Mindfulness has recently come to attention to those outside of philosophy and religion, and has been touted as a new and innovative tool for numerous benefits in the workplace. Mindfulness involves being aware of your surroundings and paying attention to what is happening in the present, both external and internal.1 Workplace Mindfulness comprises of these two components within the workplace setting. Different researchers and meditation teachers have adapted techniques to cultivate mindfulness to suit workplace settings, on whose benefits this article is based on.
So, how does increasing mindfulness affect your employees? Heightened mindfulness leads to overall positive change in task performance. When individuals increase their mindfulness levels, they can pay attention to more stimuli. Different contexts have proven that acquiring richer information can decrease rate of errors in tasks and cognitive failures, such as not being able to notice key details.1 Additionally, mindfulness improves executive functioning and cognitive flexibility, which are both important to task performance.2
Mindfulness in the workplace is correlated not only in performance for specific tasks, but also to better job performance and less turnover intention.2 As mindfulness increases work engagement due to being more aware, it contributes to better job performance. Especially in a dynamic work environment where an individual has to pay attention to multiple things and be able to constantly juggle different tasks, mindfulness significantly influences job performance. Furthermore, the positive relationship between mindfulness and dedication, a part of work engagement, results in lower turnover intention.
Developing workplace mindfulness for employees results in better overall psychological and physical well-being of employees. Occupational pressure and stress can be significant factors impacting health of employees, affecting absenteeism, productivity, and healthcare costs.3 Due to being more aware of their surroundings and the present, individuals who are more mindful also experience an enhanced sense of control, decreasing stress. A meta-analysis of mindfulness showed that mindfulness reduced stress, depression, anxiety, as well as improved physical well-being, including medical symptoms.4
Employee health and well-being cannot be achieved over a day. It takes gradual creation of a culture of health within the organization that emphasizes employee engagement, leadership involvement, and external/internal motivation. Mindfulness in the workplace can contribute considerably to building a culture of health and healthy employees, subsequently lowering healthcare payouts and company bottom-line. Please contact Will Yeaton at Imagica LPH through email (email@example.com) or phone (602-509-4023) for more information on implementing a successful corporate wellness program.
- Dane, E. “Paying attention to mindfulness and its effects on task performance in the workplace.” Journal of Management (2010).
- Dane, E., and Brummel, B. “Examining workplace mindfulness and its relations to job performance and turnover intention.” Human Relations (2013).
- Aikens, K., Astin, J., Pelletier, K., Levanovich, K., Baase, C., Park, Y., Bodnar, C, “Mindfulness goes to work: Impact of an online workplace intervention.” Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 56.7 (2014): 721-731.
- Grossman, P., Niemann, L., Schimidt, S., Walach, H. “Mindfulness-based stress reduction and health benefits: A meta-analysis.” Journal of psychosomatic research 57.1 (2004): 35-43.