On A Mission To Spice Up Lunchtime At Offices: LunchPause

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Lunchtime at the office often looks like this: having a quick bite and then going straight back to your desk - if you even left it. Founder of LunchPause, Johanna von Oldershausen, explains why it's important to use these breaks to increase productivity & health:

Describe yourself in 50 words or less.

I am the founder of LunchPause, a mother-to-be and a proactive and curious person, who enjoys new challenges and surroundings. Four years ago I moved from Germany to Sweden with my husband  and relocated to Amsterdam last year, where we live now.

How did you get involved with the entrepreneurial scene?

After working in the creative industry as a Stage and Costume Designer for theatre and movie productions in Germany, I discovered the startup scene when I moved to Stockholm. I have been working for two different tech startups and enjoyed the fast-paced, open and experimental working environment. Our new start in Amsterdam seemed the perfect opportunity for me to make my dream come true and start my own business.

While researching and writing my business plan, I discovered that I was pregnant. Suddenly, I had two babies, the small beeing growing inside me and the challenge to build up a company in a foreign country from scratch. But this situation actually was the trigger to launch my business even quicker, with more confidence and initiative. Kind of like, now or never. The pregnancy was a kickstarter for me to become a female entrepeneur!

On A Mission To Spice Up Lunchtime At Offices: LunchPauseWhat are you currently working on?

I founded LunchPause this spring with the mission to spice up lunchtime at offices in and around Amsterdam. I organize concerts and cultural team-workshops for companies in order to turn midday into a happiness and creativity booster. I bring local artists, such as musicians, actors or performers to offices who provide uplifting team-workshops or relaxing concerts.

Currently I am working on building up my network in the Netherlands and spreading the word about my company.

How did you discover the need for your current project?

Sitting in an office myself, I experienced the situation many of us know: We take a pause during lunch, but usually smartphones keep us still occupied. Sometimes we even eat in front of the screen. So, we don’t really stop during our hectic workday and have a healthy downtime where we feed our brain and soul as well. Furthermore, we often experience fatigue and a productivity loss in the afternoon.

After profound research, I discovered that it can have an impact on our brain activity, well-being and performance how we spend our lunchtime. Our brain is not a machine, but a living, rapidly renewing organ. With the right downtime and inspiration, it can grow and we can increase our creativity and productivtiy. That is how my idea of LunchPause was born: To create mental breaks and new experiences for companies and their employees with long term effects on people‘s well-being, productivity and even team-feeling.

What keeps you motivated for LunchPause? What drives you?

I always wanted to create experiences and new inspirations for others. I am passionate about the idea to bring music, art and cultural activities to uncommon places and different people. I simply want to make people happy and I am driven by the possibility to work with and for people.

7 years from now: Where do you see yourself?

Firstly, I really hope that I made a little impact in how people use their lunchbreak and that midday will be acknowledged as an important time to get new inspirations. In addition, it is my dream that LunchPause helped many people to explore hidden talents and interests like singing, rhythm, live music or improvisation.

Secondly, I aim to have extended my business to the whole Netherlands and more countries as well.

What trend would you bet your money on? And how will it influence everyday life?

Mental workplace wellness programs in order to reduce the stress level, because mental health is just as important as physical health. I agree with the quote „offline is the new luxury“ and I think employers will recognize more and more that offline activities, meditation and even daydreaming are important to rejuvenate and recharge the brain.

I feel that people are sometimes trying to slow down and practice awareness and focus in our world which is fast-moving, packed with information and requests to be always on-demand. Especially during working days, many are looking for a quality of life and healthy work-life balance.

Do you have a “hero”? If so, who and why?

Not one hero, but all the female entrepeneurs, who are also mothers. I have read so many encouraging articles and inspiring interviews with female entprenepeurs who master the challenge of having a business and a family at the same time. Their stories boost my enthusiasm and confidence that I will be able to make it as well.

What advice would you give first time entrepreneurs?

Stay flexible and be open for feedback in order to shape your concept, service or product. Furthermore, I learned to be patient: Some weeks you feel nothing is happening, but one day all your effort will be paid back. Don’t give up!



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