Greatist Team on Co-Working...Out!
We recently chatted with Derek Flanzraich, CEO and Founder of Greatist.com, the trusted health & fitness source for the young, savvy, and social. Here's what he had to say about Greatist's take on team bonding and working out together...
We love how the Greatist Team does group fitness activities together every week. What inspired you start this and how do you choose your weekly activities? We love them, too! We believe profoundly in living the life we champion - and so our activities (which we call "gractivities" because, well, we like to put "gr" in front of things) are just one way we consistently do that. We also have shared memberships to a gym one block away, healthy food & snacks in the office, our work hours are totally flexible, and on weeks we don't do gractivities... we do happy hours ("grappy hours") instead! For a short while, we even swapped the responsibility of cooking dinner for the team. That was probably a bit much. Now we're less of, you know, a cult and more of happy home.
To choose gractivities, we actually assign pairs of team members a few months ahead to plan them. The pairs get to choose whatever they think the rest of the team would like-- and they truly can be any activity that has to do with fitness, health, and/or happiness. We've done everything from running 5Ks to pumpkin carving.
How do you feel working out together helps you work together? We basically believe people who sweat together, stay together. In a less general sense, I think it's the ultimate team bonding tool-- forcing people out of their comfort zone breeds trust and respect. It demands the right attitude. It forces us to work together as a team. It showcases the special abilities of some of our team members and embarrasses others. It also just helps build friendships over similar interests (for example, there's a weekly yoga class a bunch of us attend independent of these... just for fun!). Finally, I think it gives us a unique thing about our startup culture to share with others. It's amazing how powerful saying "sorry I can't make your birthday party, I have to go belly dancing with my coworkers" can be.
The craziest Gractivity you've done so far? What's really crazy is how many different things we've done. We've done spinning, surfing, Bhangra dancing, meditation, Zumba, Crossfit, anti-gravity aerial yoga, and even parkour. The toughest gractivity we've endured is probably Warrior Fitness Boot Camp here in NYC - and the Marine Corps Veteran instructors barking orders didn't help. The strangest was probably our adventure to the International Restaurant & Foodservice Show, mostly because wading through crowds to sample steak and ale soup on one table at the same time as quinoa veggie burger patties on the other wasn't too kind to our stomachs.