Corporate yoga has been gaining momentum in recent years; with big corporations such as AT&T, HBO, MTV and Pepsi making it a standard part of their employee benefits packages. What sort of benefits are these companies and their employees seeing from corporate yoga?
For employees, having a yoga class on site makes it easily accessible, and therefore much easier to commit to doing. Lunch breaks are only so long, and even if the employer were willing to provide a little extra time for a yoga class during the day, most employees would feel too busy to make the drive.
Having yoga a standard option provided by the employer encourages employees to take advantage of the offering simply because it’s there and their employer felt that it was valuable enough to spend money on. In addition, having coworkers participating in yoga and enjoying it tends to increase attendance as well.
After the first initial classes, most employees are hooked. Midday stresses that would have been addressed with a double shot espresso or a drink after work are given a positive outlet during the workday instead. The exercises provide stress relief, ease work related tension as a result of long hours sitting at a desk, improve posture and foster a sense of connectivity between employees. Feelings of connection and community have been shown to boost immune systems and reduce the amount of conflicts on the job. It’s harder for individuals to fight with each other if they share a mutual connection, and the workplace benefits from this underlying sense of harmony.
For employers, the benefitsfar outweigh the expense of providing yoga classes for employees. Reducing workplace related stress is a smart idea in the long run; capable of saving companies thousands of dollars annually. Consider this: Job related stress costs companies roughly $300 billion annually in the US alone through indirect costs such as heightened employee turnover, lowered productivity and missed workdays as well as directly through medical and insurance costs. That’s a steep price to pay for on the job stress.
Companies that are perceived as caring and personal tend to get more from their employees automatically because people are willing to do more if they feel like they’re a part of something good that’s bigger than themselves. Forget survival of the fittest and dog eat dog mentalities when it comes to increasing productivity and efficiency; making employees feel valuable and connected helps the bottom line so much more.
Gaining a reputation for employee satisfaction and fulfillment has other benefits too. Companies that are known for being pleasant to work for tend to have a steady stream of high quality employees all vying for an opportunity to secure them a place in this desirable working environment. This saves the company both time and money on the rare occasion that an employee leaves.
The partnership between yoga and corporations might seem unnatural at first glance, but upon closer inspection, nothing could be more natural. Both yoga and business are centered on people as their focus, making it a perfect partnership.