The importance of mindfulness in the workplace, with Caroline Blundell

2020 proved to be a turbulent year for many, as Coronavirus took us away from our offices and lockdown meant many had to work from home. 

While working from home can seem like an attractive prospect to many, we’ve also seen the mental stress it can cause, as the separation between work and life becomes further blurred. 

At Apadmi, we take the health and wellbeing of our staff seriously. 

While we’ve always had several fitness initiatives in place, we saw the need for mental health support in the very early stages of the pandemic, and offered a variety of new mechanisms to our staff to help them through the difficulties of working remotely. 

One of the fantastic mental health professionals we brought on board to support our mobile teams in 2020 was Caroline Blundell, Apadmi’s in-house mindfulness coach. Caroline has helped many Apadmi employees improve their work-life balance and manage their stress levels through mindfulness.

The types of free courses we’ve made available to our team include:

  • Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Course (MBSR) – A course of 8 online sessions delivered via Zoom weekly covering meditation practice and theory. The sessions (between 30 and 45 minutes) are designed specifically to fit into the busy schedule.
  • Bespoke 1-2-1 Mindfulness – One-to-one mindfulness sessions with Caroline to support our colleagues on an individual basis. The sessions include meditation practice and theory based on the teachings of the eight-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Course, as well as a bespoke coaching programme. 
  • Emotional Intelligence & Mindfulness – A 12-week course following on from the eight-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Course. This course explores self-awareness in more depth including how to effectively manage, control and adapt our emotions, mood, reactions, and responses. The sessions are again between 30 and 45 minutes, so that they fit into the busy schedules of our team.

As we step into 2021, we caught up with Caroline to get her thoughts on mindfulness and its importance in the workplace. 

How do you feel your coaching has changed the Apadmi culture?

“One way to describe mindfulness is attention training – through practise, we learn to be more self-aware which inevitably impacts on the way we interact with others. This particularly fits in with the culture at Apadmi which is all about teamwork. 

A mindful team is a cohesive, interactive and creative unit, which equals success. From the work I’ve done so far, I believe that the mindful approach both complements and contributes to Apadmi’s already present, open, dynamic and creative environment. Mindfulness is the essence of engagement.

Group and 1-2-1 sessions have also provided employees with the opportunity to off-load, reflect on recent challenges, share their experiences and explore new ways to thrive whilst working remotely.  

We no longer have the same opportunities to socialise,so an opportunity to reduce the isolation, to connect on another level apart from the normal work-related conversations, is essential. It creates a sense of belonging, that we’re in this together – a shared experience.”

Do you view mindfulness as a productivity tool?

“Mindfulness practice has a significant impact on productivity. When you consistently practise mindfulness, you soon learn to notice when you’re caught up in thought, and without focus. 

Research tells us that for nearly 47% of our lives we’re on autopilot – for nearly half of our lives, we’re not present. It’s not rocket science: when we are engaged, we’re more creative, make better decisions, listen more attentively, and tend to get the task done. 

Quite a few Apadmi employees have mentioned that they do a short practice at midday to realign themselves, have clarity, headspace and re-energise. Learning to recognise when we’re on autopilot is the key to boosting productivity. 

Multitasking is a myth, trying to do too much at once doesn’t tend to work!” 

How do you feel mindfulness can help a new starter to the business? 

“Everyone knows that meeting new people and learning new procedures can be overwhelming – especially when you’re trying to make a good impression. Making a practise like this a regular habit in the beginning, can certainly help a new starter to manage that associated stress. 

For example, attending the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course provides individuals with the tools to thrive and become more self-aware. It can also help them feel that they have the opportunity to be themselves; to feel comfortable in their work environment on a personal and professional level. It can support them while they settle in and feel like they’re part of the Apadmi family.”

Is there anything you would say to someone interested in your coaching?

“I’d like you to consider whether you’re mindful and reflect on the following questions;

  • Are there times where you find it almost impossible to remember what others have said during a conversation?
  • Do you eat without tasting your food?
  • Do you find that you pick up your phone without thinking, perhaps not noticing that you’re in the middle of a conversation?
  • Do you find yourself ruminating about past events/conversations, or worry about what the future holds?
  • Are you fully tuned in as you read this blog, or do you find that your mind is elsewhere, caught up in planning and so on?

If you answered yes to any of these, then chances are that you’re on autopilot for a significant amount of your life. 

Mindfulness is a great tool to help you reclaim that time and become more present in your life.”

If you would like to know more about Apadmi as an employer you can find out about life at Apadmi here and if you’d like to learn more about Caroline Blundell and her work you can check out her LinkedIn page here.  

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