Eating your way to a more efficient workday
What if we are all just super sophisticated computers that only run at half capacity because our OS is faulty?
There was a recent movie where a very successful NASCAR driver tells us that his body is a very expensive computer and the food he puts into it should be viewed as the OS for this computer. When he deviates from his all-natural diet and drinks the sponsor’s energy drink he throws the whole system out of whack and promptly crashes his race car into a wall.
We all know that a healthier diet brings about a slew of benefits, from better health to better looking bodies, but what if it could actually improve your day as whole? How can we get the upgrade?
A poor diet, heavy in starches, sugars and preservatives brings about:
- decreased mental effectiveness
- lower energy levels
- reduced ability to think clearly
- decreased ability to perform your job effectively
- higher levels of stress and depression
- decreased productivity
Studies have shown that people with unhealthy diets were 66% more likely to experience productivity losses. Couple this with a lack of daily exercise and this skyrockets to 96%. Even something as basic as failing eat fruits and vegetables at work, will result in a 93% likelihood to be less productive. Therefore, a healthy diet should help you improve all of the above symptoms and unlock your true working potential.
But how can you implement this in your daily routine? And should you be solely responsible for this? Many people, myself included resort to the same dietary habits because we don’t have the necessary time to plan ahead a well-balanced lunch, or, quite frankly, because they taste better than the healthy options. But once you decide to give this thing a chance you will soon find that healthy does not have to equate less tasty. There are plenty of food options that not only taste great but are also good for you. All you have to do is make an effort to actually procure them.
And here is where smart employers should seize the opportunity and swoop in to save the day. Besides promoting a better company culture and eco-friendlier corporate image, this move will actually translate into cold hard cash saved by something as trivial as Fruit Friday. For every dollar spent on ensuring their employees health a company will save $3.27 in medical costs. While this might not always apply to countries with socialized medical systems, it will still keep down the costs of private insurances some companies offer, and it will increase an organization’s overall turnover by simply having people perform more and better for the same pay.
I would like to share with you the anecdotal evidence of this phenomenon which I witnessed when working for a prestigious ad agency. Creative types are stereotyped as being flaky, unreliable and hard to understand the concept of punctuality. Like most stereotypes, there is a grain of truth to this and a very exasperated traffic coordinator, who could never rely on anybody coming to work on time had a brilliant idea. On the busiest days of the week, have the company bring in free healthy breakfasts for everybody, ranging from free-range omelettes to in-season fruits and other healthy snacks. This was an instant success. Not only did everybody work more efficiently, with more energy, but people started showing up on time and in some cases even earlier (because you didn’t want to get stuck with the apples, since everybody else got to the grapes first).
You could even go one step further and use a room reservation app to set company wide events that will provide your workers with a healthy option for that mid-day hunger attack. Or you can take advantage of a meeting room booking software and pair it with training sessions (sponsored by the company) teaching people how to achieve basic cooking skills. This will let them choose their own time intervals while at the same time promoting cohesion and overall skill improvement. You can even give people access to a certified dietician, to allow them to get customized recommendations in order to boost their stamina and concentration.
Regardless of what you do, one thing is for sure, people who eat better work better and enjoy life better. And who wouldn’t want that?