I have been writing about mindfulness and correlations to happiness and productivity for some time now.
But what is mindfulness?
“Mindfulness is the awareness that arises from paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment non-judgmentally,” as defined by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn. Bishop et al. described two components of mindfulness, one that involves self-regulation of attention and the other characterized by an orientation, curiosity, and acceptance toward the present moment. During the last ten years, mindfulness has been implemented in clinical trials, psychotherapy, vacation retreats, and increasingly in in technology innovations, with smartphone applications, like Kaji, HeadSpace, MoodInsights, etc.
Mindfulness has been proven to have value in therapeutic effects on well-being and emotional balance, and increasingly business leaders searching for new ways to improve employee engagement and reduce employee churn in their work environments are building capabilities in mindfulness.
Since Covid-19, everyone has experienced the major shift to a hybrid work place. We all have learned to be even more virtual with endless zoom or team meeting calls. According to a forecast by Gartner, 75 % of all future meetings are going to be held virtually in 2024.
Globally, 16% of companies are fully remote according to an Owl labs study. This same study found that about 62% of workers aged 22 to 65 claim to work remotely at least occasionally. This study also found that 44% of companies do not allow remote work of any kind. To further put in context, since 2020 employees have been meeting by video calls 50% more since COVID-19.
No wonder I feel zoomed out during or zonked out by the end of the day?
During COVID-19 close to 70% of full-time workers are working from home. After COVID-19, 92% of people are expected to work from home at least 1 day per week and 80% expected to work at least 3 days from home per week.
Bottomline – as we now know today – hybrid is here to stay and has many benefits to balancing work and family life.
Despite the rapid acceleration to more virtual and digital teams, I kept wondering if practicing mindfulness with digital teams could increase their concentration focus, team building and productivity and would human closeness be impacted and hence levels of job satisfaction reduced?
In addition, one of the major concerns leaders have consistently had is how to ensure and sustain a high-level engagement among their employees to ensure employees feel a sense of purpose, connectedness, well being and naturally > happy employees are more productive employees, and have higher levels of job satisfaction.
See Blog Two in this series for more insights on Mindfulness and access to additional articles on mindfulness.