There has been a significant rise in recent years in the recognition of the value of mindfulness to the corporate work place. As David Gelles, author of 'Mindful Work: How Meditation is changing Business From The Inside Out' writes, '.....unlike 10 years ago, we now really have an enormous body of research that points to the practical and measurable benefits of mindfulness practice–study after study shows that mindfulness in fact makes people less stressed, more productive and maybe even healthier, and maybe even happier too. It’s backed by a lot of science.....The pace of our workdays and our reliance on this always-on culture has made mindfulness more needed than ever before. The degree to which everyone is so hyperconnected and so addicted to their smartphones and email has gotten many people to a place where mindfulness is a really welcome antidote to this incessant communications culture.'
Health and well-being of employees is increasingly recognised to be crucial to effective working practises and significantly major corporations now find investment in mindfulness training leads to reduced costs in health care and absenteeism associated with stress and other aspects of mental and physical health.
The skills of mindfulness benefit individual well-being and carry over into the work place:
Increased concentration, memory and learning skills
Improved job satisfaction
Skills base for recovering from negative mental states
Enhanced employer/employee and client relationships
A study looked at how four days of training for just 20 minutes per day could help on a battery of cognitive tests. They found that the mindfulness practitioners performed particularly well on tasks with time constraints, suggesting that mindfulness could be useful for any of us who have to work to deadlines -Zeidan, F., Johnson, S. K., Diamond, B. J., David, Z., & Goolkasian, P. (2010). Mindfulness meditation improves cognition: Evidence of brief mental training. Consciousness and Cognition, 19(2), 597-605
The practice of meditation in the business world is increasingly moving from the fringe to the mainstream, and already features as a key part of a number of international management and organisation development programmes. Report on a meditation research study conducted at Ashridge: Findings suggest a significantly upwards shift in general levels of satisfaction for individuals who commit to a period of mindfulness. This is a promising finding in relation to an exploration of the beneficial impact of meditation for the workplace. 90% of Group 1 (participants practicing mindfulness) noted benefits from having participated in the mindfulness activities. 61% noted feeling of calm, 30% listed enjoyed leaving everything and having time to themselves. 22% of the items listed related to improved sleep, and 22% also cited having a different perspective. Their study provides early indications to support existing work in this field, which incorporates mindfulness and meditation in leadership development and sustainability. - The Ashridge Journal: Mindful leadership: Exploring the value of a meditation practice; Spring 2011