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Better breakfasts: why you should start a virtual workplace breakfast club

How can you help your team reap the benefits from the ‘most important meal of the day’?

While many of us acknowledge the health benefits of a balanced breakfast, the working day isn’t always conducive to your employees getting one. Many busy professionals don’t allow themselves enough time to have breakfast before getting to work.

An workplace breakfast club could be the ideal solution to help you to encourage employees to fit the most important meal of the day into their daily work routine – but how do you go about setting one up? Learn more, including what the benefits could be to your employees.

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How to set up a virtual workplace breakfast club?

Many of us are working from home en-masse for the first time ever. This doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t start your own workplace breakfast club.

You can use the video conference software (Microsoft Teams, Skype, Zoom), that you use for meetings, to host your breakfast club. Send an email round to gauge interest. Consider how often you want to do this and, if you’re a bigger business, how many people could attend – it might be simpler to keep it between teams to avoid an unpleasantly busy video call. Then send round an invite to those who are interested. It should be emphasised that people can pop into the club as and when their availability allows, to prevent it from feeling like a formal meeting.

While it’s not a formal meeting, there are things you can plan to discuss – for example:

• You could ask attendees to watch a film or read an interesting article ahead of the breakfast club as a topic for discussion

• Everyone on the call could talk about something they’ve watched, read or listened to recently and recommend it to the group

• Is there an awareness day coming up? Use that as inspiration

• Colleagues could prepare a brief presentation on something they find interesting – a great way for the team to get to know each other better and learn something new

• It’s also a great opportunity to check in with people and how they are feeling

Working from home has is perks – not having to commute means your team may have more time to make breakfast. Carving out this time for yourself, that would have otherwise been spent in traffic, is a form of self-care. The mental health charity Mind found that regular self-care is a great way to maintain or improve your mental wellbeing.

For anyone in your team who’s missing interaction with colleagues, a breakfast club is ideal. However, a more introverted person might prefer listening into the conversations while they put their to-do list together. These are both great outcomes for these colleagues, helping them to get their days off to a relaxed, positive start. If you trial a breakfast club, you could examine its effectiveness by polling your team before and after setting one up to see if their mood and productivity have improved.

What are the health benefits of breakfast for your employees?

A balanced breakfast can help your employees in many ways. Studies have suggested that it can help you to:

• Improve your concentration in the morning

• Replenish your blood sugar lost during sleep

• Avoid snacking before lunch

• Get in some vitamins and nutrients from healthy foods like dairy, grains, and fruits

Breakfast delivers the energy you need for a day at work, providing essentials and helping to improve long-term health. It’s also a common misconception that if you don’t eat breakfast you’ll lose weight, but the opposite is true. Breakfast can help to kick-start your metabolism and improve memory and concentration ready for an extra productive day.

The benefits of an workplace breakfast club for your business

Taking stock

Rushing in the morning means your team may start the day off frazzled, but by sitting down in your work area fifteen minutes early, you can take stock and prepare for the day.

Review daily tasks

As you sit and eat breakfast, you can also review tasks and make a list of what you need to do that day and the rest of the week. By having down time, without being bombarded by questions or emails as soon as you walk into the workplace, you may be able to organise your day much better.

Get the team together

Having breakfast as a team is a great way to bond. Forbes described team building as one of the most important investments a business can make. If your workplace is working remotely, you might find your team are missing out on the more social or emotional aspects of work that promote positive inter-team relationships.

Organising your own virtual breakfast club provides your team with a great opportunity to catch up, share ideas, successes and good practice as well as support each other. Your business’ next big idea might even be born in one of these chats!

Best brain food breakfasts to start the day

Experts recommend a mix of carbs and protein, with fruit and veg for a truly balanced breakfast. If your team are stuck in a breakfast rut, share the breakfast ideas below with them for some inspiration.

Porridge provides warmth and slow-burning energy to last you right up until lunch. Try traditional oats or mix it up by experimenting with quinoa grains or chia seeds and almond milk. You can then top with anything you fancy – fruit, honey or cacao nibs are perfect, healthy additions.

Eggs make for an ideal breakfast option as they’re packed with healthy proteins. Combine with avocado, spinach and sourdough for a truly delicious brekkie. Or if you fancy something simpler, cereal with milk and a piece of fruit is another great option – remember, your breakfast doesn’t have to be Instagram approved to be tasty and nutritious.

Can’t face a big breakfast in the morning? These smoothie recipes will give you all the nutrients you need – great if you’re an early riser or someone who likes to exercise in the mornings.

Benenden Health has produced a coronavirus hub, with more tips and information about how to stay healthy as a business and individuals during the COVID-19 outbreak. It also outlines any changes or enhancements to our services in response to the global pandemic.

Visit the COVID-19 hub for more information.

Find out how Benenden Healthcare for Business could support your employees

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