We’re proud of the workplace culture we’ve created at Xero and believe in fostering an environment that is diverse, inclusive, and distinctly human. Our teams are free to be themselves and are motivated to succeed and grow so employees can do the best work of their lives.
As part of this, we recognize the importance of supporting both the physical and mental wellbeing of our employees. We were proud to participate in World Mental Health Day last month and have continued the conversations around mental health and wellness in order to establish a culture of wellbeing throughout our Xero Americas offices.
Here are some of the topics we discussed and how our teams will be incorporating these practices in order to create a positive work environment.
Addressing anxiety and self-care
On World Mental Health Day, we were joined by Sandy Pryor, a therapist and founder of Pryor Counseling, LLC, at our Xero Americas HQ to discuss anxiety. He explained that anxiety disorders are the most common mental health challenge in the US — affecting around 40 million adults.
Sandy led an interactive discussion about anxiety — how to recognize it, manage it and stop self-shaming it. He walked the group through some guided meditation exercises and explained how mindfulness can help combat feelings of anxiety. Sandy explained that research on mindfulness shows it contributes to reduced stress, better focus and emotional reactivity.
The session ended with a discussion on self-compassion so people could determine how they could channel difficult thoughts and feelings in a positive way to increase motivation, or improve mood and overall wellness.
On practicing mindfulness
As a follow up to the conversation with Sandy, we recently welcomed Sonia Chowdhury from Cigna to our Xero Americas HQ to discuss the topic of “mindfulness.” She guided us through what it means to be mindful and how it can positively impact your health and overall wellbeing.
We discussed that mindfulness can be many things — more than just a practice, bringing mindfulness into everything we do cuts down on needless stress and can even help spark new ideas or innovation at work. In fact, studies looking at mindfulness in an office setting show that workers who practiced mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) for twenty minutes a day reported an average 11% reduction in perceived stress.
Sonia ended the discussion by providing some actionable tips for how people can incorporate mindful practices into their everyday routines. This included guided imagery, listening to soothing music, using apps like Headspace to practice mindful meditation, breathing exercises or physical exercise.
Work, wellness & why you matter
In our Toronto office, the team welcomed Maya Chivi, a speaker, author and mental health advocate to lead a session on mental health and wellbeing in the workplace. Maya spoke to the team about the importance of prioritizing mental wellbeing above all else and creating a more mindful workplace. She opened and closed the session by leading the team through a guided meditation.
As the author of an illustrated book called “What Nobody Knows,” Maya also shared a story about leadership and self-esteem, showing that anybody and everybody can change and make a difference – even when they feel like a nobody. By sharing this story, Maya helped drive the conversation, allowing teams to reflect and develop strategies to empower them in their own self-care systems and as contributors to their workplace culture, benefiting everyone at a personal and professional level.
The insights from these discussions will help our teams manage workplace stress, better support one another, and encourage individuals to prioritize their own personal wellbeing. We look forward to having more open and honest conversations like this as we continue to support mental health and wellness across Xero Americas.