More and more high performing workplaces, including Google, National Australia Bank and Monash University, are introducing mindfulness skills to their workforce to build resilience, focus and stress management.
Recent research, conducted by Harvard University, found that people, on average, spent 47% of their waking hours with a wandering mind, impacting on workplace productivity, effectiveness and safety.
Increasingly employees are seeking workplaces that allow a merging of organisational productivity and expression of inner values.
Employers who recognise that organisations can be places of wellbeing and contribution as well as business productivity and outcomes will reap the rewards of an engaged and vibrant workforce into the 21st century.
In the current attention economy, a calm, clear and focused mind is becoming the most important resource in the workplace today.
Mindfulness training provides a range of evidence based techniques to train your attention for greater clarity and focus. Merging techniques that have stood the test of time, with the demands of modern workplaces, workplace mindfulness programs have been proven to improve performance, workplace cohesion and wellbeing.
Mentally Health Workplaces
Workplace mindfulness programs are beginning to be used widely to both address existing workplace mental health issues, whilst also building resilience and wellbeing amongst the broader staff group. Because mindfulness programs are applicable to both clinical and non-clinical populations, it is an effective intervention to address workplace mental health without the surrounding stigma.
The recent national Stress and Wellbeing survey, conducted annually by the Australian Psychological Society, found that Australians are reporting lower levels of workplace wellbeing, and higher levels of stress, depression and anxiety than in 2011, when the survey began.
Two in five working people (45%) identify the workplace as a source of stress, with more than half Australians implicating work demands as a barrier to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Increasing trends towards restructuring, downsizing and significant levels of organisational change, coupled with the ever increasing demands of technology, have resulted in intensification of workloads and a blurring of boundaries between work and private lives. The issue of mentally healthy workplaces is now starting to gain traction in the business world with employers recognising that having a mentally healthy workforce makes good business sense.
Research shows $2.30 is the average return on investment for every $1 invested in creating a mentally healthy workplace.
Recent research by Pricewaterhousecoopers found that unaddressed mental health issues in Australian workplaces costs employers $10.9 billion per year in lost productivity, with one in five employees affected by mental health issues at any given time. This same research demonstrated that for every $1 spent on creating a mentally health workplace, the return on investment (ROI) is $2.30, with many industries experiencing an even greater ROI. Investing in mental health in your workplace makes good business sense.
There is now a compelling body of clinical research demonstrating the benefits of mindfulness, and these include:
- Changes to both the structure and function of the brain
- Increased ability to manage stress
- Reduction in symptoms of depression and anxiety
- Enhanced focus and attention
- Improved decision making ability
- Increased self awareness and awareness of others
- Higher levels of resilience and emotional intelligence
- Improved quality of sleep
- Improved immune function
improved immune function
If you believe a workplace mindfulness program could be of benefit to your organisation, let’s connect today.
- About Rachel -
Rachel is accredited social worker who has worked with individuals, families and groups for close to 20 years.
Rachel has trained with a number of world leaders in the areas of mindfulness, stress reduction and emotional regulation, including Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn, Founder of the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program at the Centre for Mindfulness , University of Massachusetts Medical School.
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Turning toward what matters: An introduction to mindfulness practice.
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Mindfulness, the most scientifically investigated form of meditation, has been the subject of a huge growth in interest in clinical and scientific circles in recent years...