Back to Work: Why a little Sophrology could go a Long way in the Workplace

What can you do to help your staff play an active part in their own Workplace Wellbeing?

As employees rub their eyes and return to the glare of fluorescent lighting, (they really should be LED by now:), the question of how to make Wellbeing in the Workplace work well, looms large.

In a recent YouGov report, almost 9 in 10 (88%) employers stated that they were concerned about the impact that COVID-19 could have on their employees’ mental health. Clearly, wellbeing is very much on the minds of employers as staff return to their desks.

Workplace Wellbeing Issues – what should Employers expect?

With so many employees on long-term furlough, it’s going to be a long road back to the normality of the 9-5 working day. As a result, many managers will be anticipating staff wellbeing issues that they may not have encountered before – or at such levels.

For example, mental health issues are set to soar as a result of life in Lockdown. And managers will be expected to provide support for a whole raft of health and wellbeing issues of once-resilient employees over the coming months – amongst them, the effects of long-term isolation, job insecurity and general anxiety around a new working regime. Let’s not forget, either, the estimated 1-in-10 who will be expecting to return to work with lingering after-effects of ‘Long Covid’.

2021 is set to be a challenging year for employers. Of that there is no doubt; and employers’ duty of care will need to be more tangible in the workplace to reduce the threat of increased absenteeism, and as importantly, presenteeism amongst their staff.

But of course, the role of an employer in Workplace Wellbeing is not just to support and empathise; it is to help employees adopt a proactive approach to their own Wellbeing. 

And this is where the Sophrology can help.

From Passive to Pro-active Staff Wellbeing …with Sophrology

When we think of our own mental and physical health outside of work, we don’t tend to think that someone else is responsible for it. However, as employers, there is a duty of care to ensure that staff are provided adequate support and staff tend to see their involvement in this process as rather passive. Support is ‘given out’ rather than ‘taken on’.

And whilst many employers are well-versed in the principles of Workplace Wellbeing, a lasting successful approach will help to empower and educate employees on how those principles relate to them personally.

Sophrology – a method widely practiced across Europe, consists of a number of wellbeing techniques and effective coping strategies underpinned by the knowledge of how stress and anxiety are triggered. And the method is known for helping employees to take a more pro-active part in their own wellbeing.

Sophrology as an Online Learning Tool for Staff

One good thing to have emerged from the last year’s restrictions is that online learning now offers a far greater choice of programme topics for students. But it’s not just educational institutions that have had to move their face-to-face classes to GoogleMeet or Zoom; employees can now take a wider selection of courses from the comfort of their own homes – or office chairs.

At the Sophrology Academy, we set to work at the beginning of lockdown to recreate our popular classes as fully interactive online learning experiences offering the same high-quality delivery as our contact classes – and the numbers of employers who use Sophrology as a wellbeing tool for their staff is rapidly growing.

New One-day Online Sophrology Wellbeing at Work Course

Our one-day Wellbeing at Work course has been developed specifically to improve staff wellbeing, through methods that help them to control their anxieties and bolster their resilience and confidence, ahead of, during – and beyond – their return to work. It is a fully interactive online course that is suitable for inductions, refreshers or as part of an Employee Wellbeing Programme, equipping employees at any level with skills and tools to manage their own wellbeing at work.

Why Sophrology?

One of the reasons that Sophrology is growing in popularity as a Workplace Wellbeing tool is that it is considered to provide an excellent return on investment for employers, offering life-long benefits to staff when practised regularly. Quick and simple to learn, Sophrology is ‘on tap’ to use whenever needed, and only takes a few minutes to practice. The method is increasingly gaining a reputation as an effective tool for mitigating issues such as work-stress, burnout, and anxiety – and with good reason.

Case studies on the use of Sophrology for Workplace Wellbeing have shown that, in addition to improving self-awareness and self-control, students found that they slept better, reacted less to triggers and responded more empathically with others. All of this combined helps to play an important part in promoting team cohesion and creating a more positive and resilient workplace culture.

There will be challenges ahead for employers and their staff; however, we believe that by encouraging employees to use the greatest resource they have – themselves – in maintaining a healthy mindset, many of these challenges can be addressed quickly – and in a way that suits the needs of each individual.

Managers need Support Too …!

… and often even more so, as they are giving of themselves every day, in an effort to ensure that staff feel valued, safe and happy within their roles. However, one of the most common issues with larger companies and organisations is that they often fail to take a holistic approach to Wellbeing; those in management roles can experience burnout very quickly if measures are not put in place to protect them.

And the result?

Often, what emerges from a lack of support at management level, is a toxic environment where staff feel they cannot approach their line managers. And it’s very hard to reverse a downward shift in the dynamics between employees, as relationships break down.

That’s why we also provide support for management teams by integrating the practice of Sophrology into our clients’ existing in-house programmes.  By learning the Sophrology method, staff can improve self-regulation, open communication and empathy, able to support their teams more effectively, and reducing the likelihood of common issues such as stress and burnout, as they do so.

Find out More about Sophrology

Find out more about Sophrology in our up-coming free Webinar and other online events or get in touch for an informal chat about our Wellbeing at Work course and how it can form part of your commitment to your Work Wellbeing programme.