Meditation/Mindfulness at Work

Gina Buckney Mindfulness

Meditation & Mindfulness at Work

When we are at work, especially in a fast-paced, high-stress environment, we tend to think anything that takes us away from our job will hamper our productivity. Even worse, we often go into ‘work mode,’ where we take care of our daily tasks on autopilot and don’t get much else done past that. We get distracted by an email, a conversation, or dreams of what we’ll have for dinner, and the entire day is gone. A few Mindfulness exercises throughout the workday can give us a quick breather from our jobs and help us refocus on our work.

Did you know that a bit of Mindfulness helps with attention and memory?

People practice Meditation and Mindfulness at work and in their personal lives because it can improve work performance, relationships, and overall health. In an average 9-to-5 workday, just five minutes of deep breathing, reflection, and tension release can help decrease stress and increase overall productivity.

Meditation isn’t just an excuse to catch a few winks of sleep at your desk. According to Douglas Jobes, founder of Memory Improvement Tips, “meditation directly affects the function and structure of the brain – changing it in ways that appear to increase attention span, sharpen focus, and improve memory.” This is mirrored in research from Harvard Medical School, which found that a Meditation program led to changes in brain regions involving learning and working memory capacity. A quick routine here and there can do wonders to keep your mind from wandering.

Meditation can also help you with multitasking, as several studies have proven. A University of Washington study shows that employees who took Meditation training were able to stay focused for longer and were less susceptible to distraction. One workplace involved in another study that tested Meditation had 63 percent of employees report greater ability to manage themselves at work. Additionally, 60 percent said they felt more focused and had enhanced decision-making skills.

Want to reduce Stress? Mindfulness and Meditation are amazing stress-relievers.

Mental health issues are legitimate, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Many are due to outside factors we have no control over, but we can take steps as employers to help lessen the impact of those issues in the workplace.

People have a lot of stress in their life. Unfortunately, it’s a byproduct of the hectic lives we lead, where our attention and personal resources are pulled every which way. Anything we can do to alleviate some stress for our team members can help their performance at work. Studies have found that Meditation can help decrease feelings of anxiety, depression, and emotional exhaustion. A study from Boston University has shown that Mindfulness and Meditation-based programs significantly reduce clinical levels of anxiety and depression across a range of conditions, help build patience and create a more positive outlook.

Further, research conducted at Stanford University School of Medicine indicates that those who practice Mindfulness Meditation report reduced stress and an increased sense of control over their own lives. A daily practice can help carry this optimism into the workplace.

How has Mindfulness helped industry leaders?

Many large corporations and organisations have already implemented Mindfulness and Meditation strategies and seen amazing results. North American brands are leading the way. Big corporations like AOL and McKinsey & Co. have experienced increased sales performance, proving that what’s good for the mind and spirit is good for the company’s bottom line.

While the free gourmet food, open workspaces, and on-site medical care are some of the more-publicised perks to working for Google, the search giant and its parent company, Alphabet, emphasize self-care amongst all their teams. Employees have access to nap pods and massage rooms, among other resources aimed at relieving stress and increasing productivity. Former Google engineer, Chade-Meng Tan (employee No. 107), started one of Google’s most popular programs: Search Inside Yourself.

The course, which focuses on mindful breathing and active listening to fellow employees, started with a group of 500 Googlers but quickly garnered enough interest to merit a waitlist. Google employees have even claimed the program changed their lives. Google knows that when employees are happy and engaged in Mindfulness, they’re more productive. That helps the company culture — and the bottom line.

Mindfulness and Meditation can do so much good for an organisation. But the most significant contribution of spirituality at the workplace is nurturing a healthy and happy workforce. It allows an organisation to:

  • Foster employee loyalty, thereby reducing attrition
  • Improve productivity through a motivated, driven workforce
  • Uphold ethical behavior in the workplace
  • Encourage a creative and emotionally intelligent workforce
  • Collaborate better to pursue bigger organisational goals
  • Create an overall positive and vibrant environment

Several studies have shown that taking a Mindfulness break has a supercharged effect on the mind. After Meditation, your employees can be at peak performance. Instead of trying to boost this with coffee or a 5-hour energy shot, give Meditation a try.

Mindfulness, whenever and wherever you can make the time for it, can only bring more positivity into corporate life, and the lives of all your employees. Set aside time and space in the workday to gather employees for group Meditations. Give them directions to engage in Mindfulness at their desks during downtime, or even teaching them exercises they can take home for themselves and their families to use. Get started with Mindfulness training soon, and you are guaranteed to notice a marked increase in employee satisfaction and overall productivity.

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