YuLife brought workplace wellbeing to life with a nature-rich staff getaway

London-based wellbeing and insurance provider, YuLife, recreated its digital reward scheme in the real world during its annual company retreat at Center Parcs Conferences & Events’ Woburn Forest.

Held across two days in the summer, the ‘Festival of Yu’ brought together the remote-first company’s 280 employees from across 15 countries for a regenerative and action-packed getaway, set against the serene backdrop of lush greenery and woodlands.

Celebrating YuLife’s core values, the event was designed to nurture employee wellbeing and engagement through a diverse range of nature-rich activities in the great outdoors and utilising the dedicated on-site conferences and events space known as The Venue.

Much like in YuLife’s gamified app, the immersive event was divided into four distinct worlds – desert, forest, ocean and mountain – each presenting different challenges and rewards that engage users in their journey towards a healthier lifestyle.

The program of events at Center Parcs saw YuLife employees take part in a selection of activities that emphasise mindfulness and holistic wellbeing, including acroyoga, sound & gong baths with cacao oils and Shinrin Yoku – a Japanese practice of relaxation which translates as ‘Forest Bathing’.

Mixing business and leisure, the day-time itinerary of strategy sessions, networking and presentations on topics such as financial wellbeing were complimented by the music, entertainment and games provided in the evenings.

Other activities provided by Center Parcs’ events team included pottery painting, kayaking, badminton and group bike rides. Delegates were also given the option of collecting a  bike on arrival, to explore the forest at their own leisure, and provided ample downtime to enjoy the pool and sauna facilities.

 

Lauren Berkemeyer, Chief Marketing Officer at YuLife says: “YuLife’s Festival of Yu at Center Parcs Woburn Forest aimed to reinforce the company’s goals while inspiring the team to connect with nature and engage in wellness activities. By selecting a venue aligned with our mission and core values, we were able to seamlessly work with the Center Parcs team to create a successful and memorable event that strengthened relationships within the team and reinforced our vision.”

 

Center Parcs’ Woburn Forest was the obvious choice for Swift Venue Finders Ltd when looking for a space to host The Festival of Yu, with its newly refurbished conference rooms spilling out into the trees and offering a unique blend of indoor and outdoor spaces. Center Parcs Conferences & Events also recently announced its ECOsmart Gold Venue accreditation, making it the ideal destination for B Corp-certified companies like YuLife that want to ensure their corporate events are respectful towards the environment and reflective of their ESG values.

 

Julia Green, Sales and Commercial Manager at Center Parcs Conferences & Events says: “Interest in our wellness-oriented packages and corporate retreat offering has increased across the board, but is most noticeable among tech companies and those still predominantly operating a remote working policy. The IT sector remains our largest enquiring sector, and in the last 12 months alone, tech companies accounted for nearly a third of all confirmed revenue across both our venues. They are all after the same thing – some face-to-face time with colleagues, a digital detox from virtual meetings and a nature-rich escape to reenergise the workforce in the great outdoors.

“We’ve also noticed an uptick in demand for information around our ESG credentials, with companies increasingly arriving to our first meeting with a list of criteria they expect to be met, particularly around sustainability.”

 

As well as providing top-rated employee benefits to its clients every day, YuLife firmly stands behind its values when it comes to looking after the wellbeing of its own people. YuLife is leading the way when it comes to competitive staff benefits and rewards, and The Festival of Yu is one of the key ways the ‘lifestyle insurance’ company strives to promote staff engagement and connection year on year, to ensure the best talent stays put.

 

Image caption: delegates enjoyed an immersive ‘forest bathing’ experience