With many employees continuing to work from home for the foreseeable future, wellbeing and wellness will continue to be a key concern for employers in 2021. Even before Covid, Buffer found in their report State of Remote Work that ‘many remote workers struggle with unplugging from their work, loneliness and communicating.’
Mind–body exercises like tai chi are increasingly recognized as beneficial for physical, emotional, and mental health and Helen Parsons and Philip Sheridan of Discover Tai Chi, evidence-based providers of physical activities for all, have seen the uptake of their online courses during the pandemic.
Tai chi is an ancient Chinese martial art practised as a mindful and embodied exercise that has attracted growing interest as a way of helping cope with stress and uncertainty. Delivered either online or in-person, as Covid-restrictions allow classes such as those offered by Discover Tai Chi, have provided a much need positive pause to the routines that make up the working day for those working from home.
Tackling burn out and stress
“Mental health and wellness has become a significant health concern in as consequence of stress and uncertainty brought about by Covid and the pandemic has led employers to consider a more holistic approach in how they support employee’s wellbeing.
Covid has created a massive shift in how we work; as people continue to work from home, we see programmes that support greater flexibility in the work-life balance, tackling burn out and stress will all play a vital role in helping employees manage their workspace.”
Activities such as tai chi can bring a more mindful level of presence to workplace – whether that is at home, in an office or factory – helping employees to be more productive, fulfilled and mentally healthy.
“This was a really good session and nice to have in the middle of the day as it gave a bit of space to just stop for a moment and recharge.” Workplace Wellness Participate from TPT Retirement Solutions
There is strong evidence for the short-term effects of mindfulness practice on the well-being of employees* and Tai Chi offers a form of moving meditation or mindfulness, utilising awareness of posture, slow, focused, and low-impact movements. In addition, Tai Chi is known to have beneficial effects on mood and feelings of vitality in a range of long-term health conditions.
No special equipment needed
Phil continues “Tai Chi is highly accessible; you don’t need any special equipment or clothing, and its slow/measured movements are designed to be safe for anyone to take part.
The enforced shift to working from home has also given people the flexibility to make space in their schedule for physical activities. What we are seeing now with the businesses we work with the delivery Workplace Wellness sessions is that they have recognised the value in supporting employees with wellness activities, and this is a trend that we see continuing into 2021.”
For more information about Workplace Wellness Courses visit www.discovertaichi.uk
*A systematic review published in Occupational Medicine