Mindful Working: The Best Practices for Bringing Mindfulness to Work

Leading companies from Verizon to Google are bringing mindfulness into their company cultures. Here's why they're investing in employee well-being, creativity, and stress management.

BY: CAREN OSTEN GERSZBERG

mindfulness in the workplace

Our virtual meeting started with a “minute-to-arrive” practice. Jason Luk, a Verizon Media employee who holds the titles of advertising-sales account manager and global mindfulness lead, began:

Place your feet on the floor and lengthen your spine. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and begin to notice any sensations in the body. Look at internal weather patterns, noticing how do I feel right now. Set an intention…who will I choose to show up as during this meeting?

Not the typical start to an interview, but a welcome and calming one. This sort of mindfulness practice is becoming common in the workplace culture of a growing number of companies that are implementing systematic mindfulness programs in the form of mindful moments, speaker series, meditation app access, dedicated quiet rooms, and a wide variety of formalized mindfulness training. Why are these global enterprises spending employee time and financial resources on these programs? Turns out, for reasons including increased productivity, employee wellbeing, and a 200% return on investment.

Are You a Mindful Leader? 

A mindful leader embodies leadership presence by cultivating focus, clarity, creativity, and compassion in the services of others. Learn more about cultivating a mindful leadership attitude, and why it will benefit you, your colleagues and your organization. Read More 

  • JANICE MARTURANO
  • JUNE 13, 2011
mindfulness in the workplace

Why Bring Mindfulness to Work?

Employees are more stressed than ever. According to a survey conducted by LinkedIn, nearly half of workers today feel stress in their jobs, with 70% of them feeling it from their workload and work-life balance. Gallup reports that 23% of employees feel burnout at work very often or always, while an additional 44% reports feeling it sometimes. 

“There is a zeitgeist in the business community,” said Rich Fernandez, CEO of the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute (SIYLI) and co-founder of Wisdom Labs. “Mindfulness programs are linked to employee well-being, because it serves to support conditions for thriving and flourishing in contemporary work cultures.” The Business Roundtable, a lobbying group of nearly 200 chief executives, recently changed its charter after 20 years, shifting the standard of “corporate responsibility” to benefit all stakeholders—which includes employees, customers, suppliers and communities—rather than only financial shareholders

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Four Ways Mindfulness Transforms How We Work

By training us to pay attention moment-by-moment to where we are and what we’re doing, mindfulness can help us choose how we will behave, nudging (or jolting) us out of autopilot mode. Here are four ways mindfulness transforms how we work.

  1. Allows you to keep an open, curious mind
  2. Teaches you the skill of responding, rather than reacting
  3. Helps you remember that your thoughts are not facts
  4. Builds healthy habits that cultivate creative potential.
mindfulness in the workplace

How Do You Know Mindfulness Works at Work?

Among those leading the charge to create a mindful workplace culture is the Mindful Workplace Alliance (MWA), a group of near