Whether it’s called corporate yoga, employee yoga or office yoga, offering yoga in the workplace has been growing in popularity in recent years. Its growth matches a similar increase in the number of work days lost due to stress and the awareness that staff wellbeing is an important subject – for both employers and employees. The benefits of yoga for employees are proven both scientifically and in the results seen by the employers who invest in the wellbeing of their staff.
Attracting and retaining the best staff
Having a meaningful staff wellbeing strategy can make the difference between a top candidate accepting or rejecting a job offer. An organisation’s culture, environment and benefits are some of the key criteria used in a candidate’s decision making process. Employees that feel valued are more loyal to their employer.
Higher performing staff
Staff yoga (which includes meditation, mental focus and breathing techniques) is proven to improve grey matter and cognitive performance, increasing levels of concentration, memory and learning. It enhances mental agility, resulting in better executive decision making and creativity.
More energised, motivated staff
Lunchtime yoga classes are a particularly good way to build greater levels of energy for the afternoon. They also help improve sleep so it’s easy to see why staff perform better when they participate in a corporate yoga programme. They experience the combination of external appreciation by the employer and internal contentment, leading to higher levels of motivation and satisfaction.
Fewer work days lost
53% of all work days lost are as a result of stress, so anything that reduces stress will contribute directly to a reduction in work days lost. One way to reduce stress that is scientifically proven, is yoga and meditation.
Physical fitness is directly linked to having a stronger immune system and being more resilient, which is why workplace exercise is a core part of most staff wellbeing programmes. Whether that’s setting up running clubs and on site gyms or buying corporate gym memberships. But workplace yoga goes further as is it has been proven to have greater wellbeing benefits than similar aerobic exercises.
Yoga and meditation improve mood and make people feel more positive by releasing serotonin, dopamine and endorphins.
Less stressed colleagues
Office yoga for stress release is one of the prime benefits because it reduces heart rate, blood pressure, tension and ultimately has a positive effect on anxiety and depression.
Although some elements of a company’s wellbeing programme are one to one in nature, workplace yoga classes tend to be done in groups. Shared experiences that go beyond a purely work focus, are known to help teams form strong, beneficial bonds. At this particular time, there is additional benefit in connecting colleagues working remotely and support their mental wellbeing.
Since Covid-19 arrived, many people have started working from home, so their workplace is now also their home. This is just one of the many new stresses and challenges we all face, and a well constructed staff wellbeing programme can make a significant positive difference to any organisation.
As a company, we started by offering office yoga classes in London and we have expanded gradually to run sessions for clients around the UK and now also overseas. Office yoga in London is the same as office yoga in New York, just in different time zones! One thing we learned from the restrictions of the pandemic is that employee yoga can be run successfully online.
Yoga Benefits FAQs
Question: What is office yoga?
Answer: Movement, breathing and meditation exercises that reduce stress and increase energy, improve sleep, memory and creativity. EVERYONE can be included because it is not about physical fitness, it is about mental agility.
Question: Is it possible to meditate while working?
Answer: Meditation is not about falling asleep, it is about becoming more alert and focused. Sessions are easy to follow, they can be for as little as 15 or 20 minutes and done at any time of day.
Question: How will my work life be affected by doing yoga?
Answer: The benefits are scientifically documented: less stress, more energy, greater happiness, better concentration, increased creativity. Anecdotally people talk about being more productive, able to juggle a challenging workload.
Question: What would I need to introduce yoga to my office?
Answer: Have an initial conversation with us to discuss logistics like space needed, on and offline options, most suitable session content, cost, internal communications. We have the experience to make it quick and easy to try out.