2020 is shaping up to be a year of office detoxes and wellness trips. According to a recent ABTA study on trends in travel, it is suggested that a massive 1.2 billion wellness trips will be taken each year globally by 2022. With more than two million UK holidaymakers planning to go on a wellness trip in the next 12 months. That just shows how people want to detox in nature. And highlights the trend increasing with active travel experiences, as wellness becomes more and more vital in our busy modern day lives.

A corporate team is very much the same as your average holidaymaker. A team can get tired, stressed, busy and need time away to get some energy and feel healthy again, just like an individual would. A healthy mind, healthy heart can only be good for us, right? So, why would it not be the same for a team?

 

A team enjoying a campfire under the stars on a Pembrokeshire beach A team coasteering at sunset in Gower while on a company wellness retreat

Beach campfires and coasteering on the Welsh coastline – a great place to hit the refresh button!

Here are a few pointers on why an active wellness retreat in nature is the perfect return on your team building investment:

 

1. Nature is more powerful than you think! Apart from giving us a hit of vital vitamins and clean air, being outdoors is proven to increase creativity, boost energy and it actually makes us better people. Who wouldn’t want a team loaded with energetic, creative good people? Studies further show that hiking in nature develops the hippocampus in our brains, therefore increasing creative and also a subject’s memory and ability to learn. Time to dust off those hiking boots!

A girl enjoying mountain views while hiking in Snowdonia while on a team building trip for improving wellness

Hiking in Snowdonia – a great place to feel the benefits of escaping the office as a team

 

2. Mental health is rightfully being talked about more and more these days. It’s so important that we recognise the need for our minds to take a break from the anxieties we find in the day to day. Exercise is great for us, we all know this, but when we are active in the sea in particular – this takes the feel-good health factor to another level!

“Outdoor exercise, especially water based such as swimming in the sea, reduces levels of cortisol, the ‘stress hormone’, which has been linked to a range of mental health problems, including depression and anxiety,” Stephen Buckley, head of information at Mind.

Surfing is the perfect mindfulness activity when we consider the above. You are living in the moment, feeling the sun and sea your skin, watching the waves and sharing good vibes with your colleagues. It’s such an amazing way to get a cloud nine mood into a team!

Girl smiling while surfing on a beginner lesson in west Algarve on a company retreat

Surfing in west Algarve, amazing waves, relaxed vibes and stunning nature!

 

3. Sharing wellness experiences, having fun in the outdoors and creating nice memories together as a team improves togetherness and communication. Communication is so vital to a successful business as it binds colleagues together, helps teams overcome problems together and makes the workforce more loyal and connected.

 

4. With a relaxed natural setting away from the day to day office hustle you have the perfect environment to talk business matters and strategies. Would you rather be stuck in a stuffy boardroom, or sat by the beach bouncing new ideas on where you want to take you business in the future? Like point 1 says, nature increases creativity – and every business needs that in these moments of engagement.

A team building meeting by the pool in an Algarve hotel

Team meeting by the pool in Portuguese sun more inspiring than a hotel conference room?

 

5. A good time to learn and evolve, individually and as a team, from new experiences, activities, wellness sessions and even from things like our healthy eating workshops. I love seeing teams grow during our active retreats, but what I want the most is that people take something away with them that impacts their day to day lives. That can be something as small as taking more time in nature every day or a company offering free morning office yoga.

Beach yoga in Wales while on a company wellness retreat

Beach yoga in the stunning Gower Peninsula – a great way to start the day.

 

6. A CSR opportunity! On our retreats we always like to try and include a beach clean or nature clean up around our adventures wherever we may be. It’s a great moment to open people’s eyes to the day to day impact we all have. And, how collectively we can make a difference. Hopefully you can take something away from a wellness retreat and incorporate that into your company culture, such as a single use plastic ban in the office.

 

So, why not swap the office for something like paddleboarding, yoga or hiking with your team and see how your business can shine in 2020? And remember, team building done right is an investment, not a cost!

 

With good vibes as always,

 

Daniel Manley

Founder & Co-owner of Big Blue Adventures

[email protected]

Hiking in Algarve on a European company wellness retreat

Here is a pic of me enjoying some Algarve nature improving my own wellness!

 

Interested in an a company retreat in nature? Check out team building Wales or Portugal for more info and feel free to send me an e-mail on the details above. Always happy to chat and bounce ideas your way.

 

References:

https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/70548/11-scientific-benefits-being-outdoors

https://patient.info/news-and-features/the-health-benefits-of-seawater

https://www.thewave.com/blog/health-benefits-surfing-body-and-mind/

https://smallbusiness.chron.com/benefits-effective-communication-workplace-20198.html

https://www.redbull.com/gb-en/how-hiking-supercharges-the-brain?fbclid=IwAR3GCz1ARPTJ36V8R5eoWVOhoKJoc4qPpy138aGCtyqQ3K_Yra35LwpcW4E