The Benefits of Meditation in the Workplace

Looking after your employees’ health is much more important in the modern workplace and this is not just about ensuring the physical safety of your staff members. Workplaces that help employees to look after their own mental health and encourage practices that focus on good mental health will be happier and healthier places for people to work and will reap the benefits in the reduced costs of less sick days, absentees, or staff turnover plus increased productivity, collaboration, and teamwork. Meditation and the practice of mindfulness in the workplace can take just a few minutes but has been proven to increase productivity and directly reduce costs for business owners.


Here are just a few of the benefits of incorporating meditation and mindfulness practices in the workplace.


Increased concentration and focus

Meditation is the practice of mindfully becoming aware of your own body and involves taking deep breaths while you focus your mind. It can be a guided meditation where someone guides the staff to think about being in a relaxing space such as an open grassy area near a river or to mindfully consider the position of their bodies and focusing on relaxing each muscle, or it can simply be about taking the time to breathe deeply and allowing your mind to roam.


Importantly from a business owner’s perspective, staff who meditate for just a few minutes a day will have improved concentration and the ability to focus. Meditation can clear the mind of other worries that may be running around in a person’s brain, including things that are happening at home. Starting each workday with a brief meditation can help people to clear their minds, moving successfully from home to work, reducing the other noise that can distract from the work. Meditation has been proven to actively increase an individual’s ability to focus and concentrate on work for longer periods than when they do not meditate.


Impact on collaboration and teamwork

Holding a brief group meditation at the beginning of a meeting, especially one where you need your staff members to collaborate and work together as a team to solve problems, can really help to encourage this productive teamwork. Group meditation increases awareness of the group as a group or a team.


It also increases prosocial behaviours such as compassion and empathy for each other. Just the act of breathing at the same pace as someone next to you is psychologically relaxing, a trick interviewers and journalists have used for decades to increase the interviewees’ confidence. Doing a group meditation enables people to relax and to work better together.


A preventative tool for conflict resolution

Latest research into meditation shows a marked decline in racism and antagonistic behaviour by those who practice meditation. This can obviously reduce some conflicts in the workplace. Since one of the benefits that people who meditate feel is a reduction in anger and all sorts of stress, it stands to reason that if meditation is encouraged in a workplace, fewer incidences of conflict will occur. Meditation can also be used to help two people in the middle of a conflict to calm down and to refocus on resolving the problem, rather than escalating the situation.


Conflict in the workplace can be very costly, especially for small business owners who are often time poor and cannot always easily segregate workers in a conflict simply due to resources. Meditation practices can be a cost-effective method of reducing incidences of conflict and of moving those in conflict towards resolution sooner.


Managing stress and burnout

It is proven that meditation decreases the cortisol hormone in our brains, which is also known as the stress hormone. Studies have shown that stress is reduced in people who meditate for just five minutes every day. Meditation can reduce stress and, importantly can reduce the incidence of burn out, where an employee becomes so overwhelmed and stressed that they can no longer function and will end up either being sick for an extended period or leaving the workplace altogether. Setting up processes that actively encourage both personal and group meditation in the workplace can significantly reduce these risks.


When and how can I implement meditation in my workplace?

For all of these benefits, consider how your business can incorporate meditation practices. A couple of minutes a day could make a big difference in productivity and your employees’ wellbeing. You can include a brief meditation at the beginning of meetings or at the end of intense meetings before your staff face the next task in their day.


You can also provide a quiet, relaxing area with meditations available to listen to (a headset is a good idea for private meditation sessions) and put processes in place that encourage staff to take care of their mental health, take some deep breaths and meditate regularly.


With such a great focus for employer to take greater responsibility when it comes to managing the health and well being of their employees, implementing meditation into workplace policies and procedures can certainly help keep your staff fit, healthy and productive.


With more than 45 years of combined industry experience, our dedicated and professional team can assist in implementing meditation and other health and wellness strategies into your workplace. Our team have extensive experience in HR strategy implementation for small businesses, right through to large corporations, so if you are looking for some advice on which employee health and wellbeing strategies may be best suited to your business, give the team at DreamStoneHR a call today on (02) 8320 9320 or info@dreamstonehr.com.au.


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