are designed to be thrilling. Movie making can be volatile, uncertain, complex, or ambiguous like mining or oil and gas. Things go awry, also, in our casual more relaxed work, like collecting and transporting gas tanks for a weekend barbeque. ‘Enough is enough’ is a new mo...

S02 E02: It's Hollywood, and it's a gas


Season 2 Episode 2: The wheels are slow to turn in the Hollywood industry to minimise risk on the set of television or movies. Harrison Ford is injured on a Star Wars set in the Millennium Falcon, Alec Baldwin was involved in an on-set fatality, and there are material challenges with credible failures in work that are designed to be thrilling. Movie making can be volatile, uncertain, complex, or ambiguous like mining or oil and gas. Things go awry, also, in our casual more relaxed work, like collecting and transporting gas tanks for a we...

S02 E01: Nothing by coincidence: Serendipitous meetings

Season 2 Episode 1 describes how the podcasters, Alan, Sara, and Trajce met. The crew discuss the vulnerabilities of the human experience through storytelling. Trajce reflects on his career love of music production, Sara talks about her yoga practice, and Alan reveals his interest in agriculture and his vintage tractor operations. During these reflections, the crew debate joy work (or ‘unwork-work’, as Sara calls her joy work) and ‘work-work’, the stuff that is burdensome and could be improved. The fundamentals of hazard versus risk and the implications of these terms are debated. Reflections are made on the adversarial systems in law. “In a civil...

S02 Trailer 11: EXTENDED TRAILER: Season Overview

Season 02: Extended Trailer 11: Sit down, buckle up, and 'put your listening ears on' as the school marm once instructed. This Season 02 Extended Trailer will keep you curious as our executive producer, Trajce, introduces this jam-packed, event-filled season with 14 episodes to tickle your curiousity and cojole your inquisitive and sometimes outraged mind. Listen to this overview and stay excited! More is coming.

S02: Trailer 10: WhyWork Season 2: The agent provocateur: TRAILER 10

"There are subtle ways of doing things," says Trajce. "You are an agent provocateur," he labels. Alan loves the label attributed to Sara, though she protests, ".... It is in the media!"... "Oh man, cut-cut-cut-cut," says Alan. This one might be a no-go. The crew struggle with containing their merriment when it comes to juggling the boundaries around discussions about the tough stuff.

S02 Trailer 9: WhyWork Season 2: It all bubbles forth: TRAILER 9

'You're almost not in the 'in crowd' unless you spit fire... ," explains Sara. When you are in the right setting, it all bubbles forth, and there are exclamations around what happens during field work. "Cut that one out," commands Alan. Trajce is struggling to envision it all and finds himself laughing during the clamour of explanations. Season 2 will take you to new places - watch out and listen in, there is more coming soon.

S02: Trailer 8: WhyWork Season 2: Take us to the stars: TRAILER 8

"Take us to the stars, Sara", says Alan. In Season 2, the WhyWork Podcasters, Sara, Trajce, and Alan, explore what it means to drift from expected social norms and how a 'new normal' can be established because we blend into the milieu of the times. That can be dangerous, "I'm not proud to admit it, but I'm going to tell you anyway," says Sara. Trajce braces for more trouble...

S02 Trailer 7: WhyWork Season 2: He said, she said, 'WhaaaA..?' Mishaps and misspeaks: TRAILER 7

WhyWork Season 2 Trailer 7: "In what situation would you say the other expression...?" asks Alan. What mishaps happen when you are nervous at work? Like during public speaking - even when presenting a conservative topic on police work and random breath testing. Learn more about this in The WhyWork Podcast.

S01 E12: Why can’t we be friends?


Episode 12 challenges our cultural approaches to conflict. Our emotional experiences are our reality, and we are emotional beings. In workplace law, Alan reminds us that workers may not realise that they are triggering emotional responses among workmates. Sensory processing is yet another facet of understanding the reality of our experiences and if our routines are affected by the upheaval of a changing world of work, like through a pandemic, stressors can be magnified! We must design for sensational workplace experiences.

S02 Trailer 6: WhyWork Season 2: Technology in the design of work: TRAILER 6

WhyWork Season 2 Trailer 6: "I was thinking of 3D printing. I could print a version of myself. I could take it to work so that I don't have to work," says Trajce. We discuss extended reality and artificial intelligence in The WhyWork Podcast.

S01 E11: I may not like you - but that's okay


In Episode 11, Trajce and Alan probe perceptions among workers and the impacts on workers in toxic workplaces. Camera footage tells one story but cannot reveal worker vulnerabilities and perceptions that arise when toxicity has eroded interpersonal relationships. Trajce and Alan unpack the conflicts that can occur at work, even interpersonal difficulties arising from judgment about mask-wearing during the pandemic! Sara asks about design for diversity and isolation if you do not feel included at work.

For more discussion about occupational psychosocial injury, tune in to Episode 8 and Episode 12.

S02 Trailer 5: WhyWork Season 2: The boys get sillier: TRAILER 5

WhyWork Season 2: It's a laugh, it's a lark, and sometimes its confronting too, the www.whyworkpodcast.com.au: Trailer 5

S01 E10: We pursue the end game


In Episode 10, we pursue the end game of good work design. We suggest that workplaces build purchase, agency, and capability in work design throughout their organisation, propped by conventional designers and the lawyers to help predict and defend against safety-critical events. Sara prompts listeners to thing about work design – it does not solve the problems for people, but it can facilitate a system of design to prop effective problem-solving, helping workers become architects of superior work design. Sara wants more than prevention; she strives for INVENTION. Design for what you want, your aspirations, no...

S02 Trailer 4: WhyWork Season 2: Seriously dangerous industries: TRAILER 4

WhyWork Season 2 Trailer 4: What is the impact of the worker when working with big, moving-parts on machinery? Work as stunt person? "Can you imagine slathering gel all over your body?" asks Sara.

S01 E09: The robots are taking over

A choodle or a poowawa? Hybrid dogs or hybrid work, it’s all up for laughs in Episode 9! When we design good work it requires science, expertise, consultation, and engagement with subject matter experts, coupled with an inventive mind (which means a workplace that tolerances ‘fuzzy work’ where we can stumble to create anew). Sara proposes the role of a Chief Work Design Strategist as a must-have on the C-Suite executive teams, coupled with the organ grinder with the tambourines, to help navigate a changing world of work. As work automates, humans are not replaced, but their work changes and be...

S02 Trailer 3: WhyWork Season 2: The perversity of big business TV: TRAILER 3

WhyWork Season 2 is heading to the airwaves with more explosive and curious content soon. Trajce explores reality TV when it is your work away from home.

S01 E08: Tired workers are deadly weapons


Episode 8 tells a tale of a tragic road rage story, the complexity of fatigue, shift work, and high performance versus coping. The over-productive worker and those who approach burn-out are examined. Fatigue can seem invisible, so how do we examine the symptoms when we work from anywhere? Ultimate, we ask: are we designing for what we WANT or what we DO NOT want?

For more discussion about occupational psychosocial injury, tune in to Episode 11 and Episode 12.

S01 E07: Design when we work-from-anywhere


Episode 7 discusses health in the built environment, from the office space to the home space. The air that I breath and the water that I drink: how is this ensured in the home working environment? What about the potential risk of exposure to domestic violence? Listeners must consider whether they provide ‘first aid’ at work or just engage in better conversations with the workforce, and who are their ready-to-deploy teams of specialised advisors.

For more discussion about work-from-anywhere, listen also to Episode 3 and Episode 5. For more discussion about work...