‘Mindfulness’ is finally taking root in the lexicon of workplace culture discussions. And for good reason. It’s no longer considered a “nice-to-have” but a “must have” because of its positive impact on productivity and work-life balance and your bottom line.
From the Harvard Business Review to the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, more and more information is being published about the growing body of research suggesting that mindfulness improves job satisfaction, rational thinking, emotional resilience in addition to improved performance. If you’re contemplating different strategies to help foster a healthier, happier and more productive workplace, here’s a look at some key benefits of incorporating mindfulness into your work culture:
Mindfulness & ROI
Can pursuing mindfulness be good for the bottom line? A In David Gelles’ Mindful Work, he lays out a compelling case after Aetna initiated a company mindfulness program. After piloting a program with 239 employees, now, more than one-quarter of Aetna’s work force of 50,000 has participated in at least one mindfulness class and report:
- a 28% reduction in their stress levels
- a 20% improvement in sleep quality
- and a 19% reduction in pain
Gelles also reported on the findings of a study Aetna did with Duke:
- highly stressed employees incur an additional $2,000 per year in health care costs, compared to their less-stressed peers
- As the mindfulness programs ramped up, health care costs fell 7%
- Aetna figures the productivity gains alone amounted to $3,000 per employee, an eleven to-one return on its investment.
Reduces Stress & Anxiety
Mindfulness makes perfect sense for dealing with stress and anxiety because it takes you out of fight-or-flight mode and brings you into a relaxed state of mental clarity and calm. By becoming more aware of your thoughts and body, you can better assess and identify your feelings and approach them in a more positive way.
Improves your Focus
Studies show that meditation training can improve your ability to focus on one thing at a time and help curb our tendency for distraction. A focused mind is a productive mind.
Creativity greatly depends on your mental state. Mindfulness helps you to get into a creative frame of mind by combatting the negative thoughts that hinder creative thinking and self-expression. The fact that mindfulness focuses on the present helps you to think freely and creatively and allows your mind the space to bounce off ideas.
Increases Emotional Intelligence and Resilience
Emotional intelligence (EI) affects the workplace at all levels, and mindfulness can help improve EI. Mindfulness means being aware of our experiences, observing them without judgment, and responding from a place of clarity and compassion, rather than fear, insecurity, or greed. When mindfulness in the workplace helps teams achieve more emotional clarity, it can have numerous benefits, including:
- More effective management styles
- Better manager-employee relationships
- Stronger, healthier team dynamics
- Fewer rash decisions that can damage the business
- Healthier strategies for preventing or addressing conflict when it comes up
- Creating a more positive work environment
We live in a world full of distractions. With the constant influx of texts, tweets and IM’s, many of us have lost our ability to actively listen and be present. By incorporating mindfulness into your day, you can retrain yourself to focus on the present moment and truly listen to people.
As the benefits of mindfulness become more well-known, it’s no surprise that some of our most requested wellness programs are our Mindfulness Lunch & Learn presentation and accompanying corporate challenge. So how can you start? Stop what you’re doing, close your eyes, relax, and take a few deep breaths – then contact us about how we can help.
For Information about programs for Mindfulness in the Workplace:
Contact HealthWorks at firstname.lastname@example.org