How start-ups can introduce wellness into the workplace to avoid burnout

If you run a business, you are most probably aware of the term ‘burnout’ which has rapidly become one of the big buzz words in the entrepreneurial world. The over-connectedness of life today has brought with it ever-increasing levels of stress and overwhelm.  

As a result, we are now searching more than ever before for easy to implement tools that focus on mental wellness, particularly in the workplace. One outcome of the past 12 months has been that talking about mental health is now being encouraged and supported in the workplace. 

In the US, over 80 per cent of companies with more than 50 staff have some sort of corporate wellness benefit and a recent Deloitte Corporate Wellness Report found that 78 per cent of employers were looking to invest in staff fitness programs within the next three years.

However, whilst some of these larger firms are introducing initiatives such as wellness sabbaticals where teams are able to work remotely from resort environments, or nap pods for afternoon sleeps, these types of opportunities are not so available to smaller businesses who have limited numbers of staff and an even more limited budget.

One of the best solutions that goes hand in hand with burnout is meditation. There is no doubt that meditation has become more mainstream and is now widely used by some of the most successful people in the world in a wide range of sectors from elite sports to industry leaders. So, how can small-business owners introduce the benefits of this practice to your team without breaking the bank?

Having experienced severe burnout over a 10 year period of rapid growth in her prior business, here are some quick and cost-effective ways in which you can bring meditation into the workplace to help not only combat staff burnout but also lead to increased performance from your team.

  1. Encourage your staff to take a walk at lunchtime or during their break – when someone is in a headspace of overwhelm one of the best things they can do is to change their physical environment which then changes their thought patterns;
  2. Consider introducing a once or twice daily five-to-10 minute meditation pause company-wide and tune in to one of the specialized apps or an online meditation on YouTube;
  3. Play calming music through the office which is known to be beneficial to regulate anxiety;
  4. Bring in an expert to teach a few simple breathing techniques to the staff.  When you are overworked and overwhelmed, breathing becomes very shallow but there are many very easy ways in which to counteract this and the benefits are felt immediately;
  5. Sign up your team for a weekly newsletter offering meditation tips and resources.

Introducing regular meditation techniques for your staff will not only benefit in terms of adding to the company culture and well-being but will also lead to increased creativity, innovative thinking, engagement and focus.

Sophie Andrews, Founder, The Meditation Hunter

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