The art of being mindful in the workplace - Leadership Development Blog | The Mindful Leader

I’m lucky to be involved in helping individuals and companies discover mindfulness and use it as a tool that boosts productivity and prioritises personal development. I’m also lucky to have a mindful workplace and to be able to see the positive effects of a mindful corporate culture, first-hand. 

I often hear from friends about how stressed they are, the heavy load of their work commitments and responsibilities, and the challenges of working with various colleagues or under certain restrictions. I empathise with them completely.

In today’s modern world, it feels like we’re always rushing towards something. Every day is a balancing act and a test of time management, resilience, and productivity. This takes a toll on physical and mental health, sooner rather than later.

Mindfulness is all about your headspace and mentality. As a leader, I ensure that I regularly check in with my employees. I maintain accessibility that allows them to be honest and open about things they are struggling with; things that may affect their work and health. I’m proud that my teams are also blessed with strong teamwork skills and empathy for each other. 

This became clear to me during WFH when I couldn’t meet my employees face-to-face and had to rely on online communication, which was much more impersonal.

On one particular day, a longstanding employee called me up and voiced her concern for a colleague. The colleague she was referring to had just had a family member hospitalised. 

“I’m not sure if the hospitalisation is coronavirus-related,” she said, “But he doesn’t think it’s going to affect his work too much and he has his mind set on continuing to work. He knows that he can’t really do anything to help and can only wait to hear more news as it develops. I just wanted to let you know; he seemed quite upset on the phone.”

I thanked her for letting me know and for sharing her concern. Before too long, the colleague she was referring to called me up himself and let me know what he was going through. As a workplace, we were able to come together for him, relieve him of his workload, and help him deal with his personal crisis in the small ways we could.

When building a mindful workplace, it’s important to keep in mind that the art of being mindful starts with the individual.

How paying attention helps you stay mindful in the workplace

Mindfulness is all about paying attention to the present moment in an accepting, non-judgmental way.

This includes paying attention to little things in your external environment and staying absorbed in every moment and every activity. Being mindful in the workplace includes noticing the feel of your keyboard keys against your fingertips, the rattling sound of your keys, the warmth of your coffee cup, and everything in between.

The goal of mindfulness is not about emptying your mind but paying closer attention to your thoughts, actions, feelings, and external environment in order to achieve self-awareness. 

Consistently paying close attention to everything around you and your own state of mind is a form of meditation that can help you establish mindful living.

Taking a break can help you be more mindful in the workplace

Productivity should be a long-term goal and any work environment that promotes non-stop, ceaseless working models have lost sight of this goal. 

A harmful misconception is that regular breaks impede productivity and efficiency. In actuality, taking mindful breaks throughout the day, pausing in-between tasks to re-centre your focus and mentally prepare for each individual task can catapult your productivity to new heights. Being able to accurately process your present situation helps you respond in a way that is mindful and correct

When you rush from one task to the next or block out events in your personal life that are impacting your work, it is your work and your health that suffer. My employee felt comfortable enough to rely on his colleagues and workplace for relief during a very stressful time. His colleague was also alert enough to spot possible negative repercussions of an event and flag it in advance. 

This gave him the time he needed to take care of his own wellbeing without having to stretch himself thin and deal with additional stressors.

Taking the time to pause and reflect will make you more receptive to personal growth opportunities and behaviours that will help you stay positive and improve your physical and mental health. 

How Mindful Leader can help you in the art of being mindful in the workplace

The Mindful Leader is a mindfulness resource that offers a wide variety of programs and assessments. Each of these solutions is tailored to provide insight into leading a mindful work environment and ingraining mindfulness into your corporate culture.

If you want to start building a happier, healthier workplace, visit The Mindful Leader website for more information!