Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation
SVP & Chief Human Resources Officer,
Sodexo North America
We are smack-dab in the middle of summer. As the days get longer and the temperatures get warmer, those of us who work in offices every day start to look longingly out of the windows. While we can’t move our offices outdoors, summer is the perfect time to work a little more outdoor time into your daily schedule. Here are a few ideas for bringing sunshine into your work life.
Turn meetings into walks
Meetings, lunches, coffee: They’re all opportunities to get outside. Look for excuses to turn small meetings into outdoor walks. If you don’t need a computer, there’s no reason you can’t have a one-on-one meeting while taking a walk outside or going outside to grab a cup of coffee. A walk around the block might even help you come up with ideas you’d never have thought of in a conference room.
Don’t brown-bag it
While bringing lunch to work can be a healthy and economical option, not bringing it can be a great way to make sure you get outside on a nice day. It’s all too easy to get caught up with work and eat at your desk, but if you have to go get lunch you’ll be sure to make time to get out of the office. Even a short walk to a sandwich shop can be a refreshing break that will make you more productive in the afternoon.
Change your commute
Getting to or from work is also a good time to get a little fresh air. If you take public transportation to work, it’s easy to get off a stop or two early and walk the rest of the way (just make sure you’re wearing comfortable shoes). If you drive to work, you can park farther away than usual to grab a few extra minutes in the sunshine—and a little extra exercise.
Make it an office event
Many companies encourage employees to get up and move during the day. After all, healthy employees not only cost companies less but taking exercise breaks during the day can make employees more productive. If your office already has organized walking or meditation breaks, move them outside for the summer. Even if your office’s only organized event is an employee lunch or happy hour, those can become outdoor activities too.
Sign up for a rec league
For those who really want to do some office bonding, sign your work team up as a sports team in a summer recreational league. Spring or summer sports teams are a great way to promote office unity. And unlike day-long team-building retreats, rec leagues promote teamwork for the long term. Sports such as softball, kickball, bocce or cornhole can get people of all fitness levels outside and moving.
Sodexo is committed to improving performance and enhancing quality of life for the individuals, organizations and communities we serve. How are you planning to get outside more this summer? Share some ideas in the comment section.
Gerri Mason Hall is Senior Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer for Sodexo North America. She is also the Executive Sponsor of Sodexo LGBT Employee Business Resource Group, PRIDE. Sodexo’s 133,000 employees in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico provide more than 100 unique services that improve performance for 9,000 client partners and improve Quality of Life for 15 million consumers every day.