- Jun 25 • 4 weeks ago
NetRefer’s Healthy Eating Fueling Productivity
The first things that comes to mind when thinking of ‘healthy eating’ are weight control and perhaps, long-term personal health. The truth is there’s a lot more to a wholesome diet than just that. What we eat and drink hugely impacts our mood, energy levels, ability to focus and attention span. All of these determine our productivity output, something pivotal for our work. This is the mindset behind the healthier direction our Free Lunches at NetRefer has been taking.
The way our brain functions is a reflection of what goes into our bloodstream from what we eat. Most kinds of food produce glucose – blood sugar – the fuel that drives the brain to perform and stay alert and focused. Different kinds of food release different amounts of glucose over a set time. The ideal state is one in which your glucose is leveled off, producing a steady flow of energy. This allows you to accomplish tasks over a long period of time and stay more focused. According to a study by ILO (International Labour Organization), the right kind of nutrition can boost your productivity levels by roughly 20%.
With this in mind, NetRefer, being a forward-thinking company, is always on the lookout for ways to introduce healthy culinary habits as an integral aspect into the company culture. Let’s all agree for a moment that prevention is better than cure. On this note, spreading healthy eating habits at work is surely preferred to lack of productivity in the short-term, and in the long-term, absenteeism and steeper health insurance premiums due to chronic illness related to unhealthy lifestyles. Understanding the interconnectivity of things makes us just that little wiser; we see how everything fits in the bigger picture.
NetRefer takes an inside-out approach to successful performance, meaning that it relies heavily on its own internal elements. This is why we always strive to introduce new practices and aspects to our company culture in ways that further nurture us, as individuals and as team members – and healthy eating is one of our cornerstone practices. And the brain behind the planning and implementation of our healthy eating habits is undoubtedly Emma Zammit – NetRefer’s Facilities Manager.
I sat down with Emma to pick her brain about her healthy eating philosophy and background. Emma, a multiple sports enthusiast since a very tender age, has always taken her sport du jour to a competitive level. In her mid-teens, she gravitated towards football. What followed was a semi-pro career made up of several club endorsements including a stint in the national Maltese team. Her passion for sport piqued her curiosity to research ways for improving overall physical performance. So now, when she’s not on the football pitch, she’s usually at a CrossFit gym sharpening her tools.
For Emma, sports and fitness is one side of the coin, the flipside of which is healthy eating. Hailing from a family of long-time vegans, Emma actively researches and liaises with pro nutritionists. Then, whenever it’s time to test things out, she’s her own lab rat, so to speak. And the results show. Apart from the fact that she’s evidently very lean and always brimming with energy here at NetRefer, she confesses that in her football club, she’s the oldest. And yet, her and her peers who’ve adopted similar diets always score the highest, both on performative tests and medical ones.
Emma’s effort to spread a healthy eating culture at NetRefer is ongoing. She states that change should be introduced very gradually, it should not be forced, it should be backed up by reliable research, and it should start with people’s perception. Luckily, however, she’s behind social events organisation at NetRefer. So, this gives her leverage.
Thanks to her, Free Lunch Thursdays and Fridays have been seeing an increase in healthy options – both for actual dishes and eateries preparing our meals. She’s also responsible for other incentives like the fresh fruit bowl sitting on the front desk. She admits she has several more ideas lined up, but some of them take time, effort, and negotiating to implement. For instance, she’s planning CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) events. She also wishes to find ways to endorse experts in the field to give talks and share their knowledge.
We closed off our chat by getting some advice from Emma for those who want to adopt a healthy eating lifestyle but might be hitting roadblocks, such as having a busy lifestyle. Her first piece of advice is “food prepping”- structuring things and planning ahead; being disciplined. She also recommends a soft transition and not trying to go ‘cold turkey’ overnight. You need to find a balance that works for yourself. Give it time and believe in what you’re doing, but always make sure you stay informed with reliable sources. Then, once you start seeing the benefits, you’ll enjoy it and carry on.
It’s thanks to Emma that we’ve seen an interest in healthy and clean eating growing here at NetRefer. She’s sown the seeds and the rest just happens by word of mouth. And since awareness is spreading, we’ve discovered some uncharted territory in terms of recipes and healthy eateries. Who knows what’s next? Perhaps, a NetRefer CrossFit team!
In recent times, we’ve been seeing an increase in awareness towards the importance of work-life balance. According to Facts, issue no. 94, published by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, the phrase Workplace Health Promotion (WHP) implies a collective effort by employers, employees and society.
- Jun 25
A company can only function effectively in a global market if it mirrors this by diversifying its own community. Everything from leadership approach to weaving the company culture must have this premise at its core. It must be integrated so seamlessly that it becomes the norm. As a seasoned company always branching out further into new markets and regions, this mindset has been pivotal to NetRefer.
- Jun 25