Takeoff Partners’ portfolio company Cuckoo Workout is winning traction in Finland with its gamified service that encourages people to sit less and take regular breaks during the day. What started out as a ”crazy idea” has universal market potential: Wherever there are offices, people tend to sit too much and take too few energizing breaks.
”The Cuckoo Workout idea is just great. Even a small
addition to activity during the workday makes a huge difference in terms of
focus and energy. I strongly recommend these regular breaks and the service
overall to everyone”, says a 35 years old lady working in Lähitapiola, an
insurance company in Finland.
Lähitapiola is one of the happy customers to Cuckoo
Workout’s gamified service that tackles the challenges associated with
sedentary work. The list of references among the Finnish companies keeps
growing, and the founders of Cuckoo Workout, Ida Mänty and Veera Lehmonen, have
been invited to showcase the service in events, media articles and even the popular
TV show ‘Puoli Seitsemän’.
Health and happiness at work – a joint concern of the employees and the employer
So, what is the essence of the Cuckoo Workout service? It reminds
employees to take a few 1-3 minute breaks during the day and perform simple
exercises, instructed by online videos. The service encourages team building
and healthy competition among employees.
Beyond health benefits for the individual, Cuckoo Workout’s service
also helps position the customer company as a modern and caring employer,
something that typically concerns HR, marketing and leadership in general. Indeed
the purchasing unit for the service is typically the HR function.
The ”crazy idea” wins traction
”We came up with the idea to start regular activity breaks in
our previous job”, says Veera Lehmonen. ”At first we were simply jumping around
in the office with colleagues to stretch and activate ourselves, and noticed
how much more energetic we felt. Some people probably thought we were a little crazy,
hence we came up with such a funny name for what soon turned into a business idea.”
The business idea has now evolved into a service with 26
organizations as customers in Finland, which essentially proves that the
concept works. But Ida Mänty and Veera Lehmonen will not let the Finnish
borders limit their ambitions. ”Why would we?” the energetic ladies ask.
”There’s sedentary work everywhere in the world; just think about the potential
among the white collar workers in for instance Nort America or the UK.”
Strong interest in the UK
Cuckoo Workout recently participated in the Active Working
Summit in the UK. Says Ida Mänty: ”We were really encouraged by the strong
interest of our UK colleagues towards our approach to addressing the challenges
of too much sitting. It’s really becoming a big topic in the UK as we speak,
and for reason: According to research, Brits sit almost 9 hours in a day and most
of that during the workday. There are initiatives in the UK that seek to change
that, so the market potential is really there.”
We wish Cuckoo Workout the best of success in introducing
their great idea to new markets! In the meantime, why not stand up and take a
quick and energizing exercise break?
Read more about Cuckoo Workout here.