Mindfulness in the Workplace
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From an organizational standpoint, this does not bode well for productivity, efficiency, and ROI. Research shows that people spend close to 47% of their day thinking about something other than what they are actually doing.
“Mind-wandering appears ubiquitous across all activities,” says Matthew A. Killingsworth, a doctoral student in psychology at Harvard. “This study shows that our mental lives are pervaded, to a remarkable degree, by the nonpresent.”
In other words, many of us spend our work days operating on autopilot. So, how can we refocus and become more engaged and productive? Through mindfulness in the workplace.
Introducing Mindfulness into Your Organization
“Mindfulness is not about living life in slow motion. It’s about enhancing focus and awareness both in work and in life. It’s about stripping away distractions and staying on track with individual, as well as organizational, goals,” says Rasmus Hougaard and Jacqueline Carter.
There are two main opportunities when you can introduce mindfulness into your organization:
- During hiring: Add mindfulness as a criterion when hiring, and look for people who are open to these concepts. This can help shape your organizational culture.
- Training sessions: Provide training sessions for your employees to learn about how to be more mindful, understand its benefits from a work and personal perspective, and provide them with the resources.
You can support mindfulness in a number of ways:
- Allowing for time each day for meditation
- Offering courses and seminars
- Creating space in the office where employees can go to refocus
Does Focusing on Mindfulness Actually Work?
A number of studies on the topic have found those organizations that have invested in mindfulness and related activities have had positive results.
A study from the University of Westminster found that meditation can help build self-confidence in leaders. “Their results, published in the Academy of Management Proceedings, revealed that training significantly enhanced their overall self-confidence, as well as the individual skills like inspiring a shared vision and demonstrating moral intelligence,” says Jeremy Adam Smith from Berkeley.
Another study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found online mindfulness training can enhance employee well-being. They found that six months after a test group took an online mindfulness training course, they were less stressed, more resilient and energetic than a test group that didn’t take the course.
Benefits of Introducing Mindfulness
Mindfulness will benefit both your employees and organization. Here are some of the changes mindfulness will introduce into the workplace:
- Greater focus
- Be more efficient
- Be more creative
- Be more present
- Think critically and solve problems easier
- A stronger ability to turn thoughts and ideas into strategy
- Better communication
- Uncover new insights
- Make more detailed connections between concepts
If mindfulness has yet to be introduced into your workplace, remember that practicing on a personal level is a great way to help improve your mindset and performance.