If unproductive co-workers are the bane of your existence, a new study may have the answer. Research from the UBC Sauder School of Business found that team mindfulness can help shift work environments, increasing productivity and morale.
The first question for some may be, what is mindfulness? Well, it’s the practice of focusing on the present moment and interaction without judgment. In mindfulness, people often use meditation and yoga to help hone their ability to concentrate and release negative energy. Typically, individuals practice mindfulness in silos. This study is groundbreaking because it found creating micro-communities that practice mindfulness is a savvy and valuable investment for a workforce.
It’s no secret why. Gossip, competition, and apathy are common distractions in the workplace. According to the study’s lead author, Lingtao Yu: “Mindfulness has been proven to increase job satisfaction and psychological well-being and decrease stress in employees. We found that when teams are more mindful, this reduces interpersonal conflicts and helps teams better focus on the task at hand.”
The research found that group mindfulness exercises kept colleagues on course and reduced interpersonal conflict, which typically derails job performance. Mindfulness also helped practitioners task performance by limiting negative emotions.
The social scientists conclude that companies will benefit from the regular integration of team building mindfulness exercises, such as meditation and yoga. Leaders looking to make a dynamic shift in their work environment via mindfulness practices can start by consulting with a meditation expert to host seminars for teams.