3 reasons you should invest in a mindful workplace
From Google to Goldman Sachs, General Mills to Aetna, mindfulness techniques are spreading across the business world as one of the best kept secrets of many high performing CEO’s and companies. You might have a fluffy or touchy-feely perception of mindfulness, however it is versatile and accessible to almost anyone, even the busy and restless.
Here at Consciousworks, we know mindfulness is one of the best habits to cultivate for sustainable energy, enhanced focus and exceeding expectations. Here are three reasons you should invest in a mindful workplace.
- Healthcare savings
Mindfulness practices not only impact our brain, but our entire body. Increasing evidence demonstrates that mindfulness can have a positive effect on our immune system by decreasing stress and anxiety – known to make us susceptible to illness. Heightened immune systems mean less illness and quicker recovery times, resulting in less sick days used by employees.
Real life example : In a study by Duke University, healthcare insurance company, Aetna, saw health care costs fall 7 percent in 2012 when they initiated a mindfulness program. This resulted in $6.3 million dollars in savings for the company’s bottom line.
2. Increased Productivity
We know the benefits of exercising our physical bodies – but what benefits come from training our brains? Practicing mindfulness is the equivalent to a bicep curl for our brain, strengthening its ability to focus and get more done in the limited time we have.
One of the biggest barriers to productivity is multitasking. Being mindful means paying attention to what you are doing now, instead of switching tasks rapidly throughout your day. Research shows us that when we multi-task we are 40% less productive and our IQ drops 10 points – that’s the same as losing a night’s sleep or smoking marijuana. Mindfulness can help us to focus on one task at a time, resulting in increased productivity.
Real life example: Further research from Duke’s study determined that their 15,000 mindfulness participants regained an average of 69 minutes per week of productivity.
Research of the General Mills mindfulness program showed striking productivity results after just seven weeks: 83 percent of participants said they were “taking time each day to optimise my personal productivity” – up from 23 percent before the course. Eighty two percent said they now make the time to eliminate tasks with limited productivity value – up from 32 percent pre-mindfulness course.
3. Stress Management
One of the biggest advantages to a mindfulness practice is it’s impact on stress. Even a simple mindful breathing technique can quickly shift us out of our stress response. In a calm, relaxed state, we are much more likely to respond to our surroundings in a reasonable way instead of react in a way that we might later regret. We are more capable of remaining calm and focussed in the face of challenge and change.
Example: Duke’s study found that highly stressed employees incur an extra $2,000 per year in health care costs when compared to those with tools to manage their stress.
Awake@Intel, a mindfulness program involving 1,500 Intel employees has seen the following benefits: “On average, participants responding to pre- and post- self-evaluation questionnaires report a 2-point decrease (on a 10-point scale) in experiencing stress and feeling overwhelmed and a 3-point increase in overall happiness and wellbeing.
Discover options to bring mindfulness into your workplace with Consciousworks.