Breaking Standards: How Focusing on Employee Health and Happiness Positively Impacts Business
How many people do you know get excited to go to their jobs? "Or beyond that, how many seem to like and enjoy their workplace environment?" In my experience, very few people I meet can make that claim. I’m all too familiar with the unsatisfied employee scenario of tired men and women hesitantly rolling themselves out of bed after the dreaded alarm goes off, dragging their feet around with dark circles under their eyes. The ever-familiar Boomtown Rats tune “I don’t like Mondays “ plays in their head as they picture a typical day at the office. "Sick of work and feeling unappreciated, their only solace is dreaming of the one or two weeks a year that they go on vacation (if they’re lucky.)"Is it any surprise that most heart attacks and suicides occur on Monday mornings?
When an employee is not well, it impacts every business. One U.S. study (Employers’ Health Coalition) found that lost productivity from presenteeism was at least 7.5 times greater than productivity loss from absenteeism. You might be thinking what the heck is presenteeism? It happens when people are physically present, but due to an unaddressed physical or emotional issue, are distracted to the point of reduced productivity. It is estimated that presenteeism could cost Canadian businesses 15 to 25 billion dollars per year! I guess that’s why at least 25 % of large US companies have now launched ‘stress-reduction’ initiatives including leading businesses like General Mills, Apple and Google.
The old model of running a business has employees’ health and needs as a non-existent priority. The new wellness initiatives of leading companies, such as EarthFresh, are crushing that old model. What makes EarthFresh unique? They truly care about the quality of life of their employees and show it by offering onsite yoga programs, personal training, group activities and healthy eating initiatives.
As the leading Yoga Teacher at Sacred Mountain Yoga, I have seen the benefits of having on-site wellness programs at various businesses around the GTA including EarthFresh. I have created the Wellness at Work Program to provide employees and employers a convenient and cost-effective option that they can use to improve health and well being in the workplace. Each class is designed to be simple and accessible so that anyone can receive the benefits of practicing yoga- regardless of their age, level of fitness, experience and especially those who may be suffering with injuries and illnesses.
Why choose yoga? Yoga is recognized as a form of mind-body medicine that integrates an individual's physical, mental and emotional aspects to improve overall health, particularly stress related illnesses. Yoga has been used for over 5000 years as a tradition of healing and is now regarded in the Western world as a holistic approach to health. Most recently, it has been classified as a form of Complementary and Alternative Medicine by The National Institutes of Health.
For the past two years we have been providing the EarthFresh employees simple practices that help keep them in good health and spirits. People here have reported many benefits including pain relief , better mood, increased focus, improved flexibility and life function. It has also boosted morale around the office and the team encourages one another to participate. Our yoga days bring excitement and fun into the busyness of the workday. Some employees even come into the office early for yoga to help prepare them for the day. For most of my regular participants, they can’t live without it! It’s been such a pleasure to work with the amazing team at EarthFresh and I’m so grateful to be a part of one of the best companies around!
By: Natalie Marnica, Certified Yoga Therapist