Meditation has long been touted as a benefit to its practitioners. Almost like a reset button, you allow yourself to refocus and channel your energy into more productive things, or calm yourself when tasks pile up.
One type of meditation is mindfulness meditation, which instead of focusing on change or adjustment, focuses on moment-to-moment awareness. During this meditation, the person acknowledges and accepts their present reality, both good and bad, and grounds the practitioner in the present.
Mindfulness Meditation is a useful tool for those dealing with mental illness or other personal issues, but a helpful application for it has been found in workplace situations. Companies like Apple, Google, and Nike all provide meditation services and workshops for their employees. While more and more companies are seeing the benefits of meditation, studies have emerged questioning the usefulness of mindfulness in the workplace.
For The Human, The Benefits Of Mindfulness
Companies have found that meditation and mindfulness can help boost productivity. Rob Symes, CEO of The Outside View, says mindfulness exercises help his employees keep focused and rested, citing that a healthy body and mind are essential to good business practice.
The effect seems to register with other companies as well, who also report that meditation programs and free gym memberships helped bolster productivity and turned a more significant profit for their companies.
While studies conducted on mindfulness at the workplace are still few, results have been promising. A study done on employees on sick leave who were put into a mindfulness program reported improvement of stress-related problems and returned to work more readily than those receiving conventional therapy sessions alone.
Another study on mid-level managers introduced to mindfulness “demonstrated strong and sustainable intervention effects on work-related stress, job satisfaction, psychological distress, and employer-rated job performance.”
For Humanity, The Dark Side Of Mindfulness
While the statistics are impressive, others have stressed their concern over mindfulness in the workplace. Critics have pointed out a possible loss of motivation due to mindfulness, as the technique focuses on living in the moment and contentment with present conditions.
An opinion piece in the Guardian posits that mindfulness may make workers feel less obliged to question unfair working conditions or withheld benefits even considering productivity gains from mindfulness itself.
Another opinion piece from the New York Times focused on the loss of corporate drive. A study conducted on employees practicing mindfulness found that the quality of their work did not improve. They concluded that external motivation was not enough to get better results and that employees must experience some level of internal motivation to grow and move up in a workplace environment truly.
A concern among mindfulness proponents is company management using meditation as a Band-Aid fix. Instead of fighting the symptoms of stress in the workplace, whether by reducing workloads or providing concrete benefits, a company may employ mindfulness and meditation to make its employees more productive in the short-term, while ignoring the actual causes of stress that they put into practice.
Meditations On The Workplace
Despite misgivings, mindfulness meditation is finding its way into more and more workplaces. Meditation can bring about real productivity and profit gains to companies that make use of it. Hence, there is a responsibility shared by every company to use mindfulness not as a cure-all, but as an additional part of their employee’s lives.
Mindfulness meditation is an age-old practice, one that has found great success in many parts of the world. As it makes its way through the corporate world, we must take care to understand not just what benefits it can bring, but why using it can deliver better mental health to our employees.
Professional Experience Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade; covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com/advice. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to target subjects related to anxiety and depression specifically. As an editor, contributor, and writer for over 100 online publications Marie has covered topics related to depression, anxiety, stress, grief, various phobias, and difficult family circumstances. With regular content published on mental health authorities like TheMighty, Yahoo, GoodMenProject, ADAA, CCPA-ACCP, Silverts, AMHCA, etc... Marie has shown both her passion and dedication to discussing & educating topics related to mental health and wellness. With an understanding that there is never too much information and helpful research about mental health in all of its forms, she continues to look for new and creative ways to both start discussions & engage with others about these important topics. Before becoming an online researcher and writer, she worked as an Administrative Executive with different industries namely telecom, security workforce providers, trading companies, exclusive hotel and concierge services. After ten years of working in different industries, she decided to enter the world of freelancing in able to give more time to her precious daughter. Given this opportunity, it helped her discover and realize that she is both capable and passionate about expressing her opinions in creative and influential ways via writing. Education Marie Miguel is a loyalty awardee of St. Paul College where she spent her primary and secondary education. She holds a degree of Bachelor of Science in Business Administration major in Computer Applications from De La Salle University - College of St. Benilde where she was also on the Dean's List for consecutive semesters during her college years. "My Philosophy on Mental Health & Wellness" It takes passion for being an expert researcher and writer of mental health related topics. Having lived through traumatic experiences in the past, it has become easier to express my opinions and findings I've discovered while researching a variety of situations and subjects. I aim to inspire every person that reads mental health & wellness related articles to provide hope in every struggle; just as my experiences have taught me. Additionally, I strive to contribute to the continual progression of mental health awareness by providing helpful information and significant resources to understand further the importance of keeping a healthy mind and well-being.