Stand Up! Be healthy AND more productive!

Stand Up! Be healthy AND more productive!

23rd of April, 2021

One year on from the start of the pandemic lockdowns, how have you adapted to the new ways of living and working?  To all who have been touched by Covid-19, and especially those that have lost their lives to this terrible virus, my heart goes to you all.  For the rest of us though, there are some noticeable opportunities to make the most of the change that has been forced upon us.

How can we adapt and make the most of the useful change that has happened recently?

One of the major changes has been the reduction in meeting in-person.  We migrated rapidly to on-line video call platforms such as Zoom and Teams.  This enabled more meetings without leaving the house, repurposing the time we make available for ‘business’ activities.  This reduced the time spent travelling to meetings and commuting to the office.  We saved money spent on fuel, and reduced pollution.  You need a strong reason to fly to New York for a meeting now compared to hosting the meeting online!  The reduction in traffic and travel has had other benefits: more birds and wildlife seen in urban settings for example.

This repurposing of available time has had other effects.  Many of us are having more meetings now, not less.  With a couple of clicks, we can move to our next meeting.  When we are busy, we schedule meetings sequentially – no need to travel in between.  This increase in available time could lead to more productivity.  However, while we have increased our capacity, we may have reduced our capability if our energy levels drop through the day.

One of my friends proposed the answer to this – over ten years ago for me.  James Lawther is the man behind the very popular Squawkpoint blog -  He has used stand up desks for years and advocates them.  As we progressed through lockdown, I have learned from him and others, and adapted my workspace to make the most of my increased capacity to help people through coaching and training from home.

Here is the very short list of changes I have made:

  • I have a workspace where I can choose to stand or sit, depending on the occasion. 
  • I installed a green screen curtain so I can offer professional backgrounds to suit my meeting or event. 
  • I invested in a studio quality microphone and boom arm so that my voice is broadcast as if I was in the room with you. 
  • I adapted my monitors and keyboard so that they can simply rise to a standing position when I feel the need.

Standing boosts your energy levels and raises your concentration.  This has helped me in many ways:

  • Standing makes perfect sense when presenting.  As someone who delivers speeches and training courses to rooms full of people, I am very used to standing to present.  I can do this now from home, and make the most of the rectangular box afforded to me on my audience’s screens. 
  • I hold all my client coaching meetings standing up now.  I have more energy, and the meetings are usually shorter and more focused. 

I don’t stand all the time (and the recommendation is you should only stand for short periods when you make this change).  When I need to work on some writing or creative work, I sit down again and my desktop lowers simply to where it needs to be. 

My productivity has improved, as has my posture.  My meetings from home are shorter and more engaging.  My speeches and training workshops are engaging and well received.

Whatever change you notice, whether small or significant, always think about how you can make the most of it.  And if someone else has an idea that works, copy it – and give them credit.

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