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Following our recent Workplace Wellbeing Survey conducted in partnership with The Stress Management Society, here we expand on one of the four initiatives for businesses to help tackle and reduce workplace stress – work mindfulness and wellbeing time.
In the survey, only 41% say they have quiet working areas in the office. The introduction of quiet or relaxation zones could see major improvements in the wellbeing of employees and this in turn should enhance their levels of productivity and engagement.
The workplace should have a variety of spaces for people to select where to work from according to their mood and task, so they can find quiet spaces for concentration when required. Of course, employees also need the right technology, including laptops and Wi-Fi, in order for this to happen effectively.
Taking a few minutes to meditate every day with the goal of becoming more mindful, or focused on the present, is a great way to relieve stress. Yet over half of employees (54%) in the survey say that their employers do not support mindfulness or meditation. This is a false economy as being relaxed and stress-free helps the mind work more efficiently.
If organisations were to encourage everybody to take 10 minutes of their day for meditation or to concentrate on their mindfulness it would boost their wellbeing and provide a break from a stressful day or task. Perhaps you have someone in your company who is passionate about mindfulness and is keen to run a mindfulness session in their lunchbreak for colleagues.
In addition to stress management and relaxation, Yoga and Pilates is also beneficial for improving posture, flexibility, tone and balance, as well as rehabilitation or prevention of injuries related to muscle imbalances. In the survey, only 8% say they have a Yoga or meditation room in their office. By allocating a space in your office for mindful exercise, companies can boost their staff wellbeing and potentially improve staff attendance, performance and retention.
Allowing your staff to take a nap in the office may seem like a step too far, but for some businesses this is a key part of their sector and culture. Companies, such as XTX Markets, trade in markets around the world, so providing sleeping pods for people who work out of standard hours will be a very welcome addition to the workplace. From our survey, only 2% of people say their company has sleep pods, but 30% say they would like them.
Employers should ensure that supporting mental wellbeing is a key part of their company culture and that meditation and other relaxation techniques are publicly encouraged. By allocating specific space and time for employees to enhance their wellbeing, it should become part of the norm in the workplace and adoption and wellbeing should improve.