Mindfulness has moved out of the yoga studio and into the workplace, with surprising results. Executives at Ford, General Mills, Goldman Sachs, Apple, Google, and other top-tier companies have taken to this practice, and have encouraged their employees to participate as well, not just for their health and well-being, but to boost bottom lines. In one example of the success of mindfulness training, employees at Aetna who took courses in mindfulness saw a $2,000 annual decline in healthcare costs and experienced a boost in productivity. “Companies are finding real benefits when they bring mindfulness to work,” said David Gelles, author of a new book, Mindful Work: How Meditation Is Changing Business From the Inside Out.
Stress reduction is one of the main benefits, he added. “The pace of our daily lives is so intense that any opportunity to break the habit of going non-stop and stressing ourselves out is not only pleasant, but necessary. But in addition to reducing stress, those who practice mindfulness experience increased focus and concentration, improved creativity, and a sense of calm and compassion. Mindful employees are more present and aware of their everyday tasks.”