The average worker in Corporate America spends 40 hours at the office, 10 hours on the freeway going back and forth to the office, and five to seven hours per week getting ready to go to the office. Fifty-five to 60 hours of our entire week is devoted to our workplace. At our offices are people with a variety of experiences, backgrounds, beliefs, strengths and weaknesses. We will spend more time with these people than any other group of people all week long. It's important that we're connected to thrive.
With the separation of church and state, a lot of the spiritual was removed from the workplace and people were trained and encouraged to "turn off" their spirit at work and only bring a result or service to their employer. But this is impossible. If you shut off the spirit, the heart won't beat. We are not brain or spirit, we are both. Sitting next to each other, every single day, at work, bringing results in the workforce, are connected spirits, whether we want to admit that or not.
In our workplaces, it's important to release life, love and hope everyday. Be the one who loves even when people do things wrong -- especially when they do wrong. In this trust economy of ours, built with social media at the forefront, to love people first is crucial.
So how can spirituality at work benefit us all?
At the core of all spiritual beliefs are the tenants of kindness, love and hope. Rather than throwing all issues of spirituality out of the door at work, it would be beneficial to us all if we could freely flow and be connected in our jobs, not only on a mechanical, flesh-y level, but also on a spiritual level. Where kindness is more common, and people aren't afraid to love.
One glance at Amazon.com shows that millions of people are looking for something more. Social media is filled with people who are believing that relationship and presence are important for a productive and powerful life. When we bring the spiritual into the workplace, we all benefit. But we can't reach people who feel rejected, judged and ignored.
How does this play out when there are different beliefs, faiths and backgrounds?
This is where the spiritual really comes into play. We live in a day when people are asking, "Who am I?" and living that out loudly, unapologetically. It's a great time to live. Unfortunately our workplaces are still built on old traditions, standards and expectations. It's time we love more and learn to be more.
Allowing people to express their spirituality at work can be as simple as giving courage to someone who is fearful, or giving hope to someone who is struggling. It can also be as diverse as allowing someone to pray at their desk, to who they believe in, without being threatened, because we're bigger than that.
It is not about preaching. Remember, practicing faith at work doesn't mean converting people. It is about being the best colleague possible.
Why does this affect me?
We all have beliefs, whether we like it or not. Even if you don’t believe in spirituality, you believe in your lack of belief in spirituality. We need to respect each other for what those beliefs are, instead of putting each other down, and trying to bring others over to “our side” like a battle. Diversity in harmony and being our truest self, benefits us all.
When we can be our truest self, that’s when we are most powerful in every situation. By encouraging others to also be their truest self, it will draw out of them their maximum potential in the workplace.
When concerned about political correctness and focusing on things that, quite frankly, don’t even matter in the workplace, it tends to put a cloud over everything around us and communication barriers go up, and productivity goes down. Break down the walls! Faith does work, at work, in a powerful way, connecting us all.