Reducing anxiety and creating a more balanced life is a common goal. Many people find that their work gets in the way reducing stress, but what if meditation was part of the workplace culture? More and more studies are showing how providing meditation opportunities on the job can benefit individual employees as well as the organization as a whole.
What is Meditation in the Workplace?
When we talk about meditating or mindfulness in the workplace, it isn’t necessarily everyone sitting on the floor chanting ‘om’ (though it could be). Meditation practices can take a number of forms, including:
- Individuals meditating on their own, at their workstations, for short periods of time
- Organized group meditation activities like guided meditations
- Moving meditation including walking, Tai chi or yoga
- Invitations to meditate to begin meetings or other group gatherings
Benefits of Incorporating Workplace Meditation
There are many proven benefits of including intentional meditation time during the workday. In general, organizations that participate company-wide experience increased productivity, less absenteeism and a better workplace environment.
More specifically, individuals who meditate for as little as five minutes a day may experience personal benefits that also impact their co-workers. Meditation can improve your empathy and compassion, reduce prejudices and increase memory and focus. It can also help you think better and improve your problem-solving, decision making and critical thinking skills, all which positively impact leadership abilities.
Since meditation can help to decrease stress, it can also help to manage symptoms that may be stress related like anxiety, pain, high blood pressure, headaches and sleep issues. Not only do teams that practice meditation at work think better, but they also feel better and use fewer sick days.
When meditation is practiced as a group, it can help to build relationships and community. This contributes to better teamwork and collaboration while reducing stress and burnout.
Tips for Introducing Meditation to Your Work Life
Leaders can add intentional meditation time to their teams’ workday in a few ways. They can start meetings with a short (one to three minute) guided meditation or silent reflection. Lunch hour mindful activities like walking, yoga or transcendental meditation can be offered by the organization. It can even be as simple as providing meditation guidance through a weekly email and being open to individual meditation breaks.
In whatever ways teams decide to add meditation to their workdays, they should always make sure to stay flexible. It should never be a requirement or cause added stress to anyone involved. Overall, adding meditation practices at work can help both individual employees and the organization as a whole.