Workspace Slimming The Entrepreneur’s Waistline?

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Entrepreneurs make up some of the most motivated and inspirational people around! With high levels of energy and explosive passion, entrepreneurs are making their dreams their reality and continually innovating.  But long hours, limited social interactions while working from home, and quick, unhealthy snacks, can result in a less than ideal/healthy lifestyle. Bootstrapping entrepreneur often find it difficult to balance work, body and mind. But, at WorkBar, we may have found the secret entrepreneur's formula for aligning health resolutions with professional goals... and at the end of the day, it’s really all about taking real, tangible actions to actual live a balanced life. A few month’s ago while eating lunch at WorkBar, I had an interesting conversation with Allen, a member who had taken an 8 month break from his WorkBar membership and had just joined back up.  I was commenting on how, now that he’s back, he can finally frequent his favorite local lunch truck again - the Clover Food Truck!  We got to talking about food and the small but important lifestyle changes that resulted from Allen’s transition from WorkBar to working from home and suddenly made a very shocking discovery! Allen has been using a Wi-Fi body scale from withings to keep track of his weight for quite a while ... Can you guess what the LOWEST point on his weight graph in the last year and a half was?

March 31st, 2011, the lowest point on the graph, was Allen’s lowest weight and represents his last day as a WorkBar member before returning to his work from home lifestyle. Incredible!  Almost immediately after returning to his home office, Allen’s weight SKYROCKETED!

After getting Allen’s take on why he thought coming into WorkBar helped him take the weight off--and after doing some research online--I noticed that there were numerous reports of the home and traditional office as workplace weight gains .. which puts Workbar, a shared office space, right in the middle - the sweet spot!

Our secret *lowfat* sauce lies in our non traditional approach!  For people who have the flexibility to be mobile -- thinking about WHERE you work is worth doing.

1. Don’t let the alarm clock RULE your morning!

TRADITIONAL OFFICE: “Your day likely starts with more of a reluctant roll out of bed after pressing snooze for the last possible time. You grab a coffee and bagel as you dash out the door. Obviously, you know this isn’t the best breakfast; but at lunch you’ll have more time to eat properly.”

BREAKING OUT: Ever notice how different you feel waking up early because you have to compared to when you choose to?  When you choose to go into the office, you see the value in it.  Coworking offices, filled with driven, high-energy professionals who choose, every day, to take advantage of the space and community available to them.  Anyone can make the choice to go into the office, no matter what kind of space it is - Create the type of morning routine you want to wake up to, whether it includes a 2 egg breakfast, morning workout, or cup of coffee with the NYTimes.  If you value your time, your space, and your choices, it’s much easier to value your lunch, your body and make healthier choices overall.

2. Work according to your own productivity clock

TRADITIONAL WORK FROM HOME: “Keep regular hours. Even though you have no commute, make sure your work day has a beginning and ending time. It'll reduce stress, allow for time to prepare healthy meals (instead of ordering takeout), and give you time to rest, which all help to prevent weight gain.”

BREAKING OUT: Hours of productivity vary from one person to another and, while some like to get into the office first thing in the morning, others find themselves doing their best work between 12PM and 8PM.  Work according to your own productivity clock - listen to your body and figure out when your best working hours are.  Work a strict 9-5? More and more companies are adapting progressive policies including the ability to work remotely and set your own schedule and work hours.  When you do work, however,  do it in a WORKplace. A physical barrier between work and home is key.  People that work from home often throw off their life/work balance as work time melts into personal time and vice versa... this can have a toll not only on your body but on your relationships with friends and family.  You’re also able to ‘stay regular’ without constant access to the fridge, snack cabinets and the chips you left out on the coffee table the night before.

3. MOOOOOOVE Baby!

TRADITIONAL WORK FROM HOME: Now that you don’t have that extra flight of stairs, or that walk from the parking lot to your office, try to add in some new exercise to keep your body in good shape.

BREAKING OUT: This was Allen’s biggest challenge when he decided to go back to working from home!  His commute was gone, without a food truck he only had a couple feet to walk to the kitchen … and during the winter months, it’s tough to find a good enough reason to venture out.  Finding a workplace outside of your home (even half the time) naturally gets your muscles moving, your blood flowing … it may not be much, but over time, it adds up!  Walking to the train, from the parking lot, out to lunch .. getting out of the house or office for impromptu errands... groceries, pharmacy, post office... more movement, more fresh air, see where this is going?

Could be a coincidence, but we can see  a clear pattern here … looking for a quick waistline fix? We can't give you that - whether you’re in a traditional office, working form home, or working from the road. Step back and notice your patterns, they define how and how often your body moves and what kinds of foods are available to you.  Whatever your situation, you can ALWAYS an opportunity to change your pattern and boost the parts of your routine that arent doing you or your body any favors!

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” ~Albert Einstein

Have you noticed any specific work patterns or lifestyle changes, big or small, that have effected your waistline? We’d love to hear about them! Email info@workbarboston, tweet us at @workbar or leave a note on our Facebook page!

About the Author: Evona Niewiadomska is the Events and Digital Media Manager at Workbar.  As of January 2013 she is an independent Digital Media & Design Creative with a specialty for infographic design and social media strategy.  Check out her website, evonawiktoria.com or contact her via email evona.wiktoria@gmail.com or twitter @evonawiktoria.