Companies are facing new and different challenges that were never considered before.
Employee retention, increased government regulation, global competition, political uncertainty, and many other factors have created issues that business owners have been forced to deal with in a transitional business scenario.
Studies have shown that stress has been directly and indirectly linked to conditions such as insomnia, anxiety, fear, cardiovascular illness, inflammation in the body, heart disease and autoimmune illnesses.
By focusing on one of the key components that evaluate its business process: PEOPLE, Ingenio has become aware of another way for employees to focus and deal with stress that yields better results: SoS.
Sos is the Irish word for a break. It is a simple 2-minute pause. It can be used by groups in any setting and offers a way to bring calmer and focus to the day to day life.
The practice is an initiative of Mindful Nation Ireland, led by Mary Lovegrove and Michael Griffith, which is a charity set up to promote mindfulness and compassion in public life.
The project is a 10-year national campaign that was first piloted in October last year and Ingenio was one of the first organizations to get on board, among 20 different settings including three other companies (Dropbox, Verizon, and Zurich), as well as 8 schools, a hospital, a university, a charity, a homeless center and more.
The feedback was extremely positive. People reported feeling calmer and being able to think more clearly. Some also reported being more creative. The most resounding feedback was that people enjoyed allowing themselves to stop for a few minutes and experiencing the ease that this brought to them.
At Ingenio, we have been practicing Sos together as a team, weekly on our Sales meetings. Some people think that it is such a good practice, that it could take longer than 2 minutes, some also started practicing on their own in other moments of the week.
The Mindful National Director, Mary, says that as a mindfulness teacher she has noticed how hard it is for people to sustain mindfulness once life is busy with endless distractions. So, they designed Sos as a way for people to practice together.
“How often have you made a silly mistake because your mind was elsewhere? I think a guided meditation or something simple like SoS, closing your eyes or counting your breath, can help calm your mind and refocus your thoughts. I like to engage in an SoS practice right after our Friday meetings so I can focus on the planning for the following week or when I need to dive into a project or activity that requires my full attention. In my opinion, is hugely meaning that we are able to practice a two-min meditation together as a team in the workplace” says Ana Pereira, head of marketing at Ingenio.
Sos is a particularly useful practice for workplaces as it is short and simple and can be dropped into existing structures like Ingineo’s Friday meetings. We will try to avoid promoting the benefits too much as we recommend for people to discover this for themselves.
Ingenio believes that we cannot achieve anything that we commit if we are not healthy mentally and physically. These things are connected and directly affect the success of organisations and people.
(I’m finishing writing this piece while someone leaves a plate of fruit on our desks)