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Ready to go free range at work? 

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Ready to go free range at work? 

Many of us watched Jamie Oliver reveal the plight of the humble laying hen in 2008.

In response we flocked to buy British free range eggs and duly changed our shopping habits. It was simple – we understood that hens working hard to provide us with food deserved a better quality of life by displaying their natural behaviours.

Fast forward to today and we believe it’s time to turn our attention to the plight of the humble human who’s spending 90% of their life indoors.

Many of our workspaces could actually be compared to that barren battery cage.

Isn’t it time that businesses consider how to go free range?

Just like the humble laying hen, humans have the right to show their natural behaviours with access to daylight and nature. Not cooped up under artificial light for hours on end, as is so often the case.

So this Easter we think it’s an eggcellent idea to encourage you to go free range at work and become a #FreeRangeBusiness.

Jayne Cox from Fusion Spaces shares a dozen ways to go free range:

  1. Look up, you’re living under artificial lighting

Of course there’s no choice when you’re working inside but not all light is created equal. Consider light as the giver of life, not just an opportunity to illuminate. It’s therefore obvious that lighting quality needs huge consideration. Research and ongoing innovation also mean that your lighting can be more prescriptive, to give you more individual choice and control.

  1. Build daylight breaks into your day

See these just as natural and essential for your wellbeing as you would a toilet break.

  1. Walking meetings are catching on

All it takes is the decision to have one a month and take it from there. Did you know that being outdoors in small groups talking can increase bright ideas and your creativity?

  1. Taking work outside is another option

There is no reason that, weather permitting, work cannot take place outdoors. It might be designated areas, or the opportunity to work in a park or a natural space.

  1. The commute is often a heightened time of stress and anxiety

The daily commute can have stress hormones pumping around the body. Walking from the station or to meetings, perhaps in groups as a kind of walk share, can be a natural answer to reducing stress and help you to feel more energised for the day, naturally helping you to be more active too.

  1. Bring nature indoors

It’s true that human beings have a natural connection with nature and that it’s a basic human need. It’s also possible to bring nature indoors in the form of biophilic design. These references to nature may be in the form of perhaps natural planting, green walls and or water. It could also include colour that is reminiscent of nature such as green and natural materials such as stone or wood.

  1. Take eye breaks

When did you last consider your eyes and the impact on them of working at your computer, or staring at your phone or tablet? Your eyes are abnormally focussed for long periods of time and your blink is reduced. With around 40% of the population already experiencing dry eye issues it make sense to take eye breaks. Looking away from your screen every 10 minutes can help. Learning how to do a correct blink, yes we can all blink badly and incompletely, is also helpful.

  1. Walk away

We need to stand and move more and this could incorporate taking a walk around the office, going to ask a colleague a question or a walking meeting. If the walk needs to be followed up by emails, that’s just fine. It could be combined with a daylight break, a walk to get a drink or allowing your eyes to focus into the far distance whilst looking out of a window. It’s simple – take a 5 minute break every hour and move away from your desk.

  1. Stand and deliver

If we need to sit stand and move there’s also the option of the rise of fall desk. This can be a positive addition to the workplace, as long as you don’t stand for too long. As a rule of thumb we’d suggest to stand no more than an hour and then move and sit.

  1. Tech review

All this tech is making us sick, so we can benefit from simplifying tech in the workplace so that it is fit for purpose and easy to use. This is also good for business and the planet as it reduces waste. Taking tech breaks are also a way to go free range, turning off the tech at night to reduce your exposure to ‘motivating’ blue light and have boundaries to your connectivity, for your improved mental health and relaxation.

  1. Reset and restore

Speaking of relaxation, all work and no rest is not good for anyone. Taking a break to daydream, complete a 10 minute mindfulness practice or just closing your eyes for 5 minutes is not wasting your time.

  1. Take a look at your meeting room

Make it a space for ideas, collaboration and business. This space has the potential to be much more creative and productive, whilst supporting human wellbeing. This space can be made to more closely mimic a space in nature. This space can be a place you no longer just sit in for hours, a space that allows you to go free range.

So we’re egging you on to become a #FreeRangeBusiness and meet the basic, fundamental needs of your people, the humans at the heart of your business.

By Jayne Cox of Fusion Spaces, the human centred tech and collaborative design consultancy.

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Jo Hobbs — Communications Manager

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Sarah Crowdy — Campaign and Media Officer Communications, South East Water

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Sobha Varghese — Tata Consultancy Services

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DR ELENI ATHANASAKOS, Lead Paediatric Clinical Scientist — NHS Barts Health

“‘The short animation developed in co-production with clinicians and young people is outstanding! Informative, developmentally appropriate, vitally fun and engaging. We are really grateful for the expertise of the Alive with Ideas team for their innovative approach in building children’s health literacy.'”

Kath Evans — Director of Children’s Nursing at Barts Health

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Louise Burnard, Head of Marketing and Communications UK — Be | Shaping the Future

“I think the team have done such a brilliant job, particularly with responding to our requests. It's one of the best mental health videos I've ever seen. Very proud to be associated with your exemplary work. Thank you so much.”

Dr Anna Batho — Clinical Psychologist – Critical Care, UCLH

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Georgia Beech — Internal Communications Specialist, Ocado Group

“This is brilliant. I wanted to give my heartfelt thanks to all of the team who worked on this. You all understood exactly what we wanted to communicate and why, and then managed to do it in a way that was far better than anything I could have imagined. I’m a bit choked up to be honest!”

Sarah Wright, Head of Communications and Campaigns — NEA

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Alana Khaytin, Communications Specialist — Braskem America

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Sara Langston, Patient Engagement & Marketing Manager — italk

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Steph Tranter, Hybrid Exec Coach & Psychologist —

“Alive helped us create a video of our response to the floods of winter 2019. Our Chief Officer received messages from all round the country praising us for it and was really pleased with both the video and the response to it.”

Alexander Mills, Communications Manager — South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue

“Alive were professional, friendly and great to work with. Most importantly they were creative, helping us to bring an extremely important safety campaign to life.”

Jack Grasby — South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue

“The (Alive) team were able to creatively pull together and document (in just over 2minutes) everything our service has achieved over the last few months, from thousands of prescriptions deliveries to hundreds of phone calls made to the vulnerable. The final product was so powerful and reflective of what our service has and continues to achieve. It couldn’t have been better received within the service – thanks Alive for once again helping us to communicate our vision!’”

Emma Wright — South Yorkshire & Rescue

“We worked with the team at Alive to create our staff recognition video.
At a time like this, its never been more important to share the amazing work that our staff have done and continue to do on a daily basis under very difficult circumstances. We wanted to shout about this and recognise that when the time came, South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue stepped up to the plate. We didn’t want an ordinary thank you post on social media or a basic email sent out internally, we wanted something special. Enter Alive. ”

Emma Wright — South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue

“This looks amazing - brought a smile to my face scrolling through it :-)”

Jack Ford, Head of Marketing — streamGO

“Our company is fun, we have great brands, but most importantly we’re all about our people – and I wanted an agency who would understand that and help us bring it to life through our website and other comms. Straight away I felt that Alive ‘got’ us and provided the creative inspiration exactly where we needed it, as well as the technical expertise to deliver a well-functioning website.”

Keren McCarron, Head of Corporate Affairs & Communications — KP Snacks

Thank you so much. Incredible work done at incredible speed by incredible people.
Outstanding work as ever and what a turnaround. As for the concepts – wow. These are that good it would be an insult to describe them as just good. It’s a joke, quite frankly. This is exactly the Alive effect I was after. Right now I feel like I am living in an Alive With Ideas wonderland. Thank you!”

Jack Grasby, Campaigns Manager — SYFR

“If you are looking to improve creativity and build teamwork, I highly recommend a session like this for your team. No matter where you are in your creativity journey, a workshop like this can give your team a boost of energy and ideas to invigorate their creative thinking.”

Amy Lilja, IC Manager — Hennepin Healthcare

“Alive were there to help when we were working every hour to respond to the coronavirus outbreak. They gave us the creativity, ideas and support we needed to deliver campaigns which empowered our residents in the most difficult time most of us have ever seen, personally and professionally. The team understood what we needed, worked closely with us and delivered fast without any compromise on quality. Working with Alive has been a joy in the darkest of times and I have no doubt will have helped to save lives. Thanks team x”

Julie Odams, Assistant Director of Communications & Customers — Derbyshire County Council

“We got 'Alive' involved to help us shift mindsets across our organisation and they delivered! Using simple, clear and creative ideas the team have delivered us a campaign which has seen a dramatic increase in idea sharing and development. They’ve also played a significant role in creating a culture of shared success. I wouldn’t hesitate to work with again, in fact, we already are!”

Gavin Buckle — B&Q
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