Let’s face it, we’re no longer a nine to five society, the love-hate attachment we have with our smart phones, remote working and a drive to succeed means we we’re ‘online’ most of the time and being good at our job often means we’re going over and above, despite craving a positive work-life balance which oh so often feels out of reach.
How do organisations get the most out of their employees but also help them feel happy, well and balanced rather than overworked? YOGA is the answer.
The quest for work-life balance
We’re working more than we’re living and we are constantly watching the clock, we want to be home with our family or free to do as we please, but we have to work to pay the bills. Whilst for some they feel passionate about what they do and love working, for most work is still work and free time is what we want more of. Work can make us feel undue pressure and commitment leaving us exhausted and overworked.
Ditch the work stigma
Why can’t we just kick out the negativity around going to work and banish those dreaded Monday blues?
There are some seriously SCARY stats out there on how much stress impacts employees, with Health and Safety Executive reporting ‘workload, lack of managerial support and organisational change’ as the main and causes of work related stress over recent years. Their research outlines that work related stress accounts for ‘37% of all work related ill health cases and 45% of all working days lost due to ill health’ in 2015/16.
Yoga is cool you know
The interest in yoga is booming, organisations everywhere and of every kind are beginning to support yoga more and more, due to its amazing benefits for the body and mind. With the likes of Google and Nike offering Yoga, fitness and meditation initiatives and classes for employees, it’s about time we caught up – trial it, ask your employees how they feel before and after class, check their productivity, retention, engagement, sickness, yoga will prove itself.
An easy life
Healthy, happy employees is what we all want – employers and employees alike. Whether it’s bringing in a Yoga teacher to provide a yoga class in the Workplace or allowing time for employees to escape to the studio, it’s worthwhile. Instead of the usual ‘pull your socks up’ or ‘get it done’ approach, or yet even more overtime and pressure, how about taking your approach to one that nurtures and relaxes employees, improving their overall well-being and giving them a much-needed break to restore their energy and get them back on track.
Let’s put this into context – an hour out of the office (usually during an unpaid lunch break) can result in positive, happy, stress-free employees, that work harder and stay put, surely this is a no-brainer?
Why should our employees to come to yoga?
The bottom line
Yoga improves concentration resulting in improved productivity at work, we know what that affects – profitability of course. A study conducted by SVYASA University looked at the effect of a yoga based stress management programme for executives, more specifically looking at brain wave levels, results showed an increase in brain waves after the programme and suggest improved emotional stability. Quite simply when employees are focused and alert, they get more done and they work more effectively, so employers get more bang for their buck.
Smiley, happy people
Working to tight deadlines and growing responsibilities can create a huge amount of pressure, according to research yoga ‘dampens or limits stress-related changes’ which results in a positive mood and makes employees less likely to react in stressful situations. Yoga provides a much needed ‘time-out’ to re-charge and relax. Engaged, happy and relaxed employees create a positive morale and a greater level of engagement. When employees are engaged, they are more likely to work to their full potential and inspire those around them to do the same.
Well-being and balance
We’re in a time where work-life balance is more important than ever, our desire for spare time and to feel well is a high priority. Introducing yoga to your workplace creates balance, encourages a workforce that feel well and supported and allows employees the opportunity to ‘get time back’ from the busy working day. If employees feel well and strike a balance, they are less likely to become unwell and this means less time off sick!
Building your tribe
Resourcing isn’t easy in a market where employees will jump ship for a better package or an offer of more flexibility. If you’re seen to be going over and above on the value of employee wellness, you’re more attractive to future employees and current team members are going to stay put for longer.
No more aches
Work’s a pain in the neck! OK more like a pain in the lower back for those sitting at a desk all day – yoga promotes good posture and reduces aches and pains. In fact, after just a few months of attending a weekly yoga class, employees can experience ‘better function than usual medical care’ (NCCIH).
What can you do?
Bring in an instructor into the workplace – Some organisations bring yoga in to the office, create a yoga space in a conference room or hall, for annual wellness events, or on a regular basis, often during the lunchtime period or before work.
- Support employees attending a nearby studio – Allow time for employees to visit a local studio in their lunch break
- Arrange Private sessions at a nearby studio – Many studios offer private sessions, these are great for team building and boosting morale amongst employees
- Pay for or subsidise yoga classes – You can either pay the instructor or studio directly, or organise a fixed rate / discount for an agreed amount of students, so it’s affordable for employees to pay themselves, the most popular option is to subsidise the cost, perhaps working with a sports and social club
- Yoga Retreats – Get out the office and take your team on a relaxing yoga retreat. Show your staff you care about their wellbeing, unwind together, shake of that stress and build that team bond. You can find a whole bunch of retreats online, there’s sure to be one that has what you’re looking for.