14 April 2016

Mindful at Work? Absolutely!

Recently, we posted a blog about the importance of being mindful at work. If you haven’t read this yet, you may be surprised to learn that encouraging your employees to be mindful while on the job benefits them a number of ways — it reduces stress, improves health and increases creativity. But employees aren’t the only ones to benefit from this technique. Companies do, too. As stress levels decrease, so do healthcare costs, which dramatically improves the bottom line.

Stress has been linked to chronic health conditions, including high blood pressure. When employees are under stress, companies see an increase in healthcare costs, absenteeism and sick days, and a decrease in productivity.

The good news is that mindfulness is one of the best, and easiest, ways to help employees become happier and healthier. It’s also one of the most cost-effective techniques you can add to your wellness program. Here are four quick and easy tips that you can encourage your employees to start using right now:

  • Take a minute to focus on breathing. You don’t need to meditate to focus on your breathing — you can do this anytime, anywhere. Practice this technique several times a day to help you stay in the moment.
  • Do one task at a time. Studies have shown that multitasking is actually ineffective. You will most likely make more mistakes and become even more stressed. Instead, do one task at a time, and do each one well.
  • Eat anywhere but at your desk. Sometimes it’s unavoidable to eat at your desk, but eating there every day becomes a bad habit to break, and it isn’t healthy. Take time each week to actually go to lunch, even if it’s only as far as the break room, and eat with purpose. Put your fork down between bites. Talk with your coworkers. Take time to be in the moment and enjoy your meal.
  • Actively listen. It’s easy to not fully listen to a colleague or client during a meeting or conference call. We multitask, our mind wanders, we’re thinking about the thousand other things that need to get done, but when we allow this to happen, we miss out on important information. To actively listen, quiet your mind and be in the moment. Listen to what is being said, and really connect to the person speaking.

And that’s how employees can be mindful at work!