Can working from home harm your health?

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In recent days there have been many discussions aboutsweets that he takes employees In their offices, after a virulent intervention by Professor Susan Jebb, head of the Food Standards Agency (the department responsible for the protection General health compared to food in England, Wales and Northern Ireland).

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Professor Gibb apparently spoke on a personal basis, lest he think his comments were institutional in nature. She worried that it would be impossible for workers to resist regular meals in the office and that their impact would therefore exacerbate the problem. Obesity In Great Britain. I went so far as to make a comparison with smoking Negative, at least in terms of whether the choices of one individual (the candy bearer) would negatively affect the health of others (individuals unable to resist it). But Mr. Seamus Kipling (the Irish baker after whom Mr. Kipling’s confectionery brand is named) would have rolled in his grave if he hadn’t been promoted by a shrewd marketing manager.

Professor Gibb’s call to stop offering these delicious temptations on an ongoing basis has divided opinion on the matter. Those who agree note that our apparent inability to keep our hands off the shared cookie tin has more to do with etiquette than our gluttony. In any case, if someone brings a cream-covered cake to celebrate their birthday, no one can refuse to eat a small piece or maybe three. In this context, we have a collective responsibility to ensure the health of our society and our country.

On the other hand, Jebb’s comments are considered by critics to be too governmental and intrusive in the lives and protection of individuals. Since everyone should take responsibility for their own actions, dessert eaters can’t just blame those who placed this sponge cake before their insatiable eyes for their ailments. Either way, sharing sweet treats in the office can help cement relationships between co-workers that are definitely better than trading gossip with each other.

Added to this is the growing crunch Cost of life For some junior employees, that means a slice of chocolate-covered Colin the Caterpillar cake remains their best meal of the day, especially if they’re lucky enough to get the last piece. Giving free food to Gen Zers who spend all their income on rent and Netflix is ​​the least respectable baby boomers can do. .

All of the above is fine, of course, and as someone who struggles to resist all kinds of sweets, I get the professor’s point. But on the other hand, I also find myself prone to picking up leftover curling gum sandwiches from my encounter with someone else: there shouldn’t be any food waste. Nobody ever wants that.

However, a key element was omitted from the discussion. In the era of hybrid work that has prevailed in the post-pandemic period, how does the brigade of those who “They work from home“Work from Home (WFH)? Depending on their perspective, they might feel sad to miss the semi-stale pancakes Sharon, the accountant, brought for her 40th birthday. Or perhaps, in return, they could feeling relieved that they didn’t have to eat the leftover Christmas cookies left by Brian. The foreman therefore considers himself healthier than ever.

But by the way, what is in their cupboards and refrigerators? Last May, long-forgotten Prime Minister Boris Johnson tried to encourage people to return to the office, pointing out that it was all too easy to get distracted by eating cheese and sipping coffee at home. Boris, who also reflected Professor Gibb’s concerns, seemed anxious at the challenge of resisting the delicacy, although it was unclear whether espresso and stilton cheese were an alternative to the former prime minister’s dessert , or just a last meal during a long break from work. .

I can’t deny the fact that on days when I work from home, I’m likely to snack as often as if I saw a box of cookies in front of me at the office. I’ll start with a chocolate chip cookie at 10:30 a.m. with coffee, and maybe some fruit and nuts after lunch. And it’s unlikely that I won’t be able to eat more ready meals by the end of the day. The only difference is that no one but myself will be to blame for getting me such sweet foods.

After all, most of us have many occasions to eat, drink or consume unhealthy foods throughout our lives, both in and out of the workplace. These sweet treats are brought to us by family members, friends and business colleagues, or advertisers and marketers, to name a few. Even if we heed Professor Gibb’s advice and ditch the candy dishes in our offices, I suspect most of us would find alternatives to sugar consumption elsewhere.

So when it comes to eating sweets at work, let them bring. And let us have the opportunity to eat a piece or a pie in the fridge, to compensate for our habit of working from home.


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