It is undeniable that work can sometimes be stressful. Nowadays, companies are not only concentrating on their bottom line but also on improving their productivity. This is why workers are now having a lot of responsibilities.
Although it is quite hard to totally get rid of stress from work, yet some organizations are trying their best to help their employees relax. Most companies, like the ones that we feature here, are accomplishing this through meditation.
When practiced each day, meditation can provide lots of mental benefits. Based on some studies, meditation can actually change how your brain absorbs information. It can also help in managing the impacts of stress, grief, and anxiety.
Based on some research, people who practiced meditation are happier and more relaxed than those who don’t. That is why it is not surprising that a number of high-stress companies have decided to incorporate meditation on their corporate mission. The following are some of the leading companies that promote on-the-job meditation.
If you are familiar with the life of Steve Jobs, then you must be aware that meditation has been a common practice in Apple. Jobs often participated in meditation retreats. He and his wife were married in a Zen ceremony. When he was still alive, Steve Jobs made friends with many monks. Some people believe that because of meditation, Jobs obtained mental control which helped him in becoming successful in inventing innovative products for Apple.
Perhaps this is the reason why Jobs wanted to implement meditation in the workplace. Now, the employees of Apple will spend 30 minutes each day to do meditation while at work. This tech giant company provides meditation and yoga classes to its employees on-site. They also have a meditation room which can be used by their employees.
Prentice Hall Publishing
Working in a publishing company can be tough. Publishing companies are aware of this, that is why they are offering meditation to their employees to help them relieve their stress while doing their work. Prentice Hall valued their employees so much that they’ve allocated a meditation area for them. This space is also referred to as the “Quiet Room” and it is found in their corporate headquarters.
When employees are feeling stressed out with their work, they can simply take a break and enter into the room to do meditation or prayer. Even if they don’t want to meditate or pray, they can just go there to relax and have a moment of reflection in order to relieve their stress.
One of the greatest benefits of working at Google is its enormous benefits. But the downside is sometimes the job can be a bit stressful. Chade-Meng Tan, one of the first software engineers of Google, who is now the leader of personal growth, has been trying to incorporate meditation into the workplace.
In 2007, Tan introduced the program “Search Inside Yourself”. It was a great success since it has helped over 500 employees at Google. After participating in the program, these people were able to listen to their colleagues, breathe mindfully, and enhanced their emotional intelligence.
This company also provides meditation courses and meditation areas for their employees. They believe that meditation can greatly help in improving the mental health and well-being of their employees. Aside from this, the company is also considering their bottom line.
Nike’s famous motto “just do it” seems to be related to meditation. This company is one of the many large corporations that practice meditation in their workplace. Employees of this company are provided with relaxation rooms where they can relax, rest, pray, and most of all do some meditation. Aside from having these quiet rooms, employees are also given the chance to participate in meditation and yoga classes on-site. This means that there’s no need for leaving their workplace.
AOL Time Warner
In 2000, AOL Time Warner decided to decrease their employees in sales and marketing. From 850 to only 500 workers. As a result, the retained employees were left with lots of work to do. The company wanted to help their employees deal with the stress of working for longer hours, so they offer them with meditation classes while at work. Employees can also go to a quiet room where they can relax, refocus, and refresh themselves before going back to their busy days.
McKinsey & Co.
McKinsey & Co. is a management and consulting firm established in Illinois. So, you might be asking why this workplace is doing meditation. The company wanted its employees to be happy and healthy, so they incorporated meditation into their HR programs.
According to McKinsey’s partner, Michael Rennie, who is a meditation enthusiast himself, if it can do good for the spirit, then for sure it can also do good for the bottom line. The company is taking this seriously, in fact aside from creating meditation and self-evaluation techniques for their employees, they also created some programs for their other large corporations. In fact, there was one instance, wherein their Australian customer was able to save more than $20 million because of the meditation program that McKinsey developed for them.
Another huge tech company that desires to help their employees reduce stress is Yahoo!. Workers at Yahoo! can relax and meditate at the meditation rooms. They can also join other employees and take free meditation classes that are offered on-site.
Deutsche Bank is an international banking and financial services company. There is no doubt that the employees in this institution must have experienced some kind of stress in their jobs most especially due to the global economic crisis. But fortunately, Deutsche Bank is aware of this. That is why they provide meditation programs in their workplace. Although it may seem that this company is traditional, yet they embrace this progressive program. In order to help their workers reduce stress from their work, they provide them with meditation classes and meditation spaces at the workplace. When the stress is minimized then it can result in a more level-headed rationalization.
Procter & Gamble
The CEO of Procter & Gamble, A.G. Lafley, is a huge fan of meditation practice. This is the reason why this company is also offering meditation to their employees. He revealed that no one can stop a problem. The best thing to do is to out-meditate it. This company values the well-being of their employees. That is why they provide them with lots of health and fitness programs including meditation classes and quiet spaces. These programs are offered in their major corporate buildings.
Although it may seem that the shows offered by HBO can turn you into couch potatoes, it does not mean that they want the same for their employees. Instead, they offer them with lots of resources to keep them healthy both mentally and physically. Some of these programs include meditation classes offered on-site, free yoga classes, as well as gyms. Maybe these meditation programs and mindful exercises are the greatest inspiration for the new show “Enlightened.”
Why Meditation Rooms Are Essential?
Due to its tremendous benefits, most companies are now offering meditation rooms in their workplaces. For sure, this is a great option than hiding yourself in the bathroom stall. During the early days, employees used to go to the bathroom, if they need a peace and quiet place to relax. After some time, employees were provided with a nap room. Today, the latest option is a meditation room.
Pearson, an international publishing company, decided to transform their lactation rooms into wellness rooms. In these rooms, employees can choose to meditate, pray, relax, or do other types of quiet-time activities.
According to Angela Schwers, the Senior Vice President of Human Resource at Pearson, these meditation rooms have been an integral part of their culture. Some employees prefer to dim the lighting to make it seem that they are in the dark. Employees love these wellness rooms, in fact, they have been using them almost every hour. It’s been part of their culture and employees would have complained if the company will stop offering these rooms to them.
The manager of virtual events at Pearson, Janna Dinolfo, revealed that she will go to these wellness rooms when she is confronting approaching deadlines or when there are lots of activities going on in the office. She is glad that there is a quiet place in the office where she can avoid the noise even for just ten minutes. Here, she can simply concentrate on breathing and staying calm regardless of those deadlines.
Just like Pearson, huge organizations such as Yahoo, Google, Nike, HBO, and Salesforce are also offering meditation spaces in their workplace. Aside from having access to on-site meditation spaces, employees at Google can also participate in free meditation courses. Meditation classes and workshops are also offered to employees at HBO and Nike. In 2016, Salesforce built a new office in San Francisco and incorporated a meditation room on every floor. This is intended to help their employees reduce their stress. According to its CEO, this is very important for encouraging innovation.
Most likely, it was Steve Jobs who initiated the meditation room trend in workplaces. People who are working at Apple are given 30 minutes break where they can do some meditation. Also, meditation rooms are constructed in all their offices all over the world. Also, the signature mouse of Apple which was designed by Jobs was a resemblance on an “enso” which was considered as the basic representation of Zen visual art. Jobs started doing meditation as early as the age of 19. He said that the mind has a tendency to slow down. With meditation, you can see so much more. This is a discipline that you need to practice.
What Are The Benefits of Meditation?
Meditation rooms and meditation classes are not offered just because of altruism. According to the director of the New York Meditation Center, Michael Miller, based on some studies, meditation can help in improving creativity and critical thinking. Additionally, it can help in reducing stress and enhancing interpersonal relationships. Furthermore, if employees are already tired and stressed out, then they won’t be able to perform better.
Based on the recent study by The Permanente Journal, meditation can indeed help in reducing stress at work. Also, according to Harvard research, sick employees who are suffering from various conditions can also take advantage of meditation. It can help in treating both physical and mental conditions such as depression, psoriasis, fibromyalgia, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, etc.
The Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic also discovered that mindfulness-based methods such as meditation can help in reducing stress levels most especially for people who are involved in demanding jobs. It can make them happier and more engaged.
Unfortunately, not all offices have meditation rooms. However, even if you don’t have one at work, you can still enjoy its benefits by doing some meditation before and after working. You can find a lot of resources that can help you in getting started as well as in improving your meditation techniques.
You can spend at least five minutes counting your breaths. You can even do this during your lunch break. Some people would prefer to go to a quiet place and simply sit there and observe their thoughts. Now, there are apps that you can use to remind you that it is time to take a break and do your meditation. You could also use these apps in finding the best style to do it.
Nowadays, meditation is not considered as an esoteric practice that requires total disconnection from life. In fact, there is no need for you to travel to remote places since you can simply do it right in your workplace. You can easily access meditation rooms where you can do your meditation.
Mindfulness meditation has become a popular method for self-help. It is commonly used by companies in increasing productivity and improving the well-being of their employees. In most Fortune 500 organizations, meditation is considered as a necessity for employee development.
In his book, Mindful Work, David Gelles shares that the company had to spend more on the healthcare of a highly stressed employee compared to those who are less stressed. Health care costs have gone down after companies offered mindfulness programs.