Mindfulness on the Job

Mindfulness in the Workplace

Since 1979, mindfulness has been increasing in acceptance and “one probable reason for this popularity is a growing body of research showing that mindfulness provides a number of physical and psychological benefits” (Hyland et al., 2015).  The visibility of mindfulness is growing in the business world as well, evidenced by the hiring of business coaches (Gatling & Harrah, 2014) and creation of mindfulness programing (Marturano, 2014). According to Hyland et al., start-up firms who specialize in mindfulness training are gaining momentum, which include The Institute for Mindful Leadership, Appropriate Response, The Potential Project, and the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute (2015). Employers are looking for ways to reduce employee stress. Companies such as “Google, Aetna, Target, and General Mills, to name a few—have found that introducing mindfulness into their workplace not only lowered employee stress, but improved focus, clarity of thinking, decision-making, emotional intelligence, and more” (Schaufenbuel, 2014).

A study by Shonin & Gordon indicated positive changes in employee’s attitudes towards work following mindfulness training. Participants in the study focused on work-life balance and realized they were negatively viewing work as an event that stood in the way of the rest of their life. After the training, the participants reported viewing work as another aspect of their life where they could develop and grow (2015). According to Mindful Brain staff, as cited in Schaufenbuel, practicing mindfulness at work “reduces employee absenteeism and turnover; improves cognitive functions (i.e., concentration, memory, and learning ability); increases employee productivity; enhances employer/employee and client relationships, and; improves job satisfaction” (2014).

Employees practicing mindfulness can reap the benefits such as the positive impact it has on stress and life quality (Khory, Sharma, Rush, & Fournier, 2015), decreased anxiety, depression, and pain (Harnett, 2014). Zimmaro, et al., stated individuals with increased dispositional mindfulness reported much lower observed stress and linked the practice to greater psychological well-being (2016).

As you can see there is a lot of scientific evidence that suggests mindfulness works. Give it a try and see if you attitude towards work changes. 

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