Updated: Apr 28
It’s National Stress Awareness Month throughout April. Check out our free yoga for work routine and reap the benefits of promoting mental health in the workplace.
As well as trying to squeeze in a yoga session everyday and writing for the fabulous Frog Project, I have a day job in the travel sector. To state the obvious, it’s been a pretty crazy year. We’ve gone through a wave of redundancies and job insecurity. Many of my colleagues have been furloughed, and those at work have been trying to cope at home without any of the usual buzz and camaraderie that we’d normally have in the office.
Please stop me if this sounds all too familiar right now!
I’ve been incredibly grateful to see my employers increasing their focus on employee well-being. Dealing with mental health at work has never been more important than right now. Employers are catching up to the fact that engaging, motivating and retaining employees can not only make their companies work more productively and efficiently, but also save a hell of a lot of money long-term.
In the past five years, employers have cited stress as the number one reason given by employees who take time off work. Work-related mental ill-health is costing businesses up to £26 billion every year. (mind.org.uk)
The benefits of promoting mental health in the workplace
Managing and supporting mental health at work is beneficial for both the employee and the company.
For starters, looking after your staff’s mental health will:
1. Improve productivity
2. Foster better working relationships between managers and employees
3. Engage staff in the company’s successes
4. Reduce costs associated with sick days and recruiting/training new staff
Successful organisations perform well because they make employee engagement and mental wellbeing key priorities. (mind.org.uk)
But how can busy, over-stretched companies find ways to improve mental health at work?
In my experience both as a manager and from being managed, there are several themes that come up time and time again.
Promoting Positive Mental Health at Work
Creating an open, supportive culture where staff members feel able to share any problems they are having is really key. Regular catch ups help managers to notice if their staff are behaving differently, which could indicate a change in mental health. It doesn’t have to be formal either, particularly at the moment. Getting outside for a walk and talk can lead to an amazingly productive work conversation, with the added bonus of some mood-boosting fresh air.
It’s a no-brainer after the last year. The sudden juggling of a million different priorities has taken no prisoners, affecting everyone from CEOs to interns. Giving staff flexibility where possible allows them to pick up kids, fulfil caring responsibilities, or even just take a longer lunch break after a heavy meeting. Back in the office, are there options to move workstations if noise is a problem, or to consider a mentor system? Anything that makes staff feel supported and able to do their job will naturally lead to increased productivity.
A report by mentalhealth.org suggests that a change of scene or a change of pace is good for your mental health. Make sure that people are getting time away from desks and taking their lunch breaks. As well as working and caring for family members, everyone should be encouraged to make time for hobbies that make them happy and get their mind off work. Equally, fun social activities at work are great for improving communication and teamwork (even if they seem a bit cheesy at the time!), and can help to maintain positive mental health.
How does yoga help mental health?
Spending hours in front of a screen everyday can naturally take its toll on your body and mind. Incorporating yoga into your week improves posture, energy levels, motivation and focus. And for companies that want to improve morale and communication, Yoga for Work is a great solution. Not only will private classes connect your employees at a time when they might be feeling lonely and disengaged, but yoga is a proven stress reliever.
We love yoga with the Frog Project! We started classes for the whole Woflow team when quarantine started as a way to engage informally as a team and offer a health perk to everyone. It's been a great stress reliever and something that has been fun for everyone. Will, Co-founder and COO, Woflow
For a little starter, try our chair yoga routine. It’s a mobilising, re-energising sequence that you don’t even need to get out of your seat for. Share it with your colleagues or employees and let us know what you think! And if you’d like to learn more about bringing yoga to your workplace either in person or virtually, visit our Yoga for Work webpage and get in touch now.
Our Yoga for Work package helps businesses better care for their employees' well-being, mental & physical health. Tailored to meet your needs, our professional team brings you the best in Yoga for Work. For more information and to get in touch with our professional team to discuss your needs and how this may work for you and your employees, visit our webpage Yoga for Work and get in touch now.
Carmel is a travel professional and lover of literature and Latin America. In her day job at a tour operator she whisks people away to far off destinations, while in her spare time she moonlights as a freelance copywriter. You can find her portfolio here https://carmelhendry.journoportfolio.com. While not writing, or dreaming about travel, she can be found playing the piano, cycling or practising yoga. She’s spent the last year learning how to do a headstand, but mostly can be found relaxing in child’s pose! Join her and the Frog Project Community with 15 days of free unlimited classes. It’s just yoga.