How to Practice Mindfulness at Work

Emily Patz
Emily Patz
Posted January 2, 2020 in Employee Motivation

Between competing priorities and pressing deadlines, the work environment can be fraught with stressors. In keeping stress to a minimum, many companies are turning to the calming effect of mindfulness. Through present thoughtfulness and meditation, the practice of mindfulness helps employees take much-needed moments during their day to destress, unplug, and refocus their energy and mindset to positive pursuits.

Research has shown that mindfulness can have a real impact on employees and their work. A Harvard study found that mindfulness changes our brain structure for the better by allowing us to alter the way we react, shifting away from impulses and using other brain functions to act with purpose and intention. 

Adopting a mindfulness program at your workplace can enable employees to:

  • Quickly and more easily adapt to change
  • Become better problem solvers 
  • Take their creativity to a whole new level 
  • Relate to one another with empathy

The benefits of mindfulness at work are many for both employees and your business. Even better news, introducing mindfulness to your staff is easy, affordable, and packs a hefty return on investment.

What Does Mindfulness at Work Look Like?

work_stressLet’s be real: you can’t rely on the ability to gather all of your employees and have them take time at-once to sit on the floor and be mindful. And honestly, that’s not how your program will be successful. Your employees will want to practice mindfulness in ways that are most comfortable for them. 

Fortunately, mindfulness is meant to be a flexible exercise, meaning you can practice it en route to work while driving, in between meetings, and at your desk. For example, here’s a free 7-minute mindfulness exercise you can listen to at any time.

5 Ways Your Company Can Encourage Mindfulness at Work

To garner the best results, invite employees to participate in mindfulness in multiple ways. These ideas can help you get started. 

Encourage Self-Care in the Workplace

Does your company culture promote self-care? If vacations are frowned upon, and managers routinely dole out weekend assignments, your company’s attempt at making mindfulness successful will appear half-hearted and insincere. As you seek to invest in employees’ wellness, take a holistic view of your company policies and practices to see where you can improve work-life balance, and elevate the environment your employees work in every day.

Hold a Mindfulness Workshop at the Office

mindfulness workshopIntroduce mindfulness by hiring a professional to come to the office and hold mindfulness sessions throughout a single day. Reserve a meeting room and enable employees to sign up for 30-minute time slots throughout the day. 

Because most people at your work will have a beginner status when it comes to meditation, the professional should begin with a short introduction to mindfulness and share best practices on breathing, poses, and focusing the mind. The actual mindfulness exercises can last as little as 15 minutes. 

Following the meeting, send employees a survey to gauge their satisfaction with the session and interest in continuing to learn how to practice mindfulness at work. This will give you an idea of how you can most effectively invest in mindfulness meditation for your employees.

Introduce Employees to Mindfulness Apps for Work

mindfulness at workAs mentioned before, each of your employees will have their own idea of how mindfulness can work for them. By recommending mindfulness apps, you can give employees the ability to practice mindfulness whenever and wherever they are. Here are 3 popular mindfulness apps that offer free sessions.

Reserve a Wellness Space for Employees

wellness space at workStepping away from the desk can provide employees the opportunity to relax, unplug, and practice mindfulness during their workday. Commit to mindfulness by creating a dedicated space in the office for employees to unwind. Enable a small room in the office to be booked for short amounts of time so employees can take a moment and return to their work feeling motivated, energized, and inspired. 

Integrate a Mindfulness into Your Company Wellness Program

By adding mindfulness to your regular roster of employee wellness opportunities, you’ll reinforce the idea that this practice is encouraged and valuable. Your employee wellness program can serve as a constant reminder to employees that their mental and emotional wellness is just as important as their physical wellness by:

  • Recommending wellness videos and apps in your wellness newsletter
  • Periodically hosting live meditation sessions in the office 
  • Sharing employees’ tips, favorite apps, and success stories

As with any new addition to the office, adopting mindfulness as a culture will take time. Start with a single session, follow up with a survey and information, and let your employees guide your decisions in how you grow this exercise into a lifestyle component that’s part of your company culture.

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