Corporate Wellbeing: How to Avoid Burn Out, Get Active, and prioritise Mindfulness in The Workplace
What is mindfulness? Such a simple term can be surprisingly difficult to pin down. To some, it’s a calm, late morning oat milk latte and a bubble bath (yes, please!) – to others, it’s an energetic 6AM protein smoothie and never skipping leg day at the gym. Yet when all is said and done, these buzzwords of wellness, mindfulness, and wellbeing can be broken down into a holistic understanding of a balanced lifestyle and positive quality of life.
…But that doesn’t mean wellbeing doesn’t take work, especially at work. In fact, actively pursuing the benefits of mindfulness in the workplace can uplift your corporate and personal life. Taking charge and being engaged with employee wellness, both physically and mentally, has the benefit of improving the overall health, happiness, and mindset of individuals and teams. So, whether you’re looking for staff wellbeing ideas, workplace wellbeing training incentives, or just thinking about how to balance yourself in daily and professional life, here are some mindfulness examples and suggestions that keep active resilience and wellbeing training central to your corporate wellness.
Avoiding Burn Out: Why is corporate wellbeing and workplace wellness important?
It’s a fair question. Separating work and play is the traditional understanding; why have mindfulness and wellbeing courses when you can relegate employees’ self-care to their own, off-the-clock time? Of course, the answer is obvious – because employees aren’t robots. Human beings can’t compartmentalise to the point of working non-stop without considering their own recreational and emotional needs. Not without risking burnout, anyway.
So, to understand how self-care and enrichment practices can help your organisation and staff wellbeing policy to thrive, we must first understand how a lack of it can disrupt team workflow, demotivate staff, and dysregulate employee morale. Burn out occurs when we are unable to get adequate reprieve from high-stress situations, the increase in stress factors and lack of control, alongside unsatisfactory or non-existent downtime reduces the emotional and professional capacity for you to function at optimum condition. According to the NHS website, some of the signs of stress and burnout are:
Having racing thoughts or difficulty concentrating;
Irritability / being more irritable than usual;
Feeling constantly worried, anxious, or scared;
Feeling a lack of self-confidence or self-assurance;
Having trouble sleeping, or feeling tired all the time;
Avoiding things or people you are having problems with;
Eating more or less than usual.
It doesn’t take an expert to work out these symptoms do not mix with employee happiness, team strength, the office environment, or all-round corporate wellness. Taking it even further, burnout avoidance is essential outside the office sphere as well, such as with wellbeing in schools for staff or teachers, or in retail and hospitality too.
Alternatively, just some of the benefits of mindfulness at work and corporate mindfulness workshops include:
Boosted collective team and individual employee morale;
Higher rates of productivity;
Less time off taken by staff (saving your company money – did you know that an average 27 days per employee per year are lost by UK companies due to absenteeism and presenteeism*?);
Higher employee satisfaction and staff retention rates;
Attracts new talents through boosted applicants, employees, and stakeholders;
Decreased staff turnover;
Better overall company environment.
*Vitality and Financial Times, Health at Work Study, Sept. 2016 / Virgin’s YouGov survey, How stressed are UK employees, 2015
Now we’ve established the importance of corporate mindfulness programs and mindfulness workplace training, we can look at some suggestions and examples of wellbeing ideas for staff key to success.
The Early Bird Catches the Worm
Conducting some mindfulness in the workplace research for the purpose of mental health and wellbeing training can be a minefield of hobbies, techniques, and overloaded information more hindering than helpful. Don’t panic! There’s no need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to fostering wellness practices and mental wellbeing training. Let’s start with an endorsed old favourite: getting physically active!
It’s only a cliché because it’s true. According to mind.org, exercise releases feel-good hormones (such as endorphins) that increase energy and happiness. It also helps you sleep, regulating a normal sleep routine that boosts productivity during the daytime.
As a part of Leeds Wellbeing Week 2022, in February, Mind It were lucky to connect with some incredible people for some impactful and meaningful conversations surrounding wellbeing consulting and ideas.
Meet Adam, the Centre Manager at Leeds Corn Exchange. His preferred method of keeping burnout at bay and championing wellbeing is being active.
“I go to the gym every morning at 6:30AM. I do crossfit, and this is the best way to start the day. I always bump into the same early risers and we really are a little community now.” Adam, 2022
Going to the gym is a tried and tested method to get the blood pumping and keep both the brain and body active… But the idea of going to a gym may sound tiring, daunting, overwhelming, or just downright unpleasant to some (I feel you). If you’re reading this pale-faced and downhearted at the idea of a gym, don’t worry. Here are some ideas to be more active at work that don’t involve complex equipment, long-term memberships, or (most scary of all) communal showers:
Have an active commute – run, walk, or cycle all of or part of your daily commute even just once a week can help you start the day fresher and fitter
Desk stretches – shake off the cobwebs and correct your posture at the same time by stretching at your desk (Bupa has some great instructions on how)
Swap your desk for a standing one – this can be especially helpful if you and your workplace are also embracing the rise of hybrid working or completely work from home
Take the stairs instead of the lift
Count your steps – tracking your steps via a phone app (such as Apple’s default ‘Health’ app) or smart watch can give you the incentive to watch the numbers go up. Perhaps even making it an office challenge with a reward or prize for who can fit in the most steps in a week!
Move during your break – whether you’re in the office or work remotely, stepping away from the screen (put down your phone!) and getting your body moving does wonders mentally and physically
Once one domino goes, the rest will fall too. This goes just as much for good habits as it does bad ones. These little changes can motivate employees to take next-level exercise steps, improve sleep habits, encourage healthy eating, and boost all-round happiness and productivity. Goes to show, getting active makes way for healthy habits to promote wellbeing and resilience training.
The Next Steps
Getting moving and mental wellbeing training go hand in hand. The best part is, with today’s digital technology paired with the internet and social media, you can conduct health and wellbeing courses online via webinars or in person.
Take these active ideas and corporate wellbeing motivation to push yourself and your team to the next level, prioritising balanced wellness and health (mental and physical). So, consider how you can implement these strategies in your work environment, and remember:
“The strength of the team is in each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.” Phil Jackson
“Today is your day to start fresh, to eat right, to train hard, to live healthy, to be proud.” Bonnie Pfiester
For more guidance and information, get in touch with us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.