In a post-Covid-world employees’ well-being has taken centre stage. Employee-centric well-being programs to take care of their mental and physical well-being are offered by the companies. Recently, the Indian government has announced Yoga Break (Y break) at the workplace to help professionals to de–stress, refresh and refocus. The announcement came ahead of the International Yoga Day.
Yoga break consists of a few ‘light’ practices including Asana (postures), Pranayama (breathing techniques) and Dhyana (meditation) which can be done by taking a few minutes break from work.
Industry leaders opine that incorporating yoga breaks or workplace yoga into company culture can yield a multitude of benefits for employees and businesses alike. “It helps improve concentration, flexibility, focus, and clarity of the mind by reducing the chatter, while giving a sense of peace and calm, hence helping improve overall well-being and productivity,” says Rajesh Rai, Vice President – People Team and Head of Human Resources, India, GlobalLogic.
Calling Y breaks a crucial decision especially when an employee spends over 60% of his day at work, Sunit Sinha, Partner and Head, People, Performance and Culture, KPMG in India says that Yoga can benefit people in more ways than one. He points out that having these quick breath breaks and stretches will ensure that employees feel re-energised.
For regular yoga breaks, Sinha suggests having recorded video sessions for 10-15 min being played on the display TVs for the employees to join in and take the yoga break.
“By introducing programs that are self-sustainable, firms can enable their people to focus on their well-being. Taking a cohort-based approach, that caters to individuals with diverse demographics and providing bespoke solutions can create a positive impact on the people,” says Sinha.
Yoga breaks to reduce stress levels and increase the overall sense of well-being, can lead to improved mental clarity, better problem-solving abilities, and increased creativity.
“Employees can foster a sense of community and camaraderie, build stronger relationships, improve communication and increase teamwork skills. Yoga also serves as a valuable opportunity for employees to take a break from their daily tasks, recharge, and return to work with renewed focus and energy. Ultimately, incorporating Yoga breaks or workplace yoga into company culture can help to create a more positive and productive work environment,” says Shruti Tandon, Managing Director – People Enablement, Nagarro.
Y-Break to enhance decision-making abilities
Introducing yoga breaks in the workplace will result in multiple health benefits ranging from increased motivation to a greater level of energy, reduction in stress to having happier employees at work. Yoga along with meditation & breathing techniques enhances people’s concentration, memory & learning.
“It results in greater mental agility which in turn leads to better decision-making, problem-solving & creativity at the workplace. Beyond the known benefits, what is also important is that our people know that we care when we prioritise their wellbeing and happiness,” adds Sinha.
Integrating yoga breaks necessitates careful consideration of the physical space, the people involved, and the tools and support required to enable safe and productive practice.
“To begin with the Yoga breaks, it is critical to verify that the location of the yoga practices is safe and devoid of any hazards that could cause injury. Clearing clutter and ensuring enough lighting is equally important. Second, examine the physical capabilities of the people who will be participating in the chair yoga breaks. Modifications may be required to accommodate people with injuries or disabilities and consultation with a healthcare expert may be required to ensure that the practice is safe for all parties engaged,” adds Tandon.
Furthermore, tools such as instructional films, access to company-owned wellness apps such as Wellness Corner App of Nagarro, books, or online courses can help guide yoga practice. Seeking the assistance of a trained yoga instructor who can provide personalised teaching and support may also be beneficial.
Wellness apps contain a variety of techniques and pre-recorded videos for self-practicing yoga, meditation, and mindfulness.