Meditation in your workplace

I was reading an interesting article this week about how workplaces have changed since 2020 and the outbreak of the pandemic.

Employers have had to accept more flexible ways of working for staff, and the realisation in some cases, that filling an inner city office space isn’t necessarily the way forward.

There’s been a push to provide more incentives for staff to go into a workplace – whether that’s a free massage or yoga classes – or team building sessions over mini golf!

I’m pleased to see that increasingly, it’s been recognised that mindfulness and meditation can also play a significant factor.

It’s no secret that companies such as Google have been running mindfulness programs for many years.

On a Google blog it says: “Through these programs Googlers have an opportunity to develop emotional intelligence, enhance well-being, improve team effectiveness and support a culture of respect and inclusion.”

More recently (but pre-pandemic) it’s been looking at meditation rooms or ‘immersive spaces’.

“Our goal with them is to really create a physical space so you can mentally or emotionally escape, reset, step away from your surroundings,” says Lane Rick, principal at Office of Things.

OK – that’s not for eveyone!

But I know of other Australian businesses that offer regular meditation and mindfulness sessions.

One stops all staff at 3pm every afternoon to make time to practice.

People sitting in chairs in a circle
Group sessions in the workplace. Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko

Others offer lunchtime sessions – but as I found in my last workplace – they never seemed to be on a day, or time I could make, and that then became a frustration for me.

How can you offer programs such as this that work for everyone?

Again, a key thing is being flexible.

Maybe continue offering the lunchtime sessions for those who can attend in person, but also offer a virtual option.

Or work with whoever is delivering the sessions or program to maybe record some sessions that can be provided to other staff who are interested, but can’t attend at that time.

There are always options.

I love that my council subsidises a number of events – including some of my mindful meditation sessions – under its Healthy and Active program.

Most sessions are free or at minimum cost to participants – and they are open to everyone.

But again, a lot of the sessions are during work hours, so I’m actively working to provide affordable sessions, online and out of regular work hours.

I get so many messages and emails from people saying: “I so need this.”

It’s something more employers need to consider, especially as they look to attract new employees.

Because increasingly, it’s these ‘added extras’ that are starting to mean more to staff, than the actual, physical workplace.

Ann 🙏

PS My next sessions start in Albany Creek, on October 4, 2023.

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