A mindful workplace

According to the Labour Market Survey, Singaporeans spend an average of 44.9 hours a week at a full-time job. Multiplied by 261 work days, that’s 11,718.9 hours a year – 90,000 hours a lifetime.

 

 

 

These numbers exclude many factors outside of work – the headspace (thinking, worrying, fretting), any additional preparation that needs to be done, travelling to and from the office, the list goes on and on and on.

Working from home? Doesn't mean you’re working any less.

In fact, many reports have found that individuals working from home face difficulty drawing a line between work and rest, leaving most feeling overworked and exhausted – and at the very end, burnout.

 

 

 

Before I go on, I’d like to introduce myself as The Mindful Company’s first guest writer. My name is Cherlin, and I’ve been with the team for a couple of weeks now, working behind the scenes and discovering what The Mindful Company is all about. 

I’m at the point in my career where culture and purpose are very important to me. Just a couple of years back when I was working in corporate, my life seemed like it was a mess and mentally, I wasn't healthy. From a failed relationship to burnout in my career, I started to reflect, asking myself why I’m doing what I do.

 

 

 

When I was a kid, I loved to ask my brothers why certain things have to be a certain way, why are things the way they are, why I have to do the things I have to do. 

The answer I hear most often: Don’t ask, you’ll know when you grow up.

The thing is, asking why is important. Now that I’m grown, I’ve realised that asking why helps me reflect on my (and others’) actions. It creates an opportunity to learn, gives me clarity, and most importantly – drives me to continue or otherwise pursue what I want to do.  

 

 

 

You might be wondering: what’s purpose got to do with a mindful workplace?

Answer: just about everything.

A conducive, empowering environment can help in reducing the risk of burnout but as individuals, we need to take hold of what drives us to do what we do. These two factors – purpose and environment – complement one another, and when actively cultivated, brings the best out of all of us.

Here are three characteristics (of many others) I believe that make up a healthy, mindful workplace:

#1. growth

 

“If you’re not growing, you’re dying.”

A phrase from one of my favourite life coaches, Tony Robbins. 

He notes that growth is a human need, that it is in human nature to have a desire to grow. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs agrees that humans require basic, psychological, and self-fulfilment needs; of which, growth is included. 

No matter the size of organisation you’re working at, most individuals will desire more opportunities – more significant duties, training, skills, and knowledge. It is important that as your company grows, they want you to grow too. 

#2. welfare

Beyond physical injury, we’re talking about a safe work culture – mentally, emotionally, physiologically. One that supports and empowers a team that treats each other with kindness and compassion.

 

 

 

 

More so, a safe space for an efficient feedback loop and open communication, where there is no fear in asking for help or fear of being judged. It’s unlikely a perfect workplace exists, but to know that a workplace needs to be a safe one – that’s the first step.

#3. faith and trust

Imagine attempting a trust fall and you aren’t sure if someone is going to catch you.

 

 

Treating one another with respect and integrity is key in building trust. I personally don’t work well with micromanagement, and I can say for certainty that most people don’t either.

Essentially, trust is a two-way street – no matter if you’ve been the boss for thirty years or an intern for thirty hours. Trust that your team can complete their tasks within the stipulated time and expectations, trust that everyone communicates with transparency and has the collective’s best interest at heart, give the benefit of the doubt.

 

 

 

I guess what I’m trying to say is that purpose and environment go together. Everyone has a part to play in a mindful workplace; but if we’re looking for change, if we’re looking to keep burnout at bay, we may need to look within first.

Ask yourself why you do the things you do, understand that your purpose and environment must be aligned, and at the end of it all, know that what you’re doing is enough – you cannot carry a burden that doesn’t belong to you. 

Thank you for reading til’ this point. Leave a comment and let me know if you’ve got any thoughts about a mindful workplace. Or if you want to share your story, email it to alex@mindful-company.com and you’ll hear from us soon.

See you around. 

x

Cherlin

 

 

Additional references: [1] [2] [3] [4]

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