Today’s workplace is a fast paced and demanding environment. It is no secret that the demands placed on employees on a day to day basis can be stress inducing. The negative impact of stress cannot be underestimated; it is one of the main contributory factors of chronic illnesses – including colds, headaches, overeating, insomnia and heart disease. Stress, anxiety and depression are proven to be major sources of lost productivity. However, if stress levels are managed correctly within an organisation the benefits will be reflected directly in your profits.

Employees who take time out of their schedule to breathe, stretch and meditate have proven to be more productive, more motivated, take fewer sick days and most importantly – happier! By introducing a corporate yoga programme into your organisation will benefit not only your employees but also productivity levels and your brand image.

One of the primary benefits of yoga is its ability to help you de-stress. Employees that are relaxed and productive are vital to a thriving workplace. Yoga allows you to focus on your breath and it requires that you be mindful to what you are doing at that very minute, not about the meeting you have later that afternoon. Taking part in a yoga class allows you to focus and give your mind a rest from the pressures of reports and deadlines.

In recent years the practice of mindfulness and meditation has become much more mainstream, the corporate world is now more open to the benefits of these practices within the workplace. William George, a Goldman Sachs board member and former chief executive of the healthcare giant Metronic started meditating in 1974. He summed up the benefits of meditation in an article for the Harvard Business Review stating that “The main business case for meditation is that if you’re fully present on the job, you will be more effective as a leader, you will make better decisions and you will work better with other people,”

Up to recent times Corporate Wellness Programs have been viewed as a luxurious perk for employees provided only by the Silicon Valley elite. However as Berry, Mirabito and Baun outline in their 2010 article in Harvard Business Review ‘What’s the Hard Return on Employee Wellness Programs?’ a well-executed wellness programme is much more of a strategic move. The bottom line is that healthy employees cost you less money!

When considering the wellbeing and health of your staff, you need to take a proactive approach. A reactive approach is a risky and costly move when considering the wellness of your team. As with most business decisions the determining factor for employers is going to be ROI (return on investment). How will the money we invest into a wellness programme like yoga and meditation classes save us money? By taking this a closed view based on ROI alone you run the risk of underestimating the below intangible benefits:

Benefits of corporate yoga

» Increased morale

» More focused

» Happier (relates directly to the increase in serotonin levels raised during a yoga class)

» Decreased stress levels

» Decrease in absenteeism

» Increased self esteem

» Increased productivity and performance

» Increased clarity in decision making process

» Increase bonds and working relationship

» Strengthening the organisations culture

» Building employee loyalty and commitment

Click here to learn more on the positive impact of yoga, meditation and mindfulness in some of America’s largest companies.

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