WALL STREET JOURNAL BESTSELLER
A smart, science-based approach to retaining your talent and making the world of work a better place.
Today’s work isn’t working. Stress and burnout are driving talented professionals out of the workforce while the corporate standard of extreme hours, sleep deprivation, and nonstop travel proves unsustainable. But innovative leaders are using this once-in-a-century opportunity to create a future of work that’s better for everyone.
The workplace of tomorrow is a hybrid ecosystem that thrives on flexibility and diversity of thought, enabling all employees to reach peak performance. Every person’s brain is different and by taking an inclusive view towards neurosignature diversity, organizations can get a competitive advantage.
In The Brain-Friendly Workplace, Friederike Fabritius offers a science-based and field-tested blueprint for tomorrow’s workplace. Leaders capable of enacting change or individuals searching for ways to work smarter will discover that even small and inexpensive changes can lead to advantages like better employee performance, higher job satisfaction, and stronger talent retention. If you have been longing for a better way of working where you and your people are both happy and productive, The Brain-Friendly Workplace can make that vision a reality.
Friederike Fabritius, MS, is a neuroscientist and trailblazer in the field of neuroleadership. Her brain-based leadership programs have transformed how Fortune 500 executives think, innovate, and navigate change. Fabritius is a thought leader and keynote speaker, known for engaging global audiences at organizations like Google, Ernst & Young (EY), Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Adecco, Accenture, Deloitte, BMW, Bayer, SAP, Harvard Business Review, trivago, and Audi. An alumna of McKinsey & Company and the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research, she serves on the prestigious German Academy of Science and Engineering.
Fabritius is author of the award-winning book The Leading Brain: Neuroscience Hacks to Work Smarter, Better, Happier. She is fluent in six languages and lives with her husband and five children in Heidelberg, Germany. Visit her website at https://friederikefabritius.com.
Chapter 1: The Neuro Gap
Interview: Julie Linn Teigland, EY EMEIA Area Managing Partner
Chapter 2: Your Neurosignature: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Interview: Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman, cognitive scientist, author and host of The Psychology Podcast
Chapter 3: Outcome Culture
Interview: Stephan Aarstol, Tower Paddle Boards CEO
Chapter 4: Fun, Fear and Focus
Interview: Dr. Janin Schwartau, thyssenkrupp Global Head of Learning
Chapter 5: Nurture Your Neurobalance
Interview: Arianna Huffington, Thrive Global CEO
Chapter 6: Good Stress
Interview: Dr. Hubertus Meinecke, BCG Managing Director & Senior Partner; Chairman, Western Europe, South America and Africa
Chapter 7: Wired to Be Tribal
Interview: Dr. John Medina, Brain Rules author and molecular biologist
Chapter 8: The Social Neuro Gap
Interview: Claude Silver, VaynerX Chief Heart Officer
Chapter 9: What About the Kids?
Interview: Amber Grewal, BCG Global Head of Talent and Recruiting
Chapter 10: Group Flow: The Antidote to Groupthink
Interview: Jeff Furman, President of the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation
About the Author
Businesses are facing a “once-in-a-century opportunity... to create a better future,” writes neuroscientist Fabritius in this impassioned call for change in the workplace. In order to help employees “reach peak performance and experience greater joy and well-being” and aid management in reversing the “mass exodus of expensively trained and educated professionals,” Fabritius lays out a plan to help readers identify their “neurosignature” (the mix of dopamine, serotonin, testosterone, and estrogen that “shapes one’s personality”) based on their habits and create an optimal work environment for each type. High-dopamine people should be given “creative freedom and autonomy,” for example, while those high in serotonin make great managers. Fabritius shares anecdotes about companies that have made changes in the way they do business and are enjoying the benefits—one saw increased productivity after reducing workdays to five hours—and inspiring interviews with “thought leaders,” such as Jeff Furman, former lead counsel at Ben & Jerry’s, and Arianna Huffington, the CEO of Thrive Global. The “Brain Boost” sections that round out each chapter include advice on staying happy and healthy (taking cold showers and getting outside can help with energy and focus). Business leaders should make room on their desks for this guide.
People are leaving the workforce for many reasons, but what if they simply weren’t wired for the job they had? There’s also the possibility that their employer could have done more to foster an environment ideal for optimal brain functionality. That’s the premise for this book, which neuroscientist Fabritius (The Leading Brain) describes as her “science-backed, field-tested blueprint” for reinventing work. She provides a comprehensive introduction to how neuroscience affects people in the workplace and introduces the concept of a "neurosignature," a mix of four neurotransmitters and hormones that work together to provide a baseline for one’s personality and thoughts. This eventually affects how one responds to stress and information acquired on the job and relates to coworkers. She does an excellent job in providing observations on perceived gender roles and even dietary suggestions for improving mental capacity. The book is also infused with many “aha” moments, illustrative sketches, and sections with titles like "Mind Benders," "Brain Boosts," and "Mental Breaks." Each chapter includes an interview with either a medical expert or a business leader to provide additional insight. A compelling read for anyone interested in understanding how brain chemistry can improve job performance and workplace satisfaction.
Neuroscientist Fabritius advocates for the importance of embracing neurodiversity in the workplace in this thought-provoking book. Neurodiversity in the workplace is best described as the presence of differing approaches to communicating, thinking, and reasoning. The author defines four basic neurosignatures, which are determined by which neurotransmitters and hormones are most dominant in an individual’s brain (dopamine, serotonin, estrogen, and/or testosterone). She asserts that employers must take extra care to balance all four neurosignatures among employees and managers. By way of her own workplace experiences and interviews with corporate executives and founders, she weaves together a fascinating narrative about the success or failure of specific work environments. Management style, physical office structures, work schedules, and several other factors can be designed to make a workplace attractive and comfortable for every neurosignature. The author draws from a wide variety of neuroscience, sociology, and psychology research, addressing significant issues such as gender roles, introversion/extroversion, physical health, and stress. A chapter on groupthink is particularly compelling and will likely provide a wake-up call to employers. This well-written and timely book is recommended for business and general collections.
Neuroscientist Friederike Fabritius offers a passionate, evidence-based approach to fostering workplace diversity and engagement. She draws on cutting-edge research demonstrating how brain chemistry informs personality, values, stress responses and cognitive styles. She makes a compelling case that workplaces should cater to the needs of employee “neurosignatures” to boost performance and retention. Her interviews with thought leaders like Thrive Global’s Arianna Huffington and molecular biologist John Medina provide inspiration and insight.
It's clear that the modern workplace isn't working for many people and that changes are imperative. Friederike outlines some practical science-based steps to get us from here to there: to cultivate a world that works well for all of us."
From the foreword: I believe that this book is contributing to a broader discussion about how people’s brain wirings can be very different from each other and can influence the way we see the world.... This book is very timely, as there is so much uncertainty in the world. Stress levels are incredibly high. People are starving for meaning and for a way to understand their unique place in the world and in the workplace. They want to matter. Their need to matter is such a fundamental human need. I think that this book can really play a pivotal role in people feeling like they matter in the workplace by allowing them to bring their unique neurosignature to the table.
Fighting burnout, finding focus, and giving your employees time to rest and recharge. It's obvious that the old ways aren't doing it. Friederike's book provides exciting new ways of rethinking the workplace that help both businesses and their employees to thrive.
Friederike's bold new book is smart, friendly, and science-based. It's filled with practical suggestions for how to make the workplace more inclusive, productive, and rewarding.
In The Brain Friendly Workplace, Friederike Fabritius reframes the so-called "Great Resignation" as a crisis of meaning, purpose and care. She seizes on the idea that our present distress is also an incredibly opportunity to change our bad work habits into healthy work habits using brain-friendly practices.
This book is a great read for anyone involved in group decision making. It enhanced my understanding of diversity while highlighting how important it is. It focuses on taking care of yourself and each other, having fun, and why one should eat more chocolate. It made the work place come alive as a place you want to be.
Millennials want to be performing at their peak - in a constant state of flow. Achieving this should be every organisation’s top priority to retain diverse talent. Friederike, shares practical tools for leaders to make the transition from hustle culture to an outcome driven one. The key driver of humanity of work.
Give The Brain-Friendly Workplace to your boss, your coworkers, and anyone who wants to vastly improve their bottom line while making their colleagues far happier. Friederike Fabritius has applied first rate science to solve many central issues in business today. This is an important book.
With the ongoing Great Resignation trend, employers have been forced to evolve to create a better future for everyone. Companies have gotten innovative by offering remote or hybrid work environments to find the best work-life balance for their employees. Fabritius, a neuroscientist, provides a science-based and field-tested blueprint that could lead to higher job satisfaction and better talent retention rates.
8/11/21, Choice: This title was featured in a roundup of forthcoming titles in business.
9/5/22, Harvard Business Review: Friederike Fabritius wrote a piece featuring themes from the book.
9/28/22, Authority Magazine: Friederike Fabritius was interviewed about how companies are creating cultures that promote mental wellness.
October 2022, Porchlight Books: This book was featured as a business bestseller for the month.
11/11/12, Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast: Andrea Samadi discussed key themes from the book.
11/15/22, Fast Company: Friederike Fabritius talked about key themes from the book in this article.
11/19/22, Publishers Weekly: This book was featured in a roundup of diverse reads.
11/11/22, Medium: The book was highlighted in this piece about maximizing potential in the workplace.
11/28/22, The Innovation Show with Aidan McCullen: Friederike Fabritius was interviewed about her book.
1/17/23, The Innovation Show with Aidan McCullen: Friederike Fabritius was interviewed again about the book and what it takes for people to flourish in the workplace.
1/17/23, HR Magazine: This was featured as one of the best new book releases.