All well and happy: how happiness makes better workplaces.

As the PWG Conference Day “The Rise of Diversity” approaches, I reached out to professionals in the field who are committed to bring valuable changes to the workplace. And since corporate well-being goes beyond physical health and burnout prevention, there are many inspiring ways to contribute to better work environments. One of them is by increasing happiness at work and this is what Aurelie Litynski, Chief Happiness Officer & Founder of Happitude at work lives by.

"Chief Happiness Officer", you might have heard the term before. Its motto is clear and it has been backed up by studies on employees’ engagement worldwide: “Happy employees are engaged employees”. More engagement, in turn means better performance and less absenteeism (1). As Aurelie puts it, her "mission is to increase the happiness of corporate employees leading to a better performance both on an individual level and on a team level." Which company would say no to this formula and to its results?

Fostering a workplace which is conducive to happiness does not mean distributing ice cream or making work fun for the sake of it.

Fostering a workplace which is conducive to happiness does not mean entertaining your team from 9 to 5, nor distributing ice cream or looking for ways to make work fun, just for the sake of it. As Aurelie explains, "happiness at work is a step by step & structured approach. First by creating more awareness about this topic and then by helping teams implementing a strategy where the employee's happiness is more valued in the workplace." This can be through encouraging clearer and more honest communication and feedbacks channels or by rearranging the open space. Simply imagine the exponential increase in work life quality and the decrease in complaints and miscommunication, if you could make sure that your team members who have a low small talk threshold were not sitting across the floor's most extrovert people anymore?

In that sense, happiness at work is closely related to corporate wellbeing. This is what I noticed last year, when Happitude at work and REAL LIFE YOGA joined forces on a common Meetup in which we shared our tips and expertise for a happier and healthier workplace. Both corporate wellbeing and happiness rely on awareness, observation and a deeper understanding of human factors and individual needs. Bringing the human at the core of the business, respecting and encouraging what they can offer once their professional environment allows them to be at their very best.

Happy employees are more engaged for their company.

Happy employees are more engaged for their company.

(1) For more facts and data about workplace engagement, consult the State of the Global Workplace report (Gallup 2017). Digital copy available here.

 
Aurelie Litynski , Chief Happiness Officer & Founder of  Happitude at work

Aurelie Litynski, Chief Happiness Officer & Founder of Happitude at work

Aurelie Litynski aspires to increase the awareness on happiness at work in companies and help leaders and employees being successful by creating more work-related happiness in their teams. She learnt about the topic of happiness@work from experts worldwide, became a Chief Happiness Officer in 2017 and created an approach which tackles crucial topics such as behaviour, communication, empathy and trust within companies. Aurelie is originally from the south of France, married, mother of 2 and has been in Switzerland for more than 10 years after living and working in various positions in France, UK and Canada.

Attend Aurelie’s Workshop Performance or Happiness? Success requires both at the PWG Conference Day.

 
 
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The Rise of Diversity Conference will explore ways to reshape the corporate culture. Attendees will discover how leading companies have successfully leveraged the potential of diversity to help accomplishing their growth objectives and learn how to implement hands-on solutions in the workplace. Keynote Speakers, Panel discussions, Interactive workshops and Facilitated networking.

Saturday, March 30th at Tamedia.

 
 
 

This is article #7 of our 100-blog-post series. To keep in touch, receive our tips, videos and insights, sign up for our Newsletter and follow us on Youtube & LinkedIn

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The advantages of checking your posture regularly.

In this week's RLY workshop with one of our clients, we demonstrated the importance of a good posture to stay healthy at work. What makes posture such a decisive factor for our well-being and performance in business beyond its undeniable advantage for our physical health? Aren't we after all operating from our brain when we work? The following points will help you understand that there is no such thing as your brain or your performance being isolated from a healthy posture.


Checking your posture strengthens your attention muscle.
Yes, we all are very busy with our brains while we work. Yet, if we encourage ourselves to bring our attention down from our head space from time to time, we can train our brain in a new way. We can call this our attention or observation muscle, or simply awareness. Similarly to meditation and mindfulness practices, when we check our posture regularly, we bring our attention back to ourselves, to our physical self in space and in the present time. In this way, we train our selective attention (see point 2.1 Attention), which in turn will help us focus better in our work.

A healthy posture means a strong body.
Why do we slouch on our seat? Because it is easy and does not require our muscles to be engaged as we let gravity and our comfy chair do the work for us. On the other hand, a strong posture, seating or standing, requires our legs, core and back muscles to be active. Here is an exercise to strengthen your muscles directly in the office.

Open and powerful postures boost the right hormones for success.
A study from Columbia University and Harvard University has shown that power poses in which participants hold their body in an open and relatively straight way (involving at least some muscular activity) revealed higher levels of testosterone and lower levels of cortisol. This hormonal cocktail is decisive to show assertiveness, higher self-confidence and to be able to sustain stressful situations better. It is also important to mention that this was valid for both men and women. (Link to the original study). So don’t wait: stand up and straight; feet strongly anchored; hands on the waist; stomach in; straight back; chest open and gaze up. Here you go with a powerful self and a good posture!

Is this you at your desk? Checking your posture regularly will bring you cognitive, psychological and physical benefits.

Is this you at your desk? Checking your posture regularly will bring you cognitive, psychological and physical benefits.

This is article #6 of our 100-blog-post series. To keep in touch, receive our tips, videos and insights, sign up for our Newsletter and follow us on Youtube & LinkedIn

Well-being for your team, benefits for everyone.

Bringing corporate wellbeing in the workplace is trendy, but what exactly are you getting out of it? Will your employees benefit from what you want to share with them? For instance, will this corporate yoga session relax your whole team and let them apprehend any future situation with calm and ease? For some, yes. For others, the learning will be elsewhere.

From what we could observe from the REAL LIFE YOGA corporate sessions and workshops we hold at companies, each employee is different and therefore has different needs to be addressed and met through the methods we share. In most lunchtime sessions for instance (unless the session is tailored to specific methods in agreement with the company), we will guide the participants through a selection of breathing techniques, useful stretches to be done at the desk with normal clothes and additional moves to strengthen or release physical stress from specific body parts. Hence, in a session demonstrating a given set of exercises, everyone will take its own key learning. One person will be surprised to realise that she could calm down much more than she ever thought by using her breath. Another will feel his tension in the upper back lessen as he moves and stretches for some minutes. You will find more examples of benefits and direct feedbacks from our clients here.

This diversity of instant benefits is the reality of all workplaces today and of more broadly of our own singularity. Accordingly, companies can be sure that their employees will set their natural focus on what they need the most on that day. This makes wellbeing at work, a valuable and highly versatile element to bring to your team, as it will bring its results in the exactly the right form to each person.

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This is article #5 of our 100-blog-post series. To keep in touch, receive our tips, videos and insights, sign up for our Newsletter and follow us on Youtube & LinkedIn

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Why showers are not needed in your office.

While presenting the REAL LIFE YOGA sessions for a Leadership workshop, I was explaining how easily our office-yoga sessions could be included right before the start of a full-day program. Yet, the point that stroke me again as a key benefit for my prospect was not the one I expected: it was the “no-need-for-shower”!

I keep repeating this over and over again: "with our yoga methods adapted to the workplace and to any meeting or conference settings, there is no need to roll out yoga mats, no need to change clothes, not even to take a shower afterwards”. And this is, I believe, a pillar of corporate yoga as most of the time still, companies and event venues do not provide the infrastructure for physical workouts. And even if well-being measures at work are rightly so increasing, it is not necessary nor possible for every company to turn their workspace into a gym. So yes, it is logical to adapt the exercises to these places. And even more so, it is necessary to provide companies with services that respect their teams’ busy agenda. With services that make it, not only possible but, easier for them to experience the benefits of their session. Without adding more stress for taking time off lunch break or adding another rush between the meetings, the phone calls and the yoga session.

If well-being measures at work are increasing, it is not possible for every company to turn their workspace into a gym.

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If we are here to help business professionals manage their stress better, remove mental clutter and be in control of their emotions and their time, we shall do this from the start. From the very way we conceive and provide this service in their professional environment: truly integrated in real life and literally “off the mat”.  

This is article #4 of our 100-blog-post series. To keep in touch, receive our tips, videos and insights, sign up for our Newsletter and follow us on Youtube & LinkedIn

Stretch anywhere, the proof is in the nachos.

Last week, we met our client at a restaurant to give their consulting team a few tips and stretches to start the year with good habits - this being part of our NEW YEAR special event sessions. Unlike what you might be thinking, there was nothing “vegan” or “detox” on the menu and no apparent signs of yoga in the room. The proof that you can stretch, breathe and learn easy tips to feel better in your body and in your job no matter what environment you are in. Here is why it works.

Even if nachos are not the healthiest food choice, having them on the table does not prevent you from stretching.

Even if nachos are not the healthiest food choice, having them on the table does not prevent you from stretching.

Breathing consciously is a choice. 

Sure, we breathe all day and all life long. But what makes breathing such a powerful technique to calm down or to power up is that you can choose to use it anytime and anywhere you decide. Its benefits have nothing to do with where you are or what is happening around you. It only has to do with you actually using it.

Stretching can go incognito.

When we think of stretching and especially yoga, we intuitively picture poses with wide movements across a spacious room. One arm reaching in one direction, one foot pointing in the other. Well, it doesn’t have to. There are plenty of effective stretches you can use to release physical tension without anyone around you noticing. For instance, tilt your head to the side for a lateral neck stretch: the right ear going toward your right shoulder and stay there for 10 breaths. Even though this does look spectacular, you will feel the deep work happening in the muscular tissues on the left side of your neck.

As you see, becoming fit and healthy for a new year full of success at work can start anywhere. If you also wish to bring some REAL LIFE YOGA tips to your team meeting or team outing, get in touch and benefit from our NEW YEAR specials until the end of January. 

This is article #3 of our 100-blog-post series. To keep in touch, receive our tips, videos and insights, sign up for our Newsletter and follow us on Youtube & LinkedIn

Picture @ Unsplash Herson Rodriguez.