Huffpost UK Politics

Boris Johnson Gives Staff Free Mindfulness Help To Manage Stress

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London mayor Boris Johnson may be known for bounding about the political stage in the style of a human dynamo, but his staff at City Hall are at least given help on the importance of how to manage stress in their hectic working lives.

When asked by the Huffington Post UK in a Freedom of Information request, the Greater London Authority said it has promoted free resources via its staff intranet that help employees practise mindfulness, provided by the Mental Health Foundation, since this May.

"We have a wellbeing portal on our intranet which provides resources to staff on a range of topics to do with health and wellbeing," a spokesperson explained. "These include mindfulness podcasts which we have promoted to staff since May 2014."

The GLA admitted that it does not yet run meditation or mindfulness classes for its employees, despite other organisations like the Bank of England laying on "taster sessions" for their staff.

Bank Of England Runs Meditation Classes For Staff Mindfulness

A GLA spokesperson went on to explain to why staff mindfulness is a priority: “City Hall is committed to supporting the health and wellbeing of our staff. This includes promoting healthier eating, increased physical activity and other ways to improve people’s general well-being, mirroring public facing initiatives aimed at Londoners.

The spokesperson told the Huffington Post UK: "As an employer we believe improving employees' ability to maintain their health and wellbeing, handle pressure and balance work and home life is commonsense, because ultimately it leads to improved individual and organisational performance.”

City Hall is not the first big organisation in London to help develop staff mindfulness, as HuffPostUK found that the Bank of England had run two meditation "taster" sessions for staff over the last year - on 28 November and 12 December 2012 as part of a series of "Working Lives" seminars.

Thirty staff attended the first session and 36 people went to the second. The Bank also offered a self-funded six-week meditation course, which ran from 30 January 2013 and was attended by twenty-three staff.

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