Team bonding activities for employees are not usually categorised into employee wellness activities. Traditionally these are associated with increased team productivity, communication and motivation. However, Dan Smullen, SEO executive from Wolfgang Digital would beg to differ.
Ireland is one of the least forested countries in Europe. Despite this, trees grow better and faster than any other country on earth. To offset the companies carbon footprint, he and his fellow colleagues recently embarked on a 150 tree planting mission.
As much as this was a great environmentally friendly team bonding activity, being outside around trees is one of the best things you can do for your wellbeing. In Japan, people are well ahead of the curve about the benefits of being around trees. They have termed this phenomenon “Forest Bathing”. Recent research has even gone on to show that forest bathing is proven to lower heart rate and blood pressure, reduce stress hormone production, boost the immune system, and improve overall feelings of wellbeing.
Why is tree planting good for employee wellness?
While humankind is inhaling oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide, the trees do the opposite.
The problem is humanity is taking down more trees than it is planting. In Ireland for example, we are less than 10% covered in forest land, whereas a millennia ago, we were coast to coast. It’s terrible really, as deforestation adds more atmospheric CO2 than the sum total of cars and trucks on the world’s roads.
To combat this, we just need to plant more trees. The second positive impact of planting trees is that it offers up outdoor exercise for your team. More often than not team bonding sessions take place in the pub, or even inside in an escape room for example. Although these are great activities, the mood-lifting benefits of light cannot be argued with.
But what if tree planting is not for me?
I will admit, tree planting is not everyone’s perfect vision of there next staff day out or even work wellness programme. We are lucky at Wolfgang that we have several options to take part in. From the lunchtime bikes to ride around town, to the Wednesday yoga sessions and monthly back massages, there is something for everyone.
We even have a meditation room that can be used at any time of the day. But for me, going to the gym is the biggest headspace. Again, everyone is different. And in my personal opinion, I think it is important for companies to offer several different wellness activities. This way people can choose what works and what doesn’t for them.