Mindful Workplace = Happy & Productive Workplace

Is your job draining you?  Do you come home most days with little energy for anything else? Perhaps you are an employer and notice a spike in sick days among your staff.  Perhaps your team is disconnected, restless, and unfocussed.

Today’s average workplace is fast paced and stress filled.  Especially in an office setting,

employees are sitting all day, staring at computer screens, and fuelling themselves with caffeine just to get through the work week.  Many folks are working long hours, with little time off throughout the year and are unable to make space to decompress and alleviate some of that stress.

Findings from a recent study conducted by CivicAction indicate the need for making space for

mental wellness in the workplace. “CivicAction report finds 1.5M workers in the Toronto-Hamilton region have experienced a mental health issue, resulting in $17B in lost product-ivity over a decade.”  That’s a huge loss that could be reduced by employers creating space for their staff to take control of their stress levels, take a break at work, and discover mindfulness meditation as a team.

A dissertation titled Mindfulness for the Millennial Generation: A Clinician’s Handbook for College Counselling Centers from the School of Professional Psychology Wright State University stated:  “Current sociocultural shifts are geared towards generating a more stressful and hyperconnected life, with little room for “switchingoff.” Nevertheless, it is  important to have 31 moments to recharge, moments that help one to regain the physical and psychological energies expended during course of the day or week.”

31 MOMENTS! This isn’t very much to ask.  If we felt encouraged at work to ‘switch-off’ and if it were mandatory to take a break, we could make changes to this hyperconnected and non-stop work mentality.

I feel it’s relevant to note that as more millennials make their way into the workforce,  researchers are calling this generation the most stressed out generation to date. “Millennials who are currently entering or adjusting to the workforce are stressed – really stressed. Three quarters of millennials(aged 18 to 34) report losing sleep due to stress and one-third of them rank their overall stress level as eight out of 10 or higher.  This number  is almost 2.5 times higher than what was reported by their parents’ demographic, aged  55+. The results are from a survey conducted [by] a Centennial College student initiative.”

The majority of The Courage Collective’s content and coaching is geared towards 20 and 30somethings.  If your staff is primarily made up of millennials, it may be time for you to  consider the fact that these young people are living in their most defining years, often  dealing with financial issues, and experience a social media saturated society that lowers  self-esteem. According to the  above referenced CivicAction report: ” [Y]ounger workers  aged 18-34 experience the highest levels of workplace stress. They’re also more likely  to  be working minimum wage and  precarious jobs, and they often don’t feel comfortable  asking for time off.”

BUT mindfulness and stress reducing practices are beneficial for folks of all ages!  So don’t tune out just because your team isn’t crawling with youngsters.  Everyone can benefit from a workplace wellness program as most folks don’t carve out time for their wellness after hours.

For employers who invest in the wellness of their employees, the benefits are remarkable.  Staff will develop a sense of calm, connectedness to each other, and awareness within their own bodies and minds.  You will see the benefits in their happiness, morale, productivity, and creativity.

“An eight week study conducted by Harvard researchers at Massachusetts General  Hospital (MGH) determined that meditation literally rebuilds the brain’s grey matter in  just eight weeks.  The analysis of MRI images, which focused on areas where meditation-associated differences were seen in earlier studies, found increased grey-matter density in the hippocampus, known to be important for learning and memory, and in structures associated with self-awareness, compassion and introspection.”

Your team will be more productive, happier, and will feel valued by you as their employer.  This will lead to higher rates of retention among staff, and less requests for time off.

An article by the Australian Government’s Comcare listed the following:

“Employers who run health and wellbeing programs do so because they want to:
> Improve work performance and productivity
> Reduce costs associated with absenteeism, presenteeism, disability and workers’ compensation
> Improve the culture of the organization and retain existing employees
> Improve the organization’s image, attract talented employees and fulfill corporate social responsibility obligations.

There is a wealth of emerging evidence indicating that successful health and wellbeing programs provide an excellent return on investment. For instance, one meta-evaluation looking at economic return of worksite health promotion programs found on average programs:

> decrease sick leave absenteeism by 25.3%
> decrease workers compensation costs by 40.7%
> decrease disability management costs by 24.2%; and
> save $5.81 for every $1 invested in employee health and wellbeing.

Further evidence that mindfulness practice has significant positive effects is wonderfully  articulated in various TED Talks and keynotes.  One in particular from the Greater Good  Science Center by Associate Professor of Counselling Psychology Shauna Shapiro, titled  Mindfulness Meditation and the Brain is a six minute break down of the positive ways in  which mindfulness can physically change our brains.

So guess what!?  The Courage Collective offers a package with all of these benefits for workplaces that want to get more mindful, less stressed, and more productive. This package is for companies  and community organizations looking to provide  their staff with tools for self-care and time out  during their work day to connect with their  bodies and minds.

Click here for all of the details.

Thanks for being you!

B

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