A vision of employees just sitting and thinking is not a mental image that fits in well with the rest of the modern workplace, which almost prides itself on being hyper kinetic.
But the “don’t do something, just sit there” line of thought is gaining sway, as managers at major firms are starting to wonder if more mindful employees just might also be more efficient employees.
So who are the emerging mindfulness heros?
Google prides itself on the dozens of mindfulness courses it offers on its campuses, according to the HBR, including a popular course called “Search Inside Yourself,” offered since 2007. Participants in the “Search Inside Yourself” program noted that his helped them stay calmer, more patient and better able to listen. They also say the program helped them better handle stress and defuse emotions.
General Mills has been putting mindfulness programs on the table for its workers since 2006, with an emphasis on improved employee focus, clarity, and creativity. General Mills has also invested in weekly meditation sessions and yoga classes; there is in fact a meditation room in every building on its campus.
Target also offers mindfulness meditation training and has rolled out the “Meditating Merchants” network since 2010.