How Mindfulness Boosts Productivity, Creativity and Resilience in the Workplace
Let’s be real. We’re all looking for ways to get more done in less time for the bottom dollar at work. This kind of yield doesn’t just happen and most of us aren’t born with the natural know-how to achieve these kinds of results. It takes training and mindset. There must be an innovative way to cultivate this end goal and feel good while we’re doing it. There is! Learning a skill like meditation can be a gateway to thrush out our natural capacity for creativity, productivity and resilience in the workplace.
There’s really no other way to describe the outcome of implementing an employee wellness program that includes meditation programming. Studies strongly show that some form of focused attention training, like mindfulness, can boost productivity, creativity and resilience in the workplace. It’s easy to see why this could positively impact the daily grind. Healthy, motivated, contented employees are loyal and happy, making the office a more pleasant place to be. We know! That’s a pretty powerful reason to take a mind-clearing break during the workday.
What is meditation anyway?
Meditation is a form of mental exercise that uses a specific technique like breathing deeply, focusing the mind on a repetitive sound or simply bringing the attention to accepting and acknowledging whatever thoughts enter the mind. The method is engaged in for a defined period of time to create a state of awareness, calmness and stability. Equanimity and acceptance of the present moment can result in feelings of wellbeing, while the repetitive practice of targeted attention makes it easier to access focus as a skill for everything from work tasks to interpersonal relationships. Just a few minutes can bring about these positive effects.
Resilience is king.
If content is king in the internet world, then resilience is tops when it comes to workplace wellness. Stress is a killer. Literally – and experts often refer to stress as the Black Plague of the 21st century due to the high association between stress and disease. A quarter of all employees view their jobs as the number one stressor in their lives and every year an estimated 17 million workdays are lost to stress, anxiety and depression. Resilience is the individual’s psychological ability to cope with, or adapt to, pressure, change and stress. Teach this to employees and you’ll have a workforce as unconquerable as a Game of Thrones army of Unsullied and Dothraki warriors. Do it through meditation and you’ll have a workforce as steady as Jedi knights.
Mindfulness, a form of meditation that encourages acceptance of the present moment, has been proven to decrease stress, facilitate job performance, enhance cognitive flexibility and can even help predict judgment accuracy and improve insight-related problem solving. This practice of meditation and breathing exercises to accept things as they are without judgement provides employees with the tools to improve their awareness and navigate their reactions to challenges, rather than being dragged down by unhelpful, negative thought processes.
Show me the money.
Initiatives and programs that fostered a resilient and mentally healthy workplace returned $2.30 for every dollar spent —coming in the form of lower health care costs, higher productivity, lower absenteeism and decreased turnover. In the ebb and flow of corporate America, it’s true what they say, “Tough times don’t last, but tough people do.” Resilient employees embody health on multiple levels; they avoid illness, maintain productivity and operate with mental toughness. Resilient employees are a true asset to any company, and every company should explore ways to nurture a resilient workforce.
Back up. Did you just mention higher productivity more than once?
We did. It may seem counterintuitive, but keeping in mind that “work tasks vary in scope, timeline and complexity,” stepping away from the desk and engaging in a practice like mindfulness has been shown to “help employees to be calmer, more patient, and their learned resilience likely allows them to more effectively approach and problem-solve challenging tasks over time.” That equals productiveness and makes meditation a worthwhile long-term investment for employers to make in their employees.
Creating creative minds.
If you just read that last bullet and thought, wow – it sounds like meditation could boost creativity too, you’re right. One of the most definitive studies on this subject was conducted in 2012 by Lorenza Colzato, a Dutch cognitive psychologist. Her team found that meditation techniques like mindfulness were “far more effective in stimulating divergent thinking, a key driver of creativity.”
Want to bring your staff up to speed on how taking some chill out time can reap resilience, creativity and productivity as a reward? Then check out Goomi Group for bringing on-site corporate wellness offerings like structured meditation instruction directly to your place of business. Connect with us at GoomiGroup.com to see how we can enrich your office culture with this invaluable work and life skill.