How to Embed Mindfulness in the Workplace?
While mindfulness training in the workplace can teach your team how to manage stressful situations, and support their overall wellbeing; Mindfulness can also help you to build a company culture that enhances communication and increases productivity.
The mindfulness workshop we conduct at Liberty Mind is a great way to start your team on the path to becoming more mindful at work. But once this workshop is over, it can be useful to embed practices and build spaces for mindfulness to be lived and breathed within the company culture.
In this post, I’ve revealed a few areas that can help you create a workplace that encourages mindfulness beyond the training.
Create Task-Based Spaces
Our work environments are vital to how productive or creative we feel. To create our best possible work, we need a space that can nurture our productivity rather than stifle it.
When looking at the workspaces available to your team, consider creating spaces for different types of work.
For example, a quiet area where people can go to get on with focussed work, an open and creative space where people can come together to collaborate, and of course a comfortable break-away space where people can go to meditate.
By designing your workspace around the needs of your team, you can not only help to improve their productivity, but you can encourage them to take time out from pain points in their day to meditate.
Reduce Mindless Meetings
Meetings are a common occurrence in the workplace, but these can often feel pointless and endless.
While they can be a necessary evil, there are some excellent house rules to bear in mind when organising a meeting. This will not only help you have a more productive meeting, but will also help everyone in the meeting to be mindful of what they are bringing into the room.
Rather than let the meeting be a free for all, create an agenda that everyone must adhere to.
This can ensure that those loudest in the room don’t dominate the conversations or talk over others.
Send the agenda to all participants of the meeting, so they are well-aware of the following;
How the session will run, what’s going to be covered, and the desired outcome.
Begin the meeting with a short meditation. This allows everyone in the room to become present and aware, and not bring in any stresses from their day so far that could persuade their behaviour during the meeting.
Encourage everyone to stand during the meeting. Standing will ensure everyone feels ‘active’ rather than getting overly comfortable and tired sitting in a chair. It will also help to move the meeting forward as people will want a break after a long period of standing.
Bring in Short Breaks
Allowing short breaks throughout the day can provide essential moments of mindfulness in the workplace, as it allows people to take a break from stressful situations, and allows time for movement.
This could be a mid-morning break and a mid-afternoon break. These short times will encourage your team to take part in some mindfulness activities, such as meditation or a short mindful walk. It will also help them to feel re-energised and more productive.
Ban Al Desko Dining
In our fast-paced working environments, we have got into the bad habit of eating our lunch at our desk. But this is bad for our health in so many ways.
Not only do we consume more when we eat at our desks as we’re not consciously eating, but it can also hinder our social interactions with colleagues and make us feel sluggish due to the position we’re eating at our desks.
No matter how busy your working environment, ban lunch at desks and encourage people to use their lunch breaks wisely. Whether that’s enjoying a nutritious lunch in the canteen with other colleagues, or taking a walk.
Encourage Human to Human Conversations
Thanks to emails and instant messaging services, we have reduced the amount of time we spend having a conversation face-to-face.
The trouble with this is that it can begin to cause unnecessary conflict and make us feel less connected to our team and colleagues.
I’m sure many of us can hold our hands-up to taking a text or an email the wrong way?
As humans, we thrive on social interactions. Therefore, encouraging people to have more face-to-face discussions or even a telephone conversation, can help us feel less stressed than the incessant noises of notifications and the miscommunication.
When we have these human to human conversations, we are more likely to feel compassion for our colleagues, understand their point of view and be able to pick up on their body language and facial expressions — all key parts to building better relationships in the workplace.
There is a tendency in the workplace to feel that we must put on a mask and disconnect our human side in order to be ‘more professional’.
While I agree there should be some elements of professionalism in the workplace, what’s concerning is that many of us have taken this too far, to the point where it seems acceptable to be cold and unforgiving in the workplace.
Using mindfulness, workplaces should encourage kindness and compassion towards their team members rather than the competitive, dog-eat-dog cultures that can make us feel stressed and ill.
Start by complimenting your team on a good job done, and recognising when they need someone to talk to. We all need to work, but that doesn’t mean we need to be less human.
Mindfulness can be embed into the workplace beyond training, and hopefully, these tips have made you think about how you can create a culture that supports mindfulness.
If you would like more information about the workplace Mindfulness workshop that we run at Liberty Mind, get in touch.