How some dads are ditching their device

Company that takes people off-grid sees surge in applicants as we try to get away from our phones and tablets.

ditching your device


Whether it’s emulating the kinds of shows that Ant Middleton does on TV, or just escaping the endless ping of one’s iPhone, working dads are looking to companies like Spartan Survival for a different outlook and increased productivity.

The business runs bushcraft and survival courses at sites in Cholmondeley, Cheshire and an elite course at a secret location in Scotland and they say they’re seeing a six-fold increase in the number of employees signing up.

“Many are a bit wary of handing in their mobile phones,” admits Ian Huntington, co-founder of Spartan Survival and its Chief Instructor. “But by the end of the course they’ve gone through a total reset in their minds. Everyone who attends later reports how much it helps to improve their performance once back at work.”

Mental wellbeing has plummeted because of the pandemic, with research by Gartner revealing 42% now feel emotionally drained from their work.

Roy Shelton is the managing director of the leading UK tech firm, Connectus Group and took part in a course.

“I went on the course because I needed space from the day-to-day grind of business life and also day-to-day life more generally,” he says. “I needed time to think about our next business steps, our next phases of growth and how all of the seven companies I am involved with could evolve and collaborate. The course gave me space to think and time to focus and it taught me the power of sequential logical thinking. It was transformational.”

 Chris Chapman is the director of Hull-based Elite Stoves, who recently attended an Elite course. “The way I felt mentally and physically when I finished was like nothing I have felt before,” he says. “If I could bottle that feeling and sell it I would be a rich man. A week on from being back from Scotland we have just signed a new lease on a shop in Hull that will double the size of our business. This is all due to the discussions and work Ian and his team did with us and the time spent thinking about my life, my family and my work. It truly has changed me for the better.”

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