Most employees at most businesses spend most of their time focused on a couple of recurring tasks. Even IT jobs, which are frequently thought of as requiring creativity and agility in the face of changing technology, are often largely repetitive in nature. In some respects, this is why advances in artificial intelligence are seen to threaten many jobs now performed by human workers. So much of what people do now is repetitive and narrowly focused.
Whether the predetermined course and repetitive nature of work is undermining human workers, however, is a discussion for another day, and a different blog post. Maybe things shouldn't be done that way, and maybe it will change in the near future. For the moment, the issue is simply that most workers actually do tend to work on the same things, day in and day out. Right now, that's the way things get done.
So it's always nice, in the face of "work" as we know it, to have something that breaks up the routine, even if only for part of one brisk and sunny day in fall. Every year, TestOut Corporation (which includes TestOut Continuing Education) circles three dates on the calendar to encourage its employees to participate in company-sponsored fitness events. There's a group 5K, group bike ride, and a group hike.
Today was the hike. For a few hours at the beginning, middle, or end of the working day, employees drove up nearby American Fork Canyon to a trailhead at a reservoir. From there, we hiked through a forest of aspens and firs, climbing 1,450 feet up a narrow mountain valley to a majestic alpine lake situated just below 9,000 feet above sea level in a rocky granite cirque on the southeastern flank of a towering mountain called White Baldy.
With fall colors popping out all around, and only occasional clouds passing by overhead, conditions were more or less ideal for everyone to stretch their legs and take a refreshing break from the routine of work. If you don't have similar events where you work, consider suggesting it to your manager. It's amazing what a difference a couple of hours in the unmistakable presence of nature can make.