Jayne Storey

Jayne Storey

Encouraging employees to practice mindfulness and meditation in the workplace can boost productivity and enhance concentration, according to two new findings published recently.

According to Jayne Storey, a performance coach who has helped to train Olympic athletes, celebrities and directors in top businesses, practicing “mindfulness” in the workplace helps employees to quickly and easily become more efficient.

As the founder and director of the chi-power PERFORMANCE programme, Jayne argues that meditation techniques help individuals to think more clearly, improve focus and decision-making skills, which in turn will result in increased creativity and effectiveness.

But what exactly is ‘mindfulness’? Mindfulness is defined as a meditation technique in which an individual eliminates their train of thoughts by focussing on one object, idea or through concentration.

By doing this, it is said that the individual reaches a heightened state of awareness and is able to focus with more clarity and eventually, function better in their everyday lives.

Jayne said that her programme helps professionals to get into a space where they are performing at their optimal level.

She said: “The coaching services offered in the chi-power PERFORMANCE programme are used by and to the benefit of chief executives, leadership and management teams, sales teams and contact centre staff via a tailored approach including in-house training seminars, keynote presentations, master-classes and executive retreats.”

She added that practicing ‘mindfulness’ helps to “counteract the cacophonic pace of change, noise pollution and information-overload which is excelling at a rate never before experienced in the world”.

But Jayne is not the only business expert to speak out about the benefits of meditation. Alexander Beiner is the founder of Open Meditation, a London-based organisation teaching non-religious mindfulness meditation in the workplace.

In an article, published by HRZone.co.uk, he argued that mindfulness can help to combat stress and reduce the number of sick days that people take because of anxiety.

Alexander believes that there are many benefits for employers who encourage – or even help – their employees to meditate on a regular basis.

In the article, he said: “We’re all human, and we all react badly to workplace stress at times, even if we practice mindfulness. However, the more we practice, the more resilient we become. This is in part because mindfulness meditation literally rewires our brains.

“Meditators have a thicker insula and prefrontal cortex – brain areas responsible for complex cognition and emotional regulation. The tangible signs of this are truly extraordinary: increased concentration and creativity, an improved immune system, enhanced creativity and considerably more resilience and happiness. This inevitably leads to reduced absenteeism, improvements in interpersonal relationships and higher productivity.”

Separate research from the Health and Safety Executive revealed that stress accounted for 40 per cent of all workplace illnesses.

Work pressure, lack of managerial support and bullying were all cited as the causes of employment-related stress.

But HR bosses who are innovative in their approach to tackling stress at work, according to Alexander, are likely to be more successful in reducing absenteeism and creating a more harmonious atmosphere, than those who are not.

 

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