Yoga makes you feel better. For me this is a fact. I understand that there are many misconceptions about yoga, that perhaps that its “only stretching and breathing” or that sitting quietly in meditation is of no real benefit and wasted time especially when we are already so busy, but it is believed by many and now scientifically understood that these practices do improve your mental health, make you physically stronger, calmer and therefore more effective at work.
Many companies are offering these kinds of activities to their employees, and as a Customer Success Manager and Yogi (what yoga people call themselves!) let us look at how this ancient practice can help in the workplace and why it means so much to me.
Less stress and a boost in productivity and presenteeism
There is no doubt about it that life is stressful. People will of course find different situations stressful and many have their own way of dealing with it, however; I know tons of folk who get worked up and have no real outlet – going through the motions of anger that things should be different or better.
Generally speaking, employee stress levels are a major concern for businesses as increased stress poses health risks leading to absence, but what are they doing to reduce that stress? Working in a high paced, competitive and stressful environment will eventually limit productivity if there is no outlet. An obvious solution to this is to provide relaxation or downtime activities within your business. By acting directly on employee stress and offering them opportunities to alleviate that, the preventative action will help to lessen burnout, sickness absence and even depression. It also lets your employees know that you have a genuine care for their wellbeing and actively promote balance at work.
Improving employee experience
Happy employees are loyal employees and that runs through our lime green veins here at Phase 3. By offering employees the opportunity to discover a personal development activity it is also a way of showing your commitment to your staff as an employer, again showing that their wellbeing is important.
The loyalty of your employees will often depend on the quality of work life that you offer them. I will remain eternally grateful for my friend Kate Wadia who allowed her employees to take time towards their own self development. Kate was my manager at the time when my yoga journey became real, she gave me the push I needed to sign up to a Yoga Teacher Training course and gave me her management instruction “just do it”. Her legacy continues in the care of our staff and commitment to their wellbeing. Kate also listened to me harping on about the cleansing qualities of Himalayan pink salt but that is a whole other story.
Improved attention span
Dr Romesh Manocha, world expert on Meditation Research explains in his book “Silence Your Mind” that meditation has proven benefits on brain function, including better attention span, resilience and becoming less reactive to stressors. With regular practice the real benefits come forward into daily life; becoming more calm, present and conscious. I find in my role that these qualities are essential to understand the real needs of our clients and to make sure that they receive the best possible service from our team in a conscious way. Sadly, there are organisations out there that overcharge or inflate for their own gain and it is my purpose to ensure that this does not happen to our clients. This all brings a positive impact to customer experience which is essential to my role. By promoting wellbeing and consciousness at work, it can be a real contribution toward performance, being a good employer and a good company.
“I bend so I don’t break”
I just love this phrase and for me it is something to live by. I will make a confession: I am highly strung, quite stressy and my nature is to get pretty wound up. Do I like these attributes in myself? Of course not! And in finding and maintaining a yoga and meditation practice I have become much more aware of who I am and how to work on being a better version of me. This in turn allows me to feel focused and ready for a productive day at work, taking care of myself so I can take care of Phase 3 and our customers.
A final word from me – If you want to try yoga then just do it! You can experience all the wonderful benefits from the comfort of your own home. It is not just a workout physically, but a ‘work-in’ – to easing stress, anxiety and just feeling that bit better than before. We are living in unprecedented times at the moment so give this ancient practice a try, doing as little or as much as you like- yoga is all about you. If you really don’t enjoy it, then that is fine too, at least you took some time to try something new and you’ve nothing to lose.
For more tips and advice, make sure to visit our blog.
This blog was written by Louise Johnston, Customer Success Manager at Phase 3.