Updated: Jun 25
An average office worker can only focus for 11 minutes without distraction.
Those distractions equate to a 20% decrease in performance.
25% of workers take time off due to stress.
Mental ill health is the leading cause of sick leave.
Stress-related workers' compensation claims have doubled.
“It is clear that the cost of ignoring the problem is far greater than the cost of developing and implementing strategies to create a safe and healthy workplace.”
The Australian Human Rights Commission
Organisations such as Google, Nike, and Apple implement mindfulness practices in their employee development. These practices help increase performance, productivity, job satisfaction, employee retention, and workplace safety, whilst decreasing stress, burnout, leave, and turnover. Employee and leadership mindfulness training programs reduce anxiety, emotional exhaustion, reactivity, and rumination. They also improve empathy, cohesion, co-worker relationships, concentration, cognition, and work-life balance.
There are three core areas where implementing Mindfulness practices in the workplace can benefit not just the employee but the organisation as a whole.
Practising mindfulness in the workplace cultivates greater empathy and compassion, less reactivity and greater confidence in participation, collaboration, and sharing. This results in more positive relationships between employees, their peers, and their customers - all of which can affect a company's productivity, profile, and profitability.
Practising mindfulness has been proven to reduce feelings of anxiety and stress, develop greater self-awareness and the ability to recognise stress and triggers, reduce overthinking and increase life enjoyment and contentment. This equates to happier staff at home and at work and less burnout and turnover.
How we process information affects our behaviour and emotions. Practising mindfulness develops greater clarity and focus as we learn to still the mind chatter and focus on just what we are doing in the moment. This promotes greater productivity as well as skills such as decision making, problem-solving and creative thinking.
My top three tips for practising mindfulness in the workplace:
1. Stop trying to multitask
You may think that you are being productive but you aren't doing multiple things at once - you are switching your attention between them constantly which is less productive and more stress on your brain. Instead try having only one tab open, close your emails, put your phone on silent and focus on one thing at a time. You will be so much more efficient and productive when you practise single-tasking".
2. Avoid eating at your desk or on autopilot.
Take your lunch outside, away from distractions and eat it mindfully - paying attention to the colours, flavours, smells. This boosts your digestion, concentration, and mood and you will feel far more refreshed.
3. Don't take any devices to meetings
Bring your full attention and practise your listening skills. And if you are facilitating a zoom meeting, make sure everyone has their video on. This removes the temptation of distractions and encourages engagement and participation.
For more tips on practising mindfulness in the workplace click on the button below, enter your name and email address in the form that pops us and I will send you my Tips for Practising Mindfulness in the Workplace.