Team Challenge Company – a leading team-building and events firm – is reporting a surge in demand for meditation to calm delegates’ minds as they engage with conferences and events
By Gerard Crowley, Co-Director, Team Challenge Company
When it comes to our working lives, switching off has never been harder. We’re constantly being bombarded with so-called breaking news, swimming against the tsunami of emails flooding into our inboxes and updating our social media presence.
For the corporate events sector, this tyranny of mobile communication means delegates often keep one eye on their phones, while trying to navigate the conference schedule.
With many of us losing the essential skill of relaxation, and a record number of people “burning out,” businesses are now exploring new ways to boost the emotional and mental health of staff, including free yoga sessions, mindfulness training, healthy eating initiatives and standing-desks.
Some firms have even gone further, installing sleep pods in the office so employees can grab a few extra winks. At one time, the notion of staff sleeping on the job would have been anathema to most managing directors but organisations such as Google and Uber – a company which has previously attracted more than a little criticism for its people policies – positively encourage it.
In the same way employers recognise employees won’t produce their best work if they’re overwhelmed by the challenges of their work and personal lives, event delegates are much more likely to have a productive day if they’ve been able to clear their minds before they start.
As one of the UK’s most successful corporate events and team development providers, we’re seeing an increasing demand from businesses to extend wellbeing into the events marketplace.
One area which is proving to be particularly popular to combat this is the use of meditation to focus delegates before the event schedule begins.
Global firms Vodafone, Deutsche Bank, IBM and Intel have all explored short sessions of guided meditation to invigorate and focus attendees ahead of a conference. This ‘meditainment’ experience is the latest trend in team building and team development, and at Team Challenge Company we’re already seeing huge benefits to clients.
Combining traditional meditation techniques with visualization, delegates are taken on an imaginary journey and after as little as 10 minutes they awaken with increased awareness, and a clear and stimulated mind.
The session begins with a gentle stretch and warm up to energise delegates, before the group vote on the journey they would like to take.
With a choice of six destinations, from ‘island paradise’ to ‘mountain refuge,’ each journey has been designed for different outcomes, including stress management, renewed confidence, self-motivation and clarity.
Attending conferences, seminars and other corporate events is an important element of many job roles and employers with vision want to ensure their people can derive real benefit from them by being fully focused on the task at hand.
Those who doubt the validity of meditation as a tool for corporate success should be reminded of media moguls Rupert Murdoch and Arianna Huffington, as well as Ford Motors CEO Bill Ford, who all claim regular meditation helped them reach the top of their industries.
Fifty years ago, everyone from philosophers to sci-fi writers predicted the 21stcentury would see the rise of the robots, freeing people to enjoy increased leisure time and a healthier lifestyle away from the hamster wheel of the workplace.
That vision is yet to be realised and it’s important that all businesses recognise that, while we all benefit from technology, people are not robots and physical and mental wellbeing is an essential ingredient in a happy and productive employee.