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Mindfulness in the workplace

Mindfulness and major employers

In recent years, many major employers have started to bring mindfulness training into the workplace, including Apple, Google, Transport for London, Ernst & Young and the Home Office. An All-Party Parliamentary group published this report in 2014, detailing benefits such as reduced stress, anxiety, depression, and improved relations between employees, improved focus and productivity, and reduced absenteeism through better physical and mental health. Employee engagement also increases with mindfulness training.

Reduced absenteeism from mindfulness in the workplace

Researchers have found significant benefits for their employees including reduced absence from mental health difficulties such as anxiety, stress and depression, which are on the rise across the workforce. Transport for London saw absenteeism caused by stress, anxiety and depression dropping by 71% when they brought mindfulness into the workplace in 2003. More on this…

Reduced stress in the workplace

Employee stress is a major cause of absenteeism, as well as taking its toll on the physical and emotional health of employees while they are at work. High levels of stress also make the workplace a much less pleasant place to be, for everyone. Using mindfulness to reduce the stress levels will give your employees improved resilience in stressful situations and reduce the harmful effects stress has on everyone. See more on this…

Improved focus, productivity and creativity

Mindfulness training has also been shown to increase focus through learning attentional control, and thus productivity, so even if stress is not a problem in your workplace, more focused and productive employees are an asset to any organisation. See here…

Improved relations between employees

With reduced levels of stress and improved emotional regulation and reduced 'kneejerk' reactivity, employees who have done mindfulness training tend to get on better, improving relationships and the general atmosphere of the workplace. At Transport for London, 84% of participants say they 'are relating to others better'. For a study, see here.

Helping employees improve their health

At Transport for London, they found that 82% of the employees who did the mindfulness training have increased the amount of exercise they do; 77% have improved their diet or tackled drinking and/or smoking problems; and 54% have improved their sleeping patterns – all of which would have improved their general health.

Options for bringing mindfulness into your workplace

Mindfulness can be brought into your workplace in a variety of ways. It is important to note though that a one-off workshop is unlikely to bring about lasting change; mindfulness training is a program for the mind and brain, and like a course of exercise or changes in diet, takes time for the benefits to show themselves.

I am available to come and provide a taster with your employees to gauge the level of interest, then we can discuss how to introduce mindfulness into your workplace. I recommend a course of at least six weeks and preferably eight or ten, with classes of 1 – 1.5 hours. Course materials will be provided in the form of CDs or downloads of the practices to do at home, and a course-book with all the major themes. Contact me for details. Based in Brighton, I am happy to travel within Sussex, Surrey and London. I also teach remotely.