If you think of mindfulness as an esoteric philosophy with no relevance in the real world, you might want to rethink your approach.
Mindfulness is about much more than striking yoga poses and nurturing inner children.
Even many people who would not be caught dead in a spa or yoga retreat are using mindfulness and meditation to improve their work performance, thinking outside the box and bringing a host of benefits to their employers.
Mindfulness has become such an important part of the modern workplace that many startups and entrepreneurs are actively seeking men and women who practice it. Some are going a step further and bringing in meditation experts, mindfulness coaches, and other pros to enhance the productivity of the workplace and build a better team.
At first glance, mindfulness may not seem all that relevant to the business world, but upon closer examination, the connection becomes much clearer. Mindfulness may be about looking inward, but the strengths practitioners find there can be powerful tools for career success.
The employee who uses mindfulness and meditation to uncover their hidden strengths can use those newly uncovered assets to be more productive on the job. The employee whose meditation helps them deal with unresolved fears will emerge from that meditative state newly confident and focused.
5 Benefits of Practicing Mindfulness in the Workplace
A Better Work/Life Balance
Work/life balance is about more than time off for the kids’ soccer games. Achieving a proper work/life balance can have enormous benefits for employees and employers alike.
On the employee side of the ledger, fostering a better work/life balance can lead to greater productivity on the job, even if the number of hours worked remains the same or goes down. Workers who are granted some level of freedom also tend to be more loyal to their employers, reducing costly turnover and making it easier for firms to compete.
Mindfulness can make the work/life balancing act easier by identifying the real needs of each employee. By helping those employees get in touch with their inner lives, mindfulness benefits both workers and companies.
Higher Emotional Intelligence
Businesses and entrepreneurs have long recognized the importance of emotional intelligence in the workplace. In many ways, emotional intelligence is far more important and much more relevant to the job at hand than raw brainpower.
Mindfulness training has been shown to improve emotional intelligence and bring employees to a new sense of calmness and acceptance. Those benefits can make the modern workplace more efficient, more productive and much more humane.
Managers with high levels of emotional intelligence are better at managing multiple employees and dealing with a wide variety of personality types. Anyone who has ever worked as a manager or supervisor knows just how frustrating the job can be. Anything that boosts emotional intelligence, including mindfulness and meditation, can be a big help.
Building a Better Team
By fostering emotional intelligence and building a better work/life balance, mindfulness training can also help employers create a better team. Teamwork and cooperation are critical in the modern workplace, and the companies that create the best teams tend to be the most successful.
Team building exercises are a good start, but once that week-long retreat is over, the employees who participated may quickly revert to their old ways. Combining mindfulness training, meditation practice, and other techniques can increase the effectiveness of those team-building exercises and allow them to have a lasting impact.
Mindfulness has been shown to have a positive impact on employee focus, and that is good for business. The ability to focus is quickly becoming a lost art, as people are pulled in all directions by smartphones, endless meetings, and other distractions. Mindfulness can give those modern workers a new way to cut through the clutter, focusing on the task at hand, enhancing productivity, and getting more done.
This improved focus can also be used to build a better team and create a better environment for project management. Taking on a large project can be overwhelming for all involved, but mindfulness allows individual team members to focus intently on one task at a time. This step-by-step approach can make project management more successful and allow businesses to compete more effectively.
Business success in the modern world is about much more than the bottom line. While making money and turning a profit is still critically important, the most successful businesses are the ones that are able to connect with their customers. Think about companies like Apple, whose products have struck a nerve and changed the way we communicate.
What those successful companies have in common is their ongoing creativity and mindfulness helps foster that creative environment. By helping workers think outside the box and find creative solutions, mindfulness training gives businesses a real competitive advantage, both now and in the future.
Smart companies are already using mindfulness training and meditation to move their businesses ahead. Entrepreneurs and small business owners are bringing in meditation teachers and hiring mindfulness coaches, while their larger counterparts are sending their management teams to mindfulness retreats.
Those business professionals may be on to something, and there are many advantages to bringing this new way of thinking to the modern workplace. Mindfulness may be good for the soul, but it can be just as good for the bottom line.