Looking to give your business’ productivity a shot in the arm? Then take a time out. A time out for meditation, that is.
The insurance company, Aetna, estimated they gained $3,000 per employee in productivity since starting a mindfulness program. (Meditation is a form of mindfulness.) It also saves an additional $2,000 per employee in healthcare costs. Those numbers speak to the bottom line on the benefits of mediation in the workplace, as evidenced by major corporations offering such a benefit, including Apple, Google and Ford.
Meditation or any similar contemplative, mindful practice allows practitioners to be more present in their work, exhibiting clear thinking, focus and better decision making. Those who meditate are also better able to tap into their flow of creative ideas, bolstering innovation.
Russell Simmons, co-founder of Def Jam records and the entrepreneur who started such brands as Phat Farm, has found that meditation is integral to his businesses. “Meditation is a guaranteed way to not only dip into but stay connected with your creative spirit.” A practitioner of transcendental meditation (TM), Simmons credits much of his success to his practice, citing benefits such as creativity, focus and getting past “success” and “failure.” Simmons isn’t the only major player who takes time out of his day for a regular meditation practice. Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post, Marc Benihoff, CEO of salesforce.com, and Oprah all mediate.
The Harvard Business Review adds that CEOs not only fare better at achieving business goals (that productivity piece again) but also improve qualities such as resilience and emotional intelligence. And the benefits for your team stretch beyond clarity and creativity, says author David Michie (“Why Mindfulness is Better than Chocolate”). He cites better attendance, teamwork, and leadership among a number of positive byproducts of mediation practices at work.
With all these glowing reports about the benefits of meditation for your business, the first step may be trying it for yourself. While there are a number of different styles of meditation and many different apps and guides to get you started, Gabby Bernstein’s “Beginner’s Guide to Meditation” is a great place to start.
If you’re interested in starting a program for your business, read this article by the Society for Human Resource Management to get started.