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In the digital age, the average employee has to contend with more emails, notifications, and tasks than ever before.
As a result, many find it difficult to focus attention on a single task for long periods of time, which causes lost productivity. An increasing number of companies are helping workers find their focus in a surprising way—through mindfulness and meditation.
Mindfulness, the practice of remaining present and aware in the current situation, has a powerful impact on both focus and mental well-being at work. It increases focus and balances emotions, helping workers better control their reactions to stressful situations. It can also strengthen workers’ ability to navigate interpersonal relationships, improving collaboration and deflating tension.
Research supports the correlation between mindfulness and productivity. A 2015 study found that employees who felt more mindful and aware of their work—and their emotions at work—tended to have better job satisfaction, less emotional exhaustion, and stronger performance reviews. The study also found that organizational support for mindfulness strongly predicted employee mindfulness, indicating that employers need to provide adequate resources and support if they want to make mindfulness a part of their corporate culture.
One of the best ways to improve mindfulness is through meditation. Top tech companies like Google have made meditation classes part of their company culture for over five years, and today a growing number of businesses across industries provide employees with subscriptions to meditation apps. Smartphone meditation apps such as Headspace are used by companies from Adobe to Delta to LinkedIn to Roche.
There’s evidence to suggest such apps are worth the investment. In a randomized controlled trial from 2016, researchers found that engaging with a meditation app in a work setting made workers happier, led them to enjoy their work more, and made their tasks seem easier, all increasing productivity and overall well-being.
There are numerous ways to encourage mindfulness among your employees, whether your business provides meditation app subscriptions, initiates employee-led meditation groups, or hosts a mindfulness lunch-n-learn. Make mindfulness a part of your company culture, and both you and your workers will reap the benefits.