Research Mindfulness in the Workplace
The following is a selection of publications collated by Theo Winter, client services manager, writer, and researcher for TTI Success Insights Australia.
Evidence for Mindfulness: A research summary for the corporate sceptic (excerpts):
There's No Price Tag on a Clear Mind: Intel to Launch Mindfulness Program
Publication: The Guardian /Author: Kristine A. Wong / Date: April 2014
Awake@Intel is a mindfulness program that Intel plans to make available to over 100,000 employees in 63 countries. To date, 1,500 employees have taken part, having completed 19 sessions. The results so far: “On average, participants responding to pre- and post- self-evaluation questionnaires report a 2-point decrease (on a 10-point scale) in experiencing stress and feeling overwhelmed, a 3-point increase in overall happiness and wellbeing, and a 2-point increase in having new ideas and insights, mental clarity, creativity, the ability to focus, the quality of relationships at work and the level of engagement in meetings, projects and collaboration efforts.”
Mindfulness Can Literally Change Your Brain
Publication: Harvard Business Review / Author: Congleton, Hölzel, and Lazar/ Date: January 2015
“This year , a team of scientists from the University of British Columbia and the Chemnitz University of Technology were able to pool data from more than 20 studies to determine which areas of the brain are consistently affected [by mindfulness training]. They identified at least 8 different regions… Neuroscientists have also shown that practicing mindfulness affects brain areas related to perception, body awareness, pain tolerance, emotion regulation, introspection, complex thinking, and sense of self. While more research is needed to document these changes over time and to understand underlying mechanisms, the converging evidence is compelling.”
Why Mindfulness Works Wonders
Publication: L&D Professional / Author: John Hilton / Date: February 2016
Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF), a global law firm with around 5,000 employees, was the first company to launch a mindfulness program in the Australian legal industry. Approximately 200 employees have gone through the 6week HSF mindfulness program in the last 14 months. Some of the results from the 6-week program include: "a 12 percent increase in employee focus; a 10 percent increase in employee performance; a 10 percent increase in employee efficiency; a 17 percent increase in employee work/life balance; an 11 percent increase in employee communication skills; a 14 percent decrease in employee multitasking."
The Mind Business Publication
The Financial Times / Author: David Gelles / Date: August 2012
The multinational manufacturer, General Mills, has had over 500 employees attend their Mindful Leadership program, created by General Mills’ deputy general counsel, Janice Marturano. According to the company's self report data: "After one of Marturano’s seven-week courses, 83 percent of participants said they were 'taking time each day to optimise my personal productivity' – up from 23 percent before the course. 82 percent said they now make time to eliminate tasks with limited productivity value – up from 32 percent before the course. And among senior executives who took the course, 80 percent reported a positive change in their ability to make better decisions, while 89 percent said they became better listeners.
Contemplating Mindfulness at Work - An Integrative Review
Mindfulness research activity is surging within organisational science. Emerging evidence across multiple fields suggests that mindfulness is fundamentally connected to many aspects of workplace functioning, but this knowledge base has not been systematically integrated to date. This review coalesces the burgeoning body of mindfulness scholarship into a framework to guide mainstream management research investigating a broad range of constructs. The framework identifies how mindfulness influences attention, with downstream effects on functional domains of cognition, emotion, behavior, and physiology. Ultimately, these domains impact key workplace outcomes, including performance, relationships, and well-being. Consideration of the evidence on mindfulness at work stimulates important questions and challenges key assumptions within management science, generating an agenda for future research.