Could mindfulness online training boost productivity at work?

by Christina Pavlou

The pandemic has had a big effect on employee wellbeing, and mental health is an increasingly important topic in most organizations. In a recent study, 30% of Gen Z workers reported difficulty coping with stress and pressure at work, and half of the respondents said they want mental health training.

You can help increase your employees’ wellbeing with mindfulness online training.

Training has been shown to increase employee happiness, and introducing your team to mindfulness offers them a better employee experience. Not to mention mindfulness and productivity go hand in hand.

So what is mindfulness, and how can you help your employees be more mindful? Read on.

What exactly is mindfulness?

Let’s start with a definition. Mindfulness means focusing on current experiences, tasks, and feelings without distractions that add stress or pressure.

Mindfulness isn’t just meditating–though that can be a helpful part of it. It’s accepting the present state without judgment. It means giving attention to what you’re doing while you’re doing it and being aware of your mental and emotional condition.

Focusing on thoughts and feelings in addition to work tasks and deadlines allows people to manage emotions and avoid burnout and stress. Whether your teams work remotely or not, mindfulness online training is a simple way to help employees stay calm throughout their day and boost their productivity. Let’s see why.

The benefits of mindfulness training

Savvy companies recognize the advantages of supporting their employees. Even large enterprises like LinkedIn, Target, Google, and Intel are turning to mindfulness interventions and prioritizing wellbeing and mental health initiatives.

Consider the following ways access to mindfulness content can improve your workplace:

  • Reduced stress. Seeing the present without judgment or comparison can lift some of the pressure from people’s workload. Stress can overwhelm and discourage employees. If not resolved, it can even lead them to seek employment elsewhere. When they know how to recognize and properly manage stress, it takes some of the power out of it.
  • Greater creativity. Research shows that mindfulness gives people more freedom to get creative. Practicing mindfulness with the intent of increasing creativity encourages innovation as people learn to look at things differently and take new approaches to tasks.
  • Stronger problem-solving skills. Mindfulness helps people free their minds from the clutter of overthinking. It gives them the space to look at things from new angles without distraction. As with creativity, it gives them room to think outside the box and come up with new solutions.
  • More engagement. When people stay mindful of present tasks and goals, it’s easier to retain their enthusiasm for the job. When they remember the reasons they engaged in this work in the first place and focus on the positive outcomes, they’ll be happier with their work. The happier they are, the more engaged and committed they’ll be.

Including mindfulness content in your employee training platform can boost its effectiveness. Mindfulness online training courses are accessible whenever and wherever is most useful. And that makes it more likely employees will consume and benefit from the content.

6 mindfulness training activities

Training your teams in mindfulness doesn’t have to take a massive effort and outside expertise. There are simple things you can help employees do on their own that will promote well-being and boost productivity.

So let’s take a look at some helpful activities you can include in your corporate mindfulness training. From mindfulness online training courses to guided meditation for focus and productivity, here are six ideas you can use to boost mindfulness in the workplace.

1. Take a deep breath

Deep breathing, or “belly breathing,” is at the very heart of mindfulness meditation. It’s a physical practice that has a direct impact on the mental and emotional state.

According to Alexandra Marinaki, psychologist and content writer at Moosend,

“Deep breathing calms the ‘fight or flight system’ and brings you back to the moment.”

She offers this guidance for harnessing belly breathing: Have employees put one hand on their belly and feel it rise and fall while they breathe deeply to relax their nervous system.

Marinaki also recommends the following breathing sequence to help develop laser-sharp focus:

Inhale for five counts through the nose, hold your breath for five, and exhale for five through the mouth. Repeat for approximately 5-10 minutes and get back to work.

2. Take time to stretch

Being mindful of the physical strain you carry in your body allows you to release it. Encourage people to take moments throughout the day to step away from their desks or just sit back and notice where they’re feeling tension.

If, for instance, they feel tension in their shoulders or neck, they can take a minute to release those muscles and stretch them. Teach them to focus on the physical sensations and keep their mind from wandering back to work tasks during this break. This physical release will help reset their body and mood for more effective work.

3. Practice mindful listening

Communication is a big source of stress at work, and listening is a big part of successful communication. Teaching mindful listening will promote clearer, more helpful conversations.

People are often so focused on getting their own point across that they don’t fully hear what others are saying. Teach people exercises to filter distractions and actively listen during a conversation. For instance:

  • Face the other person while they talk.
  • Note body language that may express strong emotions.
  • Focus on the person’s words and process them before passing judgment or making decisions about how you’ll respond.
  • Listen for ideas that get repeated and ask questions to clarify understanding.

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