With many organizations expressing their intent to return to their pre-pandemic routines, many workers are understandably anxious about going back to work. This is not only because there is still an ongoing public health crisis, but because being in the workplace can often feel stressful.
We all have a slew of things we worry about, often leading to feelings of perpetual anxiety and demotivation. While stress is an inevitable part of working, it can be significantly reduced if only more leaders encouraged the practice of mindfulness.
Why mindfulness is important in the workplace
Regardless of your industry, the workplace can sometimes seem like a chaotic environment. Everyone is catching up on deadlines, running to meetings, all while attempting to ignore distractions and other stress factors. In fact, research shows that the modern workplace is filled with distracted, often frustrated employees who are not performing to their full potential. They are aware of it, but unsure of how to move forward.
This is where mindfulness comes in. When everyone in the office is mindful—fully present and consciously focused on their tasks—the results are remarkable. It may be challenging to get your employees on board with practicing mindfulness at first, but once you've all managed to incorporate it into your everyday life, you can enjoy incredible benefits like stress reduction, decreased feelings of anxiety and depression, enhanced focus and self-awareness, and increased job satisfaction.
The more happy and less stressed the people at work are, the better your chances of achieving the company bottomline.
If you’d like to introduce mindfulness to your company and add the Medito app to your workplace wellbeing offering, you can use our free Medito Workplace Resource Pack.
Mindfulness starts with leadership
If you want everyone at work to practice mindfulness, you have to start by doing it yourself. After all, mindfulness is about generating greater mental effectiveness, and if you're being mindful yourself, you'll have the capacity to convince your employees to do the same. It's important that you make an effort to practice what you preach, not only because it's beneficial for the organization, but it also makes you a better leader altogether.
For starters, being a mindful leader means having the capacity to manage your attention. You'll be able to focus on what you choose and continuously train yourself to be more present in the here and now. It also has a positive impact on your physiology, psychology, and work performance, making you much healthier, sleep better, and feel less stressed.
How to introduce and encourage mindfulness at work
Show that you care
Introducing and encouraging mindfulness in the workplace is about showing your employees that you care about their wellbeing. You can demonstrate it by investing in wellbeing activities like installing quiet spaces or having mental health resources readily available.
You can also begin investing in items that will make them feel less stressed like ergonomic accessories, as these peripherals offer ultimate comfort and enable people to perform optimally. Giving out free memberships is appreciated, but when you show genuine care and offer your full support, the happier and more productive your workplace will be.
Encourage time away from desks
At work, everyone is pressured to be at their 100% all the time, but it's simply not possible. The whole point of mindfulness is to slow down, even only once in a while. As employees, they may not feel comfortable stepping away from their desks when they're expected to perform, so you may want to let your team see you take breaks first. Taking a physical break, getting up from your desk and walking away can shift the mind back to the present.
Furthermore, when you're not overly focused on a task, you also get to check in with your body. This helps with achieving a bit of rejuvenation, allowing you to come back with a refreshed mind and renewed commitment. Taking breaks should never be viewed as a bad thing—it should be embraced.
Set mindful meetings
Meetings are important, but there should be some guidelines to be followed so they won't become a waste of time. This typically happens when people aren't really listening to what's being discussed, like when they're looking at their phones or working on another task on their computers.
To keep meetings short and filled with purpose, it would be best if phones and computers are not allowed whenever possible, and that there be a person who can take down notes for everyone so people don't have to fend for themselves. Plus, it's just as important to give everyone present the opportunity to speak uninterrupted.
Encourage a change in routine
When people show up to work, they usually open their email and get started on their tasks right away. Organizations striving for mindfulness may want to prevent this pattern to not waste people's renewed focus and creativity in the morning. Instead of firing off emails and organizing inboxes, workers should be encouraged to spend the start of their day on more important matters, such as strategic work or important meetings. You can also introduce other mindfulness-centric rules like turning off notifications and only checking emails once per hour, so no one will get sidetracked by distractions.
Download the free Medito Workplace Resource Pack to help you introduce mindfulness to your business.