The Busier You Are, the More You Need Mindfulness (Harvard Business Review)

Harvard Business Review’s article showing value of mindfulness practice in businesses.


Truly forward-thinking leaders recognize that one of the best business strategies is developing the mindfulness of their workforce.

Aetna, one of the leaders of the movement to apply positive psychology practices to work, instituted a mindfulness training program designed to teach employees how to take short breaks to center themselves through meditation and yoga. More than a quarter of Aetna’s 50,000 employees have taken part. Mindfulness scores increased as expected, but incredibly, on average, stress levels dropped by 28%, reported sleep quality improved 20%, and pain dropped by 19%. Aetna also calculated the savings to the company, finding that, on average, mindfulness participants gained 62 minutes of productivity a week, which is an estimated $3,000-per-employee increase in productivity for the company each year. Individuals in the top 20% of stress rankings have nearly $2,000 more in medical costs for the preceding year, so this intervention could create significant medical savings. Based on Aetna’s experience, that’s potentially a $5,000 average swing per employee, depending on the employee’s starting point. And even that number probably underestimates the financial value of mindfulness, as it doesn’t include the positive impacts on turnover, rehiring costs, retraining costs, customer service, or client-facing sales.

Too often, the most ambitious leaders assume that if you are running around, you are achieving much. If you want to be a forward-thinking professional, stop thinking about the future for a moment. If you want to do more today, sit down and practice being aware of your breath and the fact that you have access to meaning right now.

source: Harvard Business Review

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