For nearly two years, our bemix workforce have adjusted to meeting remotely, like many people and organisations across the world.  It has enabled us to connect and keep one another and ourselves safe. Yet for all the benefits of being able to connect in this way, we know it can have a big impact psychologically (All Zoomed Out: The Psychological Toll of Video Calls -

Last year, Mental Health Awareness Week focused on Nature and the mental health benefits of connection with our natural world. As with all of our work in bemix, we aim to create a microculture of how we would like the world to be - shared power, people seen as individuals, nurturing one another's ambitions, mutual support, compassion (see our Vision). We see supporting our mental health as something we can do together, both inside and outside of work. As per our bemix Wider Value of ‘Health and Safety’, we work in a way that encourages shared responsibility for health and safety, including that of our mental and emotional wellbeing.

Recently, we discussed the idea of encouraging each other to take meetings and supervisions' outdoors, whenever possible. By meeting outdoors, we not only meet person to person but also bring the benefits of being in nature into our working time. This way of working is supported in our Covid-19 Policy, as well as in Government guidance.

People in our workforce who have tried taking meetings outdoors, shared their experiences:

“Walking supervisions make it much easier to talk freely and it is far less intense than sitting across a table from each other or on zoom.  Able to have a proper conversation and time away from the screen and the distractions of emails etc coming in" - Siobhan

"Great to be outside when the weather is nice.  Good for mental health, physical health if people don't get the chance to be out much. Being outside makes people feel part of society again after being isolated.  I find my time walking with Life Choices is often the time [people] open up and start talking. It gets people thinking and relaxed " - Miranda

"It enabled face to face meetings when meeting indoors was prohibited or advised against.  I find that face to face meetings renew energy whereas online meetings deplete energy"

“Being outside, after the restrictions of the past two years, feels energising and the conversations tend to be more free flowing, without the interruption from phones, other people and Podio notifications!” - Julia

“The movement and fresh air, especially in nature, supports clear thinking, alertness, focus and imaginative, creative problem-solving when talking through difficult, complex situations." - Matt

"[In supervision] You get a good connection with the person and I think it is less intense [at times] as you are walking and talking so not having to maintain eye contact. This makes it more comfortable to talk about more difficult aspects of work. There was also distraction/talking points from the scenery. The sessions went very quickly but communication was maintained throughout. Just being out in the fresh air appeared to  put everyone I met at ease." - Ju

We also asked workforce members what tips they could suggest for how to work around the few barriers of working outside. People shared:

“Be prepared for the weather! We got caught out and had to huddle under a building!”- Siobhan

"Make sure the route (if walking) is suitable for all (people involved), the pace is suitable for everyone and matches the timing of the meeting (1 hour in our case)" - Ju 

"It helps if it's somewhere you know well so you don't have to think too much about your route while concentrating on the conversation." - Matt

"Issues could be privacy, toilets, weather etc.  Planning can overcome most issues I think, apart from really bad weather!" - Miranda

“I never took a notebook, so I have to remember the key points of the meeting.  I always make myself a little agenda that I put in my pocket to refer to regarding subjects we need to discuss."

Could you take your meetings outdoors, too?

To learn more about bemix and the way we work, take a look at:

What We Do

Our Vision

Our EPIC Values

Our Wider Values

Wellbeing and Counselling at bemix