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How to Incorporate the Outdoors into Your Work

Tips and Tricks From Pete LaBore, COO at Backcountry.com

Mixing time outside with your career is no easy task, but combining the two has been top of the agenda for Pete Labore, Chief Operating Officer at Backcountry, since joining the company more than a decade ago. We recently caught up with him to find out his top tips for building time outside into his workday.

Plan Ahead.

Getting outside during the work week takes planning. Block time on your calendar in the mornings, during lunch, or in the evenings to get outside.

“The same way you’d plan your career, you should plan your time outside. Both will be better when you plan them together.”

Be Accountable.

Research shows that publicly committing to a new habit makes it more likely to stick. Tell your colleagues about your plan to get outside during the week or, better yet, invite them to join you. There’s a reason buddy systems work so well.

“Getting outside helps to make big decisions. And because of where we’re based, if there’s a good snow day, it’s pretty easy to get a few runs in then make it to the office by 10.”

Nature in Your Neighborhood.

You don’t have to live in a mountain town to experience the outdoors on a daily basis–urban centers are filled with parks of all sizes. Grab a map, find all the parks near your workplace and then make it a goal to visit them all.

“I can easily build up my outdoor time living in Park City. But even when I lived in Chicago, I made the effort. You can find adventure everywhere–and that’s ultimately what we’re trying to convey at Backcountry.”

Share your stories.

Start Mondays with a 15-minute meeting to hear what your colleagues have been getting up to over the weekend. This will build camaraderie and you’ll also be blown away by what your teammates accomplish in their spare time.

“We’re not just talking about it, we’re out there living it. We make time to share stories and talk about adventures. It’s not all about conquering mountains, but what gets you excited about being outside. The people, the mental ups and downs, the friendship, it’s the entire process.”

Find space to breathe.

Walking has been shown to improve brain function. Rather than sitting in a stuffy meeting room, take a walking meeting instead. Even if it’s just around the parking lot, the fresh air can do a lot of good.

“I’ll suggest meeting outside over sitting in a conference room. When I have a stressful decision to make, I find it’s better to get out. You can think much more freely, and consider the pros and cons with better clarity.”

Build your team outside.

Break out of the bars and plan a team-building activity outside. Whether it’s a hike or an outdoor yoga class, getting active with your team strengthens relationships way better than cocktails at happy hour.

“Every winter, Backcountry rewards high-achieving employees with a cat skiing trip in the Uinta Mountains. I use the time to forge stronger connections with colleagues, and to also grab some untracked lines.”