mindfulness training
Training & Learning

From Burnout to Zenned Out: How to Implement Collaborative Mindfulness Training for Remote Workers

Remote work offers undeniable advantages. And to make things easier, businesses can use a myriad of tools to keep in touch with remote teams while also saving time and money. 

But remote workers often also struggle to maintain work-life balance as they deal with back-to-back video conferences, constant distractions, and a lack of separation between work-life and home life. This constant pressure to deliver can hurt their well-being and productivity alike.

In addition to providing your remote staff with the right technology, you can go the extra mile and provide mindfulness training. Now is the right time to understand the causes of burnout, stress, loneliness, insomnia, and anxiety. You should help your employees learn from their experiences during the pandemic and grow as a result. 

Let's explore some tips for conducting mindfulness training, so you can help your remote employees manage their mental well-being, maximize productivity, and prevent burnout.

What is mindfulness training?

Mindfulness training is based on the idea of mindfulness: the ability to be present and aware of where you are and what you are doing. In addition, mindfulness refers to being non-judgmentally present—rather than worrying about the future or dwelling in the past. It usually involves heightened sensory awareness of stimuli, such as focusing on feeling bodily sensations, paying attention to your breathing, etc.

Emotional intelligence and mindfulness training is useful in the workplace to ensure employees’ mental flexibility and help them move from autopilot into a more self-aware state. Employees on autopilot are naturally less productive and more likely to make mistakes.

It's easy for remote workers to feel scattered and unmotivated while multitasking, making it difficult to get anything accomplished. With mindfulness, you can help remote teams combat cognitive overload and develop self-awareness essential to recognizing when they feel burned out. This will enable you to manage burnout proactively instead of retroactively.

Related: 8 Steps to Create a Remote Employee Training Program

Best practices of mindfulness training for remote workers

During the pandemic, anxiety and stress among employees rose. There are both upsides and downsides to remote work, and many companies embraced remote and hybrid arrangements to help employees keep working during these uncertain times. But this also brought about a new set of challenges many managers previously did not have to navigate.

What’s more, people now know that they can have increased flexibility at home and can even make just as much money working remote gigs as freelancers as they could in traditional office jobs (especially since it has become so easy to pay oversea freelancers). There’s no doubt that remote and hybrid work is here to stay, so companies must rise to the occasion and learn how to manage employees in this new normal. 

Here are some strategies to help remote workers practice mindfulness regardless of their location.

Encourage employee engagement

Try kicking off your employees' mindfulness training sessions with breathing exercises to bring them into the moment and reduce their distractions. It is also best to ask learners explicitly not to multitask to help them make the most out of their mindfulness training sessions. For remote employees, removing distractions means deactivating alerts and closing out of additional tabs while in session. 

Encourage employees to practice active rather than passive learning. It’s important to let your trainees know about any follow-up notes and materials you will send ahead of time or after the session so they can focus on the training instead of taking notes. Ask them what they hope to get out of the sessions and any challenges they are facing. 

Make training targeted

You can conduct better and more practical training sessions linked to the trainees' individual job roles and positions. Mindfulness training sessions are no exception. It is essential to encourage trainers to speak about mindfulness in terms of role-specific functions. 

For instance, training C-level executives might put the focus on mindful leadership skills like self-awareness and active listening. If you are conducting the training for the customer service team, focusing on how cultivating conscious customer interactions can help enhance communication skills.

Training as team-building 

Another way to engage remote workers in mindfulness training sessions is by fostering collaboration among team members so it can also serve as a team-building experience. While your team may be working remotely, maintaining social connections is incredibly important. 

For instance, you can host regular mindfulness sessions for your groups or weekly yoga sessions to encourage community-building. Incentivizing participation with a raffle or prize is another way to make your mindfulness training sessions fun and engaging, and this can help spark initial interest.

Mindfulness training through yoga
Remote yoga activities like this one can help hone mindfulness at work.

Keep it simple

Finally, make sure to supplement your virtual mindfulness training plans with reinforcement initiatives and actionable tools. Short activities and micro-practices make mindfulness training accessible, such as walking, mental check-ins, or quick meditations. These exercises need not be complex or time-consuming. Carving out even five or ten minutes every day to feed your peace of mind can help make mindfulness practice a habit.

Return on investment

You should help your employees prioritize digital wellness and mental wellness when working remotely, and this will definitely pay off in the long-run. Digital health involves keeping your devices secure to maintain your online privacy and managing your screen time, both of which are linked to mental wellness as well.  

Taking care of your remote workers is a significant investment, but it will pay off. Any errors or breaches of their technology can be a breach of your business. Similarly, your workforce's ability to control their feelings, actions, and thoughts impact productivity and business results. This includes an overall increase in productivity levels and a reduction in presenteeism, absenteeism, and turnover.

It is well known that excessive screen time is a barrier to mental wellness, and you should encourage your employees to take regular breaks and turn off their notifications at a certain time each day. Decreasing screen time and practicing mindfulness can help employees stay emotionally and mentally fit and leave them feeling more stable, healthier, and considerably more productive. 

All in all, mindfulness can help companies shift their corporate culture so that prioritizing emotional and mental wellness becomes the standard, not the exception. This shift will improve employee satisfaction, which is directly beneficial for your bottom line. 

Final thoughts

Recently, mindfulness training has received greater attention in the business world as many organizations look to promote a more positive and caring atmosphere for managing remote employees. Mindfulness training encompasses positive thinking, breathing, and meditation exercises to ingrain these habits as routine practices. When your business genuinely invests in your employees' mental wellness, mindfulness training will facilitate productivity and ensure that your remote workers prioritize their mental health.