Why Bring Mindfulness to the Workplace?
As we stated in our previous article, employees are stressed, burnt-out and struggling with their mental health. Research conducted by Oracle and Workplace Intelligence found that 78% of the employees surveyed said that the pandemic has negatively affected their mental health and 85% reported that newfound work-related stress is affecting their home lives.
Encouraging employees to be mindful and incorporating mindfulness into your workplace culture and wellness program is a great way to help combat the current mental health crisis and help relieve workplace stress for your employees. Positive Psychology cites numerous studies conducted over the past few years that prove mindfulness has the following effects on your workforce:
- Reduced Work-Related Stress: Studies show that even after a few mindfulness classes, employees began to feel less stress, less fatigue, and less psychological distress. They were even able to more effectively manage work tasks.
- Improved Job Satisfaction: Directly related to feeling less work-related stress, employees feel more satisfied with their job when they practice mindfulness.
- Less Burnout: When employees practice mindfulness, they are more aware of the present moment. This means they are more productive and more aware of their limits. They know when to take a mental break and they are tuned into their physical needs. All of which helps to prevent burnout.
- Lower Turnover Rates: In one study, it was discovered that employees who are encouraged to practice mindfulness at work are less likely to leave their jobs for any reason. Considering we are in what experts are referring to as the The Great Resignation, this is a huge benefit.
Tips for Incorporating Mindfulness into the Workplace
Listed below are ways you can incorporate mindfulness into your workplace culture and wellness program. Make sure to start by introducing mindfulness in a positive and inviting way. Inform employees on what exactly mindfulness is, what the benefits are and ways you are working to incorporate it into the workplace. Also, remember to always keep mindfulness voluntary. All of the suggestions below are meant to encourage employees to practice mindfulness, but it shouldn’t be forced if you want to achieve the best results.
- Mindful Start: Encourage employees to start their workday by closing their eyes, focusing on their breath, and settling in on the present moment. Ensure that time is provided for this exercise before the workday begins. While this is beneficial for all employees, those who are transitioning back to the workplace will find a mindful start especially helpful as they adjust to morning commutes and traffic.
- “A Minute to Arrive”: As explained by Mindful.org, each meeting should start with a mindful moment that allows employees to fully “arrive” at the meeting. Whether virtual or in person, encourage employees to take a deep breath and think about what is important right in this moment. What do they hope to accomplish or learn during this meeting? This will lead to a much more productive outcome overall.
- Walking Breaks: Set up times for mindful walking breaks, either as a group or individually. With this exercise, employees take a 15-minute walk and let go of any stress they may be feeling. They focus their attention on the sensation of their feet on the ground, their pace, their breathing, and gently redirect any work thoughts back to the present moment.
- Provide Resources: Include resources on mindfulness. These can be handouts, written guides or tips, virtual classes, paid memberships to mindfulness apps such as Headspace, etc. Health Designs offers a variety of mindfulness resources including virtual meditation sessions, webinars and onsite workshops. Contact us today to learn more!
- Lead by Example: If you practice mindfulness and make it a part of your workday by participating in the above tips, employees will be more likely to follow. Especially once they see the benefits first-hand!
For more information on mindfulness and how to incorporate into your workplace, click here!