Going the (Social) Distance: How a Wellness Challenge Keeps Us Connected

We’re a competitive group at Jackson Spalding. That’s no secret.

This collective commitment to competition usually manifests itself in professionally productive ways, like serving our clients with excellence, developing our skills and innovating to overcome new challenges.

And sometimes this fierce drive to compete leads us to make up entirely new ways to pit ourselves against one another, like the agency-wide ping-pong tournament (intense) or the annual baking competition (equally intense but much more tasty).

Among all the self-imposed group challenges we undertake together, perhaps no others inspire such a call to competitive action as the JS Workout Lotto. Every year since 2011, JSers across our organization—from our offices in Atlanta, Athens and Dallas, to our outposts in New York, California and elsewhere—have participated in this fun, engaging and (of course) competitive event.

This year, the Workout Lotto has taken on new significance for us in the midst of changing and uncertain times. Exercise has served as a healthy outlet, both mentally and physically. And as we work remotely to maintain social distancing, the friendly competition has become an important part of how we’re staying connected with one another. It’s no longer just a fun reason to exercise more often—it’s one of the key ways we’re maintaining meaningful relationships with our colleagues.

We’d recommend this type of wellness challenge to any group or organization even in normal times, and especially now. That’s why we want to share how we make it happen—and offer a few tips for starting a challenge of your own.

How does it work?

Over several weeks at the beginning of the summer, the Workout Lotto encourages participants to keep track of the time they spend on fitness-related activities and record it on a JS-designed, web-based app.

wellness challenge

For every 150 minutes of exercise recorded, a participant is awarded a “lotto ticket.” At the end of each week, there’s a random drawing for a prize.

While our wellness challenge is specifically designed as a “lottery,” a similar challenge could be designed with other incentives and methods for earning prizes. The only real requirements are that:

  1. Exercise can be quantified in some way, like duration in minutes.
  2. Quantities can be recorded on a simple, easy-to-use interface (we’ll cover that in a minute).
  3. Participants are incentivized with some type of reward system.

As long as your challenge has those three basics covered, you’re all set.

What counts as exercise?

You name it—walking, biking, running, tennis, shooting hoops and even yard work. (Hey, we’re not judging.) If it gets you up and active for 15 minutes or more, it counts toward earning one of those coveted lotto tickets.

We recommend making eligible activities as inclusive as possible so everyone can participate, whether they’re into racquetball or rollerblading, bowling or badminton.

Where is all of this recorded?

The development team at JS built and designed a web app that allows each team member to create their own unique login and record their fitness activity for the wellness challenge. The app interface is clean and simple, which allows just about anyone to navigate it with little help.

Once they’ve created a login, participants simply select the “Log Activity” button, enter how many minutes they exercised, describe the activity and add a photo. The full collection of photos is displayed in the “Gallery” section for a firsthand look at how everyone’s been staying active.

It’s a small way of proving to each other that we actually did the exercise, whether we post a pic of some muddy shoes or go with a bolder option like a sweaty-faced, immediately-after-workout selfie.

And as any true competitor knows, no contest is complete without a ranking system. That’s what the “Leaderboard” page is for—keeping track of both weekly and total activity hours so participants can see exactly how they stack up.

wellness challenge

Someone just went for a 3-hour walk? You might not be such an ambitious pedestrian yourself, but at least you know what you’re up against. We’re all about transparency here.

The app also features the ability to add videos to the “Dashboard” page, which makes it easy to explain the rules or provide timely updates. Since we’ve been working from home, we’ve recorded weekly drawings via video conference and posted them on the Dashboard.

The Final Stretch

There’s hardly a greater feeling than bettering yourself while gaining supreme bragging rights along the way. That’s why we love our annual wellness challenge—especially now. Even though we can’t see each other in person every day, we’re still able to stay connected and motivate our colleagues through meaningful activity.

If you’re looking for a fun and healthy way to keep your team connected, we’d be happy to help design a wellness challenge for your organization, including your very own web app with custom branding.

The best part? Our team can deliver a finished product in about 10 business days—which gives you and your colleagues just enough time to start warming up.

Get in touch with us to learn more.