How to get your team culture right when scaling a business?
Why meeting in nature can make all the difference to building a high performance team and avoiding burn out and conflict.
Building a strong team culture when scaling a business is not easy. Why not try a nature fix?
On average people spend between 6-7 hours a day looking at a screen. In a high-paced tech scale up it can sometimes be up to 8-10 hours a day. This amount of screen time combined with the pressure of scaling a business can lead to burn out, team conflict and high employee turnover. It might seem counter-intuitive, but what tech scale ups and startups need most of all is time away from the screen and time away from the office.
This is where we come in. We offer the people working in tech startups and scale ups the nature fix that they need to maintain performance, avoid burnout and build a stronger team culture over the long term.
The impact on wellbeing of spending time in nature has been proven again and again by scientists at the top universities across the world. There is a great book called The Nature Fix that maps all of the data and research out for you. When we are in nature we slow down, we open up and we begin to feel more connected and grounded to ourselves and with each other. New emotions, new ideas and new energy for change emerges.
This is what we offer at Selgars. A partnership with tech scale up businesses, that gives their people unlimited access to nature, not only for work retreats and workations, but also for family holidays and personal development.
Increasingly companies are shifting away from long leases towards coworking, where their team can roam between coworking offices across the city. Why not also extend this membership to the countryside?
We believe that this is the perfect moment to reflect on how the culture of work has changed post-pandemic and take a leap of imagination.
For remote teams, the bulk of your daily business can probably be done perfectly online. However, most projects have some aspects that flow much easier or at all when the team is together. Also for teams that still work together in an office, some topics are best dealt with outside of the normal surroundings of daily work.
These topics are typically strategic work, product development, project kick-offs, customer-centric work, design sprints and similar things. Also, periods of very intense work like closing a funding round or finalising a launch are often better done in a physical get-together.
The quietness and isolation of a beautiful location in nature helps to find the focus and energy required for such endeavours. These kinds of retreats are also often called team retreat, focus retreat, productivity retreat or workation.
We run two spaces, one city space in East London called House of Transformation and the other in the Mid Devon countryside called Selgars Estate. We have found that increasingly media and tech businesses are looking for spacious, nature inspired meeting and event spaces that go beyond the conventional coworking space or private office space. We don’t need more desks with screens. We need more spaces that feel like home. Spaces that are cosy, colourful, welcoming and creative. This is what we have built at the House of Transformation.
Our vision was always to combine our city space with a nature venue. A couple of months ago this dream came true when we signed a lease for Selgars Mill. Selgars is an ideal venue for hosting nature immersions, strategic offsites and team retreats. We have very affordable pricing and plenty of coworking spaces, bedrooms and indoor and outdoor event spaces that can cater for a wide range of activities and meetings.
When it comes to the design of your retreat or offsite, from our experience, keeping it simple is what works best. Comfortable beds, beautiful nature, some wellness activities, some hands-on arts and crafts, some live music, sitting around the fire at night, hiking and sports, good local seasonal food and creative spaces that inspire new thinking. We also know that one or two days is not enough. The impact is felt when you can stay a week or more and work remotely from nature. This is our goal, to partner with tech businesses in London and the South West region and offer a countryside alternative to the city office.
Written by Anton Chernikov
Anton is a designer, consultant and entrepreneur who has been working at the intersection of tech, sustainability and real estate for the past 12 years. He is the founder of House of Transformation and Selgars and the co-founder of re:build and enchanted. He is looking to connect with tech founders and investors to discuss the role that creative spaces and nature offices can play in helping founders build a strong team culture.