Spending time in nature with your team is a powerful way to boost your workplace culture and employee wellbeing, and has a dramatic effect on creative thinking and team cohesion, says Liz Naven
In the past few years, culture change and workplace wellbeing have become staples of the modern office. Prompted by research demonstrating the inextricable link between employee happiness and productivity, organisations are placing serious attention on initiatives to improve employees’ experience at work, inspired by forward-thinking companies such as Google and Zappos.
Although your company may not have a budget as large as these tech giants, chances are you're looking to replicate the same positive company culture with practical alternatives that make work a positive experience for all, with a consequent impact on your bottom line.
Leadership and team development programmes, combined with flexible working hours, on-site massage and fitness classes, and duvet days are just some of the perks you might already be offering in a bid to increase employee happiness, engagement, and productivity.
The results are usually worth the effort: organisations who get culture right, combined with properly-designed wellness programmes enjoy large financial returns, amongst other competitive advantages. For example, according to research from Harvard Business Review, Johnson & Johnson's wellness programs cumulatively saved the company $250 million on health care costs, with a return of $2.71 for every $2 spent, between 2002 to 2008.
Yet are you overlooking the most effective activity to transform culture and wellbeing? To create a positive workforce full of high-performing employees, you may just need to send your team outdoors.
Being outdoors in nature has a dramatic range of benefits, for both physical and mental health. Time spent outdoors boosts mood and energy, improves attention and encourages connection and community.
If your business aims to put culture first, wants to prioritise the wellbeing of your employees, and improve workplace productivity, getting your teams to spend time in nature as part of their working life can be a vital piece of the process.
Here’s 6 reasons why taking your team outdoors is good for business:
Here's a short video from the foraging session we did in Brighton, in March this year, with Mike the Forager.
Been given the task of arranging a team away day and wondering where to start?
Our outdoor team away days in the wild are the perfect way to bring people together.
An away day outdoors in nature has lots of benefits - including dramatic impacts on creative and innovative thinking, and decision making. Plus time in nature is a great leveller and breaks down personal barriers, making it much easier to connect with each other.
We cater for groups of various sizes from 6 to 50 people, in the Brighton and Sussex countryside, and in London. We'll help you arrange your team away day with ideas that suit your specific needs.
From a foraging walkshop to a creative campfire, we listen to what you want, share ideas and put our planning expertise into practice. You get an away day tailored to achieve your desired outcome.
There are plenty of options to explore, from facilitated conversations to bonding exercises. We have covered spaces in case of bad weather and all our team away days are designed with one purpose in mind - to keep your team effective and energised.
So leave everything to us, you can just relax and enjoy the experience.
Business leaders, mentors and entrepreneurs getting to know each other better around the fire at a Creative Campfire. Nature helps to breakdown personal barriers and makes it easier to connect.
Watch this time lapse video to see how Rosie makes fire without matches, using all natural materials, with a little helping hand from me.
Click here to find out more about our whittling and mindfulness classes.
Author & Curator
Nigel Berman is the founder of School of the Wild.