Mindfulness works in the workplace

IES News

10 Feb 2016

Mindfulness paperA new briefing paper by the Institute for Employment Studies explores how mindfulness can be used at work to have a positive impact on wellbeing, productivity, cognitive function, emotional intelligence, and ethical and sustainable behaviour.

The paper offers examples of how organisations have used mindfulness to achieve these benefits, before outlining how to do so in your organisation, and offering ten practical tips.

Mindfulness has been around for more than 2,500 years, with roots in Buddhist teachings amongst others. However, recent years have seen mindfulness practices spread to many contexts, including the workplace.

A rapidly growing number of employers, such as the US Marines, the NHS, Google, General Mills and Transport for London, are rolling out mindfulness training for employees. They have been reporting benefits including increases in emotional intelligence and reduced stress-related absenteeism.

This number is growing further following the publication of the UK Mindfulness All-Party Parliamentary Group interim report ‘Mindful Nation UK’. The report recommended that public sector employers such as the NHS and the Civil Service pioneer good practice and set up mindfulness pilot projects to be evaluated as part of their responsibility to combat stress.

This paper from IES explores what mindfulness is, potential benefits for organisations and their employees, and offers guidelines for creating a more mindful workplace, plus a helpful list of resources.