How do you organize an affordable company-wide fitness event when you’ve got offices in Illinois, Minnesota, Massachusetts and Kansas?
This year ShowingTime, a Chicago-based company that provides analytics and scheduling solutions to multiple listing services and brokers in the residential real estate industry, invited all of its employees to a virtual outing powered by Racery.
The company’s first challenge took staffers on a month-long virtual tour of Ireland, from Galloway to Dublin. The March challenge was pegged to St. Patrick’s Day.
“Racery provided us with a platform to bring our employees together — it helped us feel more connected,” says Lisa Hara, the company’s Director of Human Resources. “Flying everyone into Chicago to participate in a Wellness Program event is not an option.”
Adding a virtual layer to the company’s exercise program with all exercise being translated into movement in an interesting location made the experience more meaningful.
A Racery-powered bot with a brogue entertained staff, said Hara. “Now ye gotta run off the pizza!” commented @RaceryLeprechaun after one staffer’s lunch.
E-mailed virtual postcards triggered as racers passed landmarks (and pubs!) along the course also upped the virtual tour’s realism. “It was fun to see the landmarks as we passed by them,” explains Hara. “For people who may not have the opportunity to travel, Racery provided participants with a virtual vacation!”
The company has 120 staff with a wide range of fitness abilities and modalities. Rather than focus exclusively only on running or walking, ShowingTime encouraged staff log miles from roller blading and cycling as well.
“This was a creative way to get our employees involved in ShowingTime’s Wellness Program and encourage friendly competition amongst departments. People were so involved in trying to out-do each other they forgot they were doing something good for themselves,” says Hara.
Racery’s social layer — a real time activity feed plus comments, photos and likes — was also a big plus, says Hara. As staff watched others log their exercise, the company’s fitness culture deepened. “Employees enjoyed watching each other’s progress. They were dialed in to co-worker’s weekend activity and liked seeing how far their colleagues got on a given day,” says Hara.
For example, before the Ireland challenge, “I didn’t realize the number of marathon runners we have in the company,” says Hara.
In the Ireland race, staffers had the option of participating in teams, a collaboration that further boosted company fitness culture. Seeing other employees’ activities triggered a positive feedback loop. “We’re all competitive by nature — when we see someone performing well, we cheer them on and we then push ourselves even harder,” says Hara.
The Ireland virtual challenge went so well that ShowingTime added another virtual challenge in Rio de Janeiro six months later to coincide with the Olympics. The Rio tour featured a new Racery feature, fresh 360-degree Google Street Views shown whenever staffers logged a new activity.