5 Reasons You Should Practice Mindfulness at Work
Check out these 5 reasons mindfulness practices should be incorporated into your workplace.
According to the Labour Force Survey, about 828,000 British workers suffer from work-related stress, causing as many as 17.9 million working days lost because of work burnout. Moreover, according to The American Institute of Stress, work-related stress has escalated in the US with 83% of workers suffering from it, and one million missing work every day.
Ultimately, this can lead to unproductive staff and an overall decline in revenue. As a company, how do you ensure that your employees are in good health?
Several studies have already documented how mentally healthy employees can be beneficial to organizations, particularly in terms of employee engagement and productivity. However, an evolving key component might be missing — Mindfulness. Only a few managers incorporate mindfulness as part of their employee wellness program and consider it essential for success.
Mindfulness at Work: What Does It Mean?
Mindfulness is the practice of self-awareness. Simply put, “Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.”
When applied in the workplace, this means:
- Working from a place of objectivity regarding decision-making
- Observing circumstances without emotions as a key part of your actions
- Remaining flexible and adapting to changes
- Unbiased approach to weighing facts and perspectives, and the impact on others
Benefits of Mindfulness at Work
Here are some reasons employee wellness programs should include mindfulness as a core practice:
1. Reduces Stress
Stress is a growing concern across many industries, particularly heightened due to the ongoing health crisis. A marketplace survey conducted by Deloitte showed that 77% of participants experienced employee burnout at their current jobs. Unfortunately, the majority of these employees do not feel their management is doing anything concrete to address workplace stress. This lack of support can push employees to quit and look for other job opportunities, and possibly losing top talent to other companies.
Another downside is that some people believe workplace stress is just part of their job, and this can impact their health and performance at work. It does not help that many employees, at least 31% of them, feel that their organizations are not doing enough to manage employee burnout.
Long-term stress can be detrimental to the body's immune system and worsen other health problems. Mindfulness influences stress pathways in the brain that change brain activity associated with regulating attention and emotion. Following actionable steps to reduce employee stress can lessen these harmful effects. Employers looking to improve the stress levels in their workplace can implement stress management challenges to encourage employees to relax, better their self-esteem, and be present.
2. Improves Adaptability
A contemporary workplace requires employees to adapt to an ever-changing work environment while maintaining efficiency, awareness and developing strategies to address growing demands. Effective mindfulness training helps alter brain regions, enabling individuals to gain the cognitive flexibility they will need to improve their adaptability. Through a conscious approach, it becomes easier for employees to identify the sources of stress and address them. Over time, mindfulness helps refine an individual’s ability to self-regulate, which can be critical in improving their performance.
3. Encourages Creativity and Innovation
Author and meditation teacher Danny Penman wrote in his book, Mindfulness for Creativity, that engaging in mindfulness practices can help individuals tap into their creativity bank, which can help them come up with innovative ideas and become creative problem-solvers. How? With improved attention and divergent thinking, it becomes easier to think of fresh ideas for completing tasks.
4. Promotes Well-Being
Mindfulness helps to promote a healthy work environment, and healthier employees. They develop the resilience needed to deal with difficult situations at work, which can be critical for maintaining well-being. Resilient employees are better able to manage variable workloads, regulate their emotions, and manage their stress.
For an organization, a healthy workforce means less absenteeism, less downtime, and reduced turnover. All these factors help improve employee engagement and productivity.
5. Enhance Workplace Relationships
Keep in mind that happy employees are more inclined to work smartly and more efficiently. Nurturing positive working relationships within your team can lead to better communication, fulfilled employees, and an increase in productivity. One study has shown that mindfulness training can help promote such connections among co-workers. CoreHealth's behavioral change program improves an individuals sense of belonging and helps to strengthen group relationships. Often, the effects go beyond the workplace and extend towards their personal interactions. Having a strong workplace relationship can prove fruitful when it comes to accomplishing complex tasks that call for collaboration.
What Can Managers Do to Promote Mindfulness at Work?
To ensure employees can benefit from practicing mindfulness, managers should adopt an employee wellness program with mindfulness as a key component. Mental wellness needs to be deeply integrated into the workplace culture, and personalized. Often, a one-size-fits-all approach can render a program useless. Managers should implement programs that are aligned with employees’ needs - such as location and schedule - to improve employee engagement, while focusing on a mindful and productive workforce. Engagement is key when developing a wellness program, so gamification and challenges are recommended to maintain employee interest.
If you would like to start your own workplace mindfulness program or improve your existing one, contact us today.
About CoreHealth Technologies
CoreHealth Technologies Inc. is a total well-being technology company trusted by global providers to power their health and wellness programs. Our wellness portals help maximize health, engagement and productivity for 3+ million employees worldwide. We believe people are the driving force of organizations and supporting them to make behavior changes to improve employee health is in everyone’s best interest. With the most flexibility, customizations and integrations of any software in its class, CoreHealth’s all-in-one wellness platform helps grow great wellness companies. Simple to sophisticated, based on you. For more information, visit the CoreHealth website.
About The Author
Your Friends in Health at CoreHealth
CoreHealth by Carebook's Health and Wellness Team works hard to bring our readers informative and research validate health and well-being blog articles and resources that support your workplace wellness culture and wellness technology purchase decision.