I like to cook.
This, by no means, is me saying I’m a good cook (my meals all seem to stem from a select group of ingredients) but a guy enjoys getting creative. I like to cook so I take the opportunity to do so.
Cooking (lets be direct, making sandwiches) is something that helps me disconnect from everything else around me, get creative in my thought process and complete a process that ultimately brings me satisfaction from the first slice of the knife to the final bite. It makes lunchtime something to look forward to every day and recharges me afterwards to focus on whatever task might be in front of me for the afternoon.
My employer does not frown on my sometimes ridiculous amount of prep-time/mess-making/smell creation but rather supports it whole-heartedly. We have something here at We Are Mammoth called “The Lunchtime Challenge™” where employees post photos of their lunch for the review, approval and drool of others.
Initially this was started as a competition because I am insanely competitive and want to make everything something I can win, but I quickly realized the talent I was up against was pretty fierce and thankfully everyone just enjoyed posting pics and appreciating everyone else’s creations.
So the big question here is how in the hell does this apply to work, We Are Mammoth, or any of the other common denominators that have lead you to read this post? Truth is I have no idea…I just wanted to be narcissistic and post photos of my beautiful creations to a larger audience than simply our company…
OR maybe the link would be the fact that what we are doing with our Lunchtime Challenge™ is completely separate from all work. The people here recognize that endeavors 100% unrelated to application development or digital consulting do provide value. There are so many benefits in letting human beings be something other than their job role: increased productivity later on in the day, an improved general attitude, forming bonds through friendly competition and mutual appreciation or just by bringing together a staff that might not see each other all that much.
We Are Mammoth is based out of Chicago but we are very much a nationwide staff with employees living in Chicago, Texas, Arkansas, Florida and California. Jennifer Sisson, a front-end developer based out of San Francisco, notes that the lunchtime challenge:
“is a nice way to bring a thing that would usually just happen live and in person in the kitchen to the whole team online.” -Jennifer Sisson
Our jobs should not be viewed as anything but an extension of ourselves. We all do the things we do (like show up for work approximately 40 hours a week) in an effort to make the best situation for ourselves and our families. Don’t lose sight of that while you’re at work, focus on creating a nurturing and comforting environment. Management types, don’t dwell on the idea of “unproductive time” but focus rather on the benefits happy human beings provide.
Let’s all take some little steps to make work that work/life balance a little less weighted.