3.9 million people in the UK are living with mental health conditions and with two million of those in employment there’s no denying that its impact is being felt in the workplace. Mark Soanes, a Director of learning and development specialists Call of the Wild says that finding the right place and head space to learn is crucial.
Today marks a moment in time to reflect on how employers can proactively reduce the factors that contribute to poor mental health.
Recent research from the Mental Health Foundation highlights a significant connection between nature and mental health. People with a strong bond with nature tend to be happier and experience lower levels of depression and anxiety. Nature has the remarkable ability to generate positive emotions, reduce stress, and improve overall well-being.
This research underscores the importance of creating environments that foster positive mental health. We’ve seen from our clients, that businesses prioritising the mental well-being of their employees (leadership included!) are more likely to have a happier, more productive workforce. When employees are mentally healthy, they're better equipped to tackle challenges, think creatively, and contribute effectively to their organisations.
Indeed, our work with Amazon is a great example of how combining learning and development training with the outdoors, can tap into a powerful tool that promotes not just professional growth but also mental health.
28 female engineers with Amazon took part in a team building event at our centre in the Brecon Beacons with the objective of building relationships as part of their annual Unite Women in Engineering Retreat.
The wild and isolated location of our three day residential programme in the great outdoors helped unite the women, all of whom work in traditionally male dominated roles and are dispersed across different sites throughout the UK. We’re delighted that creating the right space in the right location worked for them.
So, what are the benefits of embracing this transformative approach:
Enhanced Creativity: Natural settings can inspire creativity. Outdoor environments stimulate the mind, encouraging employees to think outside the box and generate innovative ideas.
Improved Focus: Exposure to nature has been shown to increase attention span and reduce mental fatigue. When employees participate in outdoor training, they return to work with sharpened focus and higher productivity levels.
Team Building and Collaboration: Outdoor activities often require teamwork and cooperation, fostering stronger bonds among team members. The skills learned in nature can be applied to the workplace, enhancing collaboration and problem-solving.
Stress Reduction: Spending time in nature is a proven stress reliever. Outdoor learning experiences can help employees manage workplace stress more effectively, leading to better mental health outcomes.
Adaptability and Resilience: Nature is unpredictable, teaching individuals to adapt to changing circumstances and become more resilient. These skills are invaluable in today's dynamic business landscape.
Combining learning and development training with the outdoors can be a game-changer for businesses. Not only does it enhance professional skills and foster teamwork, but it also contributes to better mental health outcomes among employees. In an era where well-being is as important as performance, investing in outdoor learning and development is a wise choice for business leaders. By embracing the power of nature, companies can create a happier, more productive, and more resilient workforce.
You just need to find the right place and head space to learn.