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There was a fascinating piece in the Yorkshire Post Life and Style section today regarding eating at your desk. This particular piece referenced breakfast (deskfast), known to be the most important meal of the day, but I think the message within the piece stands true to all meals.

We are one of the worst offices for eating at our desk. A lot of the time we are too busy to go out for a lunch break and so sit and munch while reading emails or creating strategies – good habit – no, not all, in fact really, really bad.

I don’t mind admitting that since adopting a desk-to -eat policy I have put on more than a stone. It’s not necessarily what I eat but the fact that I no longer go for a stroll at lunchtime. I am in that awful collective of people who think that if you leave your desk you are also losing time and time is money.

I know that people think that if you spend a short time away from your desk during the day you will be more productive but I’m not convinced that this is actually true. Also as sad as it sounds to leave my desk would mean leaving my clients and what happens if someone needs something urgently?

Ok, so that’s a bit sad but I do enjoy my job and although we are based in the most beautiful parklands at Nostell Priory Estate Yard we don’t get out and about much. May be this should be something we rectify and try to put into practice over the next few months.

There are going to be a number of changes at Open Comms and we have already decided that this is a time for us to sit down and decide how we want to address some things moving forward. May be ‘deskfast’ and lunch at our desks should be added to the list?

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What you said

  • Richard Holgate says:

    Hi Lindsey,

    Mine is usually a Van-Fast, not the best of things to do when your driving but I don’t like to loose time. I know all the places to stop up and down the country where can grab a bacon butty with out loosing time.

    Best regard

    Richard

    PS I didn’t eat any of the sweets I brought back from London for you on Monday, honest.

  • Lindsey says:

    Ha, ha thanks Richard. I really am terrible when it comes to eating at my desk. Thankfully now the weather has changed I wouldn’t want to go for a walk anyway.

  • Michelle McArthur-Morgan says:

    I used to be a member of the deskfast club and very often ate lunch and evening dinner at my desk. Working regular 14 hour days, six and seven days a week, I told myself that I needed to do it to be able to keep my finger on the pulse of the business. I was convinced that because, like Lindsey, I love the work I do, working long hours was not affecting my performance.
    Then I read some research about the affects on “constantly being switched on” and not letting the brain have rest periods. That was the moment I decided to take stock and start to be more respectful of my brain and find ways of working with the flow of my brain rather than against it.
    Now I begin my day with 20 minutes of meditation, followed by some gentle tai chi style movements. Throughout the day, I take regular short three minute relaxation breaks and at the end of the day, I spend a further 20 minutes meditating.
    The benefits, I now have a much clearer mind, able to make better decisions, get through much more work and in times of great pressure, I remain calm and much more resilient and able to bounce back. The best way of describing it was like fog lifting, only thing was I was not aware that I was working in a thick fog in the first place.
    There are now many articles published on a daily basis evidencing the benefits of being Mindful, but there are still many myths surrounding what it is or is not. It is true to say that it is not for everyone, but for those who are courageous enough to give it a go, there are great benefits to gain.
    A good place to start is by stopping eating at our desks, and even if you only step away for 15 minutes, it does have a positive effect. I have one client who has a problem with stress related absenteeism, and one of the actions they have taken is to make eating lunch at your desk a disciplinary offence. Not sure this is the way to go, but the reasoning behind it not a bad thing.