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Workplace Well Being


Workplace Wellness released the worrying statistic that 1 in 4 people calling an employee assistance helpline said that work place stress is the route of their problem.

We are typically working longer hours, enduring lengthier commutes and with mobile technology keeping us ‘on’ for most parts of the day, is it any wonder that we feel we don’t have time to relax – are we all stressed out?

How often do we even take the time to really think about how we are feeling – mentally, physically and emotionally? Do we stop to consider how this is effecting our performance, behaviour and decision making?

In 2014/15 stress accounted for 35% of all work related ill health cases and 43% of all working days lost due to ill health.

The main work factors cited by respondents as causing work related stress, depression or anxiety (LFS, 2009/10-2011/12) were workload pressures, including tight deadlines and too much responsibility and a lack of managerial support.

It was with this data in mind, I attended the South Wales Coaching Network session, ‘Mindfulness in the Workplace’. Deryl Dix led this practical session and I can honestly say, I had a mini ‘eureka’ moment.

I had attended Deryl’s previous workshop so was already warmed up and engaged in the premise of Mindfulness but what I had failed to do was actually implement any of these practices.

This weeks meeting actually showed me how I could do small things everyday that could dramatically change both my wellbeing and ultimately, my performance in work.

Taking a few minutes at the beginning of a task or meeting to completely clear the mind and really consider ‘what is my primary goal/ focus here ?’ allows you to really engage in the now. We did some practical meditative exercises that encouraged us to be wholly present. As an obsessive mental and physical list maker, this was quite a liberating experience!

There was much frank discussion about how we go about introducing Mindfulness into the workplace, especially if there may be some cultural resistance. Some of these ideas included:

  • Having clear intentions – Why do you want to introduce mindfulness to your organisation? What need will it meet? What benefits do you hope for?
  • Consult with staff, involve them at all stages
  • Evaluate the programme to learn from the experience and make the benefits introduced sustainable.

Many studies have shown the benefits of Mindfulness in the workplace, key benefits include:

  • Increased levels of emotional intelligence
  • Increased attention – able to concentrate for longer
  • Reduced levels of stress
  • Better decision making
  • Increased higher level cognitive skills
  • Increased creative problem solving skills

So, this time around I am going to practice what I’ve been preaching. This Monday a more mindful me is at work – watch this space!

If you would like any information on South Wales Coaching Network, please contact laura@insight-hrc.co.uk.

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