Work can be a stressful place, and with companies trying to keep an eye on the bottom line while simultaneously improving productivity, many workers may find themselves with more responsibilities than ever before.
We live in an information rich world, with demands coming at us from all angles. We are always working to deadlines, quotas, productivity reports and workplace stress can sometimes seem overwhelming. As a society, we are more stressed out than ever.
The desire to have a bigger house, better car, luxury holiday, iPhone, designer clothes and more, also contributes to our escalating stress levels through our pressure to earn more money.
However, at the end of the day, we all still need to make time for ourselves and now large organisations are realising that quiet contemplation is seen as the new caffeine, and that mindfulness is the fuel that allegedly unlocks productivity and creativity in their employees.
Mindfulness” techniques are often the first experience people have with meditation, due to its rise in popularity in recent years. Meditation, which is the practice of sitting still, and emptying your mind of its thoughts, isn’t for a religion group of spiritual sector. It’s the art of being, doing and relaxing…for every man and woman who has difficulty handling stress in a fast-paced work environment.
Meditation isn’t ‘magic’ , however, it does act in a miraculous way for many.
When you meditate, you have the unique opportunity to sit still, turn off the comments, criticisms and demands from everything around you, and listen to the inner workings of yourself.
Companies such as Apple, Google and Nike offer meditation and yoga classes on-site, allowing staff members to learn the fundamentals of the practice without ever having to step outside the office.
So what are our Top 5 reasons to consider mediation?
How many times have you had a major decision to make and someone said to “Sleep on it”? Well it’s the same logic. Clarity and the ability to focus on goals are crucial to success. When we are stressed, we often make fear-based decisions instead of choosing what would bring us the most balance in life and what would bring a positive long-term solution. A disturbed mind often makes very poor decisions. Meditation and breathing exercises help to silence the noise and clear the clutter, letting you be more mindful and allowing you to make better decisions.
A clear mind will express clear thoughts. Clear, effective communication between managers and employees is crucial to the smooth running of any business operation. Unfortunately, effective communication at all levels is an area in which many businesses need improvement. A working attitude can cause difficulties. Instead of really listening to another person, our own ideas are spinning round our heads, and popping out of our mouths. When we do this, we communicate without having a full picture. That’s when our words are least likely to land well.
After meditating, you will find that you can listen more attentively; seeking to understand. A company that listens to its employees and offers meditation as part of an employee wellness program shows they care about its employees and will gain the loyalty of workers at every level, which will result in less personnel turnover and increased employee retention.
There are the many ways meditating can help your improve health, including increasing immune function, decreasing pain, and reducing inflammation at a cellular level. In today’s fast-paced business world, there is no way to avoid stress. However, meditation allows the individual to effectively deal with stress, which helps to improve their overall health, reducing their risk of heart disease, stroke, clinical depression, and a myriad of other conditions that cause employee absenteeism.
The practice of meditation will help to improve the general productivity in companies of any size or industry. By helping employees at all levels deal with their stress effectively; focus more clearly on their own goals and the goals of the company; and communicate clearly with the other members of their team; the productivity of the employee will improve. And when productivity improves at the individual level, overall productivity of the company improves, too … which leads to increased profits and a healthier bottom line.
Joe Robbins is co-founder of CareerWise Recruitment. A graduate of the University of Limerick (Degree in Business Studies, 1985), Joe worked in the UK for five years where he specialised in materials management, production management and plant management for a number of companies.
He returned to Ireland in 1992 to become Operations Manager for a Cork-based start-up, FMC Automotive Division which was subsequently taken over by Snap-on Equipment. Joe managed the business re-location of this company to Shannon in 1997 before setting up CareerWise Recruitment in 1999.
He is a committee member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) Mid-West region, and a former Director and Vice President of the Shannon Chamber of Commerce. Joe is former Chairperson of the Sixmilebridge Camogie Club and current Chairperson of the Clare County Camogie Board.
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