How to stay healthy and productive when working on the road

Throughout this series we’ve heard from a variety of people who are looking to create a workspace that encourages collaboration, creativity and productivity - be it at the bottom of the garden or in the shadow of a spaceship. But what about those who don’t have a permanent workspace?

We spoke to Virgin Sport’s Cyrena Lee, who was able to offer up some top tips on how to maintain a healthy body and mind when working on the road, as well as how you can implement a more active culture in your business.

What are your top tips for maintaining a healthy body and mind whilst on the road?

Keep a routine - travelling so much can be difficult because while you’re on the road, a lot is influx and it can be hard to find a sense of stability. But when you can keep a consistent routine, whether that’s exercise or meditating, it helps keep you balanced. Even though your sleep schedule may be disrupted by jumping time zones, moving your body or keeping your mind still can really help you stay focused and less prone to stress or getting overwhelmed.

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What are the challenges when it comes to working on the road and how do you overcome them?

Jet lag is tough - I find that before travelling, if you start eating in accordance with the time zone you’re going to before you get on the plane, it really helps you adjust quickly.

Meditating - exercise for the mind - is great for everyday practice, but it’s especially great for when one is on the road. It slows down time - even if you just sit and breathe for five minutes - and gives a sense of calm in the usual storm of non-stop travelling, meetings and more.

Why should businesses care about integrating physical movement into their team's routines?

Physical movement is INTEGRAL to being human - it helps people be more productive, happier and healthier. If you build up your physical endurance, it helps you through long work days and nights, and taking breaks to work out increases focus. It’s easy to fall into bad patterns where one is just waking up, automatically checking their phone, working all day, eating, and then falling asleep. It’s easy to say that you don’t have time for exercise, but most people who choose to overwork themselves instead of exercising are likely actually being less productive than if they took a break.

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Do you have any advice for people looking to implement a more active culture in their place of work?

If you’re in New York, London or San Francisco - come work out with the Virgin Sport team! We’re always happy to go for a run or do a class with anyone who wants to join - we’re all active and if we’re trying to move the world through sport, no better place to start than with ourselves. Our Chief Exercise Officer, Mary Wittenberg, also has an incredibly infectious and positive attitude that will inspire anyone to start running.

Otherwise, keep sneakers and a change of exercise clothing at your desk. Commit to walking to get your lunch instead of ordering. Take the stairs whenever possible. Schedule in exercise into your calendar like you would any other meeting.

What are your essential workplace items that you couldn't do without?

While Virgin Sport is based out of shared Virgin offices in both New York and London, we’re always on the road and creatively use that interim travel time to discuss ideas and issues, whether we are quite literally running (to the office, to a yoga or HIIT class workout on ClassPass) or in Airbnbs abroad. There’s something really nice about integrating and prioritizing physical movement to bond a team together, but to also fire up that creative spark by not constantly being behind our desks and screens all the time.

Our workspaces then are active – replete with Virgin Sport yoga mats, lots of lycra and moving about. It’s really refreshing to be on a team that runs the talk – after all, we are trying to move the world through sport!

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