In this day and age there’s such a reliance on technology we don’t take the time to connect with people on a real life level anymore, especially in the workplace. We send emails instead of getting up and speaking to someone. We spend lunchtime hunched over our desks – computer mouse in one hand, sandwich in another. Non-work chatter is expected to be kept to a minimum.
Being active and connecting with others often go hand in hand. Creating a culture where colleagues are able to connect with each other is important. Whether that’s encouraging more face-to-face conversation or creating opportunities for employees to connect with each other during their down time. If that’s in an active way, even better.
Researchers at the University of Birmingham were able to demonstrate how powerful a lunch time walk with colleagues is for combating stress. However, the people taking part in the study – who recorded their emotions during a 10-week schedule of lunch time walks – expressed concern over carrying this on beyond the lifetime of the study due to the expectation they should work through their lunch break.
Workplace design can also play a part in bringing employees together. Rolls Royce’s newly designed project hall in Derby was created to allow better communication and collaboration between employees. It has more natural light and vibrant group and social spaces to create a stronger sense of community.