mindfulness in the workplace

The benefits of mindfulness meditation in the workplace are endless. There has been a growing body of research, that states mindfulness boosts focus and creativity, lowers stress, increases emotional intelligence and helps lessen reactivity, to name just a few benefits.

Twitter co-founder Evan Williams and Cisco CTO Padmasree Warrior are noted meditators. And companies such as Aetna, General Mills, Keurig Green Mountain, Google and Intel have created programs for employees, with the goal of encouraging mindfulness in the workplace.

Dasa, who gave a mindful leadership keynote and mindfulness meditation trainings at Oracle HCM World, believes meditation apps can be truly helpful in promoting mindfulness, since employees can use them at their convenience.

He has also led mindfulness trainings remotely via WebEx for geographically dispersed companies, and is interested in other ways of using technology to help promote mindfulness in the workplace.

How can mindfulness assist in the workplace

Imagine that you’re about to go into a meeting that you know will be difficult. Knowing that the meeting is going to be tense and difficult, you’re already getting stressed.” To assist, you can use your smartphone to practice a mindfulness meditation beforehand.

According to many experts, mindfulness creates more space between thought and action, which can lead to less reactivity and smarter, more levelheaded decisions. That more present frame of mind is not something that comes easily or naturally in our multitasking world, which is why a concerted effort is required to promote mindfulness in the workplace.

As a culture, we’re always running around … We’re trying to eat  while driving, and listening to our messages on the phone and planning something else. How are we going to have time to do one thing properly? We’re not. Mindfulness basically means being aware of your thoughts and emotions, and keeping your mind in the present moment.

Making mindfulness in the workplace work

What’s really important to the success of corporate mindfulness programs? Besides simply making such trainings available, one critical factor is leadership involvement. For it to really be accepted by everyone in the organisation, it’s really important that it’s not just set up for everyone else —  it’s important that leaders show up, as well.

Corporate wellness programs

Corporate wellness programs continue to trend upwards in Australia, according to a report by IBIS World.  The data suggests that the industry of wellness services in workplaces has seen a steady growth in the last 5 years, of 9% annually.

So what are the wellness trends predicted for 2019? According to Corporate Wellness Magazine they include:

1. Leverage Health Data to Personalise Programs

To best help staff achieve their wellbeing goals, one pivotal factor is harnessing the power of personalised, secure data.

Whether it’s tracking your heart health, blood pressure, activity, breathing, or sleep patterns, health data will play an ever-increasing role in health and wellness programming. That role will go beyond simply monitoring, to designing personalised programs. Next on the list? Metabolism, a digital overview of the chemical and organic processes taking place inside your body.

2. New Job Titles

The evolution of corporate wellness has already spawned a wealth of new descriptors, titles, and responsibilities. “Talent Experience Designer” (human resources professional) is just an example of new titles that are emerging as the importance of culture, wellness, and employee happiness are understood to be directly linked and valued.

3. Further Integration of  “Physician Care” and “Self-Care”

Prior to the digital age, we would receive medical information directly from our doctors face-to-face. Now, a person’s outlook on their health has evolved where people are becoming empowered by information from health and wellness programs or wearable devices to become informed and proactively take control of their health.

This shift to “self-care” means people take preventative care of their health, rather than waiting to the point of becoming ill and having to rely on physician care.

Employers can play an important role in aiding employees to take a proactive approach to their health by providing corporate wellness programs and having a wellness technology platform.

4. Improving the Understanding of “Engagement” in the Workplace

Workplaces today are interested in taking a more holistic, integrated approach to the health of their employees. They do this through linking preventive efforts, fitness for duty, health and safety, and presenteeism with ‘all cause’ health-related absenteeism, with the goal of improving productivity.

It starts with recognising that engagement is a choice two parties make: the employer must choose to facilitate the employee’s engagement by providing a healthy environment where employees choose to be engaged.  A way to facilitate this dual engagement is through technology: wellness platforms hosted on employee portals, and by both parties designing their wellness programs.

5. Further Integrated Wellness Programs

Wellness programs are to be aimed at preventing chronic disease, which impacts physical and mental health. What we will see in the next year is that programming will be expanded to include a closer relationship of physical/mental health and financial health, as well as inter-personal relationship health, all sources of stress and significant contributors overall.

Wellness Programs should, and will soon be, integrated into one seamless solution and incorporate all aspects of wellbeing.

Corporate wellness programs have definitely come a long way in the past decade. While in many respects there is still more awareness amongst Australian workplaces needed, it’s obvious that the corporate momentum that took years to build will continue to grow.

To discuss corporate wellness programs at your workplace, reach out to us here.

Corporate wellness
The story of how Corporate Yoga Melbourne was established as featured in Knoff Yoga Newsletter:
When I finished my teacher training in 2012, I gave birth soon after to my first child. I had worked for over 10 years in the corporate world, and made the transition after having my baby to teach yoga.
I soon started teaching across studios and gyms, and I was approached one day to teach yoga at one of my students workplaces and I found it very rewarding. Some of the feedback I was receiving from staff included: sleeping better, no longer experiencing back pain and feeling less stressed at work.
Practicing yoga at work was something I wish I had at my workplace when I was in the corporate world, and this gave me the idea to bring more yoga to workplaces, – its from there that Corporate Yoga Melbourne was born.
Read the full article on Corporate Yoga Melbourne’s story here: https://goo.gl/wU3vnX 
Thank-you to Knoff Yoga for featuring this article. Namaste ?
Yoga at work

Practicing Yoga at work is becoming more popular across Australia as workplaces are realising that by offering Yoga at work, companies can save money in the long run by improving overall health, productivity at work and also enhancing employee morale.

Yoga at work falls under the umbrella of workplace wellness programs, which refers to any workplace health promotion activity or organizational policy designed to support healthy behaviour at the workplace and to improve health outcomes.Workplace wellness programs can also include activities such as health fairs, allowing work from home option, wellness newsletters, access to healthy meals/snacks at work, weight management programs, meditation classes and on-site fitness programs such as Yoga.

There are two key challenges that arises when offering workplace wellness programs:

  • Lack of a motivation from staff for wellness activities that are offered (beyond the initial rush following new year resolutions)
  • Lack of support for holistic health modalities, commonly referred as complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) e.g. yoga, meditation, tai-chi, etc.

A discussion at work is needed about the benefits of offering such programs and both employees and management need to be on board. In recent years, many CEO’s have now started publicly sharing how integrating these practices can create a business advantage. Global initiatives like the International Day of Yoga sponsored by the UN provide a stamp of approval for the benefits of yoga at work.


Relation between workplace yoga and innovation

The regular practice of yoga breathing and meditation at work can help to develop greater emotional and social intelligence that is essential for effective leadership, improving relationships and innovation.

If our mind is too worried, dull and not energised, then a creative or innovative thought will not be triggered easily. It is therefore essential to train ourselves to have an open and receptive mind that would collect (i.e. new and relevant) information. Our mind needs to be sharp and alert to grasp new concepts and trigger new ideas without judging them on our bias or untested beliefs. We also need to develop intuition, a can do attitude and inner resilience to stay positive and learn from mistakes and failures and keep working towards our goals. These are all mental aspects that can be easily enhanced through the regular practice of yoga at work.

From my own experience, regular practice helped me improve creativity and enhance my leadership and innovation skills. Give it a try — contact us to find out about booking a one off, 4 week or 8 week block of yoga at work.