As we all know, 2020 was a year of enormous change due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We all experienced this both individually and globally as the virus ravaged the world.
Many of us had to adapt to a new reality overnight and one of the major changes this year brought was working from home or working remotely. This shift has meant that many had to learn to work differently in new and sometimes very stressful contexts.
Between daily chores, children, and limited space, working from home during the pandemic has been, and for some continues to be, a real challenge. So, it is in this very particular context that mindfulness has made its way into the lives of millions of people during the year of 2020.
The practice of Mindfulness, as we all know, allows us to better manage stress, adapt to change, and regain serenity in the middle of the storm. And that is exactly what we all needed in the face of this really destabilizing time.
“Mindfulness is really important in times like this,” says Auguste H. Fortin VI, a general internist at Yale School of Medicine who has recommended mindfulness practices to some of his patients to help them cope with their illnesses. With COVID-19 front and center in nearly every aspect of our lives he believes that, under the surface, many people are grieving the loss of their former lives. “It’s not just the kind of grief you feel when a loved one dies—it’s grief created by so much uncertainty. We liked the way things were,” he says.
Of course, this trend toward the practice of mindfulness is not new. But what’s changed this year is the number of people who’ve become aware of the importance of taking care of themselves in order to better cope with life’s ups and downs.
Moreover, this important turning point in the mental health and wellness landscape has been widely understood by large companies, many of which now offer their employees the opportunity to integrate Mindfulness into their work routine.
Let’s take a tour of some companies that have ridden the wave of Mindfulness to improve not only the quality of life, but also the productivity of their employees.
Mindfulness is now practiced in companies with a range of different activities. Here, you’ll see proof that meditation is finally considered a necessary practice for these leaders and their companies!
The international sports company has chosen to offer its employees the option to practice wellness activities in the workplace, such as mindfulness and yoga. To do so, they have opened rooms dedicated to relaxation and employ professionals who regularly offer guided meditation sessions.
For Steve Jobs, meditation and yoga have always been essential elements for a balanced life. In fact, he said that these practices helped him be his best self and develop his creativity, one of the Apple founder’s greatest strengths.
So naturally, he decided to share his passion for meditation and yoga with his employees by offering them 30 minutes of dedicated practice a day in the relaxation rooms provided for this purpose at the Apple offices.
Mindfulness is taking hold in banks, too! The international investment bank Goldman Sachs decided to teach the practice of Mindfulness to its employees so that they can avoid stress through building resilience.
As William George explains, “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.” Employees add that Mindfulness allows them to have a clearer mind at work as well.
This large pharmaceutical company saw the practice of mindfulness as a great way to cope with long work days. In addition to offering mindfulness programs to its employees, the company funds research programs on mindfulness practices as well.
Of course, Mindfulness has a special place in Meditopia’s offices! Before the pandemic, employees could take time to meditate at work. Fortunately, the arrival of working from home has not changed those good habits. The Meditopia team organizes meditation sessions on Zoom and has even programmed reminder notifications to meditate (yes, we all need it) that everyone receives daily!
We just saw 5 large, world-renowned companies that have integrated Mindfulness into their employees’ daily work life. But today, the practice of Mindfulness in companies is no longer reserved for the biggest players in the world, whose employees can enjoy a game room and a relaxation area in their workplace.
On the contrary, nowadays Mindfulness is practiced in small and medium-sized companies, and even in non-profit organizations as well. In fact, meditation sessions are no longer seen as mere “bonuses” that trendy companies offer to their employees, but rather as an answer to a real need that more and more people are clearly expressing.
In addition, companies have realized that taking time for themselves to calm their minds and reconnect with their bodies has a significant impact on their ability to concentrate and make decisions. This is why offering employees the opportunity to relax in the workplace has become a must for more and more companies.
Now, we would like to know your opinion: do you think that the practice of Mindfulness is a good tool to better manage work at home? Do you practice it and if so, is the pandemic the reason why you started to practice? Share your experience with us, we’d be happy to hear from you!
Translator: Stella Debiaggi