Embracing Mindfulness into the Corporate Culture

Aug 21, 2021

In the past few years, the practice of yoga and meditation has rapidly gained traction and interest. And why not? While still new in practice, the benefits of mindfulness and meditation have long been studied.

'Higher energy levels, improved sleep quality, improved communication, improved interpersonal relations, enhanced mental clarity, enhanced emotional balance, and stress-free life that can alleviate chronic ailments are only some of the abundant benefits of the practice.

And, the pandemic has increased its importance more than ever. 

Now mindfulness is quickly becoming a buzzword in the corporate world as well! 

Mindfulness and meditation have made deep inroads into the corporate world. Many companies are adding corporate yoga and meditation to their existing wellness initiatives. 

You ask, why? 

  • Stressed employees mean reduced productivity, and companies are trying all sorts of ways to keep their employees happy and productive. 
  • Research shows that practicing mindfulness can train your brain to better process emotions, anxiety, and help you focus on the present moment. 
  • A recent study in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology revealed that people who practiced mindfulness during the workday showed reduced :

  • Work-life conflict,
  • Increased job satisfaction, and 
  • An increased ability to focus their attention. 

  • With organizations facing new challenges with employees working from home, the need to introduce such programs increased to address to covid- induced stress, anxiety, and depression. 
  • Research shows meditation and mindfulness training offers businesses a real ROI. It's not just the right thing to do but also a sound investment that pays out real returns over the long run. 
  • Building a supportive and calm environment for self-reflection within the workplace is tremendous as it speaks volumes to the company culture and shows that mindfulness is a priority. 

Some statistics (Source- Compare Camp): 

  • Two weeks of mindfulness training results in reduced mind wandering for participants prone to distractions. 
  • Meditation increases employee productivity by 120%. 
  • Employers who implemented meditation programs for their employees saw an 85% decrease in absenteeism. 
  • Businesses with meditation programs for employees experienced a 520% profit increase. 
  • 60% of employees experiencing anxiety in the workplace showed marked improvement upon practicing meditation. 

How? 

According to Inc.com, many of the largest and best-known corporations encourage mindfulness including- Happiest Minds, Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys, Reliance

Within the Indian Ecosystem: 

  • Happiest Minds sets aside a total of 60 minutes a week to explore, understand and imbibe the  philosophy of mindfulness by engaging in a customized blend of select techniques like breath  watch, sense walk, third mind technique, etc.  
  • Tata Consultancy Services with its initiative TCS Cares promotes awareness, understanding,  acceptance around mental health and provides support through qualified counselors and self-help  resources. 
  • Infosys introduced HAIL (Health Assessment and Lifestyle Enrichment) to provide a holistic  wellness experience to their employees where the focus is on their physical & emotional wellness  while also ensuring they have fun at the workplace & a safe working environment.
  • Reliance offers an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) which gives their employees and family  members 24x7 access to a range of online tools and services in the area of mental health and  wellbeing through tie-ups with a dedicated service provider.

On the global front:

  • Apple offers meditation at its main campus, and before Steve Jobs passed away, he often took part in meditation retreats and maintained relationships with many monks. 
  • Nike implemented relaxation rooms that can be used for naps, meditation, or prayer. 
  • Google developed a program called "Search Inside Yourself," which supported employees to learn how to breathe mindfully, listen to colleagues, and improve emotional intelligence. 

So, to kickstart: 

• The leadership can promote the idea among employees by sharing educational resources about the benefits of meditation and how it would help boost company culture, employee wellness, and improve work performance.

• Leadership should lead the way. Because if those at the top have not at least tried meditation on their own, it becomes very difficult to get the rest of the organization on board. 

Conclusion: Throughout the busy, chaotic reality of our regular days, meditation gives us a much needed pause to sit in stillness and silence. And when embraced at work, it can work wonders for an organization and its employees in terms of the abundant benefits it reaps for both.

Author(s) :
Kavya Sehgal     
Swadha Agarwal