Yoga and Meditation: Benefitting Employees’ Health and a Company’s Bottom Line
Whether you work for a small business or a global corporation, the reality in today’s world is that you’re working more without making more. Even those who get raises have been getting smaller ones, averaging less than 2 percent annually. Employees are being forced to take on more responsibility with little or no reward, leading to increased stress levels. And that stress is in no small part due to the role technology plays in the current work environment. With texts and emails, there is no downtime; no work/life balance. Many companies expect employees to be available 24/7, and many employees cave in to those demands because jobs are at such a premium.
“Just be happy that you have a job.” How many of us have heard this over the past few years? Unfortunately, it’s the result of a corporate culture that’s long considered employees expendable.But it’s also a culture that’sproved costly for companies. According to the American Institute of Stress (stress.org), job stress costs U.S. companies about $300 billion annually through absenteeism, diminished productivity, employee turnover, and direct medical, legal, and insurance fees, and is the reason for nearly 90 percent of doctor visits. It’s also been estimated that companies spend $14,000 per employee per year on medically related productivity losses.
Thankfully, more companies are beginning to value their workers’ wellness as an asset. They’ve come to realize that an employee’s mental state has a tremendous impact on his or her productivity and health. And they’ve responded by implementing yoga and meditation programs in the workplace, which both decrease their healthcare expenses and improve their bottom line. Yoga has been found to benefit both companies and their employees in a number of ways:
- Improving concentration, decision-making skills and the ability to multi-task
- Reducing multiple costs of stress-related illnesses and absenteeism
- Improving alertness, productivity, and the ability to react more calmly in a demanding situation
- Enhancing attitude and outlook, listening skills, and empathy
- Promoting well-being in the workplace by offering participants a more balanced outlook
- Strengthening the immune system while increasing energy
According to the iOpener Institute for People and Performance, yoga, meditation, and other stress-reduction programs in the workplace reduce a company’s turnover by 46 percent, reduce the cost of sick leave by nearly 20 percent, and increase performance and productivity by 12 percent. Just a small investment in time and money by employers can yield impressive savings—and result in employees who are genuinely happy to be at work and more productive while there.
Loka Yoga is a Basking Ridge–based yoga and meditation practice that also holds a charity yoga class on the first Saturday of each month. For more information, visit Lokayoganj.com.