Mindfulness at Work
People who are happier at work are more committed to their organisation, rise to positions of leadership more rapidly, are more productive and creative, and suffer fewer health problems.
But how can you increase happiness at work within yourself and across your organisation?
More and more, research is suggesting that happiness should not be an afterthought for workplaces; it should be an essential goal, entwined with the kinds of 21st century skills that are key to individual and organisational success today.
Mindfulness is state of consciousness in which attention is focused on present-moment phenomena, occurring both externally & internally.
Wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life.
The new way of being in business
- That we must be the change we seek in the world.
- That all business ought to be conducted as if people and place mattered.
- That, through their products, practices, and profits, businesses should aspire to do no harm and benefit all.
To do so requires that we act with the understanding that we are each dependent upon another and thus responsible for each other and future generations.
“The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
“Els has been a fantastic inspiration to my work and progress in multiple areas. She keenly identifies the blocks that are holding me back, helps me untangle them, and keeps me moving forward. As a researcher and academic, I was stuck in thinking my time and work didn’t have value and wasn’t worth other people’s’ time and money. With her help I have been able to learn to value myself, which has doubled my income. It has also opened my heart and helped me grow in awareness and wisdom. I am truly grateful!”
Workplace Mindfulness Program Guidelines
The purpose of these guidelines is to frame the Planning Division’s efforts to improve employee wellbeing through mindfulness education and practice.
Why do we need mindfulness in the workplace?
As public professionals, we experience stressful situations and pressures every day as we serve our community. The wellbeing of our community, and our collective ability to make good choices, depends on us.
Over time, the conditions of our work can have a major impact on our wellbeing and our job performance. According to the UC San Diego Health Center for Mindfulness, “Studies show that approximately 75% of all illness is related to stress and 83% percent of employees report that work is a significant source of stress. Add to this fact that the World Health Organization has estimated that stress has cost American companies more than $300 billion each year, and it is clear that we are facing an serious workplace problem.”
The practice of mindfulness has been shown to help us live healthier, more productive, and more joyful lives. Mindfulness helps us build skillful responses to stress as well as reducing stress in the first place by improving our mental framing of situations, our communication, and our ability to manage our attention. For our work here, that translates into lower employee turnover, improved health and lower costs for health care and time lost, improved job satisfaction, improved relationships, and of course improved outcomes for projects, programs and services that support our community.
If we fail to take the wellbeing of our employees seriously, we bear the risk of significant costs and impacts to our community through lost time, lower quality of service, higher health care costs, expensive staff turnover, burnout, and related effects.
What are the outcomes?
The WMP is aimed at improving outcomes for employees and the community, including:
- Increased personal wellbeing
- Increased job satisfaction
- Improved effectiveness
Reduced stress levels and related impacts to health, service, and budgets.
The City of Eugene has embraced a Total Worker Health philosophy and encourages work groups to actively support the wellbeing of our employees. By inviting mindful practices into the workplace, we’re taking wellbeing seriously with meaningful action to help our employees thrive, provide the best possible service to our community, and to lead healthy, balanced lives.
Some of the outcomes we found most stunning from the many benefits of following a Mindfulness or/and Wellness program are the following:
- Harvard researchers saw a ROI of $2.73 to every $1 spent.
- Another study showed an amazing $6 return.
- A leading study has shown the effects of a 10-minute mindfulness exercise practice can lead to better executive attention and recognition memory, leading to a better job performance. (Walter & Dubois 2016)
- Dupont and General Mills, implemented comprehensive wellness education and found 14% to 19% reductions in absenteeism. General Electric reported an astounding 45% in absenteeism.
- A NASA study found a 12.5% higher overall productivity level in exercisers compared to non-exercisers.
Proven facts about Meditation:
- reduces stress
- increases a sense of wellbeing
- increase your sense of connectedness and empathy
- improves focus
- improve relationships
- makes you more creative
- improves memory
- improves your ability to make decisions
- helps people to overcome addictions
- improves cardiovascular health
- enhances your immune system
- helps you find “flow”
- reduces physical and emotional pain (better than morphine)
- takes you toward a state of perfect happiness
Mindfulness will enhance neuroplasticity, the ability for the brain to change and adapt over time.
HIGH VALUE MINDFUL DEVELOPMENT HELPS DELIVER INSPIRED PEOPLE
Mindful & Wellness @Work for a profitable return on your investment.
Some of the Mindful and Wellness at Work objectives are
After participating in the program, employees will:
Understand the concept and practice of mindfulness
Understand the effects of stress on the mind and body
Explore the latest workplace, neuroscientific and clinical mindfulness research
Discuss the applications of mindfulness in personal and business relationships
Personally explore the benefits of mindfulness through different activities such as various types of meditation, mindful communication, mindful movement
Understand and practice mindfulness concepts such as cultivating a non-judgmental attitude, shifting perceptions towards acceptance and gratitude, responding vs. reacting, awareness vs. auto pilot, and mental hygiene.
Learn how to create and sustain your own practice.