At the start of February, we launched a Winter Wellness Challenge for staff to invest time in themselves. We encouraged staff to get active and stay connected with the aim of minimising lockdown fatigue and staying motivated throughout the shorter, cold (and sometimes snowy) winter days. The Challenge was kicked off by Tom Boother’s motivating presentation on the seven steps to start and finish anything.
As part of the Challenge we set a target of completing a virtual lap of England, all 3,140 miles! We also set up various other initiatives, including ‘The Coffee Connection’ which encouraged staff to spend 30 minutes a week having a virtual catch up with a colleague and had an excellent presentation from Chris Lawson at Active Suffolk.
So, what did our staff think?
Whether it was walks with the family or dog, cycling (sometimes virtually around New York!) or completing a marathon or two, our staff really took to the challenge and we were soon making our way around England (albeit virtually!). With the WhatsApp chat for motivation, colleagues were getting active and staying connected. The Coffee Connection was also underway with colleagues being matched at random to allow staff to catch up, old and new. Here’s just a few comments from staff on how they found the initiatives:
“The challenge was a great way to boost motivation having had nothing to aim towards for so long. It was great to see the variety of activities that people were undertaking” Tim Fox, chartered legal executive in our residential property team.
“The G&G Winter Wellness Challenge certainly gave me even more incentive to exercise during lockdown to do that little bit extra and have some fun. Being able to convert exercise time to distance was a good way to be able to contribute miles with everything that I do. The WhatsApp group was a great benefit working from home it was nice to feel part of a team and be able to share and see what others had been doing to clock the miles and our rewards. Now I am looking forward to lighter evenings to be able to get out after work!”
Amy Glavin, Legal Secretary.
“I thought the Coffee Connections was a brilliant idea – a good way to get to know people a bit better. It was nice to chat face to face and also to someone who I possibly would have only exchanged a few words with, had we been in the office. During the ones I’ve taken part in, mainly the conversations have not been about work – and I think that’s why it’s worked really well. On the Winter Wellness Challenge – well, my few miles seem pretty dire compared to some! But hey ho, I’ve enjoyed the walking and small amount of biking and hope to do more as the better weather comes. I enjoy a walk on a cold winters day, sun shining, blue sky and wrapped up well. Getting out in the fresh air is definitely good for you.”
Pam Brinkley from our Accounts Department.
“I’ve found the challenge to be of huge benefit to me, particularly during the short winter days. It has encouraged me to get out in the fresh air. The Whats App group has also provided additional encouragement seeing everyone out and about doing their thing! I have also learned things about colleagues that I did not previously know and probably wouldn’t had it not been for the group.”
Emma Alfieri, Chartered Legal Executive in our Family Team.
“I have really enjoyed the wellness challenge, and even though I am normally walking at lunch and after work, this has given me the incentive to push myself a bit more. I have also been involved with the coffee connection which I have found really good. Having been working in the office for such a long time I don’t usually get to socialise with anybody out of the department. It is a great idea to get to know other people to see what they have been up to and how they have been coping with the covid situation.”
Kerry Logan, Legal Secretary.
“I’ve enjoyed taking part in the challenge. Exercise is so important for mental health, and even sleep, particularly during lockdown when the old step count can struggle to get to four figures. I am quite competitive so it has been a real incentive to do more just to try and stay ahead of Tim. That’s not fair obviously because I am tootling on a bike and Tim is smashing out marathons on a daily basis. The camaraderie of the What’s App group has been great, it’s nice to see what other people are doing.”
Hugo Greer-Walker, Solicitor in our Commercial Property Team.
“The challenge has been a way to bring us together, even from afar, as it has given everyone a common goal. It has certainly motivated me to get out and about. Gem and I went for a walk too so it was a good excuse to catch up which is something we probably haven’t done enough of this year. As the weather brightens up, and the evenings get lighter, I hope to get together with others for a walk and a natter especially as the rule of 6 makes a comeback. The coffee connection is a great idea, and one I hope continues even when we are back in the office. I for one am very guilty of being “too busy” to chat with people and am often conscious of being away from my desk for too long. This organised activity has taken away that feeling of guilt and has been a good way of catching up with people or actually getting to know people from other teams that I rarely come across, even when we are in the building.”
Martine Swaep, Tax Director in our Private Client Team.
So… how did we do?
After 7 weeks, we have managed to total 7,233.27 miles, completing our target of a virtual lap around England, not once but twice! We also set up approximately 44 coffee connections totalling 22 hours of colleagues catching up.
Overall, we have really enjoyed taking part in the Challenge, catching up and encouraging our colleagues to go the extra mile. And 7 weeks later, the clocks have changed, the sun is occasionally making an appearance and Spring has definitely arrived!