A Mindful Work from Home – Atma Education NGO Accelerator

A Mindful Work from Home

Brandon Michael   |   25 March 2020

In times of turmoil or stress staying well is so important. The thoughts that we think all contribute directly to the outward stress we may feel. These range from all of the emotional experiences we have, such as fear, to happiness, to all out panic. We’ve all been there, and if you haven’t, you definitely haven’t worked around the social sector. By nature, our weekly business is filled with news ranging from the super negative to the super positive. One minute we’ve successfully sourced funding, and the next a viral illness shuts down the operation. Well unfortunately, the latter is our current situation and our team is stuck in phase: Working from Home. In a time of unprecedented confusion, our thoughts run fast with ways we can figure out how to stay productive in not only a “work from home” environment, but in an environment accompanied by a time of global stress. This leads us to development of ways in which we can work from home mindfully.

At Atma, mental health is an important aspect of what we do and an element that we don’t take lightly. The social sector in general is a mentally tasking job that requires a pairing of compassions and an extraordinary sense of realism. If we were to let our collective mental health degrade, slowly all other areas of work would be affected. This isn’t good for us, our partners, or our vision of creating viable impact in organizations. Recently, we’ve rolled out a mental health policy for our employees and volunteers that includes a process of communicating these health issues. We also team-build with activities that encourage a sense of openness and inclusivity in our workspace. For instance, we take up special occasions in the office, celebrate successes, routinely check in with our staff, and sometimes meditate and color together. These are all important reminders of how mindfulness and health are directly correlated with productivity.

While working from home a couple of tips that we follow at Atma are to incorporate exercises that keep us thinking positively. We encourage our employees and volunteers to use breathing exercises, chair yoga, and give opportunities for whole group sharing. This leads into our weekly check-ups that incorporate more than just going over a work routine. Tips that we follow specifically for work from home are sometimes just simply checking in on each other, chatting about our day and work routine, virtual group meditation or headspace activity, and cultivating a sense of normalcy where we can. You may be new to working from home or have been successfully working this way for a long time. Either way, technology continues to give a new meaning to how we connect. Remote working is growing at a remarkable rate, and outside of the current global pandemic is a trend that we as a company are committed to learning and expanding how this process works best. From the bottom of our heart at Atma we wish our employees, volunteers, stakeholders, and supporters a happy, healthy, and mindful work from home.

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