At AVA, the health and wellbeing of our employees is incredibly important to us. Today, stress and mental illness have officially been declared as health ‘pandemics’, and their effects on both our bodies and minds can be detrimental, and lead to a severe decline in work performance.
For this very reason, we offer a variety of activities to keep our employees at their sharpest, while also helping them to understand their own indicators and triggers of stress.
Yoga is not only a workout but also a work-in. Even from just a single hour-long session of yoga, you can feel the effects. Yoga is a holistic form of exercise in the sense that it focuses on the body, mind, and breath. Stretching helps us to stay supple, while the strength-building aspect of yoga helps protect us from injuries. By using the breath to guide your movement, you work more consciously with your body to get the results you want – whatever they may be. Research has shown that Yoga can aid in improving other sporting activities as well, including an improvement in running times and agility.
On Tuesday and Thursday mornings, our-in house employee wellness coordinator holds morning yoga sessions – both in-person and at the office so we can include our whole team, wherever they might be in the world.
Meditation is not about clearing the mind from all thoughts; it is about becoming aware of the thoughts that you are having. These days humans all suffer from what is known as the ‘Monkey Mind’. Our brains dart from one thought to the next, and we are often thinking in the past or the future, but rarely in the present. This is what meditation teaches us: it helps us to understand the joy of the present moment and how much more full life is when you focus on what you have, rather than what you don’t. Consistent meditation is proven to create more gray matter which is the part of the brain responsible for our memory. The practice of meditation allows us to regulate our emotions as well because it teaches us that we are not our thoughts, and that ‘this too shall pass’.
AVA holds sessions where we take a break around mid-morning to reset and rejuvenate through a brief meditation so everyone can go back into their workday refreshed, and mentally sharp.
To keep up the energy and have a bit of friendly competition in the team, we have fitness challenges that improve physical activity at work and in their personal time. Holding events like monthly step challenges encourages employees to take the stairs instead of the lift, squeeze that extra 1km into their run, and sometimes to even have walking meetings in and around the office to give our bodies a break from sitting.
Each month, we hold Wellness Workshops which encompass a wide range of topics. We have created discussions around stress management, financial wellness, nutrition, sleep, and mental health to name a few. These informative sessions help our employees to understand the fundamental importance of all aspects of their health. In addition, Wellness Wednesdays give everyone the tools they need to empower themselves to make healthy changes in their personal lives.
Nature and getting out
The benefits of getting out into nature are endless. We breathe in fresh air which energises us, we take in the beauty of the world around us which brings a sense of gratitude, and we get some exercise to induce those endorphins that lift our moods.
Once a month, we head out into nature: we hike, or picnic in our beautiful parks to get a change of scenery and spend some quality, out-of-office time together as a team.
Our team’s health is a priority and we do our best to keep everyone at the top of their game.