It’s no secret that our actions and decisions directly impact our daily lives — both personally and professionally. When these actions and decisions are rooted in awareness and intention, they create experiences that aren’t only more thoughtful and controlled, but also more positive.
Mindfulness is defined as a multifaceted psychological experience that involves an active practice of awareness involving experiences in and around oneself. It serves as a psychological resource because it provides a means for engaging in careful thinking. Having mindfulness helps people cognitively slow down and carefully consider the things around them so they can have more composed and controlled experiences, which can lead to an increased sense of positivity in life and at work.
Having mindfulness leads to better engagement at work.
People who practice mindfulness in the workplace are more likely to have better job performance.
Mindfulness leads to an increased ability to dedicate focus and attention toward work-related tasks for longer periods of time.
Mindfulness helps decrease counterproductive work behaviors.
Why mindfulness in the workplace matters
As a mental state that allows people to attend to and experience events, moment by moment, without judgment, mindfulness increases self-acceptance and positive relationships with others. Practicing mindfulness-related exercises such as yoga and meditation gives people a sense of feeling more control over their personal environmental outcomes. Additionally, a LimeadeInstitute study revealed that employees having high levels of mindfulness and gratitude strongly correlated to having high levels of well-being, engagement and productivity, as well as low levels of stress at work.
Feeling a sense of mindfulness in the workplace improves the employee experience because it leads to people being more engaged with their work and makes them more likely to perform better on the job. It also gives employees the boost they need to dedicate focus and attention toward work-related tasks for longer periods of time, and it decreases counterproductive work behaviors. Let’s explore how taking a mindful approach to work through personal actions and organizational support can increase work well-being for your employees.
How to practice mindfulness in the workplace
1. Normalize asking for help
When you have too much on your plate, don’t hesitate to ask for help. It’s great for employees to be team players and to strive for achieving high levels of productivity, but if their physical or mental health is at risk, it may be time to take a step back. Limiting distractions, prioritizing work and stepping away from the workspace allows people to collect their thoughts and refocus their attention on work-related tasks. Setting realistic boundaries can help employees ensure they don’t overcommit and end up overwhelmed — both of which can lead to burnout.
2. Practice gratitude
Expressing and receiving gratitudeatwork is an easy way to connect with yourself and others, improve self-esteem and build resilience. This mindset generates energy and expands our capacity to improve our overall experiences and quality of life, which can have a positive impact on relationships, sleep and other physical health factors. There are many ways employees can incorporate gratitude into their workday, such as making lists and reminders of their strengths, joining Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) to connect with like-minded people and taking a moment at the beginning or end of each workday to recognize the things they’re thankful and grateful for in life and at work.
3. Spend time outside
Fresh air and enjoying the outdoors can be more beneficial thank you think. A Harvard Medical School study found that vitamin D from natural sunlight can aid in the prevention of depression, heart disease and cancer and it can help employees be more productive. From a walk around the block, to eating lunch outside or taking a walk during meetings, managers and leaders should encourage employees to get outside even if it’s just for a few minutes.
4. Prioritize connections
Feeling connected and having a sense oftogetherness with coworkers can boost both physical and mental health. It’s also just as important to prioritize personal relationships such as family and friends — especially since work and home life are more intertwined than ever. While managers can support connection through weekly 1:1s or dedicated time for team bonding, there are also a few activities employees can participate in to foster a sense of connection and community. Try writing letters and cards to friends or coworkers to see how they’re doing or to compliment their work.
5. Clear the clutter
A UCLA research survey found a direct correlation between clutter and stress. Taking a moment to tidy up your workspace and getting organized for the day will give you a sense of accomplishment before work and it’ll give you control over an important and personal aspect of your work environment — your workspace.
Want to learn more about experience activators? Check out the other elements for a positive employee experience.