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Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Why mindfulness in the workplace? What the Mindful Nation UK report says.

More and more organisations are introducing mindfulness to their wellbeing programs but what are the benefits and who is doing it? 

Here is a good summary from the Mindful Nation UK report produced last year by an all-party parliamentary group at Westminster (MBI's refers to mindfulness-based initiatives):

"A number of randomised controlled trials of MBI's have found positive effects on burnout, wellbeing and stress. Mindfulness can assist with focus and a range of cognitive skills. Studies have shown that those using mindfulness report lower levels of stress during multi-tasking tests and are able to concentrate longer without their attention being diverted. 

"Even brief periods of mindfulness practice can lead to objectively measured higher cognitive skills such as improved reaction times, comprehension scores, working memory functioning and decision-making."

Among those who have introduced mindfulness training in the UK and US, according to the report, are:

Teacher employers (University of Toronto)
Fire services in the US
Judges in the US
National Health Service
Department of Health
British Telecom
Unilever
Barclays
Goldman Sachs
Google
Transport for London
Bosch
Surrey & Sussex Police Force

The report notes that mindfulness is not the answer to a dysfunctional or toxic workplace. But most workplaces are neither toxic nor dysfunctional and mindfulness has a big contribution to make to employee wellbeing.

You can get the Mindful National UK report (pdf) at this link.