Meditation room at Whirlpool Corporation’s St. Joseph Tech Center gives employees a place for quiet reflection
By: Cean Burgeson
Perhaps the most challenging aspect of life in this fast-paced, always connected world is maintaining a proper work/life balance. Fortunately, Whirlpool Corporation believes in the importance of this balance, and looks for ways to help employees achieve it.
“One of my staff members raised the topic with me that we did not have a private, quiet place for employees to find silence and stillness in the middle of their workdays, whether for spiritual beliefs and practices or other reasons,” said Pam Klyn, VP and Global Platform Leader in the Global Product Organization at Whirlpool Corporation.
Everybody needs a place to quiet their mind at times, even if it’s just for a few minutes.”
One of the people Klyn reached out to for input was System Integration Leader Tasnim Hassan. “I told her that there was not a place in this work environment where we can go away and get calmed down, which is important,” said Hassan. “Everybody needs a place to quiet their mind at times, even if it’s just for a few minutes.”
After hearing feedback, Klyn asked her assistant, Amy Crow, what she thought they could do to make this happen. Crow immediately thought of a storage room that could be repurposed for the task. She got the room cleared out and had the carpet cleaned within a week, and with a little paint and a few chairs from the warehouse, the meditation room was created.
“It just shows that with the right focus, a space like this can be set up quickly and for a low cost,” explained Klyn. “Amy immediately saw how this could benefit our team members and made it all happen very quickly.”
Project Engineer Adam Kareem also consulted Klyn on the project, and he now uses the room every day. “I was really happy that they repurposed this space as a meditation room in general and not just a prayer room, so it’s all-inclusive and gives everyone an opportunity to take advantage of it,” he said. “I think it’s a really important part of our work/life balance. It’s part of the health and wellness that Whirlpool Corporation encourages, and it fits into our Whirlpool value of inclusion.”
We want our employees to be as productive and efficient as possible, but even more important than that, we want them to feel appreciated, included and considered.”
According to Whirlpool Corp’s Real Estate Team, there’s also a quiet room on the 2nd floor of Whirlpool Global Headquarters called The Bluff. It’s a multi-purpose room that can be used for quiet time or meditation and prayer for employees working in that building.
“This isn’t a special privilege we’re providing,” Klyn said. “It’s accommodating what’s important to employees. We want our employees to be as productive and efficient as possible, but even more important than that, we want them to feel appreciated, included and considered. As a company, we can really show folks that we care, and I think it’s important to do that whenever possible.”