Is it knitting at work or working while knitting? 🧶

I am lucky that I work with people who recognise that if I’m knitting it doesn’t mean I’m not working.

When I have to think about a piece of work I’m putting together, and I need that moment of peace to gather my thoughts I pick up my knitting and the next minute the keyboard is rattling away. I also knit in meetings, i feel it helps me to concentrate.

Researchers theorise that doodling helps the brain remain active compared to the strain of paying single-minded continuous attention.

So, if the knitting is an easy project then taking the research and swapping the word doodling to knitting is really not a stretch. Don’t you think?

Author: Cup of Tea and a Yarn

Kia ora, I'm Gill. A crocheter, knitter, spinner and more recently a weaver and I live in the Bay of Plenty in the North Island of New Zealand. I love to use New Zealand yarns and fibre from our talented indy dyers

7 thoughts on “Is it knitting at work or working while knitting? 🧶”

  1. This doesn’t work for me at all. If I’m doing two things then I’m not paying full attention to either. I have never worked in a job where it would be acceptable to pick up my hobby whilst being paid to carry out tasks for my employer. I also think there’s a general assumption that knitting is somehow a special case. I doubt whether anyone would be happy if a colleague pulled out a set of tools and started to hand-carve an item out of wood in the office or the meeting room. And if I were to open up my journal and start to write an entry and decorate it with stickers and washi tape I doubt if I could legitimately claim I was working, even if pursing my hobby was reducing my stress levels and potentially having a beneficial effect on my paid work when I returned to it. The one job where I think it is valid to have your knitting on hand is if you work in a yarn shop.

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    1. I find it a really interesting topic. If our hobbies reduce our stress levels and in the end make us more productive, wouldn’t it be a nicer place to live/work if that could be normalised?
      Even if not in meetings, what If every hour you had the opportunity to journal or carve for 5 mins, imagine how more engaged a person might be. Whilst it might feel you were being paid to play, if things like absenteeism and turnover was reduced it would end up saving the employer in the end.

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      1. I’m much more comfortable working when I’m at work and pursuing my hobbies at home. If there was such a ‘break’ every hour, we’d just end up having to work yet another half-hour longer each day which doesn’t benefit anyone.

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  2. I will knit at work but generally only during conference calls where I am not an active participant, and I only started doing it when we were working from home and no one could see me. I personally wouldn’t bring it to an in person meeting, mostly because I care what people think about me probably more than I should and while I know I’m still listening, others don’t.

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    1. Perhaps you could set yourself the aim to participate more actively in the meetings you attend. For example, just find one topic on the agenda that you could ask a question about or offer a comment on. That would be much more exciting for you and for the people running the meeting.
      I must admit that most of the meetings I’ve attended in my life I’ve been taking the minutes for so I’ve had to give them my full attention and I’ve had a very active role to play. However, even if I’m not minuting a meeting, I still take a pad of paper and a pen and jot down notes as I go along. It helps with retention of the information being given.

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      1. Certainly every person/role/meeting is different. But for me I’ve found that sometimes having something to do with my hands makes me MORE engaged than I would be otherwise. Case in point – I was in an hour long meeting yesterday afternoon, and I saw 4 emails pop up from people on the call, who were clearly multi tasking during the meeting. I on the other hand was keeping my hands busy, leaving me to focus on the screenshare and the people talking, and I was able to engage in the conversation. It was more of a working session where I didn’t necessarily need to actively take notes or remember everything that was said. Different things work for different people.

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