Are eating and drinking habits affecting productivity in your workplace?
A workplace study by money-saving brand, Vouchercloud.com has found that snacking, heating food, and making a brew, wastes 32 minutes of the average UK employee’s eight-hour working day. This in turn affects productivity in your workplace!
The study, which polled 1,989 UK office workers aged over 18, found that the average worker is productive for less than half of their eight-hour working day. The results show that only 2 hours and 53 minutes is spent on work. The survey information can be found here: https://www.vouchercloud.com/blog/office-worker-productivity
However, most people will still work through their lunch and eat at their desk, thinking that this will make them more productive. More often than not, this isn’t the case!
Fresh air, clear mind
Whilst employees may step away from their desk to make themselves a drink or heat up their lunch, most will still eat lunch at their desk. People need to take a break in order to re-charge their batteries. It’s often underestimated how powerful some fresh air and a 5-minute break can be for clearing a person’s mind and refocussing their attention. So, instead of walking to the kitchen to make that pot noodle, maybe pop out for a noodle soup?
Professor Kimberly Elsbach of the University of California, said in a 2015 NPR article: “We know that creativity and innovation happen when people change their environment, and especially when they expose themselves to a natural environment.”
She added: “Staying inside, in the same location, is really damaging to creative thinking.”
Chris Johnson of vouchercloud, agrees. He said in the article: “Taking a break once in a while is okay. Many high profile business leaders recommend taking regular breaks in order to make you more productive.
As well as the time lost in consuming these snacks and drinks, the type of food and drink consumed can also have a big part to play in peoples’ productivity. Having the right nutrition when at work can improve efficiency and alertness. As the age old saying goes, you are what you eat.
An Unbalanced diet literally makes you unbalanced
Many people cut out vital components and nutrients in their diet, such as carbohydrates, believing it’s pasta, potatoes or rice that’s making them lethargic. It seems however, that it’s the opposite. According to NHS England, starchy foods should make up over a third of a person’s every meal. Potatoes with the skins on are a great source of fibre and vitamins, as are wholegrain or wholemeal varieties of starchy foods, such as brown rice, wholewheat pasta and brown, wholemeal or higher fibre white bread. As well as being a great source of energy, carbohydrates also help to keep you fuller for longer, resulting in less snacking.
Good fats are also a must! A common myth is that eating fat makes you gain weight. It’s important to include unsaturated fats, such as oils and spreads, which are good for brain health.
It seems that encouraging employees to re-think their diet, as well as their working habits could help to increase productivity in your workplace. You could also aid them by giving them the tools to work more flexibly.
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