Why we need more Offternoons
I’m obsessed with getting people out of the office during the working day. Because I know that it’s those short doses of inspiration that make a huge difference to our well being and creativity. And let’s face it, give us a feelgood factor too.
But I know it’s easier said than done, our brains - and perhaps our boss’s brains - are still wired for an old model of work. We might feel guilty escaping our desks on a weekday afternoon. But that’s got to change as organisations move away from presenteeism and acknowledge the value of getting their people out of the office.
On Tuesday morning I went to see the Jeff Wall exhibition at the White Cube gallery (above left). It was eye opening. Not just the art, also the chance to go to a part of town I don’t know too well. Taking a mid morning break to visit a gallery gave my day a boost.
After my Tuesday morning gallery visit I was pleased to open up Instagram this morning and find two other lovely examples. Francesca took a Wednesday ‘offternoon’ to the Tate to see an exhibition (above centre). She explained that the offternoon was a Kin&Co initiative based on research that a midweek break increases productivity and motivation. Kin & Co's CEO Rosie Warin explains,
“There are many types of alternative shorter weeks - the six hour day, the four day week - but from the data, the psychology and our own practical trial, we strongly believe that the Wednesday Off-ternoon is not only the most beneficial for employees, but also the most practical and accessible option for businesses today.”
Love that. Across the Atlantic I saw that Tina had started her Wednesday with a real mini adventure (above right). She and a friend had taken the subway at 6am to Coney Island with the goal of dipping their feet in the ocean. She was back at her desk at 9am, sandy feet and all.
Which brings me back to my own Wednesday afternoon. After a lunch hour on my local beach, a swim with friends and a baguette on the sand, I was back at my desk at 2.30 for a client call, complete with salty legs.
Whatever gets you energised: a lunchtime swim, a gallery visit or a walk in the park, let’s make these trips out of the office available to all and not just the preserve for freelancers and those running their own businesses. Because you can guarantee people will return to their desks and to-do lists with a spring in their step.