Conversations about mindfulness in the workplace usually come about after an individual has experienced the benefits of a meditation practice in their personal lives. This individual then begins to wonder what their workplace could look like if their whole team were a little more mindful, especially their boss…. So they approach someone in HR, and suggest that maybe, for the upcoming Wellness Day, they could consider bringing in someone to run a mindfulness workshop. 

 

The concept of mindfulness is a lot more commonplace than it was even two years ago. HR managers are no longer worried that a bare-footed holy man in white robs is going to show up to talk about the meaning of life, and most understand that it is a brain-training technique taught by qualified professionals. A wariness around “woo-woo” mindfulness is no longer the greatest obstacle around introducing mindfulness into the workplace. The next challenge is allowing people to understand how mindfulness can truly transform a workplace. 

 

Mental health issues are now the leading cause of sick days in the UK, adding up to more than 370 million sick days per year. The economic and human cost of this is vast. It’s no wonder then that employers, like Google, Nuffield Health and the UK Parliament, are starting to investigate how to reduce psychological strain on their employees and boost their mental resilience. 

What’s the evidence?

Several studies have demonstrated how workplace mindfulness programmes can transform company culture for the better. A 2013 study took 198 employed participants who were on sick leave and split them into three groups; one received an 8-week mindfulness course and 8 workplace-specific therapy sessions, one received 12 standard therapy sessions, and the other received no treatment. After the trial, the two first groups showed significant reductions in stress, while the group that received no treatment did not. Then a significantly higher number of the mindfulness group (67%) returned to work compared to 36% of the second group and 24% of the final group. 

 

Another study in 2014 took a group of 152 corporate mid-level managers and randomly assigned them to do either an 8-week mindfulness course or standard Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT). The mindfulness group showed significant reductions in stress, improved job satisfaction, less psychological distress, boosted employer-rated job performance and more effective work styles compared to the CBT group. 

So what does this mean in reality?

Training your team in mindfulness has innumerable benefits. It reduces stress and improves performance. Teammates communicate better and are more empathetic with one another. They work more efficiently and have higher job satisfaction. Due to the reduction in stress, people sleep better, are less reactive and more creative. The list of atributes goes on.

 

Workplace mindfulness training has so far been proven to have a long list of sustained benefits and no known disadvantages. Mindfulness programmes like the LUME Course teach individuals how to manage their mental health, whilst also boosting their performance at work. It has been proven to be more effective than workplace therapists or mental health first aiders at preventing burnout and increasing mental resiliency. Many forward-thinking companies have taken huge steps at providing this training for their employees and are already reaping the benefits of investing in their “human capital”. But there are also many companies dragging their feet and hoping that the Christmas Party will solve their employee retention issues. 

 

If you would like to find out more about how a mindfulness programme could transform your workplace, then take a look at the LUME Course and drop us a message here. We look forward to you joining the Mindful Movement!