Creating a Culture of Wellness: Clearlink Yoga and Meditation

Employees increasingly expect more than just a paycheck in exchange for their work—they want a healthy work-life balance, a sense of purpose, wellness benefits, and more.

To meet employee expectations, many companies have started offering additional perks and nontraditional benefits. According to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, 75% of employers now offer wellness resources or programs, with pioneering companies like Clif Bar, Google, and Patagonia helping to redefine the term “benefits.”

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While perks like bouldering walls, nap pods, and on-site child care may not be feasible for every business, wellness-inspired offerings are becoming more popular with employees and employers alike—and Clearlink is no exception. In fact, a core part of our workforce strategy is cultivating a culture of wellness. Along with 360 Fit, Clearlink’s official award-winning wellness program that offers opportunities to qualify for free healthcare, employees are provided informal health and fitness opportunities throughout the workday.

Creating a culture of wellness allows employees to bring their whole selves to work, which cultivates a more effective workforce. Here’s how.

Beyond simply meeting the expectations of our employees, these programs have significant advantages for the business as well. Here’s what we’ve learned by creating, facilitating, and prioritizing a culture of wellness for our employees.

Personal and Professional Benefits of Yoga

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, stress leads to decreased productivity and increased injuries, absenteeism, and medical expenditures. In a stressful industry like marketing and sales, finding ways to help employees de-stress can provide a big boost to overall productivity. One of the most effective stress-relieving opportunities we have found for our employees is regular on-site yoga classes.

“Yoga is one of the best perks at Clearlink. It is a great chance to step away from the stress of projects and deadlines for a few minutes. I go back to work after a session completely refreshed and focused.” — Jesse Crowley, art director

Weekly yoga classes give Clearlinkers a chance to leave their desks and drop into mindfulness—and out of stressful situations. Created due to employee demand, our yoga classes are independently run and coordinated by Clearlinkers from across the company. Not only are the classes filled with Clearlinkers, they’re led by one, too. Parinaz Samimi, a project manager, also happens to be considered one of Utah’s best yoga instructors.

Samimi has been teaching yoga at Salt Lake’s most popular studios for six years. When asked why—with a full-time job and a busy teaching schedule—she volunteers her time to teach at Clearlink too, Samami says,“There is a saying in yoga: ‘How you show up on your mat is how you show up in your life.’ That holds true; Clearlink yogis are the strongest, fiercest, and most dedicated warriors.”

The Clearlinkers that show up on the mat show up at work, too. Participants have expressed a variety of benefits from the program:

  • Improved concentration and focus on tasks
  • Increased creativity
  • Improved morale
  • Less stress
  • Increased energy

In addition to these benefits that provide an advantage for the company as well as the individual, yoga classes like Samimi’s offer additional personal benefits to practitioners.

Yoga is undeniably exercise: Holding poses requires strength, endurance, and flexibility. But yoga offers emotional and physiological benefits as well. Yogis who practice regularly feel more centered and calm. They experience increased feelings of gratitude and reduced anxiety. At the same time, a consistent yoga practice helps to ease chronic pain and regulate the endocrine system, which facilitates calmness in a crisis. Simply put, yoga makes people happy.

Mindfulness through Meditation

Along with Samimi’s popular yoga classes, Clearlink offers a weekly group meditation session. Clearlinkers who are interested in mindfulness and meditation meet to practice together, learn from one another, and talk about their experiences. Sometimes the group listens to a guided meditation. Other times, Clearlinkers sit together in a silent meditation.

Researchers have found that people who meditate increase gray matter density in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for learning and memory, and decrease gray matter in the amygdala, which harbors stress. Meditation enhances interpersonal relations and boosts productivity by strengthening our ability to resist distracting urges. And when we resist distracting urges, we are able to pay better attention to our colleagues–to patiently listen and learn new things.

“Perhaps my favorite thing about practicing meditation is that it helps me to be in a state of active gratitude. I’m more cognizant and appreciative of even the seemingly smallest moment in my day.” —Sarah Pike, communications manager

In addition to group classes, Clearlink provides an online forum for meditation practitioners to connect with each other and share ideas, resources, frustrations, and successes. Providing on-site opportunities to practice as well as an online space to discuss learnings offers our employees myriad benefits:

  • Increased productivity and ability to focus
  • Improved communication skills and clarity of thought
  • Increased creativity and innovation

Each week in meditation, Clearlinkers experience moments of peace and personal strength while surrounded by colleagues—the same people they encounter in meetings, collaborate with on projects, and hustle with to meet deadlines. Having spent time with these colleagues in moments of calm, Clearlinkers find working with them during stressful periods far more effective, as they are better able to approach obstacles with compassion instead of frustration.

Bringing Your Whole Self to Work

Along with on-site yoga and meditation sessions, Clearlink provides a robust catalog of wellness resources, including access to mental health service providers, massage therapists, a fitness room, regular wellness activities like hiking, skiing, and mountain biking, and nutritional coaching. We also offer connection and personal development opportunities through our employee resource communities, employee-run Think Tank sessions, and various on-site classes.

“We always want Clearlinkers to feel like they can bring their whole selves to work, and we try to be intentional about providing tangible spaces for activities that encourage this throughout the workday,” says Jessica Jones, vice president of people and brand. “Research shows that practicing mindfulness and gratitude on a daily basis can improve overall happiness, so of course, we want to offer the time and space for activities like yoga and meditation that lead to overall well-being.”

Employees are encouraged to suggest additional wellness opportunities they’d like to see at Clearlink. Based on employee recommendations, we’ve implemented and facilitated various opportunities for individuals to bring and express their whole selves at work.

Together, these resources help us cultivate a culture of wellness—and a powerful, effective workforce.

If you’re interested in working hard for a company that works hard for your well-being, visit Clearlink’s careers page.

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Katie Cavicchio

A practitioner of yoga and meditation for more than 20 years, Katie enjoys facilitating both for underserved populations. When not on her mat or working as a managing editor at Clearlink, she enjoys spending time with her pride of rescued cats.

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