11 Reasons Employers Love Meditation At Work
If you need another reason to bring mindfulness training to your office… here’s eleven!
Work is stressful. Unfortunately, this is not new news.
Occupational stress has been well documented since the 1920s.
History of “Stress”
Hans Selye began using the term stress in the 1920s, after completing his medical training at the University of Montreal. At the time, “stress” was a word associated with physics (remember when you would have to calculate the stress that a 35 lb brick would put on a 1.5 m wire with a 0.4mm radius? Yes, that kind of stress!).
Hans observed that many of his hospitalized patients, despite suffering from different illnesses, seemed to show similarities around the mental and physical stress they were under.
Hans proposed that stress was a “non-specific strain on the body caused by irregularities in normal body functions.”
Stress In The Workplace
Workplace stress “causes” are vast and differ from person to person. Here are some of the most commonly reported sources of workplace stress:
I think a common thread between each of these sources is an unrealistic workload. When the workload is too great and the employees are not well-versed in stress management techniques, even the most talented employee can feel tremendous pressure to perform.
Research tells us that prolonged periods of stress are absolutely terrible on the body. A quick and very incomplete list of physical symptoms includes:
- High blood pressure
- Heart problems
- Skin conditions
- A myriad of mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
MBSR is an “eight-week evidence-based program to assist people with stress, anxiety, depression and pain,” developed at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in the 1970s by Professor Jon Kabat-Zinn.
As we know, meditation as a practice has been around for THOUSANDS of years but JKZ was one of the first clinical practitioners in the western world.
Today, the MBSR curriculum helped hundreds of thousands of people around the world to manage stress in their home lives, and of course — at work.
Peak offers a wide range of corporate meditation workshops (we had to say it!). When I started Peak, I knew there was a huge training gap in the corporate world.
Today, I spend my days bringing all ranges of training to companies as small as 10 people up to 5000+
Here Are 11 Reasons Employers Tell Me They Love Meditation At Work
Meditation at work comes with many perks. The benefits range from improving the morale to decreasing sick days.
1. Mindfulness Meditation Training Leads to Better Decision-Making
Employees are faced with pressing business decisions daily, but when stressed, they often fall prey to many mental biases and fallacies. Researchers have found that with mindfulness meditation training, employees were better equipped to analyze data and make informed decisions. They also acted less at the whim of their emotions, especially in situations involving the “sunk cost” fallacy. (INSEAD and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania)
2. Mindfulness Training Improves Memory
Working long hours non-stop can have damaging effects on cognitive functioning and memory is very susceptible to fatigue.
This is an area I am personally very interested in as some of my medications cause “brain fog.”
Research from the Institute of Psychiatry, University of Bologna, Italy found “early phases of mindfulness training, which are more concerned with the development of focused attention, could be associated with significant improvements in selective and executive attention.”
3. Employees Appreciate Encouragement
Workplace stress is cumbersome and can weigh down on employees.
Organizations that encourage their employees to take some time for themselves are met with great appreciation. This type of encouragement is excellent for morale and signals an investment in your team’s health.
4. Meditation Boosts Company Morale
Layoffs, downsizing and automation are realities of our generation. Companies that are affected by this often take huge hits to morale. Mindfulness meditation has been shown to increase employee morale. Cleveland Clinic found mindfulness training to provide lasting improvements to morale. Even a full year later participants reported:
- A 31 percent decrease in stress levels
- A 28 percent increase in vitality, a measure of how energized a person feels throughout the workday
5. Workplace Meditation Reduces Stress
This point could be a whole novel on its own, but to keep it simple: meditation reduces stress — even more than a vacation! A Harvard study showed that meditation can have a longer-lasting effect on reducing stress levels than a vacation. “After 10 months, the vacationers’ stress levels returned to baseline, while the meditators’ reduced stress levels persisted.”
6. Mindful Employees Are Happier At Work
Do you love smiles on the faces of your employees? Encourage them to meditate! Employees love meditation at work because they have the chance to recharge and increase their enjoyment of the present moment.
Bonus: It is great for your bottom line! Harvard Business Review reports that happy people are 31% more productive, three times more creative and have 37% higher sales.
7. Meditation At Work Calms The Racing Mind
When overloaded, employees struggle to calm their racing minds. This becomes particularly detrimental as it quickly begins to disrupt sleep.
Multiple neuroimaging studies have shown that meditation enhances neural pathways in the brain responsible for concentration and attention.
8. Group Meditation Strengthens Corporate Culture
Corporate culture can kill or cultivate success. In a tight labour market, leadership teams are wise to invest in creating a positive corporate culture. Research shows that the culture of an organization can impact employees even greater than salary.
Both an art and a science, academics are always looking for empirical best practices around “culture.”
A recent article in the Journal of Psychological Issues in Organizational Culture found, “In analyzing 10 empirical studies carried out in North America, Europe, and Asia, it indicates the presence of individual and organizational dimensions, in that meditation not only benefits personal and mental health and social relationships, as well as the alleviation of role conflicts but also benefits organizational innovativeness and development.”
“Meditation not only benefits personal and mental health and social relationships, as well as the alleviation of role conflicts, but also benefits organizational innovativeness and development.” – Fung Kei Cheng, PhD
9. Meditation Encourages Healthy Workplace Relationships
Given the tedious nature of office work and other problems on life, people tend to become unhappy within themselves. That feeling soon blossoms and extends to colleagues at work.
When you meditate at work, chances are high that you’ll feel relief in the inside of you. Start practicing this and watch how your relationship with others will grow.
10. Meditating Aids In Self-Development
A few minutes of meditation at work could be all you need to discover your hidden potentials. You might just realize that you have solutions to some problems.
11. Meditation Increases Job Satisfaction
The workplace provides the right atmosphere for meditation to thrive. Companies and business owners are already giving some time for employees to have some quiet time. Seize the opportunity when it comes to improving yourself with the simple step of meditating at work.
Looking for more resources? Peak is a Canadian company and a proud partner of Mindfulness Toronto. If you’d like to learn more about membership and services, click here!