wellbeing at work
TIME TO UNWIND and revitalise
The current work environment is more competitive and demanding than ever. Due to the relentless pace of business and 24/7 working styles, studies show that more than 40% of all workers now face high stress in their jobs and over 25% feel burnt out, negatively affecting their productivity, health, and family stability (EKU Online).
As the line between work and life blurs, organisations are increasingly taking a holistic and comprehensive approach to employees’ physical, mental and financial health; supporting productivity, engagement and retention (Deloitte). This includes introducing innovative new programmes and tools for mental health, healthy diet and exercise, mindfulness, sleep and stress management, as well as changes to organisational culture.
But too often the solutions we’re turning to only address part of the problem. Mindfulness sessions squeezed into the lunch break can only go so far (indeed, an 8 week course is only fully effective for around 30% of participants according to a study from Pennsylvania State University). For flourishing rather than coping, we need to take some proper time out from urban, high-tech offices and restore ourselves in the environments which scientists tell us are best for our health.
IF WE REALLY WANT TO CHANGE, WE HAVE TO CHANGE IN NATURE
how we can help
Change in Nature is a social enterprise that runs programmes in nature to help people deeply unwind and revitalise. Hundreds of people have attended our programmes, from CEOs and company directors to team managers and social entrepreneurs.
We can design a bespoke programme for your staff with a particular focus on enhancing mental and physical wellbeing. While we tailor each programme to your specific needs, we feel that the most effective programme starts with a full day workshop in nature. This allows staff the time and space to really unwind and reconnect with themselves, colleagues and the bigger picture. Drawing on mindfulness, practical skills (such as fire making), “sit spots”, “intuition walks” and much more, each programme is made up of tried-and-tested tools and practices which help people to:
Unwind from fast paced working environments;
Open senses and awareness to the natural world;
Shift perspectives to more positive habit patterns and behaviours;
Enhance communication and listening ability;
Bring a sense of awe and wonder;
Be more creative; and
Boost positive wellbeing.
Following the workshop, we then put a follow up and support programme in place where each staff member commits to deepening the practices and skills that they have learned. This can include meet-ups, online calls, one-to-one support (including professional coaching) and breakfast or lunchtime reconnection sessions.
The positive effects of nature
Scientists are telling us what we already know - that time nature is uniquely restorative for mental fatigue, stress and anxiety. These studies demonstrate the benefits nature can have for your workforce:
Exposure to nature leads to improved cognitive functioning and mental well-being (Kaplan, 1993, 2001)
When people relate to nature they experience greater feelings of vitality, regardless of levels of exercise and social activity (Ryan et al., 2010)
People who spend 15 minutes each day in nature developed a more positive outlook than those in urban conditions (Mayer et al., 2009)
Using nature analogies and embedding experiences in a larger natural context helps people to find meaning when experiencing change (Berger & McLeod, 2006)
People who affiliate with nature derive a greater sense of meaningful existence which in turn boosts well-being (Howell, Passmore, & Buro, 2012)
When immersed in a natural environment, people report feeling more connected to others and to the world around them (Terhaar, 2009)
Being immersed in nature and disconnected from multi-media and technology increases creative problem-solving ability by 50% (Atchley et al, 2012)
Spending time in woodlands boosts the immune system (Qing Li, 2009) and reduces pulse rate, blood pressure, and cortisol levels (Chiba University)
Feedback from our “Reignite” Retreat 2018
100% of participants felt better resourced to meet challenges at work and/or at home
89% of participants formed closed personal connections in a short period of time
89% of participants felt less stressed and overwhelmed
Across all our programmes in 2018:
88% of participants felt a greater sense of general wellbeing
85% of participants felt more practiced at listening to others perspectives without judgement
80% of participants felt more inspired and creative
oasis: Bring nature into your office
Another service we can provide is to help bring more nature into the office and create an “oasis” in one of your meeting rooms. This will utilise nature’s power for creativity, with the potential to have higher quality discussions. Again, the science is clear:
Flowers and plants in a workplace increase cognitive functioning and can create a 15% rise in innovative ideas and more creative, flexible problem solving (Ulrich, 2009).
Workers exposed to sunlight and natural elements in the workplace report better moods, higher satisfaction with their work, and more commitment to their employer (An M, Colarelli SM, O'Brien K, Boyajian ME, 2016).
We can do this in partnership with a local community garden or social enterprise, enhancing the social impact. We can also design a range of bespoke events and taster sessions (such as in lunch breaks or before work).
if it works for them
Individuals from a wide range of well known institutions have benefitted from our professional programmes:
who we are
Change in Nature was created by two senior sustainability professionals who after many years of working to influence business and policy in Westminster, went on personal journeys in nature to renew their sense of purpose, drive and wellbeing. They set up Change in Nature to support other professionals to reenergise, reconnect and create change in their spheres of influence.
Chloe helps professionals to build deep mutual understanding, and rekindle their energy and drive. She is an international climate change diplomat and public policy strategist, who has worked closely with Government Ministers and senior negotiators from a wide range of developed and developing countries. She consultants for leading think tanks such as E3G, the European Climate Foundation and Mission2020
Andy is a coach, speaker, mindfulness practitioner, environmental campaigner and social entrepreneur with a wealth of experience leading people through transformation. As Executive Director of the Aldersgate Group for over seven years, he worked in the corridors of power with CEOs, Government Ministers and thought leaders to drive UK and EU policy change. He has written for the Guardian and been interviewed on BBC Newsnight, The Sunday Times, BBC Radio 4, The Independent and Guardian Environment Podcast.