Empty Office Day 17th June

Posted by Karen in wellbeing at work

Discover the benefits of working outdoors

Nature is a great catalyst to creative thinking, problem-solving and stress reduction and London, as one of the greenest cities in the world, offers many small green squares and big parks. Even a walk round the block helps to reset our mood and regain perspective on things.

Empty Office Day is a new initiative from the coaching collaboration, Step Inside, Grow Outside*. Inspired by Empty Classroom day, Empty Office Day calls on companies and organisations to plan quality time outdoors in natural green space, to improve wellbeing and connection in the workplace.

One out of four people in almost every country suffer from depression, stress or anxiety in the workplace and last year in the UK, a record 17 million working days were lost due to stress, anxiety and depression .

We want organisations and companies from all sectors to take part in at least one activity outdoors on Friday 17th June. What activities organisations choose to do is up to them – whether independently or with facilitation – from team games to team building activities outdoors, from nature walks to tree planting, from treasure hunts to canoeing.

Too many of us spend our working day on autopilot, going from our desk to meetings, glued to a screen and rarely making time for a proper break. As a result, work morale, creativity and productivity take a hit. We hope Empty Office Day will help organisations and individuals discover the benefits of working outdoors – to experience how the outdoors frees us from the day-to-day constraints and pressures of the work environment, including habitual ways of thinking and doing things. By integrating green space into the working day, a walk in the park at lunchtime, taking 1:1 meetings outdoors; we begin to feel more positive, more resilient and reinvigorated

Empty Office Day is being launched initially in the UK, before being promoted more widely. Empty Office Day Champions, including Action for Happiness, the Network of Wellbeing and My Mental Health, are spearheading the initiative within their networks.

empty office day

Step Outside, Grow Inside is a collaboration between two coaches with a shared passion in helping people to develop and grow through experiencing the benefits of being outdoors, as well as in providing inspiration and ideas for spending time in nature. Karen Liebenguth is an experienced life coach, facilitator and an accredited mindfulness trainer www.greenspacecoaching.com and Simon Hawtrey-Woore is a coach, mentor and facilitator www.outside-in.consulting

Facilitated activities outdoors include:
– Team development workshops in natural green space using the natural learning cycle and other methods to clarify purpose and shared values and activities to support the development of team spirit and connection

– Facilitated organisational away days outdoors in one of London’s parks (e.g. Victoria Park, Hampstead Heath, Richmond Park, Ravenscourt Park Community Gardens)

– Guided walks with team activities in one of London parks

– 1:1 coaching while walking in London’s green space for leaders, managers and employees

– Two-day residential for teams and leadership teams at Hazel Hill Woods Nature Reserve, Wiltshire or Green & Away in the Malvern Hills

Visit the Empty Office Day website for more information and to become an Empty Office Day Champion

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