A warm welcome to JasonL who is supporting Tour de Office in 2017!

JasonL is offering two stand up desks as prizes for the event! We think it is a great partnership, giving our participants a practical way to transform the way they work and quit the sit!

Stay tuned to learn how you can win!

Learn more about JasonL by visiting their website here.

 

Fundraising can often (incorrectly) be perceived as a hassle-a-thon of your closest friends, clients and family. The good news is Tour de Office doesn’t advocate forced fundraising – we want our riders to simply showcase the fun they’re having, the effort they’re putting in, and the passion they have for their cause.

There is no perfect formula to appeal to your friends and family and ask for donations.

We went through the history books and looked at a couple of our top Tour de Office Fundraisers from the last couple of years to gain an insight into how they promoted their rides – hopefully it will inspire you to do the same.

THE ROOKIE

Bernadette O’Connor gives us a great example of how an entry-level professional can give the top executives a run for their money on the fundraising leaderboard.

Bernadette focused on consistent and fun social media posts to engage her network to donate to her rides. Proving the little guy can come through with a win Bernadette raised nearly $2,000 in one week and was the top fundraiser for her organisation Employment Office.

“For me it was about quantity – I knew my friends would only be able to donate small amounts so I had to ensure I had a lot of little donations coming in every day. I posted every day on social media and live-tweeted my rides. The big thing is to ALWAYS put a link to your direct fundraising page, donors lose interest very quickly so if they can’t see a direct way to give you money.“There is nothing worse than giving someone a donation then never seeing if that person has actually completed their fun-run, or bake sale, or volunteer work – I wanted to prove to everyone I was riding every day, dressing up, having fun and their money was going to a good cause,” Bernadette says.

“You don’t need friends in high places to raise money for a good cause – a bit of fun – and some humorous self promotion goes a long way. Consistency is key and so if it’s your first time fundraising, there is no excuse not to jump on your bike and start tweeting your rides!”

THE PERSISTENT FUNDRAISER

Rahul Goyal topped the fundraising leader board for Tour de Office in 2015 with a record-breaking $7000 raised during the event. So how did he do it?

Rahul admits that he’s a keen fundraiser and personally supports a number of charities each year. He has a clear-cut strategy that has been tried and tested during a number of charity initiatives.

“Firstly I always make a sizable donation to myself. Its hard to ask others to support you when you haven’t made a contribution yourself. Then I write a list of 30 people who I’m confident would be happy to give a donation. These are people who I have a good relationship with and speak to regularly. I send each person a personalised email and then remind them when I next speak to them.

I usually follow up with my shortlist every couple of days until they make a donation or decline to do so. Once they’ve donated, I cross them off my list.”

Rahul reported that he doesn’t ever feel like he’s hassling people because he’s not doing it to benefit himself, but instead he’s advocating a charitable cause.

“By donating myself, its always easier to ask others. Remember, don’t be afraid to ask, you’re actively making a difference to the lives of others.” Rahul says.

THE SILKY-SMOOTH FUNDRAISER

Employment Office rider in Tour de Office 2016, Alex Hood raised almost $1000 with just some wax strips and over-enthusiastic colleagues. Alex promised he would get his legs waxed if he reached his fundraising target- and his colleagues were more than happy to oblige. When it came to the big day, those who had donated were qualified to tear one wax strip from a hairy calf or thigh. Last minute donations were flying in left, right and centre.

“It was hilarious! Doing something different was a huge boost to my fundraising – I was so excited to almost hit $1000. I would encourage anyone fundraising to think outside the box and not be afraid to make a fool of yourself. Jump on the bike in a crazy costume, face a fear or defy people’s expectations of you. It’s all for a good laugh and importantly, you’ll boost your fundraising.”  

Ultimately, the key to fundraising is to remember why you’re doing it in the first place. Consider how each dollar you raise will make a difference to people most in need. This will keep you motivated to reach out to your colleagues, friends and family for their support – remember, your community will want to help if you’re passionate about making a difference and show you’re having fun along the way!

Everyday, more and more big-name corporates around the world are finding new ways to invest in the health of their staff in creative ways – all in an effort to improve their team’s well being, increase productivity, reduce turnover and position themselves as an employer of choice.

If you want to be at the top of your game as an employer – competing for outstanding talent while fighting to keep your staff members, it’s time to overhaul how things are done around your workplace.

Here are some outstanding office features from around the world that all business leaders can draw some inspiration from.

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Rock climbing wall at Insurance company Acuity based in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Image – Acuity.

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At Google, Apple and Linkedin, employees travel between buildings and campuses using on corporate bike fleets – these fleets have been popping up in Silicon Valley campuses over the past decade. Image- Business Insider. 

 

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A place to stretch and reconnect with nature for the staff at ad agency of TBWA Hakuhodo. Image- TBWA. 

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A Ford Mustang pool table, basketball court, and in-office scooters keeps the team at Quicken Loans, headquartered in Detroit on their feet. Image – Glassdoor. 

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Indoor exercise court at OnBase. Image – Hyland Software.

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Pixar California campus includes a basketball court and swimming pool! Image –  Oh my Disney.

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Healthy vending machines, slides and motivational signs are all part of a typical day at The Toms Office in California. Image – Glassdoor. 

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Just another lunch time at Facebook in California! Image- Daniel Goodman, Business Insider. 

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An impressive office design back home in Australia by Architects Harcott is the recently developed Medibank in Melbourne, designed to be the healthiest workplace in the world by keeping employees moving and engaged with each other. With more than 26 different office spaces, exercise courts, an indoor bike ramp, stairs galore, and plants covering more than 10 per cent of the building, this office resembles more of a health retreat than a workplace! Image – Earl Carter. 

How to create a healthy workplace

Don’t worry! You haven’t missed the boat. With more options than ever, now is the perfect time to revamp how your workplace, well… works – so you can invest in the health of your team in the long term.

Of course, some ventures will be more expensive than others. It’s simply not economical for small businesses to implement an outdoor ergonomic space, gym or state-of-the-art yoga retreat.

But no matter the size of your company, you can make a number of small but high-impact changes to help create a healthier workplace for your team.

Remember, it’s the little things that count. 

· Provide healthy vending machines
· Offer alternative available treats such as a fruit platter or dark chocolate
· Convert that office space to a temporary workout zone during lunch time. Encourage as many people as possible to come along. Play an exercise youtube video – it’s completely free, easy to set up and no equipment is needed.
· Try running internal competitions for how many steps taken in a week/ lunch time workouts completed.
. Check out this extensive list of ideas compiled by the QLD Government.

Make a visual change, without the huge price tag

Tour de Office participant, Employment Office, has just split the cost with their staff in purchasing stand up desks – almost everybody in the Brisbane based office now has a stand up desk – and the staff love it! Check out Tour de Office partner, Jason.L Furniture’s range of quality Australian-made stand up desks.

An increasingly sedentary population is a burden on the Australian health system and economy. Disease brought on by inactivity leads to more than 16,000 premature deaths every year, and chronic disease costs the Australian economy an upwards of $15 billion annually.

The majority of our sedentary time is spent at work. In fact, the average Australian adult sits for 10 hours a day – in the workplace! This means there is an opportunity for you, business leaders, to make a significance difference to the health and wellbeing of your staff and encourage physical activity during the working day. Read on for why you should invest in the health of your staff…

A sedentary workforce is costing you money.

 According to Independent Economics, the overall average productivity loss as a result of physical inactivity costs Australian businesses $458 per employee per year. And that’s just in productivity loss. From high absenteeism and high turnover, to workplace injuries and a damaged employer brand, the hidden costs of an unhealthy workforce are significant.

You are missing an opportunity to increase productivity.

As mentioned, an unhealthy workforce will reduce productivity and put you out of pocket. Investing in the health and wellness of your staff is a proven measure to increase productivity.

A study conducted by Medibank Private found the healthiest Australian employees are almost three times more productive than their unhealthy colleagues. And your employees can feel the difference – healthy workers rate their work performance much higher than unhealthy workers, reported a Comcare Australian Government study. The healthiest employees worked 159 effective hours effective hours per month compared 43 effectives hours by the unhealthiest employees.

There’s plenty you can do to look after the health of your staff and see benefits to each staff member, and your business as a whole.

So, how can you invest in the health of staff, increase productivity and save money?

Take a look at your current wellness efforts. Do you have vending machines full of high-sugar foods, or offer fresh lunch options such as fruits and nuts? Is there exercise equipment or a stretching space available in your workplace or nearby?

If you have a health and wellness program in place, fantastic. But too often these programs are poorly communicated and underused. Make sure your staff members have a good understanding of what you’re offering and how it will benefit them. Consider what else you can do – perhaps conduct an internal survey for feedback and ideas. There’s always room for improvement.

Hosting a bike in Tour de Office

Partnering with a corporate health and wellness initiative such as Tour de Office is a clear and decisive step towards a healthier workforce. Tour de Office raises awareness about the health risks workers face by sitting for prolonged periods of time, and will get your staff up and moving.

During the week-long event, an expected 2,500 Australian staff members across 40 organisations will jump on a stationary bike in their office and ride thousands of kilometres for Australian charities.

According to a survey conducted by Wodonga TAFE in 2016, a participant of Tour de Office, 60 per cent of staff found the event motivated them to exercise at work and 70 per cent said they were more aware of the dangers of sitting for long periods. In addition, 90 per cent of staff said they really enjoyed the event and would participate again.

A number of big name organisations including Commonwealth Bank, Kordamentha, Optus and Motorama will host a bike in Tour de Office 2017. To join the ride kicking off in August and September, visit tourdeoffice.com or call Event Leader, Helen Dwyer on 0429 347 417.

Teachers and staff set a fantastic example for students at Wodonga Tafe in regional Victoria last year when they participated in Tour de Office 2016.

As well as riding, Tafe staff were busy raising over $5,500 for Headspace, a national youth mental health foundation dedicated to improving the wellbeing of young Australians. Staff really embraced the opportunity to show support and understanding for young people on campus and in the greater community.

Their efforts did not go unnoticed by local media, and generated plenty of positive publicity. WIN news were a major publicity source and ran two news stories – one at the official launch and then again upon presentation of funds raised to charity Headspace.  Interviews were also held with HIT104.9 as well as ABC Goulburn Ovens, Border Mail and News Weekly. 

Typical of a lot of large educational campuses, departments are spread out and interaction opportunities between staff can be limited. “Our staff loved participating in Tour de Office!  The event really helped to break down departmental barriers as it brought staff together from right across the Institute and created a positive buzz around the place.  I recommend Tour de Office to TAFEs, universities and other organisations with large departments as great way to engage staff in a fun and rewarding activity.”– Merial Trounce, Human Resources, Wodonga TAFE.  

Competition for spots in the relay was fierce! In fact a majority of staff have voted to host a second bike in Tour de Office 2017 to allow more people to participate this year. We loved their enthusiasm in 2016, the daily costumes and challenges they came up with, the great photos that captured all the action, and above all, the wonderful example they set for students. Good on you Wodonga Tafe, we look forward to seeing you back on the bike in August!

If you are an educational institution or similar organisation and would like to know how you can make Tour de Office work for you, get in touch today.

Some would say modern donors are becoming fickle, increasingly needing justification for their support or spreading their giving amongst a variety of causes they feel passionate about rather than choosing loyalty to one charity. The question on their lips is –  “how can we use our resources to help others the most?”.

In most areas of life, we base our decisions on evidence and reason rather than emotion or instinct. When we invest money or make purchases, we gather as much information as we can about our options to find out what will give us the greatest return. Yet when it comes to doing good, traditionally we have often set aside these standards and donated to charities on impulse without researching where our money goes.

As a result, good intentions may be squandered because people use their time and money in ways that do comparatively little good. Most of us don’t realise just how wealthy we are in relative global terms. To put it into perspective – those amongst us earning an average income in Australia are likely to be in the top 5% of earners globally. This relative wealth presents an enormous opportunity to do good, and comes with a responsibility to use our money wisely in areas of greatest impact.

Consider Oprah Winfrey’s South African girl’s school she financed for $40 million in 2007. This undoubtedly presented amazing benefits for the 150 young female students. In isolation $40 million seems like a very generous contribution to a worthy cause. But if you consider those same funds could have been used to build multiple schools and support many impoverished communities, it seems like a missed opportunity.

So which causes should we support if we really want to make a difference? What career choices will help us make a significant contribution? Which charities will use our donations effectively? These are the questions asked more frequently by the modern philanthropist.

For 2017 and beyond, does the responsibility lie with the charity or with the giver to ensure money is well spent?

If you’ve ever hosted, organised, sponsored, volunteered or participated at a major sporting event you will appreciate how much they depend on everything to go right for success. It is a highly detailed, resource-intensive, checklist oriented project that consumes anyone involved.

Then there are the compliance requirements – for example road closures, permits, equipment hire and insurances. We’ve already made our case right there and we didn’t even have to talk portaloos.

A third party event can take many forms but the most joyous aspect of it is that it is pre-organised, allowing you to introduce it to your supporter base and get on with promoting it as a new fundraising opportunity. Without the months of pre-planning, you can dedicate time, resources and effort to a better outcome through coaching and stewardship.

There are certainly costs associated with a number of these types of events, especially if you choose tiered or featured status through an event registration system. When weighing up these fees, it is usually apparent that they still present good value when compared with running an event yourself. Additionally, as the event marketing and promotion budget is bigger than most charities can afford, being a part of these third party events creates exposure to a new audience and potential donor base.

Some of these events have even become icons within a landscape or route. However, whilst they can attract huge numbers of runners, cyclists, etc, they may also present a different challenge in promoting your brand to a saturated audience.

But there are smaller events that can still have impact and participant demographics may be more targeted or relevant to your organisation’s message. Tour de Office is one such event that works specifically within corporates promoting health and wellness. It means people wanting to get involved do not have to be able to clock a marathon in under 4 hours or cycle every weekend, they are just able to have a go and feel good about their effort. This broader appeal event could present an introduction to the everyday person who may turn out to be your biggest supporter, and without needing to complete some athletic feat to prove it.

Corporate wellness programs are no longer just a “fad,” they are here to stay. In order to keep wellness activities fresh, creativity and innovation is flourishing in this space. In 2017, the emphasis seems to be on a more holistic health approach. In particular, we are seeing a rise in employee flexibility, healthier work environments and improvements in technology.

Here’s our top five health trends:

  1. FLEX WORKING – the trust and autonomy that goes hand in hand with flexible working hours goes a long way to delivering better work-life balances. Flexibility seems to be key to our happiness and wellbeing, we are all unique and have different responsibilities and schedules outside of the workplace. From flexible leave arrangements to physical work environments – through hot desking and collaborative workspaces – many impacts can be measured including increases in productivity and decreased levels of stress.
  2. WELLNESS TOOLS – sleep pods, stand-up desks, treadmill desks and fitness apps are popular ways to physically improve wellbeing. Check out APPs like Keas, Workplace Challenge and Wellness Champion Hub that enable employees to record and track their exercise, nutrition and sleep against individual and team goals.
  3. DECLINE IN SIT-DOWN MEETINGS – The stand-up meeting has also evolved into the walking meeting. Not only are these both great ways to get people on their feet and away from their desks, they can be highly productive and a more efficient use of time. With tasks designated, decisions made and information shared whilst on the go, many organisations are finding these quick daily or weekly catch-ups fit well into busy schedules.
  4. GIVING BACK – Providing opportunities for staff to fundraise for their favourite charities through organised events meets CSR objectives for organisations whilst creating feel-good outcomes for particpants and beneficiaries alike. Some larger organisations take this to the next level and offer gift matching programs, ensuring staff realise the impact and value of their efforts. Consider also the food-drives, community working bees and used clothing/goods collections that many organisations run annually that make staff feel more connected to worthy causes.
  5. HEALTHY SNACKS – As many companies do away with the traditional vending machines filled with sugar and salt based food groups, encouraging healthier eating choices as part of an overall wellness approach for staff is definitely on the increase. Fruit bowls, nuts, herbal teas and filtered water are fairly commonplace in most workplaces. For those who still love the idea of the vending machine convenience, try Apple Vending or All Real Food for some great options using fresh foods including gluten free.

 

If you are looking for more ways to get your staff active and health aware at work, and would like to find out about Tour de Office 2017, we are delivering more flexible, custom event options designed to suit your organisation’s size, culture and budget. Get in touch via info@tourdeoffice.com

We have been running Tour de Office events in companies of all sizes, across many states since way back in 2011. During this time we have raised over half a million dollars for Australian charities and had a lot of fun along the way!

We have been truly inspired by the effort and the imagination of teams of employees who embrace this cycling challenge event and make it their own. We see it fit different office cultures – from vehicle dealerships to newsrooms, real estate agencies, banks and multi-national financial firms. We take our hats off to all of them who cycled past their limits and raised more money than they thought they could and cheered for everyone from the CEO to the receptionist as they sweated through their leg of the relay.

Here’s how they experienced it, in their own words.

“Coronis is fundamentally a healthy, active workplace which is why Tour De Office is such a perfect fit for our culture. We love taking everything we do to the next level which is why we host the event out the front of our headquarters, dress up, promote it on social media and run competitions. It all benefits our chosen charity in the end so we like to have some fun with it!”  Coronis, Qld 

“Tour de Office was a great platform for our corporate partners to support Youngcare and engage their staff and clients.The combined fundraising efforts from our supporters this year was almost $30,000, which is equivalent to five At Home Care Grants, to enable five young Aussies with high care needs at risk of entering aged care, to stay at home with their loved ones.”  Charity Partner, Youngcare

“I would definitely recommend Tour de Office to other TAFEs, universities and any organisation with large departments. Participating in this event helped to break down departmental barriers and enabled staff from around campus to engage with one another in a fun way. It brought staff together across the Institute and created a really positive atmosphere.”  Wodonga Tafe, Vic

“Both our Sydney and Melbourne offices take part and next year we hope to introduce Tour de office to our Brisbane office too. We moved the bike from floor to floor each day…  and the office was buzzing during the week. The event is a fantastic way to fundraise for a worthy cause alongside one of our major clients, Commonwealth Bank.”  Top individual fundraiser, KordaMentha

Tour de office riders have raised significant funds by appealing to colleagues, friends and families for support; a fundraising method known as Peer2Peer. 

Peer2Peer fundraising has captured the world of community-minded individuals with a desire to support a cause close to their hearts. Driven by their personal goals, people become vehicles for the promotion of causes they care about, within their own social networks. 

So how do our riders drive their fundraising? Here’s some great tips to inspire you… 

  • Get creative! Put out a challenge to supporters that if a fundraising target is met, the rider will wear a costume or recite poetry whilst completing a 30 minute ride. 
  • Kick off donations to your page with a donation to yourself to show your commitment to the cause, people will often match your donation so be generous and you’ll achieve your goal in no time!
  • Link in to the cause! With so many worthy charities in the Australian market, its important to communicate why a rider has chosen to support a cause and what it means to them personally. What could $250 do for your selected charity? Jump on social media and tell your friends!