Employees are faced with more stressors in their jobs than ever before – from working longer hours with more responsibilities, fearing redundancy due to economic instability or even a monotonous job. It can often be hard to avoid the kind of heightened tension and stress, which leads to feelings of being overwhelmed and mentally and physically drained.
The costs of physical and mental stress are considerable for an organisation; the loss of staff morale has far-reaching implications. It, therefore, comes as no surprise that so many companies are installing wellness programmes – the evidence is clear – that by paying attention to the well-being of your staff it fosters a happier and more successful work environment.
Healthy people have more energy, are more focused, tend to be more cooperative and more productive.
According to Corporate Wellness Magazine, every $1 invested in employee wellness programs yields roughly $4 in savings through reduced sick days, higher productivity and decreased overall health costs, resulting in improved all-around employee performance.
The beneficial side-effects of de-stressing, instead of distressing, are making it a top focus and many CEOs are turning to yoga and mindfulness as a cost effective way to keep an eye on the bottom line whilst supporting a happier and more efficient workforce. The benefits of yoga and mindfulness are becoming evident as yoga mats are rolled out in boardrooms across Australia and internationally.
The US health insurer Aetna famously offers its workers meditation and yoga classes and nearly a third of the company’s 50,000 employees have taken a class.
When Aetna’s 2012 financial performance was reviewed, their CEO noted, “Health care costs had fallen. For the year, paid medical claims per employee were down 7.3 percent. That amounted to about $9 million in savings. The next year, health care costs rose 5.7 percent but have remained about 3 percent lower than they were before yoga and meditation were introduced at the company.”
Yoga is an ancient 5000-year-old practice which has been grown exponentially in the western world over the last decade. It offers a perfect remedy for the ailments of modern society:
In a fast-paced, busy world yoga and meditation classes offer one of the few times when you can truly unplug from technology and free yourself from the distractions around you.
In the western world yoga is portrayed as a purely physical exercise; however, one of the reasons yoga has stood the tests of time is that it offers much more than simply a physical workout. The physical practice of postures (asana) that we know as yoga in the west is simply a small part of the “8 traditional limbs” of yoga.
Two of the other yoga limbs that are most familiar in modern society are meditation and pranayama (breathwork).
The Sanskrit word for yoga means “union” – this means the integration of the body, mind and soul. Therefore, a large emphasis is placed on the internal mind with roots deeply entrenched in philosophy. Yoga not only strengthens the physical body, it also encourages self-reflection and a more positive view of the world.
Australian and international sports teams have introduced yoga to strengthen player’s bodies to help:
In the same way, in a work environment, yoga can help to significantly improve relationships as it encourages more open and honest communication with ourselves and those around us which helps to break down barriers and enable us to work more cohesively in a team; either in the sports world or a corporate environment.
The benefits of yoga are being reaped by sports teams, schools and large Blue Chips, including the famously cited Google, Nike, HBO and Apple through to a vast array of smaller and lesser known organisations.
Yoga classes are being introduced as a stand alone wellness initiative or as part of a comprehensive wellness programme.
An innovative and health promoting workplace inspires creativity and helps to attract new staff more readily and retain existing staff for longer by creating an environment that people want to be part of, reduces costs lost through absenteeism and presenteeism, helps employees to feel valued and also prevents and assists with work-related injuries and stressors.
Yoga, meditation and mindfulness help employees to remain focused on one task and make decisions with improved problem-solving skills.
Studies have demonstrated that just one yoga session a week is enough to start noticing a difference in improved memory and the ability to think with more creatively and also to increase clarity, reduce stress and notice physical benefits.
If you’re keen to introduce yoga in your workplace and don’t know where to start, then contact Corporate Yoga Australia for more information on how to introduce yoga, meditation and mindfulness to your workplace. Visit our site for more information.
Alsco would like to thank Debby Lewis, the founder of Corporate Yoga Australia. Their primary focus is to help employees work with more energy, mindfulness and focus resulting in better problem solving and productivity. This will not only benefit the employees, but also the company itself.
Yoga is not just an ordinary physical and mental exercise – the benefit of it is extraordinary. It is important to understand the root causes of fatigue in the workplace in order to avoid them.
Just like other companies Alsco also makes sure that employees at your workplace enjoy peace of mind thanks to the Alsco First Aid Kits and Training. Learn more about Alsco’s Managed Training Service – call us now 1300 659 892! Our friendly representative awaits.