Calm amidst the storm

Reflection rooms provide privacy, peace and religious accommodation at work
By Sarah Dobson
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 07/13/2010

A few years ago, law firm Stikeman Elliott in Toronto tried to accommodate law students and lawyers who prayed during work hours. Locks were installed on office doors and those without offices were given offices for privacy.

But it became an administrative and logistical challenge as people moved around, so the firm decided to provide a refection room instead. Luckily, there was unused space that could be converted with a coffee table, a couple of comfortable chairs, non-denominational art on the walls and a cupboard to store prayer mats. A sign was also put up indicating which wall faces east.

The room is always open, to every employee, and is used on a drop-in basis for any reason, such as quiet contemplation, says Ritu Bhasin, director of student and associate programs at the firm, which does not monitor the room’s popularity.