The global pandemic has demonstrated more than ever the importance of a healthy work-life balance. With many people around the world still living under strict lockdown measures and therefore limited in terms of social interaction, exercise is often one of the only outdoor activities available. In light of this it has become increasingly clear that keeping moving is key for both mental and physical wellbeing – especially in current times.
During the winter months it can be difficult to find the necessary motivation to stay active, and whilst confined to the comfort of home this is proving even more taxing than usual.
This was the reasoning behind Oracle Consulting’s ‘Virtual Distance Challenge’, an activity designed to get employees moving via their preferred method of exercise while complying with Covid-19 guidelines.
The challenge consisted of a ‘world tour’ visiting 22 countries, with the EMEA team coming together (remotely) to collectively travel 55,000km, whether that’s by running, walking, cycling, swimming, rowing, skiing or anything else they can think of! This way, colleagues could tackle winter & lockdown blues as a team, while staying active and having fun at the same time.
EMEA HCM Business Developer
The Virtual Distance Challenge was launched as part of the wider ‘Thrive’ programme within Oracle Consulting; an internal initiative that aims to help employees grow, flourish and be successful by providing resources, hosting a series of interactive events, and sharing ongoing inspiration.
Originally intended to be a 20,000 kilometre tour around the EMEA offices, the challenge garnered so much interest it has been expanded with additional stops around the world. Members from across EMEA managed to cover over 16,600 kilometres in just under 3 weeks!
A map showing the virtual tour including all stops
All participants can log their activities on a daily basis using the Virtual Distance Challenge Activity Tracker, (available on desktop & smartphone) and submit related details including date, email address, location, chosen activity and distance travelled. Once submitted, the tool provides the user with both personal and group statistics so they can stay updated on progress!
Over 4,850 activities were logged by 330 users in just 7 weeks, from 35 countries across EMEA & APAC!
A video sharing highlights from the Virtual Distance Challenge
EMEA Consulting Director, Evolve & Digital Experience
This initiative was powered by Oracle Application Express (APEX), a web-based software development environment that runs on an Oracle database.
It is fully supported and comes as standard (at no additional cost) with all Oracle Database editions and Oracle Autonomous Database Service. Starting with Oracle 11g, APEX is installed by default as part of the core database install. APEX can be used to build complex web applications that can be used in most modern web browsers.
To enhance this initiative and create some friendly competition, the team had the additional option to join forces using social channels so they could update each other on-the-go!
Participants were able to sign up to a group on the fitness tracking app Strava, as well as communicate on a dedicated Slack channel. Both allowed users to share photos and distances from their routes, encourage each other with positive comments, and tag their locations in order to keep the engagement and team spirit to a maximum!
A collection of photos uploaded by the EMEA Virtual Distance Challenge team