What a N.E.A.T place to work.

Paying your staff for the work they do is no longer enough to keep them happy. Great companies understand this and act accordingly.

One such company is Orange Business Services Australasia. They understand the need to look after the person as a whole, not just their bank accounts.

Over the last 12 months I have assisted Orange with a variety of programs such as engagement surveys, off site events, coaching programs and team/culture programs.

The latest program is one that I am particularly excited about.

First here’s some background on Orange. They work in a rapidly changing global telecommunications environment with clients such as Rio Tinto, BHPB and Aurecon. The knowledge, expertise and time demands are very high.

In such environments employees may go through periods where their personal wellbeing takes a back seat to getting the job done. People know they shouldn’t do this, but their loyalty to the company supersedes their own needs.

Instead of just saying ‘you should make time’, Orange Managing Director Kevin Griffen and I looked at how we can cater to their health needs without placing more pressure on their working day. The process had to complement achieving both business and personal outcomes.

The relatively new concept of N.E.A.T or Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis fit our requirements perfectly.

We started with an 8 minute in-house video explaining the concept of N.E.A.T. Basically this is how you can burn calories by increasing your non-exercise activity through out the day. Our video highlighted ways you can exercise, at work, without having to don the lycra and spend hours at the gym.

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Simple actions like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking to a colleague on another floor instead of emailing, exercises you can do whilst sitting at your desk, waiting for the photocopier or even the coffee machine.

The key was eliminating the common excuses for not looking after yourself such as time, cost, old injuries etc.

By making simple choices throughout the day you can increase your NEAT from 10% of your total calorie burn up to a whopping 50%.

Here’s an example of how NEAT works. Watch the following video and ask yourself, what do you do? Are you an elevator person or a stairs person? If you did what everyone else did, take the elevator, then you are missing out on valuable non-exercise activity.

To encourage people further we are running an April Stair Challenge. To qualify, staff must climb the 13 levels to the office at least once every day for the month of April. Winners receive prizes and a healthy lunch will be provided to all at the end of the challenge. This simple low cost, low effort event has sparked a great deal of enthusiasm across the business and with daily updates from myself, the staff are motivated to see it through. Importantly the challenge keeps the concept of NEAT front of mind and uses positive peer pressure to keep workmates on track.

Feedback suggests the employees love the thought of getting some exercise done whilst at work. For one thing it allows them to spend more quality time with their loved ones when they get home.

Most importantly the company is demonstrating to the staff that whilst the work and exceeding client needs are vital, it should not come at the expense of personal health and wellbeing. And we all know that healthy workers take less sick days, concentrate for longer and maintain their energy levels throughout the day better than unhealthy staff. The productivity gains alone make up for any costs of implementing a NEAT program.

Comments on the program:

“Nathan – The April Stair Challenge is proving a massive success across the Orange Melbourne team. Great buy in, with a number of us feeling a very positive impact on our fitness and health already. Great initiative, thanks.

Duncan Seager – Head of Sales, Digital Transformation Australasia

“Thanks Nathan Burke for shedding the light on one of the simple things we can change in our daily routine and get a substantial results that benefit our health”

Peter Guirgis – Orange Australasia

If you would like to discuss how focusing on Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis would assist your staff and your company please contact us at Nathan Burke Consulting. We have programs to suit all types of businesses and for all levels of fitness.

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