Have you ever thought of how it would be like to leave your office and go work from an open field somewhere? Research has proved that nature can play a big role in a worker’s satisfaction increasing their productivity. Study has also shown that factors such as scenery, air and temperature can be directly linked to productivity. Oracom Group tested these finding on Saturday, 24 August 2019.
The company planned to have a work day out of their luxurious office based in Nairobi, Westlands. At first, the ‘Work-out’ event planners (a section of Oracom’s employees) settled for the Nairobi Arboretum until a day before when they presented the plan to the whole team. Considering various factors, the company changed the work location to Karura Forest.
Probably you are wondering how the whole thing can play out. The truth is, it did and very successfully for that matter. The team met at Karura at 10.00 AM and did a walk, or is it a hike? Let’s say an activity between the two for at least one hour. This was meant to create fun as the staff members got to interact with each other, an opportunity that is never available in the office.
They went down to the stream, to the water falls and up the hills to what would be their ‘office’ for the day. Oracom being an IT and digital company doesn’t sound like the type that such an idea would work for. The purpose of the office-day out was not to work on projects such as web development; the company aimed at having a time of reflection.
Important to note is that, the ‘Work Out Event’ was not a fun team building activity as we are used to. It was a day when department would sit together and just reflect on office work. Some of the reflection points included, where they have come from, where they are and where they want to go.
They would point out on their strengths and weaknesses, opportunities available for them, challenges and threats they are facing. Upon completion of such a deep analysis that took about one and a half hour, the whole team came together, walked for some other 30 minutes to another location- still in the forest.
Every department, what are known as brands at Oracom got an opportunity to present their findings after the analysis. They would then receive comments, input, challenge and advice from the rest and eventually give a summary of the things they needed to implement immediately.
The team shared some refreshments in form of snacks for their lunch. Those who got some few minutes utilized the same in some games, for instance, skipping rope and football. It was a very busy day but the feedback and results were encouraging.
Everybody enjoyed working outside office, from the forest in this case.
“It is very cool to work from here. Thinking business doesn’t seem as much work as it does while we are in the office. The open fields and trees seems to make the brain process issues faster; creativity got high and thinking deep matters was easier. I believe we have done a lot. I wouldn’t mind another ‘Work Out Event,’ ” Said Jane Njoki, a developer at Oracom.
This is what Kwizera, a digital specialist at Mybigorder Kenya said;
“It’s been awesome. My question is, when next are we having this ‘Work Out Event?’’
Working outside the office has proved more yielding than in the closure of some walls in an office setting. If only there can be a way to use electricity in the forest, Oracom would definitely move to some natural sceneries somewhere. Too bad, the shelter would be needed and night shifts would be impossible in an environment like a forest.