How to Integrate Mindfulness Activities into Your Remote Employee Wellness Program

remote employee practicing mindfulness

Mindfulness exercises are a proven and efficient way to improve focus, reduce stress, and maintain mental and emotional wellness for remote employees. Even taking a few mindful microbreaks a day can contribute to a more relaxed and productive work environment.

Whether your employees prefer guided meditations or a quick stretching routine, mindfulness practices can, and should be, a part of their daily work routine.

In this article, we’re exploring how you can integrate mindfulness activities into your wellness program and promote the benefits of this simple and highly effective type of work day break.

What is mindfulness?

Merrriam-Webster defines mindfulness as “the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis”.

In simple terms, it’s all about taking a break from our hectic schedule to bring our focus and attention to the present moment. In this moment, we can acknowledge all the thoughts, feelings, and sensations going on in our body — whether they’re good or bad. 

Scientists have been studying mindfulness for the past two decades, trying to unravel how and why this simple practice literally changes our brain functions. Research has now proven that mindfulness exercises can boost overall mental wellness and improve focus and clarity. 

Benefits of taking mindfulness breaks 

The biggest benefit of mindfulness is that there’s no barrier to practicing it. Literally everyone at your organization can try mindfulness breaks and experience the positive changes that they bring. 

Whether it’s going for a quick walk, taking a pause to meditate for a few minutes, or doing some daily mindful yoga in between calls, mindfulness can improve a variety of physical and mental conditions for workers.

Regular mindfulness practice has a cumulative effect, and has been shown to:

Phew! That’s a lot of benefits for a simple break — which is exactly why mindfulness should be included as part of your organization’s well-being program.

How HR leaders and managers can encourage mindfulness breaks for remote employees

Leaders and middle managers are in a unique position to champion mindfulness breaks during the workday as part of a successful wellness program. It’s also a great opportunity for your remote workplace wellness committee to get behind this well-being practice, and promote a more healthy way of living, thinking, and being as part of your work culture.

It’s important for middle managers to lead by example and normalize taking mindfulness breaks at work. Employees often feel guilty about leaving their desk for a few minutes to recharge and refocus, so it’s important to spread the word across your organization that taking breaks is both accepted and encouraged.

Creating mindfulness resources, or running fun challenges for teams and individuals to participate in can all help educate your teams on why being mindful is such an important personal skill to have.

If your HR team is short on time, you could use ChatGPT to help you write wellness resources about the benefits of mindfulness, or whip up some fun Slack scripts to highlight upcoming wellness challenges

You could also look at using Bright Breaks to encourage your remote employees to take short mindfulness breaks that fit with their schedule. These can be done at any time, in any place, from their desk to a quick stroll around the block.

We also make it easy for your organization to run wellness challenges and encourage your employees to participate (and win prizes!). Plus, we can take some of those regular content creation tasks off your plate with our free weekly wellness resources. Sign up to get those here.

7 effective mindfulness breaks for remote employees

There are mindfulness breaks to suit the needs of all your remote employees. Some people might like to take their break seated, while others might prefer to practice mindful walking, or integrate this with other activities such as yoga, depending on their personal preferences. 

Best of all, these breaks only need to be a few minutes long to deliver some seriously healthy results.

We’re going to walk through a few of the most popular and effective mindfulness activities to give you some inspiration for breaks you can include in your wellness initiatives.

Breathing exercises

Breathing is part of our autonomic nervous system, so it’s something we take for granted, but it can be one of the first things to get a little messed up when we’re stressed or anxious. 

Hypoventilation, hyperventilation, and other breathing pattern disorders can cause symptoms like daytime fatigue, poor sleep quality, shortness of breath, neck pain, and brain fog — all of which can lower productivity and focus in the workplace.

Mindful breathing means simply taking a pause to pay attention to our breath, and gently observe how it flows in and out of our body. Focusing on the slow, natural movement of the breath can help reduce stress and improve focus.

Popular breathing exercises include the 4-7-8 methodbreathwork meditationdeep breathing, and holotropic breathwork.

If you’re using Bright Breaks, there are plenty of live and recorded breathing exercises that your employees can incorporate into their day for a quick, effective mindfulness break. These include activities such as breathing meditations, affirmations, muscle relaxation exercises, and mental release breaks.

Mindful walking

The Japanese popularized Shinrin-yoku or “forest bathing” as a mindful walking break to help burned-out workers reconnect with nature, and with themselves. You don’t need a forest for this to be effective!

Simply taking a pause in your day to step outside and go for a walk can help you reduce stress by bringing attention to your surroundings and clearing out your mental clutter. The sound of birds in the trees, the warmth of the sun, a crisp breeze, and even the whoosh of passing traffic can all help you feel more connected with the world around you.

Encourage your employees to try out some 7-minute guided walking meditations on Bright Breaks to see just how effective mindful walking can be for focus and stress relief.

Stretching and yoga

Sitting down all day can have negative effects on our body, leading to slower metabolism, back pain, and tight muscles. For remote employees who sit for hours each day, it’s important for their overall well-being to take regular breaks and move around, even if it’s just to have a quick stretch.

There are plenty of mindful stretching exercises online to help stay flexible and agile, and encourage a focus on the present moment.

Stretching breaks can help employees become gently aware of their body, thoughts, breathing, and other sensations to ease feelings of tension and stress throughout the day.

Stretching and yoga are some of our most popular activities on Bright Breaks, helping employees bring a little mindfulness to their work day in just 7 minutes


We’ve all heard of meditation and the powerful benefits it delivers with regular practice, including reducing depression and anxiety, and a sense of increased peace and calm in the mind and body. 

The word itself comes from the Latin meditatum which means “to ponder”, and humans have been meditating all over the world in different forms for centuries .

Mindfulness meditation is a form of meditation where thoughts and feelings are acknowledged and observed in a non-judgemental way. This creates a sense of detachment and calm awareness, as opposed simply pushing thoughts away. 

Mindful meditation is backed by cognitive neuroscience, and can be deeply beneficial to employees.

Bright Breaks has plenty of live and recorded meditation breaks, plus a handy guide on how to meditate for employees who are new to the concept. You can also encourage employees to use their favorite meditation app to get more mindfulness into their day.

And for those employees who find it difficult to sit still? Bright Breaks has you covered with guided mindful movement breaks. These help to quiet mental chatter through gentle movements so employees can experience all the benefits of “meditation in motion”.

Gratitude sessions

Gratitude practice is a simple activity employees can do easily during the workday. It could look like a small scheduled pause each for teams or individuals to think about what they’re thankful for in life and work. 

Combined with mindfulness, gratitude sessions give the full benefits of actively highlighting the good things in life, plus the ability to handle any tough times or setbacks with more ease and clarity.

Daily journaling is one of the ways you can encourage your remote employees to practice gratitude in their lives. This simple act of hand writing your thoughts onto paper can help to increase self-awareness, bring attention to the present moment, and reduce mental clutter and stress.

Bright Breaks has recorded and live gratitude sessions that can encourage employees to write down or reflect on what they’re thankful for using a variety of prompts, plus there’s a helpful tutorial on the science behind gratitude practice and how it can improve overall wellness.

Mindful eating

The importance of how we eat, as well as what we’re eating, is part of the evolving mindful eating movement

In its simplest form, mindful eating is just a way of applying mindfulness techniques to the thoughts and relationships we have with food — such as trusting our hunger cues during the day, eating a nutritional diet, and slowing down our meals to truly appreciate the food on our plate.

If your employees are curious to learn more about mindful eating, Bright Breaks has just the thing, with short breaks focused around the concepts of mindful eating, as well as intuitive eating.

Body scan breaks

It’s not as weird as it sounds! This is a form of mindful meditation where you mentally scan your body to identify any areas holding tension or feeling pain.

It’s a simple concept where you either sit or lie down, close your eyes, and begin to move your mind’s focus right around your body. For example, you could start at the top of your head and move downwards, consciously relaxing every part of your body as you go — such as your jaw, shoulders, arms, belly, and lower legs.

Many people feel immediate mental and physical benefits from body scan awareness, but as with all mindfulness exercises, results will be more significant with regular practice.

To invite members of your organization to participate, you can find short body scan meditations to share on YouTube and suggest they give it a try!

On Bright Breaks, employees can easily take time for a body scan break in audio only pre-recorded and live meditations. Not only will they get the benefits of taking a break, but they will be entered to win a prize just for tending to their well-being in Bright Breaks’ weekly gift card draws. 

In summary

Mindfulness breaks are one of the most effective ways to help your remote employees stay focused and reduce stress and anxiety in both their work and personal lives. 

As with any wellness initiative, HR leaders and middle managers should lead by example, by practicing these specific types of breaks themselves, and by promoting how and why mindfulness is such an important piece of the wellness journey for remote workers.

Book a demo of Bright Breaks to learn more about our extensive library of mindfulness sessions and other wellness activities, and see how easy it is for employees to incorporate these 7-minute breaks into their daily schedules.

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What you should do now

  1. Promote best practices for remote worker health with free copy/paste, pre-written scripts you can post every week in your internal communications channels.

  2. Learn from top HR & People Leaders about the latest strategies to keep your remote workforce happy, healthy, and connected on The Virtual Vibe Podcast.

  3. Contact our sales team to discover the benefits of our built-for-the-workplace wellness solution, compared to B2C offerings like Calm or Headspace.
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