30 Days Wild at work; connecting our employees to nature during a pandemic

During 30 Days Wild, we plan to share with you some of the great blogs we've seen pop up during the challenge from people across the UK. We hope their experiences will help to inspire you to connect with nature in new ways. This blog was written by Lucy Brooks from Brighton-based business Clarity Environmental, about how she got her office involved and how taking part has connected her colleagues in new ways.

Employee wellbeing has never been more important than it is in 2020. But with the coronavirus pandemic forcing our teams to work from dispersed locations at home, it has also never been more challenging. 

We are a business that is passionate about looking after the mental and physical health of our teams. In addition to a range of benefits we offer our staff, such as free PT and yoga classes, we run monthly wellbeing campaigns designed to promote activities that support a healthy mind and body. But whilst we are able to move our fitness classes online, how do you engage your staff to take part in an internal campaign during a pandemic? In the absence of face-to-face activities that we can do together, and with some of our team members having limited access to immediate outdoor space, it has been a challenge to design activities for our monthly campaigns when our lives are so restricted.

The Wildlife Trusts’ 30 Days Wild has come at just the right time; with restrictions relaxed enough for us to be able to take part in outdoor recreation for longer periods, we wanted to encourage our staff to get outside, get moving and reconnect with nature. We are asking our employees to share their activities with us all - not only to give us ideas about what we can do through the month, but it also encourages a feeling that we are all taking part in the campaign together. And the wonderful photos that we are seeing as a result are inspiring us all to keep going.

 

Wild Walk © Matthew Roberts

Matthew Roberts

Working in the sector that we do - helping businesses comply with environmental legislation - we share a passion for the environment, so this campaign resonates with our team members. From litter picking to long walks in the woods, and tree identification to wildflower watching, we have seen a range of activities carried out through the month. Without many other distractions, and with less opportunity to go out this year, many of us are noticing more about our surroundings - the smells, the sights and the sounds. We have spotted insects we haven’t noticed before, flowers and plants we have never seen, and are starting to identify the sounds of insects and birds. Whist we all continue to ‘meet’ over video calls and emails, it is fantastic to connect with our colleagues in other ways, sharing locations for walks and ideas for activities. 

Singing blackbird

Singing blackbird ©Amy Lewis

As a mum of two young children, combining working from home with homeschooling, the campaign  is proving to be a huge help in providing some structure to our outdoors time. When our work is done, or during our lunch break, we have made sure to get out every day to do something wild, giving us a much-needed break from our screens and the stresses of our busy lives indoors.

Some days our activities have been as simple as having a hot chocolate in a wooded hideout in the rain, other days we have gone on longer walks to the woods where we have taken time to identify trees and flowers. The children have looked at, drawn and talked about the wildlife they have seen. In fact, they are engaging so much with it that they are reminding me that we need to get out. Even on the rainy days! The ideas coming from the 30 Days Wild social media accounts are very much welcomed when trying to think of constant ways to keep the children amused.

I am delighted that we are taking part and I hope this connection to nature will continue for our employees beyond June; with many of us continuing to take part in activities that get us out and about. Based in an enviable location on the south coast, we have the benefit of both the South Downs and the coastline to take our activities, so we really couldn't be better placed.

beach

Peter Cairns/2020VISION

In recognition of the 30 Days Wild campaign, and to the huge challenges faced by The Wildlife Trusts during the Covid-19 pandemic, we have donated £6,500 to the charity via our Clarity Cares CSR programme. Our donations topped £50,000 last year and we are delighted that The Wildlife Trusts joins the ever-growing list of charities we support as we aim to do our bit to make a difference to the world we live in and those that occupy it. 

Lucy at Clarity Environmental

Lucy Brooks is Head of Communications at Clarity Environmental, a Brighton-based business that is taking part in 30 Days Wild for one of its monthly employee wellbeing campaigns. To show its support for the campaign, Clarity Environmental is donating £6,500 to The Wildlife Trusts.

Find out more about Clarity Environmental: www.clarity.eu.com