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What are the benefits of Mindfulness in the workplace?

                        periods of change and uncertainty

These Successful Companies are using Mindfulness

There are a growing number of traditional companies using mindfulness:

Google offers classes and online resources for all staff. There are daily practice sessions in more than 35 offices around the world and day-long meditation retreats in five locations. It has embedded mindfulness in meetings: providing scripts and recordings for one- or two-minute meditations for the start of meetings. Google has incorporated an internal research element into its programme with a long-term study of participants. In addition, it has been looking at initiatives to encourage both teams and offices to practise together. Initial findings show that keeping people engaged in doing the mindfulness practice is challenging but that people who persist show increased wellbeing, focus and lowered stress.

Bosch and Beiersdorf, two major German companies, have been developing a programme to embed collaborative mindfulness ways of working such as mindful feedback, emailing and meetings. They have also participated in a three-way partnership with mindfulness training provider, client company and research institution to incorporate a research dimension. The impact of mindfulness is measured through a range of cognitive tests, heart rate variability measurements, cortisol profile and blood tests.The results are fed back to the company anonymously as well as back to individuals. The research provides evidence of efficacy for the company, motivation for the ndividuals, and valuable research material for academics.

Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust launched the Staff Mindfulness Project in 2012. Since then, 12 MBCT eight-week programmes have been delivered a year and 150 staff (clinical and non-clinical) have completed courses, with regular three-hour introductory workshops and Days of Mindfulness in addition. The three-year pilot project, with an annual budget of £30,000, won a national award in 2014. Evaluation shows significant benefits in relation to compassion, psychological distress, anxiety and emotional exhaustion. A follow-up study demonstrated that most eight-week programme graduates continue to use mindfulness practices and describe lasting gains in areas such as wellbeing, stress management and relationships with colleagues, service users and carers. Programme graduates often report that the experience has been life-changing. Managers report that mindfulness is beginning to change the culture of the organisation.

The Finance Innovation Lab (an incubator for systems change in finance) has run mindfulness classes for its staff and participants on its programmes, and found considerable benefit at a team level. “The training gave us a structured pathway of development that we all went through at the same time. It feels like a safe way of amplifying the emotional connection with others. The quality of dialogue after group meditation is amazing,” said Charlotte Millar, co-founder.

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