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The idyllic sanctuary pioneering new ways to support wellbeing at work
Work-cations at Broughton Sanctuary

Main image: Soul Focus Media

This article first appeared in our Earth Day special issue of My Green Pod Magazine, distributed with The Guardian on 22 April 2021. Click here to subscribe to our digital edition and get each issue delivered straight to your inbox

More than ever before, people are seeking a balance between the pursuit of wellness and the need to work.

We all understand the importance of spending time in nature, but busy working schedules can make getting time outdoors a challenge. 

It can be equally hard to carve out quality family time when taking a clean break from business is not always an option.

A work-cation – in effect going on holiday to work a little or a lot, even with your family and friends – can allow us to find a balance between life and work, between wellbeing and stress.

With new work approaches and locations up in the air due to Covid, plus technology evolving to change the ways we are able to work, work-cations are becoming an increasingly popular option.

Supporting wellbeing

The Broughton Sanctuary in Yorkshire is ideally suited to support the work-cation movement, and it is pioneering new ways of working.

It started when custodian Roger Tempest began repurposing redundant historic buildings to provide idyllic spaces for people to work from.

Advances in technology have left geography all but irrelevant to modern working lifestyles, and now the next generation of ideas is coming.

‘This new movement makes us working nomads in one sense’, explains Paris Ackrill, co-founder of the Wellbeing Centre at Broughton. ‘It allows us to spend time in a beautiful natural setting, nourish ourselves with healthy whole foods, enjoy holistic treatments and dip in and out of a dynamic range of classes, activities and experiences designed to help thrive – all while getting some work done.’

The dedicated workspaces at Broughton are set up to facilitate work time. There is reliable connectivity, access to the latest technology and spaces to meet or make conference calls if required.

The spaces are also abundant in plants that help to purify the air, removing ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and xylene.

If you are bringing your family along, you can spend plenty of quality time together exploring, playing and bonding – and still have plenty of time in the day for business.

Find your rhythm

If you need support finding the right balance of work and play during your work-cation, Broughton’s  ‘Rewild Your Work’ programme can help you to realign your own rhythm to be more in sync with the flow of nature and your natural way of being.

Each morning kicks off with an early sunrise walk which helps to awaken the ancestral eye and ensure circadian rhythms are working correctly.

Movement breaks help to counterbalance the problems that come with sitting on a chair in front of a computer for long periods of time – though squat desks and standing tables are available.

Another walk before lunch helps to activate our ‘rest and digest’ state, and daily meditation and breathing exercises allow our minds to become calmer so we can be more centred as we compose conscious actions.

A new way to work

The last year has demonstrated that working remotely and flexibly is desirable as well as possible. It has become a new norm that could really allow us to discover a work and wellness
balance that allows us to thrive.

An ideal work-cation could involve arriving at a Broughton holiday home in the Yorkshire Dales with your children and allowing each family member to do their work – whether writing, taking online courses or revising for exams.

When the working day’s over or you’re taking a break, you could nip up to the Hermit Hut for some quiet space in nature, have a wild swim, take a conference call at the fire temple, respond to emails from a tree hammock (not at a desk for a change) or go for a walk and talk with a colleague before heading to the bistro for some delicious plant-based food.

With companies embracing more flexible and agile work styles, take advantage: a work-cation is sure to add a richness to your work and family life.  After week or two of working differently, you will soon discover a balance that is good for everyone.

Here's more related content

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