Relieving Stress in the Workplace: Is Corporate Meditation the Answer?
A proven way companies can actively reduce stress levels in the office? Offering meditation solutions for employees to enjoy and utilize in-office. If this sounds like a solution that may help your employees (and your business), keep reading. We’re covering why more and more companies are bringing meditation solutions into their organisations, the benefits of meditation and how you can get started with this new workplace perk today.
The workplace comes with a certain level of stress. Deadlines, your boss’s expectations, drama with coworkers — it can all add up. Some stress is good, as scholarly articles have long pointed out, but too much stress can have serious health consequences. Chronic stress can suppress the immune system, leading to illnesses. Stress increases the risk of certain medical conditions such as diabetes mellitus and ulcerative colitis, and has even been linked to tumour development.
Beyond health, stress also impacts factors such as productivity and overall quality of life. As Corporate Wellness Magazine points out, employees who are overly stressed present an increase in absenteeism and presenteeism in the office, an increase in number of days taken off for health care concerns and overall increases in health care costs incurred by employers.
It’s easy to see how stress is one of the biggest burdens of modern life, with real, tangible health, productivity, and economic impact. As such, more and more companies and organisations are looking for solutions to decrease stress, burn out and turn over within the workplace. Recent improvements in company culture across the board include directly addressing employees’ mental health, including stress levels.
Why are Companies Bringing Meditation into Their Organisations?
Stress is a growing issue in the workplace and, as mentioned, it’s very expensive.
It’s estimated that at least 1 million workers are absent from the workplace each day, due to stress and anxiety. On average, 5 office hours are lost each week to employees thinking about the causes of their stress, whether these are work-related or due to an outside source. This all adds up to a yearly approximate cost of $1 trillion, as the global economy experiences a severe loss in productivity (World Health Organization, 2020).
On-the-job stress also leads to high turnover rates. According to the University of Massachusetts, 40% of all job turnover is due to stress. While this may not seem like a direct, stress-related cost that the employer incurs, if stress were reduced, job turnover would decrease, an economic benefit when considering that replacing the average employee costs up to 200% of that employee’s salary.
So how do you know if your workplace is experiencing stress? Look around your office. Take a look at your team members.
In addition to a heavy atmosphere, do you notice…
Employees taking more sick time or days off?
High employee turnover?
Low employee engagement?
Frequent complaints of burn out?
More health insurance claims?
If the answer to any is ‘yes’, it’s very likely that your employees are dealing with stress while at work, whether or not that stress is directly related to their jobs. Other potential warning signs for on-the-job stress among your team can include more workplace accidents, isolation among team members, low morale, complaints of common health warning signs such as headaches or upset stomach, and general irritability.
Alleviating this stress, regardless of where it stems, is vital to your company’s results, productivity, financial success and employee retention.
Meditation is an effective tool to boost well being in the workplace
While, sometimes, it can feel like alleviating workplace stress is a long and arduous task that will only come with serious organizational shifts (which, in some instances, is true), there are certain steps that workplace leaders can take to help boost employee well-being, quickly.
Meditation is one of the easiest, truly effective tools that leaders and employees can harness to reduce stress quickly and efficiently. According to Harvard Health Publishing, meditation has been known to ease psychological stresses, including anxiety, depression and pain, and even assist stressed and anxious individuals with related symptoms such as irritability and poor sleep. The best part? All of these benefits can be increased by practicing mindfulness meditation techniques within a group setting — like at work.
As the Harvard Health Publishing article linked above points out, “Some people find that learning mindfulness meditation techniques and practicing them with a group is especially helpful… [As a result] mindfulness-based stress reduction training is now widely available in cities throughout the United States.”
What are the wider benefits of meditation?
But meditation does so much more than simply reduce workplace stress and alleviate anxiety-related symptoms. Meditation can also help…
Decrease burn out
Improve workplace (and general life) satisfaction
Increase engagement with others
Improve one’s general sense of well-being
Promote emotional health among employees
Increase self-awareness and mindfulness
Increase attention span
Reduce mind wandering and worrisome or intrusive thoughts
What Companies Already Use Meditation Within Their Organisations?
Many successful organisations and companies around the world are already introducing meditation into their teams, with stellar results. Companies that currently encourage meditation among employees include Apple, Google, Yahoo, Proctor&Gamble, Nike and HBO.
According to one study, companies like these that reported implementing mindfulness practices such as meditation, also reported related benefits such as positive culture impacts, improved stress management, better decision-making skills, better work relationships and increased innovation and creativity. Nearly 90% of those involved in the study said that they would recommend similar practices to coworkers.
How to Introduce Meditation to Your Organisation or Company
Introducing meditation to your team is easier than you likely think. Many companies (including Flow) offer corporate programs; these are sometimes available via apps or through tailor-made, customized programs that are designed specifically with a company’s individualized needs in mind. Custom programs often include workshops.
Beyond simply signing everyone up for an app or in-office workshops, though, you’ll want to create an environment where meditation and mindfulness are encouraged and accepted within the office culture. You might want to enlist a few team members to help promote or champion the new offering, too, to get other team members on board and comfortable. You also want to make sure that the offerings are as accessible and easy to use as possible.
The Focus of the Flow at Work Wellness Corporate Program
As far as corporate and workplace meditation programs go, Flow ticks all the right boxes. Flow’s corporate meditation programs are designed specifically for companies who want to take positive action in favour of employees’ mental health and overall well-being. Flow is easy to use, entirely accessible, quick, convenient and, most importantly, effective.
Flow takes meditation into the modern era, via the power of virtual reality. Rather than requiring participants to sit still, eyes closed, for a long period of time, Flow compacts its meditation experiences into time periods that work best for employees. Flow fully immerses participants into virtual reality environments, making it easier for them to be mindful and avoid distractions. This combination of technology and the age-old practice of meditation truly sets Flow apart from any other workplace mindfulness solution on the market. In as little as 4 minutes, your employees can enjoy a full, meditative, mindfulness experience while being surrounded by tranquil Icelandic landscapes.
The Flow at Work program…
Allows your employees to meditate whenever and wherever thanks to technology
Is available everywhere from the office to the cubicle to the conference room to the commute home
Includes team-building workshops and meetings, for a more engaging experience
Choose from three different Flow at Work plans
The Team plan includes access to the mobile app, web portal and weekly inspiration content.
The Business plan enhances the experience with access to the Flow virtual reality experience, with one VR headset included for every 10 employees; you’ll learn how to best make use of the VR experience via a handy onboarding workshop.
The Pro plan increases the benefits even further, with access to Flow events, live workshops and quarterly data reports on your plan usage and employee progress.
Want to Know More About the Flow Corporate Program?
Are you ready to upgrade your company culture through the power of meditation? Download our Flow at Work introduction below, or schedule a demo to experience Flow’s workplace solutions firsthand.