‘Sweatworking’: Winning over clients by lifting weights

by Cameron Edmond12 Jul 2013

Australian executives are increasingly opting out of liquid business lunches and moving towards forging client relationships through exercising, a survey from Employment Office found.

More than 25% of Australian businesses are embracing ‘sweatworking’, with the most common exercise being cycling or running with clients. The trend previously caught on in the US and UK.

“Sports and exercise is a really good way for people to find common ground. It helps break through the formality barrier that can exist with clients,” Tudor Marsden-Huggins, managing director at Employment Office, said.

In addition to helping forge strong, bonded relationships, sweatworking allows for daily exercise to be integrated into the business day, resulting in individuals keeping fit while keeping profitable.

It is also more cost-effective to go for a run with a client than to take them out for prime ribs and a bottle of red.

In 2011, Marsden-Huggins took sweatworking further, introducing Tour de Office, an annual cycling event held on the Employment Office premises. Clients, employees, suppliers and friends would hop on stationary bikes and ride for half an hour as part of a week-long relay.

Thus far, the event has raised over $40,000 for charity.

“Our clients loved it. Riding hard, raising funds for a common goal and supporting each other to do our best really bonded us with our customers, adding a whole new dimension to our relationships,” he explained.

Tour de Office is continuing to expand into other workplaces, with the aim this year to reach over 20. “We are so proud to be able to offer businesses a platform to get employees active and raising money for charity,” Marsden-Huggins said.

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