Last week I discussed the benefits of meditation in the workplace, pointing out it promises to increase productivity, focus, employee cohesion and resistance to stress. So what’s the best way to bring meditation into the workplace?
Let’s pick up where we left off.
- Make meditation acceptable in your workplace culture. Even though practicing meditation at home has gone mainstream, it’s still not widely accepted -and seen as we strange- if practiced at work. One way to telegraph that it’s acceptable is to invite a speaker to a lunch-and-learn so employees can hear about the topic. “Mindfulness” meditation is the most generally accepted form, the one featured on the cover of business magazines, so it’s safe to start there.
- Find a champion. This might be an employee, or a manager. Someone who is already committed to the practice and is familiar with the logistics and basics; this will make others feel at ease. What if there’s no such person? Don’t worry, someone who is new to meditation but interested in its potential, will work just as well. Just make sure there is a person who takes the lead and believes in the effort.
- Provide a place to practice. You don’t need a meditation hall with cushions and incense. All you need is a conference room, break room, or some other quiet space. This might mean opening your doors a little earlier for employees who want to practice 15 min before work. Or provide access during lunch or after work to an area that may normally be locked or inaccessible. It may sound counterintuitive that employees will stay late before going home, but it happens.
- Take advantage of technology. Recommend free meditation apps that everyone can use. This way the practice and the benefits can go home with employees. Who doesn’t want to sleep better? Be less anxious? Feel 10% happier? All this will soon be obvious to any employees who take interest in the practice. Note: the workplace practice itself can be based one of these free apps.
Recommended free apps:
Calm – 7 Daily 10-minute guided meditations. Not just for meditation, keep it open in the background for soothing sounds throughout the day.
10% Happier Named after the book by Dan Harris a news anchor who famously had a panic attack on live TV, an experience that led him to meditation. If other apps don’t speak your language, or sound too flaky, this “meditation for fidgety skeptics” might be for you.
It’s simple, intuitive and user friendly. The free version let’s you set a time, sounds, periodic bells.
Hope these tips encourage you to bring mindfulness meditation to the workplace. There’s no downside, it’s a perk, it’s cheap and it may make your workplace 10% happier.
Originally published on HR Box