If there were a scientifically proven, free way to improve your employees’ performance and sense of well-being, wouldn’t you do it? Enter: meditation.
No, it is not hippy-dippy. It is not a fad. And it doesn’t have to be reserved for large corporations. More businesses should take a real look at what they can gain by encouraging a workplace culture of mindfulness.
Sure, it feels like every week there’s a new study re-declaring the medical benefits of taking time each day to do virtually nothing. (Although anyone who meditates will tell you it is actually a challenging process that takes practice.)
But, in fact, meditation is part of a larger and equally in-vogue concept: mindfulness, meaning a state of active attention to the moment you are in. Meditation is a tool for reaching this state, but it’s not the only way.
You can take a less-structured approach to being “present” and attuned to your immediate surroundings. The benefits of doing that are far-reaching and transcend whatever profession you’re in, though the tech space has an especially acute need for the practice. By encouraging employees to embrace tools for improving mindfulness, organizations can improve company culture, recruitment, retention and performance.
Why tech needs it so badly
Many tech leaders are already on board, and include Apple, Google and Yahoo! When Evan Williams, cofounder of Twitter, started Medium, he put a meditation room in the middle of the office, Fast Company reported.
There was good reason: Meditation can literally change your brain, in a good way, according to the National Institutes of Health. Research shows that meditation can minimize stress and even alleviate pain.
Meanwhile, the people who say they don’t have time for meditation are often the ones who need it the most. In the highly competitive tech space, speed, not just quality, matters. There is merit in being first to market, and pressure to continually evolve and develop new iterations.
Intrigued? Here’s what a culture of meditation and mindfulness can do for your business:
1. Improve your company culture.
Companies can distinguish themselves from competitors by creating an environment that is fast-paced and high-energy, without compromising people’s well-being. In fact, they can make a conscious effort to improve it.
Meditation isn’t just about the individual, it can also improve relationships. A meditation room isn’t going to transform your entire staff into enlightened beings, but wouldn’t you prefer to work with colleagues who are dedicated to self-improvement? Making mindfulness part of your company identity sends a positive message to your team.