By Emily Williamson and Max Macaluso
It’s easy to take all of the incredible wellness benefits that The Motley Fool’s headquarters offers for granted; spin classes, yoga, healthy snacks, subsidized massages, the list goes on and on.
It’s more than generous, but there is also a strategic component to these benefits; studies show that a healthy work-life balance can increase productivity. Therefore, a main question Fools had when launching a new office in Colorado (Foolorado) was: how do we bring the Fool’s culture and wellness programs without an on-site wellness resource and on a reasonable budget?
With help from Fool wellness expert, Sam Whiteside, The Motley Fool’s Colorado team was able to put together a routine that was modeled on the successful programs at HQ, and also fit the interests of the remote team.
Here are five programs Foolorado has launched that encourage wellness and Foolishness with our remote team:
Exploring the Great Colorado Outdoors
With breathtaking mountain views from our Colorado office, it can be hard not to daydream about enjoying the great outdoors. We decided what better way to tackle our yearn for getting out in the Colorado sunshine than indeed getting out of the office and exploring. During the summer months we organized weekly hikes on nearby trails. We even completed a 2 mile hike with an elevation gain of 2000 feet ending at a beautiful lake at 12,500 feet in altitude.
It is not as easy to continue our monthly hikes during Fall and Winter, and we found ourselves a little too stationary during the week. Our team’s collective answer: weekly Yoga.
While four out of the five members of the team had never tried yoga, we determined that this was the perfect group activity; our open office layout allowed us to have enough room to practice, and our remote wellness coordinator, Ben Sterling, suggested that we try online yoga classes via Do Yoga With Me. Our large mobile television and computer system, which primarily serves for teleconferences with headquarters, perfectly doubled as our instruction screen. Sam made sure we had enough Yoga gear to practice our Vinyasas comfortably.
We have been hooked since our first session. Our team just completed a 14-day Yoga challenge, hosted by Do Yoga With Me, to kick off 2016 in good mental and physical health.
Daily Movement and Walks
Along with Yoga, we have also started incorporating daily movement using the Sworkit mobile app. We bought a lightning to HDMI adapter so we can plug an iPhone into our mobile tv screen, which makes it more fun to follow along with the exercises suggested by the app. We are fans of the Sworkit Pop Party playlist on Spotify to accompany our daily 5 minute Sworkit workouts. We also try to go on a daily walk, usually around lunch time.
Healthy Snacks on Delivery
At FoolHQ there is always an abundance of healthy snacks within reach. In Colorado we wanted to keep the access to healthy snacks employees have, but needed to find different means for providing snacks than HQ. (After all, the Colorado office is 5 people, while headquarters houses almost 300). We have been using Boxed to keep our office stocked with snacks including popcorn, oatmeal, nuts, and other healthy items. It is very easy to log into Boxed and either order a duplicate of a previous order or add some new items. Our “Box” usually arrives within 2 days.
Monthly Culture Outings
Along with monthly hikes, we also try to organize one culture outing a month. Foolorado’s culture outings help encourage team building and ensure we’re taking time out for some Foolish fun. Past outings have included snow-tubing, office visits to other companies in the Denver area, and Colorado Rockies’ games.
These initiatives have helped ease the transition from East Coast to Rocky Mountains for our Colorado team while also keeping an active and healthy environment for our remote Fools. If you have other ideas or initiatives your company has launched for keeping the culture with your remote teams, we’d love to hear in the comments below.