Sweating out the Monday blues11/03/2019 - Elly De Bruyn, HR Manager at Quality by Design
How QbD puts the ‘play’ into ‘work, play, deliver’ – part 1
One upon a time, Martijn, one of QbD’s managing partners, had a brilliant new year’s resolution. He wasn’t exactly the fittest fish in the pond and wanted to turn the tide. Normal people would just buy a pair of running shoes or a gym subscription, but Martijn immediately went full-on next level. He trusted his soon to be athletic figure to a personal trainer.
The results were disappointing. The trainer was fine, however. The problem lay solely in Martijn’s perseverance, which he lost somewhere between push-ups 6 and 9 in the first session. Exercising by himself – even with the support of a specialist – just wasn’t his thing. Luckily, as a QbD’er, Martijn is a real team player. So instead of accepting his personal not-so-fit fate, he suggested the trainer would be much more useful to the QbD team. And so it came to pass that each Monday, just before lunch, all employees are welcome at a very intense sports session. And Martijn? Well, he also participates, with renewed motivation…
Why have I told you this anecdote? Because it’s the perfect example of how we do things at QbD, and of the emphasis we put on physical health. And for good reason: Flemish studies have shown that 77% of Belgian employees want to exercise more and that when employees exercise regularly, they are less often on sick leave. Working out – and even just moving – induces the production of endorphins in the body, which results in a boost of energy, confidence and sense of happiness at work. And QbD wouldn’t be QbD if we didn’t look for a fun way to do it together.
Monday mornings generally aren’t the most laid-back part of the week for the QbD’ers at the office in Wilrijk. Those first few hours are usually filled with meetings, so the weekly workout sessions really come at the right time for everyone to blow off some steam.
A personal trainer from MPC (My Personal Coach) gives the participants a one-hour full-intensity stability and cardio workout. Not exactly a walk in the park: at the end of those sessions, you can notice actual puddles of sweat on the floor. Thank God we anticipated the lingering smell of motivation by installing showers in our new office building!
And the greatest thing of all: everyone at the office – myself included – really loves to participate before filling their bellies. Even our consultants, who work at their clients most of the time, do their best to schedule a session whenever they can. And that’s the beauty of it; every employee is free to join, even if it’s just once every month.
Stephanie Verwimp is the fittest fish in the pond. She plays volleyball at least two times a week, and she goes for a swim every weekend. Moreover, she’s always ready to kick it during the weekly bootcamp, so she’s ideally placed to tell you what you can expect!
“Personally, I really like the variation and the surprise of what’s coming. The personal approach is another big plus: the coaches know our names and always take the time to give us individual feedback and to correct our poses.
The team atmosphere also benefits greatly from this. It’s fun to do things with your colleagues besides working; that’s also why I enjoy our other teambuilding activities so much. I guess dying together stimulates the sense of unity. 😊
But I’m not going to lie to you: I think we all die a little during those sessions. We surely did during the first one! I couldn’t even feel my legs or arms for the next five days, but it was worth it. It definitely continues to be a challenge, even for people that are already quite fit. Luckily though, it gets a bit easier after a few weeks. So there’s no need to feel intimidated right away if you don’t work out a lot.
Even though the sessions are quite exhausting, we always get back to our desks with feeling re-energized. And for the people in need of an extra dose of adrenaline during the rest of the week, we’ve got our own workout equipment (including a giant punching bag) downstairs and we even get a QbD discount at MPC!”