11 Aug
  • By Heidi Merrin
  • Cause in

Does your company allow you 5hrs a week to focus on just you?

 At Impulse Decisions we do…

The unexpected shift to home working last year presented companies with a number of challenges, especially maintaining people’s mental health and continuing teamwork being a top of the list. Ensuring employees could strike a work life balance, but also still feel part of a team working remotely too.

At Impulse Decisions we made a conscious decision to look after each other and support the whole team, making both fitness and professional development a priority for 2021.

We struck a mutual agreement that all the team can take a total of 2hrs out of their working week to do some form of exercise (tracked on Strava so no temptation to sit and watch Netflix!). Also, the opportunity to take 3hrs every week to focus on personal development.

Whilst we couldn’t work together as a team – we still wanted to be there for each other as a team.

How did this work in practice?

Everyone kept a team log of the activities they were doing both to share ideas, track improvement, set goals and enable people to encourage and motivate each other.

Fitness activities have ranged from running, Hiit Workouts and Yoga, to Chloe taking on Clubbercise (glow sticks being essential!).

 “It forces me to schedule fitness into my working week which I perhaps wouldn’t have been able to fit in during busy periods. It allows me to take a breather and prioritise my mental health which has been extremely important during the pandemic.” Chloe Goodall, Finance Assistant

Goals people set themselves ranged from Will having cold showers and eating less bread and sugar, to Freya doing a 50k walk, 50k on an electric bike and two yoga sessions a week. Each team member keeping to their own fitness levels…but competition definitely creeping in!

“So far, it’s been great for morale and productivity, so it’s definitely something every business should consider!” – Will Ferguson, Director of Fundraising

From a fitness perspective we have also been able to link the exercise in with supporting charity events too.  In June, along with a team of ten people, Heidi completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks in 11 hrs 30, raising £2720 for Macmillan Cancer Support.  James is using the time to help him prepare for taking on the PCA Paris to London in October, cycling 331km in three days.

As covid restrictions have gradually been lifted, everyone has also participated in a weekly one-hour motivational group PT session in James’s garden on a Monday afternoon, run by Gabby Glasby, Fitt PT. Brilliant sessions bringing the team all back together, setting everyone up for the week, with a prize for the best effort to date.

“There are many benefits to training within a group. Especially with a group who you know or work with. As a group you can be more motivated and the accountability is there. You’re less likely to pull out of a fitness session if you know others are counting on you. Group training can be more fun! I’ve had groups chat their way through a 3 minute wall sit without realising it! I sometimes put my groups into partners or smaller teams, adding in some healthy competition which can maximise effort. I look forward to training the Impulse Decisions group every week. They encourage each other to work harder or to get certain exercises done. Most importantly they look like they have fun together and enjoy each others company out of working hours which in time will create stronger working relationships.”

The sessions have cemented the fact that we are all highly competitive but also supportive, we never leave a man behind, even if it means extra push ups for the fitter members of the team! Our next challenge is to do a team activity, not just personal challenges.

Personal development for everyone…

Most of the time we get too caught up in what we are doing at work to actually take time to focus on ourselves, so allowing 3hrs every week to take time out to do this has produced amazing results.

Activities have ranged from listening to a podcast to enrolling on a course. Anything that will help you develop as a person, and even better if it can contribute to your role and success at work.

“Professional development allows me to break up my day – switch off from workload and then go back to it with a fresher and faster mind. I also love to read which I don’t always get to make time for.” – Freya, Bookings at Impulse

A firm favourite of the team has been the High Performance Podcast by Jake Humphrey, covering subjects such as ‘The importance of believing you can’, ‘How to turn a dream into a reality’, ‘Finding your own Superpower’ and ‘How to adopt a warrior mindset’. Some inspiring subjects with some fantastic guests – Josh Warrington, Jonny Wilkinson, Matthew McConaughey, Steven Bartlett and Jo Malone to name a few!

James set himself the task of reading one book a month, including ‘Start with Why’ (Author Simon Sinek), whereas Tom built himself an artificial putting green in his back garden to enable him to practice at home.

This has been a great achievement for everyone involved, the act of taking the time to think about what could improve their day to day work life can only been seen as a positive. Whilst taking you away from your working day, it can only benefit the working environment if everyone is constantly topping their skill set and knowledge up.

At Impulse Decisions we put the team first, with a monthly social event too. For more information about how we work, click here https://www.impulsedecisions.com