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Running Past Park Benches

Corporate Meditation Rooms

If we don’t have physical models to show us how to slow down, then we need physical spaces. We need meditation rooms and quiet spaces, indoor and outdoor sanctuaries where there is only one rule and one expectation…to be quiet.

“Melinda Easterling ratifies the hunt for peace in the 21st century.”

I was thrilled to write for Ebenezer Chapel in support of their quest to create an underground quiet and meditative space for visitors to Raleigh, North Carolina for centuries to come. Check out their web site and my blog on why we should all support public quiet spaces (repost below).

Running Past Park Benches

Why do we need quiet spaces? Why not just plop down on a park bench, close our eyes at our desk at work or sit on a chair at home and meditate? Why? Because no one else is doing that. We (those of us who live in the West) don’t live in a culture that says chill, take it easy, slow down. We live in a hyper world. We run passed park benches. We rush to the finish line at work…a finish line that always evades us because there’s another and another. We push ourselves and our partners and our kids at home…

Open Letter: Dear CEOs,

Corporate Meditation Rooms

I’m reposting my open letter to CEOs because I want the word out. We as managers, as directors, as presidents, as chiefs, we as leaders of all types have a responsibility to not only do right by our customers but also, and possibly more importantly, to do right by our employees. Employee well-being and customer satisfaction are inextricably linked. Happy employees, happy company, happy customers. Please pass this on and embrace it yourself, as we’re all leaders in one form or another…

 

Dear CEOs,

If it’s true that actively disengaged workers are costing the US $550 billion (Gallup) in economic activity annually and stress is costing American businesses $300 billion per year (World Health Organization), doesn’t it follow that even if we make slight improvements in employees’ lives, the net savings or contributions to economic activity could be in the hundreds of millions, if not in the billions?

How do we do this? There’s no pill…no single solution; however, small steps add up to big changes. One small step is tweaking how we view our employees. Whole beings who have whole lives walk through the office doors each morning with whole stuff going on…stuff from home, stuff from yesterday at work…emotional stuff, mental stuff, physical stuff, spiritual stuff, social stuff (some add environmental). How can you, as a CEO, address each of these facets of health in each of your employees?

You cannot. What can you do?

Are Your Tolerances Too Tight?

Corporate Meditation Rooms

What if you’re a surgeon and you sway from your tolerance during open-heart surgery? You could nick an artery. What if you’re a landscape architect and your contractor creates an unintended slope toward the house? Your client will be very unhappy when water pools near their house after each rain. Tolerance, or the “allowed” deviation, is not only vital in the function and success in concrete objects but also in intangibles like our mental health.

A vision of hope…

While I echo the sentiments in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech of equality for all, I, too, have a dream. I have a dream for wellness…a dream for wellness at work, a dream for wellness at home, a dream for wellness in schools.

I have a dream that work is a place where people thrive, where all employees are treated equally, where they are treated as people and not things.

I have a dream for schools where teachers and children are respected equally, where teachers have time to eat lunch and time to take breaks and children can move and laugh and learn at their own pace.

WCHL Interviews Melinda Easterling of Easterling Consulting

Listen to Today’s Business as Sharon Hill interviews Melinda Easterling of Easterling Consulting on WCHL.  Easterling discusses the importance of creating quiet spaces in the workplace.


Download MP3

What Should Corporate Wellness Programs Really Look Like?

man receiving hot stone massagePiggybacking on last week’s blog on corporate wellness initiatives, let’s consider in more detail what companies can do to foster employee well-being.

The first aspect in an office setting that comes to mind is the building itself. What can companies do to promote wellness within its structure?

Daylighting and circadian lighting within a building are fundamental to employee health. Access to windows and natural light is ideal. Employers should encourage their employees to take their breaks outside or by a window.

Open Letter… Dear CEOs,

Corporate Meditation Rooms

Dear CEOs,

If it’s true that actively disengaged workers are costing the US $550 billion (Gallup) in economic activity annually and stress is costing American businesses $300 billion per year (World Health Organization), doesn’t it follow that even if we make slight improvements in employees’ lives, the net savings or contributions to economic activity could be in the hundreds of millions, if not in the billions?

How do we do this? There’s no pill…no single solution; however, small steps add up to big changes. One small step is tweaking how we view our employees. Whole beings who have whole lives walk through the office doors each morning with whole stuff going on…stuff from home, stuff from yesterday at work…emotional stuff, mental stuff, physical stuff, spiritual stuff, social stuff (some add environmental). How can you, as a CEO, address each of these facets of health in each of your employees?

You cannot. What can you do?

Creating Third Spaces within the Workplace

Woman on phone lying on couch w booksWhat are Third Spaces? And how do they affect you?

The first space is home. The second space is work. All other spaces in between that build community are often called Third Spaces.

In The Great Good Place, urban sociologist Ray Oldenburg discussed the power of third places, “informal public gathering places  [like]…cafes, coffee shops, bookstores and bars.”  According to Oldenburg, “social well-being and psychological health depend upon community.”

We spend most of our waking hours at work, so it follows that we incorporate these Third Spaces into the work setting to encourage social and psychological health.

Quiet Spaces in the Workplace: When do We Go?

Images often speak louder than words…

Blog 13 flow chart version 3