Corporate Management objectives must first and foremost be formulated in human terms-the terms to do with quality of life. Some of the key elements of this concept are human health and wellbeing, personal development and self -realisation. People are an organisation’s most valuable resource – so their welfare should be a priority. The rapid boom and push in science and technology and a mobile digital age has, to a great extent, been at the expense of human welfare and has bought with it an era of stress and anxiety.
Stress was once dubbed the disease of the eighties, but in a mobile digital age moving forward to the 21 first century it is common practice for employees to take their “office” to lunch, even on vacation or whilst an inpatient. Social media in a digital age has also become a dangerous obsession in that it retards employees from being fully present, being self -aware, socially interactive and effective communicators, both within the workplace setting and outside. This can lead to social isolation.
The impact of stressors can be physiological, sociological and psychological. Whether it is pleasant or unpleasant; cold, heat, rage, drugs, excitement, pain, mobile technology or just “the job”, all bring the stress mechanisms of the body into play. Stress only becomes a medical problem when it is prolonged and not relieved by an immediate response or action. It has been widely documented by medical practitioners that work-induced stress is a major cause of coronary heart disease, ulcers, migraines, muscular tension and mental or emotional imbalance.
Stress at work is not only harmful to an individual’s personal and family life, but also represents a substantial financial cost to the employing organisation and the community including direct medical costs, time lost through absenteeism, reduced efficiency, lower productivity, accidents and premature retirement. This money could well be spent on the services of a Corporate Psychologist, Social Worker, Chaplain or a well executed Corporate Retreat.
A well-executed Corporate Retreat is a means of bringing the “office” to a change of scenery without the digital network. It doesn’t have to be an expensive undertaking and can involve going somewhere local to an eco setting which showcases beauty and tranquillity and blocks out the noise of “business as usual”; even if for two days. To go “dark” and to use pen and paper is tactile, more thought provoking and stimulates creativity. In a digital age, digital detoxing, reconnecting and rebooting are essential to employee wellbeing and productivity. View the retreat as time to share the value of bringing personal and business vitality to life and consider how this can be integrated seamlessly back at the office. If executed well, efficiently and with purpose, Corporate Retreats are a powerful tool to reignite shared purpose, engagement and a passion for performance in business and in life.
An effective Corporate Retreat should be conducted out of context and in a relaxed environment. Importantly it should incorporate activities to bring employees “down to earth”, out of their comfort zone or routine and to allow them to unwind and to become grounded. Shifting focus and going “back to basics” through team bonding, meditation and reconnecting within the natural world can re-energise your management, promote optimal health, well being, enhance company performance and motivate your teams.
Many studies have been done on the beneficial experience of the contact with nature and the sense of wellbeing both on a personal level and within the workforce. It is conclusive that activities in natural settings or with exposure to natural features have important stress reduction and restoration effects.
Findings support that Corporate Retreats are best done in sunny, fresh, and natural settings. Conclusive evidence suggests that after experiencing mental stress (through working long work hours), study participants who walked for forty minutes in an area heavily populated by trees and other vegetation reported more positive emotions and performed better on subsequent cognitive tasks than did participants who walked in pleasant urban environment without greenery.
A key factor to achieving continuous high quality company outcomes and continued corporate growth; is in building company culture. Connecting with co – workers is a positive outcome of Corporate Retreats, but the key is keeping the forced bonding to a minimum and letting the conversations flow organically in a natural environment. The building of company culture needs to be nurtured and built alongside the company product.