Biohacking is a strange phrase. To the uninformed, it sounds like something from a sci-fi movie where everyone is plugging machines into their heads (not too far off if you follow Elon Musk’s train of thought on the subject).
Biohacking researchers and people acquainted with the idea though know it is another form of life ‘hacking’ that involves training, fasting and in more extreme cases gene-editing technology. This is not a simple trend to understand, and if you’re trying to implement it into your business it will require a huge amount of research for less than obvious results.
What is biohacking?
The biohacking trend is about people optimizing their bodies to maximize their potential, much in the same way you’d do so with a machine. Sometimes thought of as “do-it-yourself biology”, biohackers will make incremental changes to their diets, lifestyles and work habits to try and improve their well-being and, more importantly, productivity.
While the name suggests something more sinister and technical, biohacking primarily involves innovative new diets and fitness plans, leading to enhanced brain and body functionality. While there are more experimental, and controversial, methods being floated around Silicon Valley, biohacking is a mostly simple and safe practice as long as the individual is well-informed and careful.
Biohacking has evolved into an extension of self-help and fitness, with numerous public figures establishing their wealth and notoriety based on biohacking techniques. Biohacking guru Dave Asprey speaks on this very idea in his appearance on the Marketing Speak podcast. In the marketing podcast, he discusses biohacking techniques and how businesses can use it for a source of extended revenue and promotion, especially within the tech industry.
Before you try and harness the power of biohacking for business growth, you need to know how to analyze the physical and mental wellbeing of your team and customers.
What are some methods?
Biohacking often focuses on getting the essentials of your daily schedule right. This includes…
Sleep is a huge part of biohacking. While many of us understand the importance of getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night, that’s not necessarily possible to balance within the hectic lifestyles and short deadlines of modern existence. Biohacking encourages the idea of waking up naturally without an alarm, instead choosing to use an emergency one to ensure you don’t miss work.
Diet and nutrition are cornerstones of a biohacked lifestyle, with major names in the tech industry trying out all manner of unique diets and body cleanses. This is grounded in basic thinking, as too much sugar in your diet can make your mood fluctuate and ruin your concentration levels. Hydration is especially important, with a positive water routine helping to impact your diet and avoid overeating.
Exercise is one of the best methods of dealing with stress and unwinding from your responsibilities. Biohacking exercise is more rooted in the methodology of yoga and meditation rather than intense weight lifting routines. Challenging the body is more commonly achieved through extreme measures such as cold water swimming and hiking.
All of this sounds very personal, doesn’t it? You’re probably asking what part biohacking has to play within a business structure?
The secret is in productivity. Biohacking techniques can be used by your business to introduce great new habits in the workplace that can transform your staff’s productivity levels into superhuman. Ultimately it’s main benefit is an internal one that significantly improves your output. This must be done safely though to ensure the health of your team.
How to biohack your business
For all of your interest in biohacking, it’s worthless unless you can leverage it to improve your business and productivity levels. Just like you can biohack your body and lifestyle for self-improvement, you can biohack your business to make it more efficient.
Staff health and lifestyle
Your team is the lifeblood of your business. Encouraging them to follow biohacking trends or introducing new healthy habits will have an impact on how your business operates and your overall success. Before you start to encourage a biohacked lifestyle though, you need to make sure you are covering the basics and accommodating the health concerns of your team.
In many ways, sleepis the lifeblood of the biohacking movement. Improving sleeping habits increases productivity and your team’s ability to solve problems. Leading biohacking experts suggest that teaching people to sleep better is dictated by factors such as blood sugar level and the level of light surrounding them leading up to sleep. Use classes and seminars to encourage better sleeping habits or move back your working hours an hour to give your team more time to wake up naturally.
Tracking sleep patterns is a vital step in making the most of this biohack. Australian biohacking expert Dayne Barkley talks about the importance of understanding your sleeping patterns using apps and tools in his interview with wellness blog Get Hapi. Effective sleep biohacking is built on understanding how you already sleep and maximizing your existing habits.
The chances are a large portion of your staff check their phone as soon as they wake up. That dirty feeling as we scroll through Twitter is because we all know that’s not a healthy way to start the day. You should look to discourage such behavior and do the same within the workplace. This doesn’t mean forbidding people using their phones, but having scheduled times for each individual worker to limit their exposure to blue light. Alternatively, blue light blocking glasses are a brilliant way to protect your staff’s eyesight during the dark winter months.
The use of innovative new tools is one of the best ways a business can improve its productivity. A loss of efficiency isn’t necessarily down to a lack of effort from your team, but the conditions they have to work in and the time wasted between tasks.
You can biohack the way your business communicates using slick instant messaging comms tools such as Slack or Yocales ‘MEET’ video conferencing. These tools make it easier for your team to communicate with one another, transferring the time spent getting up from their desk to go to another office or speaking on the phone into more pressing concerns. Likewise, the use of cloud services to make files more easily accessible and simpler to collaborate on. You should look to bring these tools into your business to give your team more room to breath and excel in their roles, without trivial tasks taking prece
Workers with specialist skills are like a biohack for your business’ body. They’re the heightened muscles that help you perform better than the competition, the clean habits that help you produce quality work every day no matter the pressure you’re under. You should look to not just promote a diverse skill set in the same way you would encourage improving a body part or mindset, but nurture that amongst your staff.
You can biohack your business this way through a couple of methods. You can actively look to recruit this type of team member or encourage this kind of development amongst your existing team, using internal training sessions or covering the cost of external programmes to turn your designers into full-service creatives or make your copywriters more technically proficient.
The answer to the question of how you implement biohacking into your business is a complicated one. There is no concrete method or result you should expect. Consider this another method of improving productivity that will only apply to a small sub-section of your team.