The arrival of summer can mean mental checkout time for employees who have busy schedules and a natural longing to be outdoors. We’ve waited all winter long, and now, with the sun shining, it’s often hard to concentrate on the task at hand. But why not encourage a blend of both? The town of Brattleboro, Vermont offers tons of great, easy ways to get outdoors and still make work a priority.
In fact, supporting employees in getting outside during the workday can be a boon for employers. A Forbes article about the benefits shared this from Richard Ryan, a University of Rochester psychology professor: “Nature is fuel for the soul…Often when we feel depleted, we reach for a cup of coffee, but research suggests a better way to get energized is to connect with nature.”
The studies shared in the article cited multiple advantages of time spent in nature. They included increased happiness, reduced inflammation, more energy, improved memory, and stress relief. These encapsulate the very wellness goals most organizations aim to achieve for employees. And nature can help. Here are some user-friendly ways to make the outdoors accessible in and around the town of Brattleboro.
Morning Mountain Biking
The morning can be a slog for some, especially if you have a stressful wakeup routine. Say you’re frequently woken abruptly by household pets, kiddos, or a spouse’s early start. While you might not be able to change all your morning circumstances, you can change your routine.
Instead of feeling dragged from the mattress by fate, consider going to bed a bit earlier and then choosing an earlier wakeup time. Avoid reaching for your phone and doom scrolling through news or piles of emails. Instead, hit the coffee maker or kettle, take a shower, and head out for a ride.
There are many great mountain biking destinations in Southern Vermont and going for a cycle can give you a morning rush that will last all day. Retreat Farm is an easy locale right in the town of Brattleboro. The trails date back to the 1800s and were revitalized in 2006/2007 for public use. The network has various areas to explore, many marked with information about the plant life.
It’s also a beautiful place for hiking, picnicking, or catching an event. Their season opening is taking place Memorial Day weekend, with special, free performances from New England Center for Circus Arts on May 29 beginning at 12:30.
For more trails that are great for all levels of biking, the Chamber of Commerce has a list online. And you can find the Brattleboro-Keene chapter of the New England Mountain Bike Association on Facebook in a group that shares local riding knowledge.
If you’re a manager or leader, making a ride part of your morning routine (even once or twice a week) helps set the tone. Once you’ve gotten in the rhythm, invite co-workers to join. Hitting the trails together can be even more rewarding!
Make it a Walking Meeting
What does a meeting look like? We typically picture a team gathered around the conference table or their webcams. But taking your meetings outdoors can help keep team members inspired and engaged. What if you made one meeting a week a walking meeting?
Perhaps it’s a one-on-one performance check-in or maybe it’s a larger team session to discuss successes and areas for improvement. Pick a time that works for everyone and commute together or meet up at an easy-access space. Before you start out, be sure to pause and take a deep breath in.
Sweet Pond State Park, which is just a few miles southwest of the town of Brattleboro, might be a perfect destination. Just a 1.3-mile trail around the pond, this fairly short walk delivers big on nature.
Molly Stark State Park is another enjoyable place to explore and it even has a fire lookout tower you can hike to if you’re feeling adventurous. Sound like your crew? The Chesterfield Gorge Natural Area could also be a good fit. A hidden gem with a stunning hike that’s less than a mile, it’s an amazing place to reset and recharge.
Of course, we can’t forget Pisgah State Park, which is located just across the border in New Hampshire. The forest is the largest state park property in NH and has an incredible number of trails to choose from for hiking, mountain biking, and more.
Lunch al Fresco
Want to keep it low key but still get some fresh air? There are plenty of places to dine outdoors that give a reprieve from the office vibe and help spice up the day. The most popular choice in the town of Brattleboro would probably be The Marina.
Located right on the Connecticut River and even sporting a signature family of sea serpents out the in the water, The Marina makes it easy to destress. Fresh seafood, veggies, and classic plates offer something for everyone on the team. Looking for an excuse to thank your hardworking employees? Treat them and make it even more meaningful! (Feeling valued can also give a big boost in confidence and productivity.)
Fortunately, Brattleboro is known as a place that delights foodies, so there’s no shortage of impressive outdoor dining options. You might also try the Whetstone Beer Co., which actually rests directly on the state line between VT and NH (there’s a line drawn through the bar!). And The Porch Café has a reputation for excellent eats and its nice little patio area.
However you and your team choose to soak in the rays, make the most of summer together. You might just be surprised by how productive this season turns out to be! If you’re looking to grow your team, our skilled staffing managers at Masiello Employment Services would be excited to grab a coffee and talk more. Get in touch!