Digitisation in the workplace brings many benefits but also challenges; we are aware of the demanding environment in which we work. What is our schedule, and when do we start work? When do we end work? The lines are getting blurred. Being constantly “on” can become a major health risk factor. To counterbalance that trend, in collaboration with the ladies from Prague Yoga Collective, a yoga studio in Prague, we designed a Retreat and Deep Work Week, which we piloted in our Prague office.
What is a Retreat and Deep Work Week?
A “Retreat” generally includes activities and educational workshops that support mental health and promote relaxation and well-being. The purpose was to explore and learn how to integrate different ways that can improve the overall well-being through simple daily practices such as yoga, mindfulness, and introspection. Deep Work means that meetings shall be reduced as much as possible and responses to Slack messages dialed down so we allow employees to fully focus on their work.
What did we do in that particular week?
Every morning we offered a different yoga style class, followed by maximum relaxation through Sound Baths, a meditative experience where listeners are “bathed” in sound waves. It’s typically used as a way of managing anxiety, soothing the nervous system, and blocking all the ideas and thoughts out of our consciousness as we connect with our bodies.
Eli, our HR Business Partner said that this week was a great opportunity for her to recharge batteries and just calm down after challenging meetings during the workday.
“I could try something new, such as sound bath meditation. Everything was nicely organised and I could pick any activity I liked. I found out how nice it is to rest and shut myself off even in the middle of the day, it brought me more energy and better focus at work,” shared Eli.
The afternoons were filled with mini-workshops to practise and learn about various mindfulness techniques such as journaling, meditation, healing through feeling, laughing therapy, stretching, breathwork, HIIT, and so on. In addition to that, we had a qigong workshop – a moving meditation that releases negativity and brings body and mind into balance, focus and calm. We also prepared a progressive muscle relaxation workshop, a deep relaxation technique that can reduce insomnia and chronic pain.
Ali, our Junior QA Engineer noted that for the first time in his life he tried yoga, sound bath, qigong, and progressive muscle relaxation techniques.
“The whole week was full of interesting events. In particular, I enjoyed yoga a lot and I would even like to add it to my routine. It was nice to take a break from work and do some unusual and fun activities which helped me clear up my mind, calm down, and learn to take care of my mind and body even when going through stressful moments,” mentioned Ali.
Similarly, as Ali did, Ondro, our Python Developer participated in some of the Yoga classes, sound bath, and mindfulness exercises.
“All of it, except for some basic Yoga postures, was new to me. The biggest benefit of the week was experiencing the classes and discovering new ways to relax both body and mind. For me, the best workshops were the morning Yoga exercises because they helped me wake up and start the day in a much better mood,” mentioned Ondro.
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