Meditation has become nearly a requirement for surviving corporate life - a savior in the hellish landslide of tasks and problems. Stress takes a massive toll on employees, and it usually takes a while to regain their productivity and focus. Work stress sometimes decreases their morale and even causes certain illnesses and a dent in their physical and mental health.
In fact, a US study found out that a highly stressed employee costs the company an extra $2,000 per year in healthcare. This has become a bane in most companies’ productivity and successes, thus a solution was created in the form of meditation.
Several Fortune 500 corporations such as Apple, Google, and Nike have invested in extensive programs that foster meditation and mindful practices. Procter & Gamble, Deutsche Bank, and HBO also offer a wealth of health and fitness programs to include meditation classes and the provision of generous spaces in their major corporate buildings for wellness activities.
But how is meditation really affecting the emotional, mental, and even physical health of the employees?
There are a lot of benefits in getting meditation classes for employees, and here are a few of the benefits a company can expect from investing in wellness classes for employees.
A lot of studies show that an employee’s inability to complete or finish more tasks is because of stress and anxiety obtained from the amount of work he or she has to do. It overwhelms the mind and leaves one unhappy and unhealthy at work.
This occurrence is sadly contagious. Typically, one stressed out employee can affect others in the workspace. When there is an atmosphere of negativity at work, it spreads out to more employees, and eventually affects overall business performance.
This is not to say that unhappy and less productive employees have no space in the office. There are other ways to bring back their motivation, and one of which is meditation. A healthy amount of time spent on meditation to destress can actually help them revitalize and realize their goals.
For instance, giant sports brand Nike has installed relaxation rooms where its employees can practice meditation. Likewise, technology giant Apple recommends employees to reserve 30 minutes of every day to meditate at work.
When a person finds it difficult to concentrate, he or she can become more anxious and can hardly see solutions to problems. Worse, this can ultimately spiral down to mental health issues such as severe anxiety or depression.
The same thing happens in an office setting. When workers become too distracted with the task at hand, it’s either they fail to produce results or produce one of substandard quality. The numerous sources of distractions in the workplace, from a simple text message, to social media updates, and e-mail notifications among others, do not help at all in increasing concentration levels.
Meanwhile, several studies have found meditation as helping support and increase mental focus. The Journal of Neuroscience has suggested that meditators are better equipped in quieting brain activities related to mind-wandering.
The study, by Italian neuroscientist Giuseppe Pagnoni, found that meditation not only changes brain patterns, but it also confers advantages in mental focus that may improve cognitive performance.
Healthier employees are like the bulbs in the building - they spread their light to everyone, and they influence good aura in the office. When employees are healthy, they will spend more time at work than being in bed, sick. In other words, no more absences or sick leaves that will cripple the company’s productivity. Essentially, the healthier employees are, the more productive they become.
To quantify these claims, insurance company Aetna estimated productivity gains from mindfulness and meditation programs to have reached $3,000 per employee, or equaling to an eleven-to-one return on investment.
It further calculated health care costs to have dropped to a total of 7 percent in 2012, a year when meditation and mindfulness programs ramped up in the US. This is equivalent to $6.3 million savings which can be reinvested to more productive causes.
Self-awareness happens when one understands their emotions such as what causes them anxiety, joy, and fear. In this case, mindfulness is a great way to become more aware of one’s self. When you are mindful, you are intentionally aware of your inner and outer experience. When you are present, you have the ability to better manage your personal feelings and thoughts.
Such is the case for Google, one of the first companies to adopt meditation courses in the workplace, which saw self-awareness and mindfulness as connected to the company’s overall success.
In 2007, it offered 500 of its employees the chance to be part of the “Search Inside Yourself” program. Fast forward, the company now has an on-site meditation space and meditation courses available for all Google employees.
Generally, when employees are happy, they can perform better - even above and beyond what are expected of them. Meditation can drive them to work harder, as well as see their work in a more positive manner.
Since they are more focused, healthier, and aware, they are now fully capable of finding happiness within themselves. They begin to trust more and gain confidence in what they do. When employees are happy, they think more of daring - but usually successful - ideas that companies reap benefits from.
In life, people are faced with things that could lead them to despair and denial - which could cripple them in the long run. Having peace with the demands of life, employees will be able to do more as a member of the society and as an employee. Employees who meditate will become more effective with their tasks and how they will do their job.
Overall, employers can better achieve business goals when their employees are happy and when they take valuable care of the latter’s well-being.
Decreasing the stress levels of employees is the ideal end-goal. Less stressed environment translates to more focused and dedicated employees ready to finish their tasks at hand. This works well for business owners too since happy and productive employees generally bring in more revenue and profit for the company.
The success of meditation in the workplace has been proven by the likes of Google, Apple, and Nike whose business success could not be questioned. Studies have seen meditation as offering a wide range of mental health benefits, especially when practiced regularly. It is no surprise that top companies which typically operates in high-stress business settings are catching on and making meditation a part of their corporate mission.
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