Why mindfulness at work really matters

by | Sep 19, 2019

pebbles stacked on a beach
For a lot of people their job is much more than just a way of paying the bills. Your work can so often be tied to your vision of your worth, and many people want to be satisfied as well as salaried.

Research shows us that mindfulness can be hugely effective at developing the motivation and wellbeing of people within the workplace.

Although whilst it is very popular with large companies such as Google, Mindfulness at work is not such a widespread practice amongst smaller businesses.

Do we need more mindfulness at work?

The benefits of mindfulness are well-documented and include a decrease in perceived stress, an increase in concentration levels, and increase in mental wellbeing.

An Occupational Psychology study from the University of Surrey also found significant reductions in work-related rumination, chronic fatigue and improvements in sleep quality, for people who undertook an online mindfulness course.

Taking some time to reflect and step back to look at the ‘why’… i.e ‘why’ we are doing what we are doing, can be helpful on many levels in the workplace.

A sense of purpose

Purpose can mean any number of things – from the big, existential ‘what is my calling’ type of questions, to stopping to reflect and ask yourself why you are behaving, thinking or feeling certain ways at work.

If you can take some time to stop and be mindful of what you are doing, it can help you in many ways.

When you start to look at your purpose, ‘why’ you are doing what you are doing, you might just start to notice your ‘how’.

Take some time to understand

All of us find some situations more stressful than others, and this can lead us to behave in sometimes unproductive ways.

If we can take a little time to disengage, we can sometimes use mindfulness at work, to get a bit of distance and take our personal heat out of the situation.

If you can allow yourself the time to look at what’s going on beneath the surface, you might just be able to start to use your head to manage your emotions more effectively at work.

Being more mindful 

We can use mindfulness at work to use our heads, and leave our emotions at the door.

We just need to try and focus on what we are doing at that particular moment in time, and let everything else wash over us.

If you can catch yourself in the doing phase, you can examine what is going on, how it makes you feel, and how it might affect others around you.

Using mindfulness in our teams

In a team building context, this can be hugely useful, as learn to identify both what we and others might need at a particular time.

So perhaps next time when we are thinking about what we can do to develop our teams, we need to just engage in a little bit of doing nothing – so that we can see what is really going on.

If we can embed this idea of really focusing on what we are doing in the present moment deeply enough into the organisational psyche, we just might be able to reduce stress and conflict and improve efficiency and wellbeing.

If you’re interested in learning more about how using mindfulness in the workplace can help you and your teams, just get in touch.