Bridging the UK productivity gap - with choc ices.
Byline: GRAEME WHITFIELD
A SPLENDID former colleague of mine used to go out on warm days, come back with various boxes of choc ices and offer them to everyone in the newsroom with the words: "Milk or plain?, Milk or plain?".
The particular genius of this endeavour is that choc ices are (a) not that expensive and (b) brilliant. It's almost impossible to eat a choc ice and not feel better afterwards.
I will confess that I pinched my ex-colleague's choc ice trick after he retired and it never ceases to transform the mood of the office.
There are no empirical measurements to properly determine this, but I bet we all worked a little harder after a bit of chocolate-encased ice cream.
The government's productivity plan makes no mention of choc ices, which should be a matter of great shame for all involved.
Is it any wonder the UK's GDP is so low when employers are not informed of the great benefits of the occasional frozen treat? I dare say "milk or plain" will be spreading throughout offices around the North East once people have read this column, and I have been working on some similar schemes to lift the mood of the region during our daily slog.
1. No More Motivation Mondays (NMMM): The last thing anyone needs as we haul ourselves back in after a weekend on the tiles is someone posting "motivational" messages on social media that are about as motivational as a bucket of sick.
All such messages will be banned and people instead allowed to ease their way back into work with a hot drink and a nice biscuit.
2. The half-five high five: At 5.30pm each day (or 5.30am for those on night shifts), everyone still in the office when they should have gone home gives the person at the next desk a high five to lift their spirits.
3. Al desco al fresco: An adult version of "Miss, it's sunny out, can we have lessons on the field?", al desco al fresco sees entire offices moved out into the street so we can catch those rare sunny days in full.
Bosses of the North East: make your staff happier.
Graeme Whitfield is business editor of The Journal