As a team we’re pretty good at socialising together in-and-out of the office. This summer, to connect with each other and nature, we went a step further and had our first Digital Detox Day in the woods. You can hear the shreaks now:
What no phones!?
We work in digital, which means we spend a lot of time in front of some sort of screen. Increasingly, we rely on emails, Slack, tickets and instant messages rather than chatting to each other face-to-face. No matter how many emojis we add to typed messages, they’ll never make up for a face-to-face chat, and often the way things are perceived can be warped.
With this in-mind, we teamed up with the awesome School of the Wild to put together a day of non-digital activities in a beautiful part of the countryside, about an hour from Brighton.
We built shelters, carved wood, started fires and prepared a delicious lunch together. All these activities encouraged people to have conversations, team up, and get our hands dirty!
One of the main aims of the day was to encourage conversations between people that normally don’t work too closely together. It was fantastic to see cross-team idea creation and collaboration, and the effect being in nature has on people’s creativity and thought process is amazing (don’t just take my word for it).
“I often hear a lot about strategy, but rarely get a chance to discuss with Dave (the CEO), it was great to be able to make voice heard and have a decent conversation with him, without notifications and crammed meeting schedule getting in the way!”
Ryan – Team Lead
It was inspiring to see people genuinely connecting: new starters who hadn’t met anyone whittling wood next to our CEO, people who have clashed in meetings stumbling and laughing through the woods together, and people who have never met face-to-face making flat breads over an open fire – it was all happening!
There were a few of the team who were itching to get their phones out. Lots didn’t, and guess what? The office didn’t burn down in our absence.
“I was actually going to drop out due to having too much on. But once I got into the woods, it took 10 mins for me to realise a lot of it was just noise. In fact, once I got back into the office, I saw the things I was worried about in a different, more positive light.” – Susan, Project Director
As we wandered out of the woods, chatting about what we got from the day, we made a commitment to:
- Switch off during meetings and one-to-ones
- Explore the natural environment on our doorstep (the beach is 300m from our office)
- Work on cross-team collaboration and sharing of ideas
- Break down barriers of hierarchy
And we’ve been pretty good at keeping it up:
Can you imagine building great working relationships as well as amazing digital work? Check out our open positions or just drop us a line if you like the look of this!
Big thanks to Nigel and the School of the Wild for leading a fantastic day for us.