Lunch breaks can be a sedate affair – last night’s risotto prodded at the desk, overpriced Berwick Street salads while filling out time sheets. But in recent weeks at bandstand, we’ve mixed things up with a boxing class.
Cue switching out pitch decks for punch bags and heading over to Marshall Street Leisure Centre for an hour of jabbing and hooking and swinging kettle bells while an instructor MCs at us – threatening burpees if we don’t shout numbers back.
Yes, we leave vacuum-packed in sweaty gym gear. Yes, certain copywriters struggle with even the most basic jab-cross-hook combos while certain directors make up routines altogether.
But it’s become something of a ritual. Obviously, it’s great shedding the extra calories from the motherload of holiday treats shipped into the office from various Mediterranean destinations. But it’s also had another effect. As a team, it’s let us drop tools for an hour, stop looking at our screens and sweat and laugh and collapse together.
It’s also had an unexpected effect on our work once we’re back in the studio. Something about the extra shot of adrenaline or our pulses still slamming in our necks can help to unlock work problems. Copy or design or strategy decks that seemed tricky at midday can feel that little more elastic after an hour in the ring (by ring, I mean swankily-furnished gym in central Soho).
Something about the focus on an intense physical task shifts something mentally, allowing us to reframe sticky points in our workflow – which is why we’ve adopted a boxing membership as an ongoing perk at bandstand.
Don’t panic – Fi’s not gonna be chucking out rear uppercuts in the next pitch, nor James surprising clients with a lead hook (for one thing, his co-ordination simply isn’t there yet) – but we like to think our lunchtime sessions are sharpening our work just a little.