Written by Alex Beeching | UK
on May 16, 2019

UP recently held its first-ever global meet-UP, inviting members from around the world to gather in Mallorca for three days of connection, sharing and inspiration. To advance the theme and goal of achieving “work-life” balance, UP invited two very special speakers, certified advanced life and fitness coaches, Anna Persdotter and Nikola (Niki) Tramontana from Form Holistic to present a workshop and several sessions on this important topic. Here, Anna Persdotter shares some insights from that experience.


Anna and Niki from Form Holistic presented a workshop and led several fitness sessions on the importance of work-life balance for UP members in Mallorca.


When UP invited Niki and I to take part in its first-ever meet-UP on Mallorca, we jumped at the chance. Who wouldn’t? An island of outstanding beauty, the balm of sunshine after a Swedish winter, a 5-star hotel, excellent food and even better company.

But make no mistake: this was no holiday. Our job was threefold: to introduce our business (Form Holistic) to UP members, to run a workshop on Balanced Living (a subject dear to our hearts) and to lead two workouts for UP members.

Day 1 saw us gather beneath the date palms in the hotel gardens for a ‘Body Balance’ class. Drawing its inspiration from Hatha Yoga and Pilates, it’s an excellent way to improve flexibility, balance, sharpen your senses and generally lift your spirits.

Come Day 2 and we up the ante and hit the beach. Tabatha, burpees, sprinting and skipping rope were on the menu. Our thanks to all those took part, and we hope that everybody felt better for doing so.

jump rope in Mallorca UP Meeting


Balance it all

It’s no accident we began with the idea of balance. It’s central to our philosophy and, as we came to learn, to that of UP as well. From the first, it was abundantly clear that we and UP are kindred spirits.

We believe in harnessing technology to make the world a better place. So does UP. 

We value freedom. So does UP.

We attach great importance to striking a balance between life and work, rest and activity. So does UP. Indeed, balance is one of UP’s core values. And we believe in self-responsibility. So does UP.

In short, UP is a trailblazer not only in how it works (in the cloud) but also in the values upon which it is based. What particularly strikes us about the UP model is how it manages to square circle between self-employment and the security of a regular job.

Niki and Anna

Energy – a vital commodity

This brings me to another key idea which we have in common – that of energy.

When Julian Stubbs and Eric Dowell came up with the idea of UP in 2008, they were clear about three things: first, they didn’t like bosses, second they wanted to create a company with no employees, and third, they both agreed commuting to a job which you could do anywhere was a waste of energy: yours and the planet’s.

What’s would you do with more energy? That’s the question we put to our audience during our presentation. Energy is a vital commodity. Under our guidance, we can show you how to boost your energy exponentially. Ultimately, it’s up to you. We just put the tools at your disposal.

How many us today spend their days hunched over computers and smart phones cooped up in airless grey offices? How many of us feel exhausted after our work is done? How many of us feels a vague sense of malaise day in day out? How many of us get too little sleep? How many of eat badly?

Freelancers and those who work for themselves tend to keep long hours, work too hard, try to do too much and as a result their health suffers. Life doesn’t have to be like this.

Yin and Yang

In the West, we tend to regard exercise in much the same way as work: the harder the better. This work-hard-play-hard mentality is unhealthy. It’s too yang. It leads to burn out, to dis (ease) and ultimately to death.

That’s where we come in. If this sounds like you or it sounds like your employees, help is at hand.

Human 0perating system: 40,000 years old

We’re meant to move, to walk for miles and miles, to run and to go without. Our operating software hasn’t changed in 40,000 years. Out of date? On the contrary. It works beautifully. The problem is that we have created a world where it works too well. And our increasingly sedentary lifestyles are serving to make matters worse

For those who live in rich countries, food is plentiful, ridiculously so. We see food, we eat it. Rather than walk, we take the car. Rather than take the car, we have food delivered. For many, though by no means all, life is easy. The idea of hunting and gathering to stay alive is as foreign to a 21st Century Swede (or European or American) as an iPhone would be to one of our ancestors 40, 000 years ago.

If working with businesses and individuals has taught us one thing, it is this: we should treat a person as a whole and not as a mere set of organs and muscles. To look at one piece of the metaphorical pie doesn’t make sense and yet it’s exactly what many doctors and personal trainers do.

holistic wheel


Health doesn’t just apply to the body. It includes every aspect of our being-mind, spirit and emotion. It’s about eating well, sleeping well, and living well. It’s about good thoughts and good habits.

Holism derives from the Greek, ‘holos’ which means ‘whole’ or ‘entire.’ It teaches that parts of the whole are inextricably linked and cannot exist independently of the whole. Mena sana incropore sano: a healthy mind in a healthy body.

By looking at our clients through a holistic prism, where are better able to find answers to the following questions:

1. How do we find more energy in life?

2. What is balance and where to find it?

3. What makes your heart sing?


What applies to the individual applies to the good leadership, as you can see from our holistic leadership model above. That sweet spot of where energy is boundless and where you are in state of flow is what we’re aiming for. Much of our job lies in helping our clients bind mind to body. You lead with the head, the heart and the body and unless all three work in unison, something will always be lacking.

holistic leadership model

So there you have it: UP and Form Holistic, two companies which believe that the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts.

Form Holistic-Up Venn Diagram


What to know more about the UP way of working?

Read more about e-ployment here.

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