Get Rid of Fear
Let me first say that I am no expert on employee management, engagement or motivation. I am an expert on walking, I make money walking, and I espouse the benefits of walking as often as I can. I also use walking as my way to stay mentally and physically healthy. I cannot imagine my life without its daily walk.
Yet, when I came across a situation recently where supervisors expressed concern about letting their employees walk during their lunch hour, I couldn’t keep quiet. They had fear the employees wouldn’t return on time and their productivity would reduce due to the distraction. Despite a company-sponsored walking initiative, they felt that giving employees time to walk would not affect unproductive employees nor would it benefit the departmental missions.
Research Proves Walking’s Creativity
These supervisors are flat wrong. Let’s look at the research of walking.
- Even a short 20-minute walk will reduce brain sluggishness and improve creativity.
- Regardless of the pace of the walk, everyone will feel more positive and enthusiastic.
- Healthier employees make more productive employees.
Or, Have a Walking Meeting
These are just three articles of thousands that promote walking as the way to increase productivity, happiness, and morale within offices. Aristotle, Freud, Jobs, Truman, Dickens and even Richard Bronson share that walking meetings promote better conclusions, more creative thinking, and improve the bottom line. So, if supervisors are a bit leery of letting employees out of their sight for a lunch-time walk, they should hold a walking meeting instead. Either way, research clearly shows that unproductive workers become more productive after walking.
Many folks work through lunch as a chance to get ahead, and bosses not only will encourage this behavior, but they will also lead by example. Instead, I advocate that if people walk doing lunch hour, bosses should view the walking time as work time as well. Why not? If evidence shows that walking increases imagination, why wouldn’t you want to pay your employees for this time where they are improving their engagement and benefiting the company? Better yet, managers should get out and walk during lunch to lead by example. Besides, fresh air and open minds are better than eating lunch at a desk. Right?