It’s official – spending time outside & connecting well with people is good for you!

Recent research by University of East Anglia and reported in Science Daily has found that; “Living close to nature and spending time outside has significant and wide-ranging health benefits …exposure to greenspace reduces the risk of type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, premature death, preterm birth, stress, and high blood pressure.’’  The report included urban green space in their definition of nature.
We all instinctively know this, but often still stay chained to our desks all day without taking a break. Taking a break and getting a ‘green fix’ could reduce stress at work and increase engagement.
We’ve quoted before that workforce engagement is low the world over.  Recent global research by the ADP Research Institute reveals just 16% “fully engaged”– leaving a staggering 84% of employees “just coming to work’’. The research is quoted in an HBR article ‘The Power of Hidden Teams’ by Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall, it goes on to show that engagement, and productivity increases significantly when employees are part of good teams.
“Fully engaged increased from 8% to 17% to those who worked as a team.  ….According to the ADPRI study, most work — in every industry, in every region of the world, and at every level in an organization — is actually teamwork; 83% of workers say they do most of their work in teams. The quality of this team experience is the quality of your work experience…. it depends on whether your team leader and your teammates show up every day, talk to you, lean in to you, and support you. Your experience of your team drives many things: how productive you are at work; how happy you are at work; how creative, innovative, and resilient you are; and how long you choose to stay with your company. In other words, when it comes to your work, great teams and teamwork aren’t a nice-to-have; they’re a must-have.’’
In The New Science of Building Great Teams by Alex “Sandy” Pentland, his research with MIT in US Call Centres found that:
“…The best predictors of productivity were a team’s energy and engagement outside formal meetings. Together those two factors explained one-third of the variations in dollar productivity among groups…’’
All workplaces may be organised into individual departments or teams, but are in reality, one big team; people liaising with and relying on each other for the company as a whole to work effectively, all working for a common goal.
The call centre research into teams highlights the importance of our interactions with each other outside of the normal area of work. Creating opportunities for employees to interact away from the workplace creates a powerful connection that ultimately builds engagement.
Which takes us back to the positive benefits of being outside!
We are very lucky when teams visit us at our Discovery Centre, as we get to see this powerful change and connection taking place. We take teams outside into beautiful woodland (whatever the weather!) and we instantly see;  shoulders dropping, formality gone, focus on phones absent, hierarchy reduced or imperceptible, fun, enjoyment, energy and laughter increase.
Devoting a whole day, or even more, to team building away from the office, in a beautiful space, is an amazing way to connect and build high performing teams, however there are lots of other ways that you can bring these benefits to your company and teams everyday…..

Here are some top tips

  • Our experience of each other forms our experience at work – aim to have a positive impact on others.
  • Drop formality or any work persona to create a more relaxed environment.
  • Encourage breaks away from desks and the office during the day, especially at lunchtime, even if just for a short period.  A quick team lunch break walk anyone?
  • Create time and space for teams to connect and talk, joint coffee breaks, lunch break – create a weekly habit of sharing space together.
  • Treat your fellow teammates and workers as you would your friends outside of work.


Talk to us today to book your High Performing team day.
If you are outside of the UK let us take you to amazing spaces and places with our approach to High Performing Teams.
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