How to Wind a Little Wellbeing Into Your Workplace

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So, you’ve had an idea to introduce wellbeing into your workplace. You might be a manager, a wellbeing ‘champion’ or simply someone who would like to see a change in your office. It doesn’t matter why you’re reading… just know we are here to help. It can be hard to introduce a new idea. It can be equally as hard to try and reintroduce an idea that has been brought up before and has died a death. So, the first thing you’re going to need to pack in your wellbeing backpack is a big deep breath and a little bit of courage. The next thing you need to pack is the willingness to think simple and to think different. There is a reason for this! Sometimes we can get so carried away with a new idea that we throw everything into it without getting the basics right…annnnnd to get the basics right, sometimes a little bit of thinking outside the box is required.

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The OutdoorCureOnline Guide to Winding Wellbeing into the Workplace
1) Create a ‘community’ noticeboard – share recipes, anecdotes, successes and even requests to loan an item! This creates a sense of belonging which has a huge positive impact on your wellbeing.
2) Get involved in a volunteering project together as a team and work together as a team to achieve what you set out to do for the chosen cause or charity.
3) Put a ‘quote of the day’ up – these often make people smile or inspire and motivate them. Take it in turns to choose your favourites!
4) If you can, offer a day’s flexible working and leave it up to the individual employee where they work from.
5) Encourage the team to put a creative area together and inject some personality in to it. Leave it up to them what it is used for… social area, break times or an alternative work area.
6) Depending on the preference of your team, create a book or DVD exchange/library area.
7) The most simple one of all… say a genuine ‘thank you’ to your colleagues/team so they feel seen, appreciated and valued. Trust us, it will do wonders!
Implement some of our suggestions this week and check in with how your team are feeling.
The OutdoorCureOnline Team x

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work” (Thomas Edison) The OutdoorCureOnline Guide to Introducing Resilience in the Workplace.

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The term ‘resilience’ is one which we are starting to hear quite a lot in connection with the workplace. So, what is resilience? And furthermore, why is it important? Resiliency is our ability to adapt and bounce back when things do not go quite as we planned. If we take it a step further, it is also the ability not to drown in a negative experience or situation, but rather to acknowledge it, learn from it and then move forward. All in all, resilience sounds like a particularly cool attribute to have, not just in the workplace, but in life itself. Resilience helps us to cope with stress in a positive way, but it also has many associated health benefits: it’s associated with longevity of life; it brings a greater satisfaction with life because resilient people feel more in control and positive; and it lowers rates of depression. Sounds great right? Well let’s look at how we can build resilience in ourselves with one of our handy hints guides!

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The OutdoorCureOnline Guide to Building Resilience in the Workplace:
1) Get the whole company on board. When managers support and lead an initiative, employees are more confident and active in an approach. Make sure the benefits are visible to everyone – it is not just bouncing back from challenges, it is a competency that enables us to lead a fulfilling, safe and happier life.
2) Give yourself and those around you time to build resilience. It is not just a one-off workshop or piece of training. Resilience grows when people are encouraged to practice the skills and continue to grow.
3) Encourage walk and talk meetings – this encourages a more open and deeper style of communication.
4) Send out weekly tips in a fun guide. Often people are so busy at work that they do not have the time or resources to read complex or lengthy blocks of information outside their day to day work.
5) Encourage staff to share ideas or learning around resilience with their family and friends so that it is embedded in all areas of life.
6) Create enthusiasm for resilience – invite speakers to share their stories and examples of resilience in action.
7) Make sure you revisit the concept of resilience time and time again. Often when a new idea is brought into a workplace it is short lived and within a few months all the enthusiasm for it has gone.
We hope you have some ideas here to get you started. Don’t forget to share your best practices with us!
The OutdoorCureOnline Team x

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repeat: Flexing your eco-muscles in the workplace

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We hear about climate change frequently at the moment and there are plenty of changes we can make to our daily life to reduce our carbon footprint and impact we are having on the world. However, it is much harder to make these changes at work. Sometimes the shortcuts we take at work – to save time or to make a process easier are not the most eco-conscious choices we could make. There are other pressures such as budget restraints, getting your team mates on board and thinking differently about existing processes. If you are looking to make some small changes at work – we have put together a handy guide to get you started.

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The OutdoorCureOnline Guide to Creating a Climate Change Wave at Work:
1) Turn everything off on leaving your place of work. Electronics, lighting and heating. To get everyone on board – you could get people to contribute to a ‘green jar’ if they forget (think of it like an alternative ‘swear jar’) !!!
2) Go paperless. Can it be done digitally? Reduce the paper use in your office and you will save money as well as the environment. If you have to print something, make sure you precycle (create a scrap paper notebook for telephone messages) and recycle.
3) Go green on your desk and bring a plant in. This is not just a way to make your desk space look prettier. Plants produce more oxygen which can help to offset any chemicals released by office furniture.
4) Ditch the air con as often as you can. It is often impossible to set the thermostat at a temperature that pleases everybody anyway. So ask your colleagues to think differently – could they open a window or put a jumper on?
5) Have commuting conversations with your team mates – could your car share (saving on petrol and parking costs too), walk or use an alternative method of transport?
6) Replace disposable kitchen utensils – plastic cups, straws or plates with a sustainable alternative. This is a really simple change to implement and it is amazing how many plastic cups are used in one day.
7) Set monthly ‘green challenges’ for your work colleagues. These can be really fun ways to get important conversations happening, share information and get your team working together to achieve something.
We hope you found something in our guide to get you started! Good luck and let us know how you get on.
The OutdoorCureOnline Team x

 

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much” (Helen Keller): The Power of Positive Work Relationships.

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Building meaningful and positive relationships at work has a massive impact on your wellbeing. Human beings are naturally social creatures – we crave friendships and connection with others as much as we crave other basics such as food and water. Work can provide us with a sense of community and belonging, as well as social interaction. We spend such a large part of our lives at work that it makes sense that getting on with our colleagues makes work a better place to be. It also increases job satisfaction, productivity and without sounding dramatic – the quality of our life. It is also important for teamwork. So how do we go about build these meaningful and positive relationships?

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The OutdoorCureOnline Guide to Building and Seeing the Wonder of Work Relationships
1) Take responsibility to develop your people skills by identifying any areas you can work on – for example could you improve your communication skills or how you deal with conflict or change. Being self-aware can help you to create good people skills.
2) Be positive. Positivity is contagious and will help you to strengthen your relationships with colleagues. No-one wants to be around someone who is negative all the time, it has a very draining effect on energy levels.
3) Don’t be tempted to gossip! Soooooo tempting but responsible for creating so many tensions and negative relationships at work. Gossiping causes animosity and mistrust.
4) Appreciate and welcome diversity. We are all individuals and having different perspectives and insights is a massive positive when tackling a problem or in a creative environment. It also makes for an inclusive and happier place to work.
5) Practice active listening when you are talking to your colleagues. People respond and bond more with those who truly listen and hear what they have to say.
6) Set and manage boundaries so that work relationships don’t impact on your workload, relationships with others or life outside work.
7) Identify your own relationship needs. This sounds bizarre but actually understanding these needs can be instrumental in building relationships. Do you know what you need from others? And do you know what they need from you? Asking yourself these questions will raise your awareness and understanding.
Do you have any other tips on building meaningful and positive relationships at work?
If so, drop us a comment below.
The OutdoorCureOnline Team x

The OutdoorCureOnline ‘Self Care Survival Guide While Working’

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At OutdoorCureOnline we really do go on and on about self-care (you may have noticed 😊) We have written a few blogs about it and have a rather brilliant online course about it too. One thing we frequently hear from our clients is that while they manage to maintain a self-care plan or routine on days off, it is often hard to find time within the working day. So, today’s blog is dedicated to simple things that you can do to boost your energy and feel good factor while at work. Yes – even on a MONDAY! It is key not have the same expectations that you would have when you are not at work or you will get sucked into a vortex of pressure and feel as you are failing. The key to weaving self-care into your working day is to think simply and differently. Experiment and find out what works for you. To get you started we have put together a few ideas:

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The OutdoorCureOnline Guide to Simple Self Care Solutions in the Workplace:
1) Create a beautiful and tidy workspace. Yes, it’s obvious but this really makes a difference to your working day. Keep your desk clean, have plants on the side and if stationery is your thing, there is no reason not to enjoy the pens, notepads and sticky notes that you use while at work. Loving your workspace will ensure you are productive, organised and feel joy in your workspace.
2) Take the long route – exercise is a great part of self-care but it can be hard to find the time in your working day. So, take the long route to the printer, use the stairs instead of the lift, park further away and get moving. Monitor your step count in the office and notice how much more energised you feel when you move more.
3) Explore the local area on your breaks. If you work in a city, hunt out a new coffee shop or even a gallery if you have time. If you work in a green space, keep a change of shoes at work and get exploring the outdoors.
4) Make yourself a motivational playlist that is upbeat and inspiring. These are the tunes that you can put on when you need to be productive, creative or are in need of a boost.
5) Don’t forget the simple things – food and drink. Make yourself some healthy snacks the night before so you don’t reach for the sweet stuff and remember to monitor your water intake. Staying nourished and hydrated are essential to your wellbeing.
6) If you find something you look forward to – be it coffee in your favourite mug or a quick chat with your favourite colleague – make a note of it and keep it in your daily rituals. If it lights you up and you look forward to it – go for it!
7) If you enjoy getting stuck into challenges, set yourself a new goal or challenge each week. It could be work related or just personal to you. Taking the initiative to do this will make you feel great by focusing on improving and working towards goals.
What self-care will you plan in to your working week? Let us know what works for you!
The OutdoorCureOnline Team x

“Be the Change That You Wish to See in the World” (Gandhi): Take Your Wellbeing Approach to Work.

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We all have our own individual skills, experience and strengths. Our life experiences, learning, hobbies and values shape these. When we are in the workplace we often focus on our ‘workplace’ skills and share very little of what we do outside work. It can often be a shock to find that Susan from Marketing has a passion for white water rafting, or that Kate writes poetry in her spare time. While many of us have got to embrace a more ‘professional’ side to us while at work, it can do lots for our wellbeing at work to stay true to who we are.

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The OutdoorCureOnline Guide to the Benefits of Being More You at Work
1) Being you is your superpower. No-one else is you, so if you are authentic, your unique qualities and strengths will shine through.
2) Being aware of your values and who you are will boost your confidence. This self belief will shine through at work.
3) Staying true to yourself will ensure that the career choices you make are in line with your core values. This will make for longer term satisfaction at work.
4) When you are open and honest at work it encourages others to be so too, this allows for a more tolerant and inclusive place to work, increasing employee wellbeing.
5) You will have different conversations with colleagues and may find shared or similar interests, this will increase a sense of belonging and connection in the office as truer relationships are built.
6) Authenticity inspires loyalty and engagement. When you are being more you at work your passion and self confidence will inspire others to follow your lead. Authenticity improves your leadership skills.
7) You can build a more social and interactive environment. If we embrace each other’s unique skills and strengths, we can tap into those and use them in a positive way that helps to build a great team. You could arrange and event, share information and celebrate each other’s successes in and out of the workplace.
Are you true to yourself in the workplace? Let us know in the comments.
The OutdoorCureOnline Team x

Hello Wellbeing, Goodbye Stress: The OutdoorCureOnline Guide to Boosting Wellbeing.

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Increasing and maintaining wellbeing helps build resilience to stressful situations. How can we make wellbeing a focus when we are caught up on the daily hamster wheel of stress at work? In times of stress we often feel overwhelmed and trapped with very little time to do anything else. In fact, the thought of making time for wellbeing might seem like one more thing to add to a very long to-do list. Even if you can not remove the source of stress from your life, one of the best ways to minimise the harmful impact of stress on your body and mind is to take charge of your personal wellbeing. We have put together some simple steps that you can put in place into your working day to help!

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The OutdoorCureOnline Guide to Giving Your Wellbeing a Boost:
1) Remember to eat: Changes in blood sugar levels are linked to mood and energy. If you are not taking the time to eat properly you will feel tired, irritable and have poor concentration.
2) Watch your alcohol intake: it is easy to fall into unhelpful behavioural patterns in times of stress. Remember that alcohol can cause depressive feelings and heighten anxiety which will in turn add to your stress load.
3) Distraction can be helpful: it’s not always a cop out, if you are feeling stuck with a task or problem, switch off from it completely and do something else. When you return to it, it will feel more manageable and you will feel refreshed.
4) Ask for help: know when you need to ask for help. When you are stressed or low in mood it is easy to think negatively about yourself and be less able or likely to seek support. Take the time to talk to people you trust or a professional to help lighten your load.
5) Learn to take time out: relaxation and doing very little is something we as a society are not very good at, but giving your mind and body a rest will improve your wellbeing, increase your resilience to stress and boost your energy levels.
6) Stay connected with the things you enjoy: if you are feeling stressed, you can often loose touch with activities that give you pleasure, taking the time to do them keeps you connected with the positive aspects of life.
7) Self help: Use online resources or books that offer information, advice and guidance. We have our very own online wellbeing course here at OutdoorCureOnline that all our staff have completed. Contact us on info@outdoorcure.com for more information!
Let’s make this a wellbeing week!
The OutdoorCureOnline Team x

Take Your Office Outside: The OutdoorCureOnline Guide to Getting Outdoors at Work

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Today’s working environment – in particular office-based spaces – mean that we spend less time than ever outdoors in our working day. However, natural light and fresh air can boost the immune system and support employee’s wellbeing as it helps us to sleep better and feel less stressed. In turn, this means fewer sick days and staff who are physically and emotionally happier and healthier. Even a short walk outside has the benefits of lowering blood pressure, boosting energy and improving mood. So how can we, as employers or employees get more outside time into our working day? We have put together our list of 7 ways to spend more time outside in our working day. Why not experiment with what works for you… make sure you take the time to check in with how you feel before and afterwards!

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The OutdoorCureOnline Guide to Getting Outside in Your Working Day:

  • Make the outdoors your office. If you have the flexibility of where you work why not take your office outside. This could be your garden or a local park and it really doesn’t require much forward planning – especially in the summer months. It could even be a coffee shop with a patio! You may find there are less distraction than in your usual working environment, with the added benefits of relaxation and vitamin D.
  • If you really can’t work outside – don’t forget the obvious – use your lunch break to eat outdoors weather permitting or have a short walk round in the colder months. You will return to work for the afternoon feeling refreshed and with more energy!
  • Our favourite – instead of sitting down round a table for your meeting, why not get up and outside and have a walking meeting. Great for getting oxygenated blood round your body and improving creativity and problem solving.
  • Make part of your commute outdoors time – get off the bus a stop earlier, park a little further away and make walking a part of your journey. You will arrive at the office refreshed and ready to start the day and will be less likely to take work home with you.
  • Take every opportunity you can – if you have a business call to make – is it possible to walk and talk?
  • If it is absolutely impossible to get outdoors in your working day – our last two tips are for you… don’t forget to bring nature inside. Have plants on your desk and around the office. The green really does help… aaaaaaaand……
  • Try and let as much natural light and fresh air in as possible. Can you have the window open instead of the air conditioning on? Can you move the office space round to take advantage of the natural light coming in through the windows?

Make this week the week that you start to get more outside time in your working day and let us know how you feel!

The OutdoorCureOnline Team x

 

 

 

 

‘The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go’ (Dr Seuss) The OutdoorCureOnline Guide to Loving Learning.

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At OutdoorCureOnline we are very curious of the world around us and are always keen to learn a new skill. As children we are constantly learning and have a fascination with the world we live in. As adults, if we don’t make the effort, this stops. We can take the world we live in for granted, or may be too busy with our day to day lives to learn a new skill. There are many, many benefits of staying curious and continuing to learn throughout our lifetime. This learning could take place at work or at home. It can take place inside or outdoors, and it could be about a variety of different subjects. If you are employed – learning and development in the workplace, or at home, gives you a great sense of achievement and satisfaction. It can increase confidence and wellbeing. If you are an employer, encouraging and supporting learning and development, both inside and outside the workplace can increase your staff’s wellbeing. Have a look at the list below and get promoting it!

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The OutdoorCureOnline Guide to Loving Learning and Devouring Development:
1) Learning a new skill helps you to learn things faster over time. Learning stimulates neurons in the brain, creating more neural pathways. Electrical impulses travel faster across these pathways as you attempt to process new information. The more pathways that are formed… the faster the impulses can travel.
2) Learning fuels creativity. Learning a new skill, or something new about a certain subject, can trigger ideas about another subject or area. Learning and creativity are the best of friends!
3) Learning something new increases your wellbeing by building confidence and a sense of self-efficacy.
4) When you learn something new, your mind and perceptions change. This, in turn, makes it easier to adapt more smoothly to the inevitable changes that life brings. The more varied your life experience, the more quickly you can adapt to change.
5) Learning can lead to social connections – either on the course you are taking, or it can lead to some interesting conversation with those around you. Social connections act to increase our wellbeing!
6) Learning a new skill combats boredom because your interest level is kept high. Instead of doing the same things over and over in a monotonous pattern, we learn something entirely different which breaks that cycle.
7) Learning brings opportunity – to develop and grow as an employee and also as an individual. This could lead to a new friendship, a promotion or an entirely different career.
Learning is so often overlooked – but remember to keep your curiosity alive and enjoy a lifetime of learning.
The OutdoorCureOnline Team x

Wellbeing: How to Find the Forgotten Wonder of the Workplace. An OutdoorCureOnline Guide for Employers.

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Despite the many positives of encouraging wellbeing in the workplace, a compassionate and positive environment can be very difficult to develop and sustain. Studies have shown numerous benefits in focusing on the wellbeing of staff and it has become a primary focus of many companies. If you develop and support a positive, compassionate and resilient workforce, you will start to see the benefits very quickly – staff retention is easier, staff absence is reduced and productivity – whatever your business – with increase. Wellbeing is very clearly a winning way to work! Believe it or not, even with the many advantages that a focus on wellbeing has to offer, it can be met with some resistance at first. OutdoorCureOnline are specialists in vocational support and rehabilitation so have handy guide below to help you to start the process.

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The OutdoorCureOnline Guide to the Wonder of Workplace Wellbeing:
1) Give your staff the tools to nurture their own sense of wellbeing. If you already have training packages that you can offer, make sure they are give the time for learning. If not, have a look around at our site and contact us about our ‘Kind Mind’ Workplace wellbeing course.
2) Think outside the box – can your meeting be taken outside? You might be met with some eye rolls at first but it has been proven that we are at our most creative and focused when we are moving around and outside.
3) Focus on personal development. Create an environment where staff want to learn and develop. They will be more invested in themselves and their work if they can see movement and progression in their own learning. This learning could be work related or could be something they want to do outside work. Encourage those conversations to take place.
4) Let staff set their own goals and strategies. If you build a more self-aware workforce, this one has many benefits – staff will feel more fulfilled and motivated. Our coaching packages can help with this. Make sure you review how this is going.
5) Let more natural light into your office. This one might seem frivolous but studies have shown it pays off, increasing wellbeing, happiness and even job performance. Remove large objects that are by windows, look at office layout – can you get more seating by a window?
6) Promote an environment that encourages friendships in the workplace. This will help create a sense of community, team and belonging. These are massive factors in improving wellbeing on a personal level.
7) Give authentic and real recognition and praise. So often the focus is on targets, workload and doing things ‘better’ that we forget to give recognition for a job well done. This helps staff feel valued and increases motivation.
Start some conversations in your workplace today! Flex your wellbeing muscles and let us know how you get on.
The OutdoorCureOnline Team x