Spending time in nature is a powerful way to boost your employees' wellbeing, and has a dramatic effect on creative thinking and team cohesion, by Liz Naven
In the past few years, workplace wellbeing has become a staple 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 employee wellbeing a priority.
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 with properly-designed wellbeing programs 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 could you be overlooking the most effective activity for 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 is to prioritise the wellbeing of your employees and improve workplace productivity, getting them to spend time in nature as part of their working life can be a vital piece of the process.
Using fire and whittling to support a campfire conversation during a horizon scanning event for the Academy of Medical Science. A shiver runs down my spine when a cancer research fellow brings up the issue of being integrated humans and the need to be more connected with nature, and the effect of environmental factors on health, such as todays news of microplastics in bottles of water.
Find out more about our away days and programmes for teams and organisations here.
Talking about the future of Alzheimers and cancer research casts long shadows. The start of horizon scanning with the Academy of Medical Science.
Nigel Berman is the founder of School of the Wild.