Mindfulness in the Workplace

Working Mindfully

44% of working Australians identify the workplace as a major source of stress*.

1 in 5 have taken time off this year because they felt stressed or mentally unwell**.

It is no surprise that leading corporations like Apple, Google, Nike and Yahoo! actively incorporate mindfulness in their workplaces to help focus attention, reduce stress and generate more effective thinking.

Have your staff focussed on mindfulness today?

Our Mindfulness Workshops can benefit your workplace by reducing stress and stress-related absenteeism, and increasing focus, productivity and creativity in your staff. Choose from a short 90 minute workshop, or opt for a more comprehensive 8 week program.

Mindfulness focuses the mind on the present moment.

Mindfulness has become a buzzword in recent years, but not everyone knows exactly what it means. Mindfulness is usually defined as an intentional and non-judgmental focus of attention to the present moment. It often incorporates meditative and breathing relaxation techniques to bring attention to immediately current thoughts, emotions and sensations.

Workplace stress leads to poor performance and absenteeism.

Workplace stress can be a strong predictor of poor performance and high absenteeism in employees, as it is known to increase our susceptibility to both mental and physical health issues ^ . A survey conducted by the Australian Psychological Society noted that 44% of working Australians identify the workplace as a major source of stress*. These work-related stressors include heavy workloads, difficult workplace relationships, and concerns about losing their job.

Mindfulness reduces workplace stress.

Implementing mindfulness in the workplace can help to improve the general wellbeing of employees to the benefit of the business – by facilitating relaxation and concentration. Mindfulness allows the employee to focus on being present in the moment, working only on the task at hand, and not worrying about other work that needs to get done, or anxieties about the future.

Case Study: Mindfulness reduces absenteeism by 71%.

Transport for London implemented a 6-week mindfulness program involving over 600 employees, and found a decrease in stress-related absences by 71%, and absences for all conditions fell by 50%^^. 80% of participants also reported improvements in their relationships and their ability to relax, and 53% reported improvements in their happiness at work. These improvements were still apparent 3 years after the program ended.

4 steps to achieving mindfulness in your workplace.

To get you started, here are four tips on how to encourage mindfulness at your workplace:

STEP 1: MAKE TIME
Find a regular time when your employees are together (a morning meeting, for example), and allocate 15 or so minutes to mindful meditation. As the Zen proverb goes, “You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes everyday – unless you’re too busy; then you should sit for an hour”.

STEP 2: MAKE SPACE
Make available a relaxing space (like a break room or outdoor courtyard) where employees can comfortably meditate during times of high stress.

STEP 3: MAKE IT FIT
Attitudes and preconceptions about mindfulness may impede your employees’ active participation. You can replace the word ‘mindfulness’ with words like ‘relaxation’ or ‘focus’ to better suit your workplace culture.

STEP 4: MAKE IT A WORKSHOP
A great way to introduce mindfulness to your workplace is to kick it off with a group seminar. Our Corporate Workshops & Seminars are facilitated by experienced mindfulness practitioners who can introduce your staff to practical and evidence-based techniques to reduce stress and enhance productivity. You can find more about our Mindfulness Workshops here.

The benefits of mindfulness are far-reaching and long-lasting.

Ultimately, mindfulness can result in significant, long-lasting improvements to employees, both personally and professionally. For your company, these improvements mean better focus, productivity and creativity, and fewer stress-related absences and work compensation claims. Not to mention a happier and mentally healthier workplace.

** TNS SOCIAL RESEARCH, STATE OF WORKPLACE MENTAL HEALTH IN AUSTRALIA, BEYOND BLUE, 2014

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