Well, high performing organisations such as Google and First Direct have an answer. It is about training our minds to be more focused, seeing with greater clarity, having space for creativity and feeling better connected. It is simple to learn and takes a life time to practice. It is Mindfulness.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness reduces stress, helps you live in the moment, and be happier and more productive at work.
Why we need mindfulness at work
- Unable to remember what others have said during conversations
- With no recollection of your commute to work
- Eating at your desk without tasting your food
- Spending too much time on emails/social media
- Dwelling on past events or dreading what the future holds
Science is catching up with the practitioners and is finding that through regular “meditation” the following happens:
- Increase strength in brain connections associated with learning, memory, emotion and perspective taking
- Improves attention, compassion and empathy
- Boosts the immune system
- Improves medical conditions such as type 2 diabetes, insomnia, phobias and eating disorders
Organisations that have adopted mindfulness into their work practices declare it causes improvements to physical and mental health. The organisation Transport for London indicated the number of days taken off due to stress, anxiety or depression has fallen by 71% since introducing mindfulness to their employees.
In addition organisations report staff having increased resilience to cope with change, including in some cases, redundancy.
Organisations have demonstrated higher productivity through improved focus and better decision making by leaders and managers. In particular managers have trained themselves to respond not react to situations, better managing the emotional issues to make improved judgements, rather than being consumed and stressed by difficult decisions. The organisations also uniformly reported increased emotional intelligence with staff showing greater self awareness, social management and social awareness.
Or, if you'd like to read more about the subject I found the following resources useful:
- Mindfulness for Busy People by Dr Michael Sinclair and Josie Seydel
- The Little Book of Mindfulness by Dr Patrizia Collard
Based on the original article authored by Gorja Breeze and Rob Legge.