We’re all for the lastest gadgets to help employees get their work done faster, but this may be pushing the work-life envelope a bit too far.
I heard about a new product coming out that’s supposed to solve that pesky problem of juggling chopsticks, a soup spoon and your iPhone all at the same time that you’re trying eat a bowl of ramen noodles. The Anti-loneliness Ramen Bowl (the name already makes me feel a little sad) makes it possible for you to check your email, read your books, check in with social networks and presumably FaceTime with someone without actually taking a lunch break.
But if your employees feel compelled to check email while risking choking on noodles at lunch, then maybe you need to evaluate the demands your organization makes on employees. Families and Work Institute’s research shows that organizations that are effective and flexible are likely to see all kinds of positive outcomes, such as higher job satisfaction, higher engagement, and lower turnover. And, it’s probably a good guess, fewer incidences of choking during conference calls*.
If your organization is more likely to offer employees the flexibility they need to manage their work and personal lives, and maybe even take a real lunch break, then you should be applying for the Alfred P. Sloan Awards for Excellence in Workplace Effectiveness and Flexibility.
Because honestly, I don’t think clients and coworkers will want to do video conferences with your employees while they’re slurping up noodles that up-close-and-personal.
Not to mention the potential for company equipment being damaged by a steaming hot bowl of soup. Indeed, a while back, the Institute experienced the perils of eating lunch at your desk firsthand.
* Not a theory tested by Families and Work Institute, or supported by our findings.
(This post first appeared on FamiliesandWork.org, a workplace think tank studying, supporting and shaping changing workplaces, families and communities. Kelly Sakai is the program manager for Families and Work Institute.)