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Winner of the 'Best wellbeing initiative' in last year's Occupational Health & Wellbeing Awards, Office Athletes has forged a close health and wellbeing partnership with Cambridge technology company Arm, a collaboration that led to the innovative use of 'geocaching' and augmented reality to get employees up and out from their desks.
The Office Athletes team at Cambridge-based technology company Arm is a prime example of how, even in a competitive OH market increasingly marked by contract ‘churn’, it is still perfectly possible as a contracted provider to build a deep, long-term and extremely rich client/contractor partnership.
“Arm started out as Acorn Computers, operating out of a converted barn outside Cambridge nearly 30 years ago. Now, Arm technology reaches 70% of the world’s population. We’ve been with Arm for about 15 years now; we are very bespoke to it,” explains Elliot Fraser, Cambridge gym manager and lead of the Office Athletes wellbeing team at Arm.
“When we first took the contract on there were 500 people here and now there are more than 2,500. We have grown with Arm all the way and have tried to give it the most bespoke services that we can as possible really,” he adds.
Arm, via Office Athletes, won last year’s Occupational Health & Wellbeing Awards ‘Best wellbeing initiative’. There is more detail in the panel below but its Arm-GO ‘geocaching’ initiative was both innovative and clever in how it resonated with the organisation’s predominantly young, tech-savvy (but also sedentary) workforce and got them up and about and more active around Cambridge
“We have to do a certain number of wellbeing initiatives every year, and we try to be creative and do stuff we will enjoy as well as that we think will get the greatest footfall. It was our physio who originally had the idea of doing something along the lines of geocaching,” recalls Elliot.
“We looked at various apps and applications and recognised that Pokémon Go was really popular. We knew our demographic here; they are all young and on their smartphones and, of course, Arm is a technology company. So making it phone-based was never going to be a problem.
“It just kind of snowballed from there. It was really integral to get all the maps and technology working properly on everyone’s phones; it wasn’t easy but we did have the budget to build it, which was great. And we’ve been able to use that to springboard loads of ot
Nic Paton is consulting editor of OHW+. One of the country's foremost workplace health journalists, Nic has written for OHW+ and Occupational Health & Wellbeing since 2001, and edited the magazine from 2018.