Mindfulness. In today’s society, we might feel like we have created another label or justification for our problems.
Companies Implementing Mindfulness to Employees
Yet, LinkedIn, Google, Intel, Verizon Media, Genetech, and SAP are only a handful of the 25 leaders from companies that promote mindfulness in the workplace. The question is why? Why have large companies invested time and resources to enforce a philosophy that dates 2500 years ago?
Well, according to Scott Shute, The Mindful Workplace Alliance (MWA) founder states: “Every company in the MWA is at a different stage in its evolution, from more established programs to, in some cases, it’s one person trying to light the fire internally”. What is the purpose? According to the MWA website, this alliance’s sole mission is to: build community, support, and share best practices to facilitate mindfulness initiatives. How? Well, one way that MWA promotes mindfulness is by hosting a 30-day Mindfulness Challenge. They use the app, Wise@work to encourage work-focused practices using a leaderboard and data on a dashboard.
However, did you notice that I only mentioned 25 leaders in this alliance? Unfortunately, many businesses are not interested in their employees. Rather, they consider the bigger picture. That is the quantity and not the quality, gross income, production, and growth to prosper over other competitive rivals. Many believe it’s a waste of time. Others believe it’s a lavish expense in the workplace. However, it’s better to “take five” than to have an anxious, stressed, and distracted employee not reach their full potential.
The idiom “take five”, originated from a jazz song. It’s titled, “Take Five” by Dave Brubeck. It’s usually used on movie sets as a director might say, “Take five, everyone.” It literally means to take a short break.
Well, to this point, an employee who does “take five”, is taking a mindful break. Essentially mindfulness is being present at the moment. So, to “take five” would provide the employee the power to temporarily disconnect so to speak, from the tedious task at hand. To pay attention to their physical sensations, thoughts, and emotions to develop a sense of tranquility.
On the other hand, multitasking employees are more likely to make mistakes, work on autopilot, and be less productive. A study by Zehng Wang, professor of communication at Ohio State University, states that many students felt more productive when they multitasked. However, studies proved that they were only less productive and only deteriorating overall cognitive performance.
For instance, the employee who implements mindfulness throughout the workday will be better equipped to handle a heated situation. Mindful employees are also less prone to burnout because they are willing to delegate and work as team players.
Let’s say you don’t have the MWA presence at your workplace, or an employer who encourages mindfulness in the workplace, you can still implement mindfulness practices in your workday. There are a handful of apps that can help you do so. Headspace is one of those apps that has practical videos that will increase your job satisfaction, and productivity, and reduce your feeling of being overwhelmed. There are studies that complement their success rate, and how an individual’s job performance has improved.
1-Minute Mindfulness Exercises
That’s not all, putting into practice your own simple mindfulness techniques can also help. Everyday tasks such as a 1-minute mindfulness exercise, walking mindfully, and mindful eating can be a start. I recommend this article, 1-Minute Mindfulness Exercises because it provides a solution to the everyday hectic, tired, and overwhelmed employee to seek refuge in a mind-full society.
Needless to say, mindfulness is essential not only to the employee, but the employer.