After the “opening” of the pubs on the 4th of July here in the UK, I enjoyed a lazy Sunday morning, but I missed my church service. Fortunately, is still online, and I can’t wait to physically go to church again.
While I was having my breakfast, and my hot double espresso, I was reading newspaper and I saw an article about depression, stress and anxiety in the workplace. That took me a few years back to when I was living in Bermuda, where I had a corporate client who was really concerned about his employees. To be honest with you, he was one of the best employers I had ever met. His name was John Scott and he was the manager for around 50 people in an IT company.
John and I were working together in private, for him to be able to find a balance in his life without feeling guilty. What do I mean by feeling guilty? Usually, high performing people, are feel guilty if they are not working all day and they take just one day off. Actually, I used to be like John, and that’s why most of my clients are high performers. I know exactly the feeling of guilt and not be able to pause. In reality, though we don’t really relax and enjoy the present moment.
Going back to my client’s concerns and the link to the article I read, as mentioned above. The solution we found for John’s employees, but for himself to was for his people to have a “Pause Room” but importantly everyone could call that room anything they liked. Mary used to call it “I don’t give a f&*%k room!”. She was very funny, and it worked for her.
The “pause room” was not very big. Just a light brown sofa, with four white fluffy pillows, a table in front, a very comfortable armchair and the color of the walls were light grey. In the corners were two big green plants, and on the one big wall, there was a TV screen where various places were displaying like nature, lakes etc. The employees could choose their favorite place, and you had the natural noise as background too. For example, if it was a forest, then you could hear the birds, the breeze through the leaves on the tress etc. The colors of the room were earth colors like light brown, green, orange and mocka.
They also had a yoga mat or stretching mat and prayer rug on the floor or just to lay down on the floor. I do that many times, just laying down on the floor and feel the connection with mother earth. You should try it, I love it. It makes me feel grounded and spiritually strong and will work for you. The room also had fresh cool water with lemon, mint and cucumber for those who liked it.
Along with the physical room we added a session for each employee every week or every two weeks. The combination of the dedicated sessions and the room increased their productivity by a staggering 25%, and they were also much happier. They appreciated John so much, and they didn’t even care to work late without any expectation of getting paid.
Some of the benefits:
Amusing and calm working environment
Personal life of all including John’s, improved greatly
The room and the sessions were the defusion of the pressure or stress of all the daily emotions we go through. Defusion involves distancing, disconnecting or seeing thoughts and feelings for what they are (streams of words), not what they say they are (dangers or facts). For me it’s like “re-charging” our brain and energy level. Distance yourself from your own mind and be able to recognise and be aware of your real thoughts.
Our wellbeing will be improved the moment we realize that we are one unit, we can’t have a “personal life self” and a “business self”. For example, If you feel stress at home, you will carry it with you at work. If you are emotionally upset, you will also carry that with you at work and the other way around. Another technique I taught John, was before entering his house, stop in the entrance and decide what he wants. If he wanted a happy afternoon with his family, then he had to leave outside that door the work issues.
I hope we have more Johns out there, so we have more happy people at work. As Elon Musk said and many others ‘a business is not its products or services but it’s the people’. Without brilliant employees you can’t have a brilliant company. Take care of them you take care of you. So, treat them to a Pause Room.
Contact me so I can show you how to make this a success for you personally or for your company.