By Julia Nugent, Journey Meditation Teacher
“True happiness is…to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence on the future.”
-Lucius Annaeus Seneca
The average American spends 90,000 hours at work over their lifetime. Cultivating happiness in the workplace is that much more important, given we spend so many waking hours there.
But it is not always easy to do. Many challenges can arise for employees, especially in high-stress environments. Time can go by, with no reprieve, feeling as though the days blend into weeks, and weeks into months. Dwelling on past mistakes takes us out of the present, as does worries about our future at the company. Meditation is a tool we use to learn how to be more mindful and present, focusing on the here and now, which leads to more happiness.
Bringing meditation into your workplace can have a variety of benefits:
Recruitment & Retention
There is so much amazing talent that companies are seeking to recruit to be a part of their growing team. With the popularity of company perks from leading companies such as Google (Named Fortune’s “Best Company to Work For” six years in a row), new talent wants to know how their employers are investing back into their well-being. With wellness and stress management programs, such as meditation, to improve mental health and reduce stress in a work environment, companies can attract the right talent. Not only will this lead to these companies being at the top of the list for new employees, but it can also lead to higher retention rates, because people want to work for companies that care about them, and these programs can increase their happiness overall.
When individuals work together for a shared goal or vision, company morale goes up. In some places the work can be isolating, having your own to-dos with a quarterly email recap on the success of the team and some donuts and coffee in the conference room as a pat on the back. By offering group meditation, it allows individuals to work together, and have a positive shared experience as a team that is far more fulfilling than a healthy snack or night out. Gathering together as a group to practice will ultimately garner a sense of camaraderie with participating employees as they work to support one another.
When employers invest in the well-being of their workers, they feel more empowered and cared for. Incorporating a meditation practice as a way to invest in the happiness and mental well-being of employees shows genuine care, and in turn, employees want to perform better for their companies. Not to mention that meditation is a practice that builds our ability to focus, which will lead to higher productivity. By guiding them, mentoring them and giving them tools to sharpen their minds, it can help them more effectively hone their skills. The result is more efficient, adept and happy workers.
Happiness as we know it is not something that can be sustained, but we can learn how to cultivate happiness moment to moment. And as employers, we can help bring this happiness into our workplaces with mindfulness programs like group meditation.