For most of us, social life is something that happens after work. But there’s a new trend afoot — socializing before work. And the pre-office party may even enhance workplace productivity.
What started out as an experiment in New York City has now spread to other cities across the country like San Francisco and Atlanta, as well as across the world, to London, Tokyo, Rio de Janerio, Cape Town and Bombay.
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It’s a new way of partying, exercising, and networking all rolled into one.
Daybreaker is among a group of new companies that put together a fun, energy-filled morning routine for people interested in socializing before office hours. Daybreaker describes its experience as “a cornucopia of sweet beats, live performances, costumed characters, and of course a warm welcome from a family of friends.”
They cater to worker bees interested in mindfulness meditation, yoga and dancing.
One of those buzzing bees is Christine Baird. The 28-year-old vegan and social media maven recently moved from Dallas to Los Angeles for a new job in marketing. She was looking to make new friends and thought she’s give Daybreaker a try.
Her first time, she arrived at the docks at 6 in the morning. She boarded the boat with a large group — about 300 or 400 people — many of them in zany costumes. The boat took off, and the DJ began playing upbeat dance music.
“Everybody was smiling and happy,” Baird told LifeZette.
“The main difference between Daybreaker and your average dance club was that nobody was there go get drunk or hook up. They were just there to start their day on a positive note and move their bodies,” she said, “We had an awesome time just dancing sober.”
Unlike after-office parties, nobody goes to go get drunk or hook up.
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And that was just the lower deck, where the dancing took place. On the upper deck, people gathered to meditate. Tribal body artists were hired to paint colorful designs on your arms and hands.
“The paint isn’t easy to get off,” Baird said, but “it reminds you all day long of the great start you had to your day.”
Baird said there’s a definite difference between her mornings with Daybreaker and her regular workouts at the gym.
“You’re with a bunch of other people, and it’s a really fun, expressive, and creative thing,” she said.
There’s none of that pressure to look good in front of other people who might be working out next to you.
Daybreaker, which started in 2013, and Morning Gloryville are just a few of the companies helping people socialize and get a positive, energetic start to the day.
But there may be more to it than just the fun. Many of the activities incorporated into the pre-office hour party are actually good for the brain. Exercise, for example, has been shown to improve workplace productivity. A study from Leeds Metropolitan and Bristol University found that employees improved their productivity by 15 percent when they took time to work out. The type and duration of the exercise didn’t matter as much as just taking the time to move.
Moreover, the mindfulness bent of the Daybreaker program may help workers manage stress. Richard Mendius, a neurologist in San Francisco, told LifeZette that “a common finding in studies of people who meditate regularly is that their sympathetic nervous system does not react as intensely to stress.” In everyday terms, it means that meditation “helps people feel calmer, more peaceful, and happier.”
Rick Hanson, a psychologist at University of California, Berkeley, agreed. Of meditation, he told LifeZette: “It is to the brain what aerobic exercise is to the heart.”
So if you’re looking for a better start for a long workday, the secret could be flipping your day — socialize before work. A morning party could give you all the energy of positive social interaction, without the vices of a more traditional nightlife.
And it could mean your next promotion at work.