Getting (and staying) fit can be a tricky business – and often it comes down to motivation. We chatted to some 2017 Tour de Office riders to find out what they did differently this year to spice up their exercise routine. Read on for some gems we found among our Tour de Office riders – the fighters and yogis among us.

David Purdie, Business Development Manager at Scout Talent: ‘Wimp to Warrior’

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David on the night of his fight, supported by his colleauges from Scout Talent and EO!

Wimp 2 Warrior, a 6 month MMA martial arts & fitness training camp, takes regular people out of their everyday routine and launches them into a different world – where pain means gain and every second counts.

After 22 weeks of gruelling training, both physically and mentally, David Purdie and a dozen other brave Brisbanites entered the MMA cage in August for their big fighting event. Family, friends and colleagues gathered to cheer on the fighters in the cage. No matter who would win the match, every single fighter had been transformed by the W2W challenge. Read on to learn how one Tour de Office rider stepped into the zone of the unknown to become a Warrior.

 

What does ‘Wimp 2 Warrior’ mean? We define ‘wimp’ as someone lacking ambition to go out and do what they want. W2W is all about people who actually put their money where their mouth is.

How did you get involved?
As a Scot, you’re either going to be fighter, or a drunk, or both. I was a fighter. When I saw the ad for the 22-week Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) course, I knew it was something I wanted to do. Unlike sports such as football, which you can watch on TV and readily play, only a very small percentage of people actually go and fight. W2W brings MMA to the masses so anyone could get involved.

What was induction like?
To make it into the program, we had to do a 3-hour intensive workout. It was the hardest workout ever! We did circuits, hammers on tyres, box jumps… It wasn’t a test of fitness, but mental agility.

People of all shapes and sizes were being sick and coming back for more – these are the people who would train well.

What was the training like?
We’re talking about 6 days of 4am wake-ups to be ready to hit the gym at 5am for a 1-hour workout. At one point, we were doing 17 workouts a week of MMA training, wrestling, cage class, kick-boxing and strengthening and conditioning.

What was the weirdest thing about it?
With Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, we found ourselves essentially cuddling other sweaty men at 5am!
By the time I walked into the office, I had already been punched in the face by 105kg guy, so I wouldn’t get stressed during the day – the worst thing that could happen that day would have already happened!

Did you enjoy it?
I gained so much from W2W. The main things I took away were high fitness levels and a regimented lifestyle. I was forced to cut out negative influences and prioritise my time. I realised that if people weren’t contributing to my life, then I should invest my time elsewhere.

I miss W2W for the social aspect. But I’m looking forward to heading back to MMA in December.

Sophie Dique and Karon Beattie, Employment Office: Muay Thai

www.tourdeoffice.comSophie and Karon (ninja name ‘Kronic’) from Employment Office also took up MMA this year – at Sassom in East Brisbane, to try something a little different. After a falling in love with the sport at their free trial, the pair signed up for a pack of ten sessions.

What does a Muay Thai class entail?
We start with circuit drills of four rounds of skipping and then x10 push-ups, sit-ups and squats – and that’s just the warm up!

Then we’re paired off and it’s time for drill work. The instructor shows us a series of techniques and then we (attempt!) to copy. You’ve really got to get the guard right or you risk a bloody nose. Be ready for hooks, upper-cuts and kicks. Don’t let anything come as a surprise or you’ll wake up the next day with some extra bruises!

Do you enjoy it?
Sophie: Heck yes! I love it. It’s the best. I would do it all the time if I could.
Karon: Yes! It’s exercise but it’s really fun so you don’t realise that you’re exercising. I love the sparring element – being taught a technique and then being told ‘just go for it!’ and then giving it a go, falling down and getting back up again.

How does it help you physically and mentally?
Sophie: It’s a really good holistic workout.
Karon: I have a lot of internal aggression that I need to get rid of. I have a pleasant and placid facade but inside is anger and turmoil that only comes out once a week on a Thursday.

What is the weirdest thing about it?
Sophie: Punching yourself in the face. Well, that’s only if you don’t hold your guard right. Also, if you don’t bring your gloves, you have to put your hands in communal sweaty gloves. The group is made up of 80 per cent men and only 20 per cent women. So this is just something you need to get used to.

Karon: To do it right, you kind of have to get really, really close to people. Nothing solidifies a friendship more than punching each other in the face and wrestling them to the ground.

Would you recommend it to others?
Sophie: Yes, it’s a really good full body work out that targets literally every muscle. You feel like you’re going to die after the warm up. It’s also great for agility – I would never do skipping otherwise.

Karon: Yes. I have a former knee injury so I was skeptical – but if you’re careful and let your instructor know, you’ll be fine!

Ana Avner, Digital Marketing Specialist, Scout Talent: Pole Fitness

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Ana says, “I couldn’t find any decent photos of myself… So here’s one of one of the instructors instead!”

Two years ago, Ana was a dedicated Pole Fitness athlete. But after a few too many injuries (including a dislocated rib!), she thought it would be best to give the sport a break and let her body recover. But after a fluke win in a recent contest, Ana’s prize of a free Pole Fitness term will see her re-acquainted her with her old love in January 2018!

Tell me about Pole Fitness.
Before my injury, I did a weekly 1-hour Pole Fitness class, with a lot of practice at the studio in between. We often worked with partners, with one person giving feedback to the person on the pole, helping them improve their form and prevent any injuries.

There are eight different skill levels. The first level focuses on simple climbs and spins on the pole. As the levels go up, the moves become increasingly complex – such as inverting (hanging upside-down on the pole). It’s a lot of fun for both beginners and advanced athletes because there’s an opportunity to perform at every level.

What do you love about it?
Although it’s not exactly the safest sport, it’s a real full-body workout. It’s so energetic and you’ll get to use muscles you didn’t even know existed. I love how at the end of only 6 weeks you have a complete routine that you can show off to your friends and family at performance night. You also make really great friends as you spend so much time together and get to know each other quite intimately.

What is the weirdest thing about Pole Fitness?
There are so many stigmas! Yes, we wear clothes! And a lot of guys do it too! It’s also funny how unsexy it can be! There’s a misconception about Pole Fitness as being for strippers when it’s anything but! Pole Fitness is for all shapes and sizes – it gives people body confidence, especially with so many pole athletes of all shapes and sizes competing nationally.

Andrea Davey, General Manager at Scout Talent: Baby Yoga.

In April 2017, Scout Talent General Manager, Andj Davey gave birth to her first baby – a beautiful girl named Freyja. For Andj, Baby Yoga has been an opportunity to spend quality time bonding with her daughter and strengthen her body after giving birth. For Freyja, it has been a chance to learn yoga before she can even walk!

What does Baby Yoga entail?
According to Yogababy, “Mums and Bubs yoga classes focus on yoga postures specifically designed for the postnatal months by helping your body regain strength and tone in a safe and effective way. The emphasis is on strengthening the pelvic floor, the abdomen, legs and back as well as on opening and relaxing tensions in the shoulders, neck and arms. The yoga taught in these classes is gentle and slow, giving you time to integrate the experiences of your body after birth.”

What do you love about it?

It has been really good for my mind and body – relaxing, but also a challenge. I’d recommend Baby Yoga to mums who are easing back into exercise as I’ve learned a lot of poses that Freyja and I can do at home. Some moves even help calm her down if she’s being a little irritable! As the poses are specific to mums who have just given birth, many poses have helped reduce lower back pain and increase blood flow around the body, helping me wake up.

Freyja seems to appreciate the extra bit of variety to her day, and it has been great for me to get out of the house. It’s a fun way to meet other new mums!

What is the weirdest thing about it?
At first, I was worried the moves might be too intense for a baby – I was watching the instructor demonstrate with a doll at the front of the room and thought to myself, “Can I really push Freyja’s foot up to her ear?!” Turns out babies are very flexible, and Freyja loves it!

What does the New Year have in store? Will you try something different to step out of your comfort zone…? 

So, you’ve heard of the corporate fundraising event, ‘Tour de Office,’ and you want to learn a bit more… You may know Tour de Office as simply the ‘corporate bike event’ or ‘charity cycling relay’ – but these words only capture a small part of what Tour de Office is all about.

Tour de Office brings together business leaders, Australian workers and charities to make a real difference both in and outside the workplace. On the ground, the event encourages Australian workers to make healthier choices at work, facilitates teamwork and improves employee morale. But with more than half a million dollars raised for Australian charities since 2011, the impacts of the event are felt by Australians far and wide.

Read on to learn about what it’s like to host a Tour de Office event from participating organisations themselves!

Lesley Griffin, Commercial Analyst at Origin Energy:

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A Tour de Office first-timer, Origin Energy Brisbane raised $5,600 for Beacon in Tour de Office 2017.

How did you prepare for Tour de Office?
Leading up to the event, we put the Tour de Office posters up and sent emails weekly. Our business leaders posted on our internal workplace Facebook to get some excitement going.

What did the event look like in your office?
We set up the bike just beside the lunch room with huge banners behind it. We had our rider schedule and an updated leader-board by the bike – the competition was insane!

Why did you sign up for Tour de Office? To raise awareness about the importance of being active and the risk of a sedentary lifestyle. We’re an active organisation (we love our lunchtime yoga!), so Tour de office really fit in with our culture. Additionally, as Origin is a large organisation, we thought the event would facilitate interaction across parts of the business that don’t usually get much of a chance to spend time together. We also saw it as a great opportunity to raise funds for our charity partner that we frequently volunteer with, the Beacon Foundation, which does some amazing work with kids at disadvantaged high schools.

What did your team think of the event? The feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive – our staff enjoyed the opportunity to get to know new people and build stronger connections around the business. We also had some very healthy competition between divisions – our high-performance culture was very evident in everyone’s approach to their rides!

What is your favourite thing about Tour de Office, from the perspective of a host?
The best thing about Tour de Office is how it enables different people from across the organisation to get to know each other. We have lots of people working across different teams so Tour de Office brought people together. With the feedback we got, it was evident that the social aspect was really important to our team.

Damian Woelders, Group Training, Motorama:

www.tourdeoffice.comMotorama has participated in Tour de Office since 2015, and this year alone raised $14,800 for the Starlight Children’s Foundation. Motorama ensures all their workers in the Brisbane area have a chance to jump on the bike by moving the bike across their dealerships during the week.

Why did you sign up for Tour de Office? 
Tour De Office works well for us. People seem to relate to it over, say, selling raffle tickets. I think it’s because it’s nice and tangible – people can see you ride and it can be fun with different themes. It takes place in the workplace and it’s a healthy activity – it ticks a few boxes really! 

What did the event look like in your office? 
We try to incorporate the event into a common area where people can chat and have morning tea and lunch while the bike is going. Music also helps to make the event a social focal point. We had different themes like 80s and Cowboys & Indians etc. 

What did your team think of the event? 
They loved the competitive side of it and kept their eyes on who rode the furthest and who had raised the most money. It was great to eachother jumping on the bike and giving it a go. Once the event starts going, you can really see the excitement build.

If you’re considering hosting a Tour de Office custom event or riding with us in August, September or October next year, please contact us – we’re now taking enquires! 

The sun is rising earlier every day and thermometers around Australia are reaching 30 degrees by noon…Yes, it’s almost summer and it’s time to make the most of the stunning morning sunshine. If you’re ready to spice up your morning commute but aren’t sure where to start, you’ve come to the right place. We’re here to help you as you take the all-important step of investing in your first commuter bicycle.

Welcome to the world of cycling, a place where lycra and sweat bands are your new best friends, and packets of baby food makes a wonderful snack (seriously – just ask an avid cyclist).

The benefits of riding to work are endless – from enjoying the fresh morning air, to ensuring you’re outside and active, as well as allowing yourself some ‘you-time’ each day. If you’re a first-timer cyclist, read on to see the checklist we’ve compiled for what you’ll need to look out for when purchasing your new wheels.

1. Ask for a ‘city/commuter’ bike.
• These are simple and reliable stylish designs. Commuter bikes are generally low-maintenance and have extra features such as rack and fender mounts, and an upright frame design.

• Decide which suspension you prefer. Cycling in the city is generally smooth, and bikes therefore require less ‘travel.’ The smooth ride requires larger, more stable wheels (around 27.5 to 29 inches).

• Get fitted. Seat height, saddle position, handlebar height, and reach should be tailored for your body. Find a store that will take your measurements, show you multiple bikes and will swap parts if necessary to fit your requirements. A bike fit with a trained consultant comes complementary with every new bike at 99 Bikes.

2. Take a test ride
Take a test for at least 15 minutes, wearing the same attire you would if riding to work. Perhaps bring your old bike in and explain what you like and dislike about it. Don’t be afraid to clarify any cycling jargon you don’t understand!

3. Budget
Quality commuter bikes can be anywhere between $340 to over $3,000 for an electric bike, depending on your preference of brand and additional features. Remember to budget for other essentials: a helmet, a pump, a water bottle and bottle cages, white and red lights for evening commuting as legally required. You may even like to add a basket.

When it’s time to hit the road with your new wheels, make sure you’re up to date about your state’s cycling laws, safety information and city cycling facilities – every state has their own website. With local governments investing more in cycling pathways and facilities, there’s never been a more exciting time to be a cyclist commuter in Australia. The key to getting the right bike for you is not being afraid to be specific, take a proper test ride, and budget for all the essentials that will make you as safe and comfortable as possible.  

Editor’s note: This article was written in partnership with 99 Bikes.

Don’t just stop riding when you reach the office! To share you love for riding with your colleagues and raise funds for a charity of your choice, sign up to host a Tour de Office cycling event at your workplace! Custom events now available.

In Tour de Office 2017, over 1,100 riders raised more than $160,000 for 19 Australian charities. Congratulations to PwC Melbourne who took out the title of Tour de Office Fundraising Champion 2017, having raised $18,995 for the Starlight Children’s Foundation. A special mention to Kristy Whitnell who raised from the team who raised $8,100 for Starlight! Well done PwC Melbourne – an incredible achievement for their first year riding in Tour de Office. 

Read on to learn how riders across Australia jumped on the Tour de Office bike for a good cause and had a lot of fun along the way.

AUGUST EVENT 

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Tour de Office 2017 started strong with many of our hosts in NSW, VIC and WA returning for their second or third year in a row! Ferrier Hodgson, Wodonga Tafe and Commonwealth Bank and KordaMentha Sydney, Melbourne Perth showed us how it’s done – covering over 6,300 km. That’s equal to the distance from Cape York to Perth!

The KordaMentha and Commonwealth Bank Perth teams enjoyed a week-long party – with their bike alight with fluorescent lights and the room decorated in colourful balloons. Costume days across NSW and WA brought out the pirates, Simpson’s characters and crazy doctors among the teams. Two bikes set up side-by-side created some extra healthy competition between riders at Commonwealth Bank and KordaMentha Sydney and Melbourne.

SEPTEMBER EVENT 

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www.tourdeoffice.comThe Tour de Office September event kept up the almighty pace set by our August hosts. It was fantastic to welcome PwC Melbourne and Brisbane, and Origin Energy Brisbane, who rode in Tour de Office for the first time this year and had an absolute blast fundraising for Starlight and Beacon respectively. News Corp, Motorama, Employment Office, Staples, Advanced Traders, Optus and Coronis returned to ride in Tour de Office to have a go at smashing their previous fundraising record! September hosts raised a fantastic $98,598.

Employment Office Brisbane launched Tour de Office with EO Founding Director Tudor, taking the first ride – coffee in one hand, Chobani yogurt in the other. Needless to say, he didn’t break the record for the most distance covered! The team invited their charity partner to visit – Jaimi, Danny and Craig from Stepping Stone Clubhouse jumped on the bike, giving EO riders a run for their money.

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Tour de Office event at Coronis, Brisbane

Down in Melbourne, the PwC team loved pedalling overlooking their beautiful city, accompanied by their trusty star – a lovely reminder that all their fundraising dollars would be helping sick kids from the Starlight Children’s Foundation.

Meanwhile, the Motorama team shared the bike across their Brisbane dealerships throughout the week, enjoying in the warm sun as they have other years. Staples and Advanced traders put in a fantastic effort, covering a combined distance of 600km. 

Thank you to our volunteers who kept our rider schedule running smoothly, and most importantly, smiling throughout their ride! If you know someone who would like to volunteer in future events, please direct them to info@tourdeoffice.com. We are always looking for bright and enthusiastic TDO volunteers.

Thank you to our sponsors! The wonderful prizes provided by Snackwize and Jason L Furniture and Chobani helped motivate our riders to raise as much for their charity as possible. Meanwhile, Chobani flips were spilling out of fridges across Australia for Tour de Office, to be enjoyed by hungry riders for a well-deserved pick-me-up. 

Click to learn more about Tour de Office 2018 or email info@tourdeoffice.com to express your interest in hosting a Tour de Office event. 

For many, fundraising can take them out their comfort zone. We understand! But fundraising doesn’t have to be a hassle-a-thon of your colleagues, friends and family. Far from it. With the right attitude, fundraising is fun, brings people together and of course, will make a real change to the lives of those in need. Read on for how our top fundraisers got their friends, family and professional network all on-board to raise as much money as possible for charity in Tour de Office 2017.

Share your story – Kristy Whitnell, Top Fundraiser, August and September 2017.www.tourdeoffice.com

Kristy Whitnell from PwC Melbourne was an outstanding fundraiser in this year’s Tour de Office. Her personal connection to the Starlight Children’s Foundation was pivotal when it came to rounding support.  

Kristy was the highest fundraiser in Tour de Office across the August and September 2017 events, raising an incredible $8,100 for the Starlight Children’s Foundation Australia.

What motivated you to fundraise?

My youngest child, of my 3 beautiful boys, has significant special needs and medical issues that have required and will continue to require him spending time in and out of hospital.

I’ve personally experienced the joy that Starlight brings to children’s lives in hospital through song, balloon-making and games. Starlight brings relief and joy to not only children required to be in hospital, but also their siblings who spend considerable time waiting around. This is a charity that is very close to my heart.

What is your fundraising strategy?

l recorded a video about why the Starlight Children’s Foundation meant so much to me and sent it around via email to various groups within PwC.  I then also at the last minute shared the link to my fundraising page on Facebook. 

What’s your advice for fundraising?

Be involved in something that is personal and meaningful to you. Be open and authentic and don’t be afraid to share your story with as many people as possible.

The Subtle Touch – George Georges: Top Fundraiser, August 2017.www.tourdeoffice.com

George Georges from Ferrier Hodgson raised $6,205 for Beyondblue.

For George, fundraising is all about creating discussion about your cause, as well as being selective about the charities you support throughout the year to focus your friends and family on a particular cause they can support you with. When people close to you know you’re passionate about your charity, they are more than happy to reach into their pocket for you.

What motivated you to fundraise?

Beyond Blue is a very important organisation for mental health. There are sadly too many men who don’t share their feelings and periods when they are down. It’s important for men, in particular, to accept that speaking about these times is so healthy and helps you appreciate that things are never as bad as they seem.

What is your fundraising strategy?

My strategy was simple. Encourage family and friends whom I’ve supported in their fundraising activities over many years to support me in raising funds for Beyond Blue. It’s important to appreciate that people are inundated these days with organisations chasing our scarce resources, so selecting only one or two organisations to support where you can actually make a difference is key. Beyond Blue has really brought mental health awareness to the front of mind for many people and ensuring that talking about mental health is a good thing and not to be embarrassed about. Most people know someone who has been affected by mental health issues and can, therefore, relate to the organisation.

What’s your advice for fundraising?

Spread the net far and wide and follow-up at least twice without being overbearing. Remind people that donations are tax deductible. Encouraging supporters to donate by doing something in return such as the ride or walk or head shave etc. People generally are happy to support an effort by the fundraiser.

 You can do it too! 

Trying a different fundraising tactic, such as recording yourself talking about what your charity partner, as Kristy, is an effective way to demonstrate to your network how much your cause means to you. Focusing on just a couple of charities throughout the year, as George suggests, will help your friends and family stay focused too, and you will be more likely to be successful when you ask for support. Ultimately, it seems reaching out to your network in person, via social media and email is key. After all, no one can support you if they don’t know about your cause!

Fundraising can wrongly be perceived as difficult for junior staff members, who don’t have as many so-called ‘friends in high places’ than their senior counterparts. Yet, the following case studies from two fantastic staff members at Employment Office, a long-term participant of Tour de Office, reveal that you don’t have to be a Founding Director or CEO to be a top fundraiser. In reality, a number of this year’s most successful fundraisers in Tour de Office were entry to mid-level professionals. So how did they do it? Read on to be inspired by the fundraising superstars themselves. 

A little competition goes a long way- Jemma Payne – Top Fundraiser at Employment Office

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Jemma had never fundraised before but ended up taking out the title of the top fundraiser at Employment Office, raising $871 for the mental health charity Stepping Stone Clubhouse. What was her secret? It’s simpler than you might think. A few friendly pokes at her friends and family to fundraise, and encouraging a little donor-competition went a long way.

What motivated you to fundraise?

Raising money for such an important cause was my key motivator. Mental health is something that impacts all of us at some stage, directly or indirectly. You can’t see mental illness – it’s something that many people struggle with, without others noticing. That really made me want to raise awareness and fundraise.

What is your fundraising strategy?

I had never fundraised before, so I had no strategy going into it! I simply shared the link on my Facebook profile and was amazed at the generosity of my friends and family. I did send a few messages to certain family and friends, telling them it was compulsory for them to donate… And I also started a competition between two uncles to see who could donate more and therefore be the favourite uncle! (John donated $100, Robbie donated $101 to take the title!)

What’s your advice for fundraising?

Put yourself out there and share what you’re doing for charity across your social channels – even on LinkedIn! Don’t just limit yourself to Facebook. You could also talk to your workplace about updating your email signature to include a bit of information and a link to your fundraising page.

I know people don’t like to ask for money, but don’t be afraid to annoy your family and friends! When it’s for a good cause and one that is close to many people, you’d be surprised by the level of support from those around you.

Face-to-face Communication is Key– Karon Beattie, Among the Top Fundraisers at Employment Office

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Karon Beattie raised a fantastic $690 for Stepping Stone Clubhouse simply by talking to those close to her about why mental health is so important to her.

What motivated you to fundraise?

I am a big advocate for mental health awareness and understanding and was really moved by Stepping Stone’s commitment to supporting members of the community with mental illness achieve their goals. I actually find it really challenging to ask people to sponsor things for me (no-one wants to be “that person!”), but when it was a cause I really cared about, I wasn’t afraid to reach out at all.

What is your fundraising strategy?

I don’t have a huge network of friends, but I do have some very close friends and family who I felt comfortable approaching for donations. I didn’t go to town with a generic message, but actually just took the time to talk to people about the charity, what it meant to me, what my target was and what I needed from them. What also helped was that my friends are generally really good people, and don’t hesitate when it comes to supporting a good cause!

What’s your advice for fundraising?

Be authentic – I’m not a fan of sending a generic message. Why would they make the effort to donate if you haven’t made the effort to really talk about what you’re doing and why it’s important? Also, be conscious that not everyone is in a position to donate right away and you may have to follow up. I would usually find this really difficult to do because I’m pretty low maintenance and don’t like to push things, but I don’t feel guilty about it when it’s on behalf of an organisation that really needs it.

Believe what you’re doing is going to make a difference. It doesn’t take a huge amount of effort on your part to help out, and those donations will be of a big help to organisations like Stepping Stone!

You can be a top fundraiser and make a real difference to those in need too. 

As a young professional, it’s not uncommon that many of your friends will be at university and thus, won’t be in a position to donate large sums of money – and that’s okay! Ultimately, many small donations will have the same impact, if not more, than a few large donations. By reaching out to your network, and asking even just for small change, you won’t only reach the fundraising target equal to that of a senior, but you’ll spread the word about your charity to many more people in the process. Good luck for your next Tour de Office event! 

70 per cent of Australians consider health and wellbeing as one of the three most important factors for a good workplace, reported a 2015 Medibank Private study.

In fact, one in two professionals would leave their jobs if their wellbeing needs were not met, found a study of 2400 Australian professionals conducted by Robert Walters.

Crucially, job seekers are no longer settling for second best – they’re doing their research.

In fact, job seekers consult 16 different sources when researching a potential employer to learn if their workplace culture aligns with their needs and values, according to a recent report by job and careers community, Kununu.

Clearly, a wellbeing program is no longer ‘a nice perk.’ It has evolved into a core element of employer branding – a tool for employers to attract and retain top talent in today’s competitive recruitment market.

Susanne Mather, Head of Employer Branding from leading recruitment marketing company, Employment Office, says job seekers are increasingly looking for a workplace that fits their lifestyle, and employers need to tap into this. “People are starting to realise they don’t need to subscribe to the traditional 9 to 5 sit-at-your-desk-all-day. Today’s leading employers do things differently; they offer perks, make work meaningful and fun and most importantly, invest in the health of their employees,” says Susanne.

So how do you capitalise on health and wellness activities to strengthen your employer brand and attract top talent? Read on for 4 key steps.

1. Implement effective health and wellness activities.
Of course, in order for your health and wellness activities to impact on your employer brand, you must have an effective and well-used health and wellness program in place, or activities which foster a healthy working environment.

Founding Director of Employment Office, Tudor Marsden Huggins, knows the positive impact health and wellness activities has on his team.

“At Employment Office, we hold monthly ‘Buzz nights’ to celebrate the team’s achievements. They’ve proven to be a wonderful opportunity to get the team outdoors and moving. We’ve kayaked down the Brisbane River, had a blast indoor trampolining, played laser skirmish, gone bowling and even completed a scavenger hunt across the city… But keeping your team healthy doesn’t have to be an elaborate endeavour. Something as simple as a team fun run or weekly video yoga class, and providing fresh and healthy snacks are some of the easiest but most effective ways to invest in the health of your team,” Tudor says.

Click to be inspired by the top five workplace health trends of 2017.

2. Showcase your health and wellness activities on your careers webpage
Once you have established your health and wellness activities, make sure job seekers know about them. Update your careers webpage with pictures of your team having fun being involved in your health and wellness activities. Note the small things too, such as providing fruit and nuts in the kitchen and healthy vending machines – these perks go along way when a candidate imagines what it would be like to work for your organisation. To go a step further, include your wellness activities in email communications with your talent pool – dedicate a section of your email template to health news from your organisation. Wherever possible, get your people talking about it in their own words, whether in writing or through video!

3. Frequently update your social media pages with health and wellness content
Social media should not be underestimated when it comes to attracting talent and engaging with your staff outside of work hours. “With social media, job seekers have an insight into what it’s like to work at a particular company. Social media allows you to show you’re investing in the health of your staff on a day-to-day basis, and importantly, that your team is engaged in your wellness program,” Susanne says.

There are so many possibilities when it comes to celebrating a healthy workplace culture on social media. Encourage staff members to send in pictures of themselves and their colleagues having fun making healthy choices. You could run a competition for the greatest number of steps walked per day, announce the events your organisation gets involved in, and celebrate the personal health and fitness achievements of staff.

As an idea, Susanne recommends linking all your wellness posts with a hashtag to emphasise your health and wellness activities. For example #(your organisation)wellness. Your social media profiles can become health and wellness tools in themselves, encouraging your team to stay involved and in your wellness program.

4. Sign up your organisation for team events to create internal buzz and get your name out as an employer that values staff wellbeing.

There’s nothing more powerful for your employer brand than real people showcasing the fun they’re having with your company. Give the team colourful company shirts or jerseys – the team will love it. Something as simple as team merchandise will help create hype out on the field, helping to position your organisation as a healthy workplace through word of mouth, publicity and social media.

Real estate agency, Coronis, participates in fun runs, obstacle courses and challenges throughout the year. Coronis has also been a valued participant of Tour de Office since 2015. The team takes their two bikes onto the street for some fresh air and to share their event to the wider community. Wearing Coronis and Tour de Office shirts, the team waves “Beep to Beat Cancer” sign at cars driving by. Last year it was so successful that the police stopped after a noise complaint! Coronis reported, “Tour de Office was an opportunity for Coronis to increase our own brand awareness. With a focus on health and wellbeing messaging, the charity ride was a talking-point in the office, on the street and via social media.”

Whether you have an established program or not, now is the time to invest in the wellbeing of your staff. Make a start and enjoy all the benefits that come with a healthy workforce while positioning your organisation as an employer of choice, now and in the long term.

Editor’s note: Tour de Office provides an event-in-a-box wellness tool for employers to engage their team in a week-long cycling challenge. Click to learn about next years’ event, or enquire about a custom event at info@tourdeoffice.com 

To make the most of your health and wellness efforts as part of a strong employer branding strategy that will attract and retain top talent to your organisation, get in contact with Susanne Mather, Head of Employer Branding at Employment Office. All Tour de Office 2018 hosts are entitled to a free Employer Branding consultation with Susanne.

We all know the feeling. It’s past lunch, but not time to clock-off just yet. The whistle of the coffee machine, the crunch of a chip packet or the sight of an unassuming chocolate bar can be enough to set anyone off. You glance at your watch – it’s choc-o-clock. “Oh, I might just have a little something sweet.” Your head peers over to your colleague. “Anyone want some chocolate?” you ask with a cheeky grin.

HALT …Rewind. What led you to this moment? And how can you make healthier snack choices, or better, avoid being at the mercy of your cravings altogether?

What causes my craving?

Afternoon cravings can be caused by any number of factors including diet, sleep patterns, exercise routines and stress-levels. If we’re tired, lacking motivation, or simply hungry after an unsatisfying lunch, it’s easy to fall victim to the trap of the 3pm treat.

So it’s important to take notice of how you feel when your craving hits and tackle it by addressing the root of the problem.

1. HUNGER

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Your lunch has a big impact on how you will feel heading into the afternoon. Nutritionist Tanya Zuckerbrot, recommends a colourful lunch bursting with protein and fibre to stay full and ward off unnecessary sweet cravings later.

“A lunch that combines fibre and protein will keep you full and happy all afternoon,” she says. Her idea of a perfect lunch is: “mixed green salad topped with broccoli, hearts of palm, and protein – salmon, chicken, or tofu.” Adding avocado will help slow digestion- keeping you full longer.

Slowing down the rate at which you eat lunch will keep you feeling fuller too. A 2015 study conducted by the University of Bristol found those who eat slower feel fuller and feel they’ve eaten more than those who eat fast.

2. FATIGUE
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Your eyes are slowly drooping, and your head is feeling heavy. Resist. That. Yawn…. “There seems to be a natural rhythm or set clock in our bodies, so many people tend to feel a little sleepy around 2 or 3 in the afternoon,” says Lona Sandon, RD, MEd, assistant professor of nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centre.  Apart from this natural energy drop in our body clock (which some cultures acknowledge with siesta!), there are a number of other causes of afternoon fatigue.

What’s the science behind this lull in energy? And how can we stay alert and productive into the afternoon without reaching for some cake?

Afternoon fatigue is most often related to the body’s inability to effectively burn fat known as ‘post-lunch hypoglycaemia’. Switching your carb-heavy meals with foods rich in good fats is an effective way to train your body to burn fats instead of energy from carbohydrates, and eliminate these drops in energy levels. So crackers partnered with a hearty serving of avocado or small portion of virgin olive oil, or grilled fish with vegetables, is the better option than a bowl of pasta.

Rather than reaching for a caffeine-dense coffee, Snackwize recommends chai or matcha tea to help kick those zzzs. Cinnamon in chai tea helps to increase awareness, and cardamom works as a mood-booster. If you’re still after a small caffeine fix, matcha tea is packed with a natural relaxant, which means a constant energy increase without the caffeine knock-out. 

Finally, exercising midday is a proven way to give your body an energy boost for up to three to four hours, helping you to avoid a ‘pick me up’ simply because you’re tired. As an added bonus, you’ll be less likely to reach for a snack that would undo all your hard work!

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3. A PSYCHOLOGICAL RESPONSE
More often than not, afternoon cravings are a psychological response to what’s going on around us. If we’re stressed, bored or unmotivated, a sweet treat seems like a quick fix. Yet in reality, sugar hits and carb-loaded foods will work as a short-term pick-me-up but may only leave us with a headache, feeling bloated or even more tired than we were before.

If you’re reaching for food to have a much-needed break from your desk, the better option would be to go for a walk. But we’re only human, and sometimes when we’re feeling down, only a sweet treat will do. That’s when you pull out your cheat-sheet of sweet alternatives. (See end of article).

www.tourdeoffice.comMaking better choices
Remember, snacking isn’t necessarily unhealthy. It all comes down to what you’re eating. Your afternoon craving can be an opportunity to fuel your body to sneak some extra nutrition and boost your energy levels for the rest of the day.

What’s the best type of food to reach for when those afternoon cravings refuse to give up? High protein and low sugar snacks will be your best bet. Avoid white bread, crackers, chips and pretzels – these simple carbohydrates won’t keep you full.

Your 3pm Craving Cheat Sheet

A collection of ideas from Snackwize and Chobani Australia.

Something substantial

  • Bean/ lentil/ legume soup
  • Whole-grain toast with organic, low-salt peanut butter
  • Carrot/ cucumber/ celery sticks with hummus or low-fat tzatziki
  • Small can of tuna with 2 wholegrain crackers

Just for a nibble

  • Hummus Chips
  • Sugar-free high-fibre cereal (skim milk optional)
  • A handful of raw almonds
  • Apple slices and natural nut butter
  • Air-popped pop corn
  • Rice cakes
  • 1-2 boiled eggs

When only sweet will do

  • A high protein such as the Chobani ‘Flip’
  • Sugar free or dark chocolate
  • Banana cut up with organic peanut butter on top
  • A fruit smoothie
  • Handful of dark chocolate covered nuts or raisons

Whatever craving hits you after lunch, you can satisfy it with a healthy alternative.

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The Chobani CHOteam

Being healthy at work doesn’t end with choosing the right foods to fuel your body. Get active during the working day, and spread the message of health and wellness at your workplace, with the Tour de Office corporate cycling relay. With custom events now available, Tour de Office is happening in workplaces across Australia all throughout the year. The Chobani CHOteam will be visiting workplaces across Australia for Tour de Office in August and September, delivering their brand new creamy Greek yogurt with a Crave-worthy crunch, ‘Chobani Flip’.

Editor’s note: This article was published in partnership with Chobani Australia and Snackwize.

Tour de Office and Chobani Australia have joined forces for to deliver Australian workplaces yogurt with a crave-worthy crunch, helping our riders to keep their energy levels up throughout their ride. 

WIN a Chobani Flip prize pack plus a TDO shirt and water bottle! To enter:
1)Take a photo of yourself eating Chobani Flip Yogurt with the Tour de Office bike in your office.
2) Post the photo on the TDO Facebook wall and tag @Tour De Officeand #ChobaniFlip.

Entries open for all Tour de Office events in major cities. Entries close at 11.59pm 20th October 2017. Keep your eye out for the CHOteam at your workplace during Tour de Office!
Tour de Office and Chobani ‘Flip’ Competition – Terms and Conditions

1. Information on how to enter and the prizes form part of these Terms and Conditions. Participation in this promotion is deemed acceptance of these Terms and Conditions.

2. Entry is open to Australian residents aged 18 years or over.

3. Employees (and their immediate families) of the Promoter and agencies associated with this promotion are ineligible to enter. Immediate family means any of the following: spouse, ex-spouse, de-facto spouse, child or step-child (whether natural or by adoption), parent, step-parent, grandparent, step-grandparent, uncle, aunt, niece, nephew, brother, sister, step-brother, step-sister or 1st cousin.

4. The entry period will begin on Monday 21st August at 8am and conclude on Friday 20th of October at 11.59pm.

5. To be eligible to enter, eligible individuals must complete the following entry method: upload a picture of themselves to the Tour de Office facebook wall, featuring the Tour de Office bike and a Chobani flip, with the handle “@tourdeoffice” and hashtag “#ChobaniFlip” in the caption field

6. Incomplete or indecipherable entries will be deemed invalid.

7. Multiple entries permitted, subject to the following: (a) each entry must be substantially unique; and (b) each entry must be submitted separately and in accordance with entry requirements.

8. The Promoter reserves the right, at any time, to verify the validity of entries and entrants (including an entrant’s identity, age and place of residence) and reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who the Promoter has reason to believe has breached any of these Terms and Conditions, tampered with the entry process or engaged in any unlawful or other improper misconduct calculated to jeopardise fair and proper conduct of the promotion. Errors and omissions may be accepted at the Promoter’s discretion. Failure by the Promoter to enforce any of its rights at any stage does not constitute a waiver of those rights. The Promoter’s legal rights to recover damages or other compensation from such an offender are reserved.

9. If there is a dispute as to the identity of an entrant, the Promoter reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to determine the identity of the entrant.

10. The entries received will be individually judged against all other entries in that Entry Period based on originality and creativity. The judging will commence Monday, 23 October 2017. The judges may select additional reserve entries which they determine to be the next best, and record them in order of merit, in case of an invalid entry or ineligible entrant, or in the event the first selected entrant.

11. The winners will be notified by way of a comment on their winning entry or by a direct message to the winner via Facebook. The winner will then be required to contact the Promoter by the time specified in the notification post/message in order to verify their entry and organise acceptance of their prize.

12. The Promoter’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

13. The best valid entry as determined by the judges, will receive a delivery of a large Flip gift box with a Tour de Office branded-shirt and water bottle. The winner must live within a 30km radius of Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth & Adelaide CBDs.

14. If for any reason a winner does not take a prize (or an element of a prize) at/by the time stipulated by the Promoter, then the prize (or that element of the prize) will be forfeited.

15. If any prize (or part of any prize) is unavailable, the Promoter, in its discretion, reserves the right to substitute the prize (or that part of the prize) with a prize to the equal value and/or specification.

16. Prizes, or any unused portion of a prize, are not transferable or exchangeable and cannot be taken as cash.

17. Entrants agree that they are fully responsible for any materials they submit via the promotion including but not limited to Photographs and comments (“Content”). The Promoter shall not be liable in any way for such Content to the full extent permitted by law. The Promoter may remove or decline to publish any Content without notice for any reason whatsoever. Entrants warrant and agree that: (a) they will not submit any Content that is unlawful or fraudulent, or that the Promoter may deem in breach of any intellectual property, privacy, publicity or other rights, defamatory, obscene, derogatory, pornographic, sexually inappropriate, violent, abusive, harassing, threatening, objectionable with respect to race, religion, origin or gender, not suitable for children aged under 15, or otherwise unsuitable for publication; (b) their Content shall not contain viruses or cause injury or harm to any person or entity; (c) they will obtain prior consent from any person or from the owner(s) of any property that appears in their Content; (d) the Content is the original work of the entrant that does not infringe the rights of any third party; (e) Content which may otherwise infringe the Content creator’s/creators’ moral rights pursuant to the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) and warrant that they have the full authority to grant these rights; and (f) they will comply with all applicable laws and regulations, including without limitation, those governing copyright, content, defamation, privacy, publicity and the access or use of others’ computer or communication systems. Without limiting any other terms herein, the entrant agrees to indemnify the Promoter for any breach of the above terms.

18. As a condition of entering this promotion, each entrant licenses and grants the Promoter, its affiliates and sub-licensees a non-exclusive, royalty-free, perpetual, worldwide, irrevocable, and sub-licensable right to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish and display their entry (which shall include Content) for any purpose, including but not limited to future promotional, marketing or publicity purposes, in any media, without compensation, restriction on use, attribution or liability.

19. Entrants consent to the Promoter using their name, likeness, image and/or voice in the event they are a winner (including photograph, film and/or recording of the same) in any media for an unlimited period without remuneration for the purpose of promoting this promotion (including any outcome), and promoting any products manufactured, distributed and/or supplied by the Promoter.

20. If this promotion is interfered with in any way or is not capable of being conducted as reasonably anticipated due to any reason beyond the reasonable control of the Promoter, including but not limited to technical difficulties, unauthorised intervention or fraud, the Promoter reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to the fullest extent permitted by law: (a) to disqualify any entrant; or (b) to modify, suspend, terminate or cancel the promotion, as appropriate.

21. Any cost associated with accessing the Internet is the entrant’s responsibility and is dependent on the Internet service provider used.

22. Nothing in these Terms and Conditions limits, excludes or modifies or purports to limit, exclude or modify the statutory consumer guarantees as provided under the Competition and Consumer Act, as well as any other implied warranties under the ASIC Act or similar consumer protection laws in the States and Territories of Australia (“Non-Excludable Guarantees”). Except for any liability that cannot by law be excluded, including the Non-Excludable Guarantees, the Promoter (including its respective officers, employees and agents) excludes all liability (including negligence), for any personal injury; or any loss or damage (including loss of opportunity); whether direct, indirect, special or consequential, arising in any way out of the promotion.

23. Except for any liability that cannot by law be excluded, including the Non-Excludable Guarantees, the Promoter (including its respective officers, employees and agents) is not responsible for and excludes all liability (including negligence), for any personal injury; or any loss or damage (including loss of opportunity); whether direct, indirect, special or consequential, arising in any way out of: (a) any technical difficulties or equipment malfunction (whether or not under the Promoter’s control); (b) any theft, unauthorised access or third party interference; (c) any entry or prize claim that is late, lost, altered, damaged or misdirected (whether or not after their receipt by the Promoter) due to any reason beyond the reasonable control of the Promoter; (d) any variation in prize value to that stated in these Terms and Conditions; (e) any tax liability incurred by a winner or entrant; or (f) taking/use of and/or participation in a prize.

24. The Promoter collects personal information (“PI”) in order to conduct the promotion and may, for this purpose, disclose such PI to third parties, including but not limited to agents, contractors, service providers and prize suppliers. Entry is conditional on providing this PI. The Promoter will also use and handle PI as set out in its Privacy Policy, which can be viewed at http://www.chobani.com.au/core/wp-c…. In addition to any use that may be outlined in the Promoter’s Privacy Policy, the Promoter may, for an indefinite period, unless otherwise advised, use the PI for promotional, marketing, publicity, research and profiling purposes, including sending electronic messages or telephoning the entrant. The Privacy Policy also contains information about how entrants may opt out, access, update or correct their PI, how entrants may complain about a breach of the Australian Privacy Principles or any other applicable law and how those complaints will be dealt with. All entries become the property of the Promoter. Unless otherwise indicated by the Promoter, the Promoter may disclose personal information to entities outside of Australia (see the Promoter’s Privacy Policy for details).

25. Entry and continued participation in the promotion is dependent on entrants following and acting in accordance with the Facebook Statement of Rights and Responsibilities (which can be viewed at www.facebook.com/terms.php).

26. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. The information an entrant provides will only be used by the Promoter for the purposes outlined in these Terms and Conditions. Any questions, comments or complaints about this promotion must be directed to the Promoter and to Facebook. Facebook will not be liable for any loss or damage or personal injury which is suffered or sustained by an entrant, as a result of participating in the promotion (including taking/use of a prize), except for any liability which cannot be excluded by law.

27. The Promoter is the Tour de office Foundation (ABN 96865172834) of 265 Coronation dr. Milton, QLD 4064.

Year after year since the first Tour de Office ride in 2011, healthy rivalry between Australian organisations has encouraged staff members to go above and beyond… jumping on the bike with crazier costumes, inviting special guests such as the police to ride, and finding creative ways to raise every dollar possible (one rider promised to wax his legs in the foyer if he hit his fundraising target). So what will happen when we turn up the heat, and create teams within organisations? Well… now is the time to find out, because that’s exactly what we’ve done!

For the first time in 2017, Tour de Office riders can sign up and fundraise as part of a team within their organisation and compete against teams within their company, and teams around Australia.

Marketing vs Finance? Sales vs HR? CEOs vs everyone else? Let the fundraising games begin.

Read on for the top benefits of being part of a fundraising team, rather than going at it alone:

Raise more! According to a 2014 study by Everyday Hero, fundraisers as part of a team are responsible for 65 per cent of total fundraising dollars in cycling events, while individuals raise just over 15 per cent of the total fundraising tally (with the remaining 15 per cent raised by team captains). That’s four times more than an individual fundraiser! Similarly, those in a team received an average of two more donations than individuals.

Be driven. With one team goal, you’ll be more motivated to fundraise because you’ll won’t want to let the team down! In fact, team members are ten per cent more likely to hit the keyboard and email their contacts asking for support than individuals when it comes to fundraising. Team members send an average of 8 more emails to their friends and colleagues asking for donations than individual event participants.

Spread the word like never before. Imagine how much louder your fundraising voice will be when part of a team. Amplify your cause by approaching potential donors as a team, and bring social media into the mix. Tagging in your teammates on social media and regularly posting team updates will help get everyone’s network is interested and invested, pushing your team closer to success! The comradery that comes with team shirts, flags and posters, will motivate your team to do the best you can when it comes to sweating it out on the bike and raising money for your worthy cause.

Have (even more) fun! As part of a team, you’re able to run mini fundraising events for some bonus fundraising in the lead up to the event. Smoothie-making days, mini olympics and dress-up days are just some ways your team could take Tour de Office ‘season’ to the next level in your office. Why not hijack one day of Tour de Office rider calendar and book it out with everyone in your team. You could surprise your office with a team costume theme. Prizes for the best dressed team anyone? Let’s celebrate cycling for the team sport that it truly is.

To join or create a team in the Tour de Office event, make sure you’ve signed up here. Go to your profile page, and scroll down click either ‘Join team’ or ‘Create team’ on the left.

What are you waiting for? Round up the troops and sign up your Tour de Office team today for the best Tour de Office event yet.

 

Editor’s’ note: Please note, at this stage, teams are only available for September event.

 

Source: The 2014 BLACKBAUD Key Performance Indicators for Online Participants and Teams by Loyalty, Donation Level, and Fundraising Performance Analysis. http://charity.everydayhero.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/2014-peer-to-peer-fundraising-study-1.pdf