Shaking off Sick Days

by Juliette

Shaking off sick days

It’s the season when everyone in the office is feeling unmotivated and run down. Waking up on a Monday morning with a cold or headache, the first inclination is to call or email in sick… so much so that sick days cost the UK economy £100bn in 2013-2014.

Employees in Bristol take more sick days than any other city in the UK, according to the latest It Pays To Play research from BrightHR. Whether Bristolians are generally less well, or more inclined to pull sickies, was not clear, however most of the 2,000 people polled blamed stress rather than physical illness as the cause. Two thirds said a fun work environment would encourage them to be more productive and take less time off.

There’s a strong commercial case for having a healthy and engaged workforce, especially for younger generations, coined by experts as ‘Millenials’. Some 79% of 16 to 24 year olds said fun at work was very important, with 44% admitting play at work made them more productive. Speaking about the findings, and the growing demands for fun from younger employees, co-author, psychology professor, Cary Cooper, said: > Work is no longer about getting the job done and then going home for your fun – younger generations want to enjoy their work too.

So why aren’t employers taking note? Of course no amount of belly laughs will ward off flu, or get the job done, but striking the balance of a strong work ethic with an engaged and motivated team is important. We at Mojo Active – a Bristol-based outdoor activity centre specialising in team building – believe being “trusted to play” is key to a more motivated, less stressed workforce: If people are trusted to do their work, and at the same time feel empowered to have a laugh with their colleagues, a business will reap the benefits. In addition, how the team works together is as important as the work itself and occasionally this is over-looked.

A great deal of Mojo Mark’s experience has been in training Royal Air Force crew, so he knows how essential communication and trust are to building high performing teams. His tried and tested military techniques and exercises have been adapted to develop team cohesion within the commercial environment and, with the vast array of activities available at Mojo Active, teams have a highly memorable, fun and rewarding session.

Improving team dynamics, rewarding success and engaging employees:

As a small business ourselves, we appreciate that employers have limited budget, which is why we offer a range of team building packages at Mojo Active. Companies can choose from management development sessions to multi-activity corporate days or simply a one-off reward for a job well done.

Many of our clients combine a morning meeting with a team building session on site at Mojo Active. This makes best use of time and gets people out of the office. We have conference facilities, toilets, showers and ample parking on site and can provide catering and refreshments as required. We also offer a range of packages to improve team dynamics whilst also giving the group a fun-filled session. Sessions can be tailored to the different abilities in the group and to the required objective.

One of our most popular team sessions is The Mojo Adventure Challenge (see clip below). This puts teams of up to 16 through their paces as they combine brain, skill and teamwork to uncover the codes, find the keys and complete the tasks to unlock different elements and finish the course. Only by working together will teams be able to achieve the end goal, and the quickest teams will top the Mojo Active leader board. This challenge requires patience, skill and a good sense of humour!

Our newest team challenge is STRANDED! Your group has been stranded… can you survive? Your priorities are fire, shelter, water and food. You must complete the trials and earn points to use as currency. There is everything to play for as you learn about prioritising, time management, leadership and teamwork! This is a full day package (6 hours) and ideal for groups up to 40. For a shorter session, we offer CRYPTIC CRUSADE, a race against the clock to complete trails which test your strategic thinking, leadership, problem solving, patience and sense of humour! This runs as a half day package (4 trials, 4 hrs) and suited for groups of 10 up to 40.

Bespoke packages

At Mojo Active we can tailor sessions to meet your requirements whether a one-off activity session for small teams, weekly meeting and activity sessions for different teams within a company, large corporate challenge days, corporate parties and everything in-between.

We helped a small team from a local NHS Doctor’s surgery improve team dynamics with a half day team-building session which included blind 4x4 driving, the assault course, team games and low ropes. The goal was to integrate new team members and improve communication amongst the team.

We really did have a good day and it achieved what we had hoped for ….. we know each other better, it brought us all together and has lifted the spirits of the team. Thank you so much to you and your team. We’d certainly recommend you to other surgeries and organisations! Carole Brooke

A House Building company came to Mojo Active looking to improve team cohesion between departments in order to achieve the overall corporate goal. We used a variety of activities and challenges, alongside some theoretical models to develop a better understanding and awareness of the attributes that make up a strong team. The various departments were able to learn from the experiences, identify areas of improvement and act on them to improve inter-department cohesion.

David Wilson Homes

The atmosphere in the office and out on site on Wednesday was buzzing. Everyone thought the venue, the organisation and the food was spot on and were all keen to do it again! David Wilson Homes

We have hosted a corporate challenge day for the last 3 years which has grown from year to year. This year we entertained 350 employees, split into 37 teams, across 20 different activities. These included segways, low ropes course, rage buggies, clay pigeon shooting, zorb football, archery tag, axe throwing, assault course, archery, team games, surf simulator, climbing wall, rodeo and many more. The day began with a series of presentations in the marquee, followed by the team challenges. Full catering was provided and the evening climaxed with a live band, disco, campfire and BBQ.

Challenge Day

A huge THANK YOU for such a lovely Challenge Day. You and your team were, as always, tremendous in making sure we all had such a good time. The organisation left no stone un-turned, and the attention to detail and all the meticulous planning really paid off as it was such a lovely lovely day. Thank you never seems enough for all the hard work and enthusiasm you all put in. Claire

Team Away Days:

We have also organised many away days both in the UK and abroad. We have taken teams abroad including skiing in Chamonix, sailing and beetle racing in Gran Canaria and multi activities in Majorca. We manage all elements of the trip including transport, accommodation, conference facilities, catering and entertainment.

We partnered with Bright Event Management to provide a truly British experience for 70 multi-national Refresco clients in Oxfordshire. This included accommodation in a luxurious “Downton Abbey” style country estate and activities such as duck herding, clay pigeon shooting, archery and quad biking.

To celebrate a good year, a department of 50 employees wanted to do something a bit different so we took them camping in Croyde. Mojo organised the transport, camping, marquee, BBQ, evening meals and activities including deep sea fishing, surfing, coasteering, paddle boarding and rafting.


I would like to give huge thanks for our absolutely brilliant trip last week. We knew we were taking a bit of a gamble in terms of weather, activities, camping etc but thanks to your expert help, planning and organisational skills it was a huge success and there has been nothing but gushing praise for a fantastic event. It’s something we hope to repeat annually! The value of events such as this play in keeping a happy, engaged and productive workforce cannot be underestimated! Thanks again. H Easterbrook, Director

There are many ways to engage your staff and improve team morale in order to reduce the number of “apathy” absence days. We would love to welcome you and your teams to Mojo Active and will work with you to provide the optimum package to meet your objectives.

And in the words of Sir Richard Branson, “If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.”

MoJo Active is easily accessible from the M4/M5 at: Over Court Farm, Over Lane, Almondsbury, Bristol BS32 4DF. For directions, and more information, please visit, call 01454 660075 or follow the latest news on Facebook or Twitter.

20% off team building until March 2017

Mojo Active caters for small and large teams, from a 2-hour session to a whole day.