Meditation in the workplace

Meditation in the workplace

Q:   I recently interviewed for a position at a high-tech company.  Afterwards, I was given a tour of their swanky new building.  I was impressed but not surprised when shown conference rooms with oversize monitors, motion-detector lighting and well-stocked break rooms.  What did surprise me was being shown the employee meditation room, serenely furnished with comfy lounge chairs and dim lighting.   I thought this was a Silicon Valley fad, but I guess it’s gone mainstream.   Is there research that there’s an actual business return on investment for meditation in the workplace?

While it’s common to hear claims that companies, such as  Google, JPMorgan, Aetna and Intel are using mindfulness meditation to help workforces create a more positive work environment which “could translate into tangible business benefits”, you’ll be hard pressed to find conclusive research on what those benefits are(in fact, I’d say there’s better scientific support for the 15 minute power nap.)

Regardless of the business case, there is no doubt employees like this meditation perk.   

So it’s no surprise that employers -who are always introducing new enticements to attract and retain talent- are now adding meditation in the workplace to their long list of other perks, which might include free snacks, juicebars, standing desks and 10-minute walking breaks.

Of course, a dedicated room and privacy are not necessarily required for offering meditation in the workplace.  At a well-known hotel chain for example, employees use the hotel’s event space for a 1/2 hour group meditation practice at the end of every workday.  You would think people would be eager to leave work and go home and skip the meditation, but the company has been surprised at the high employee participation and how well it’s been received.

Another advantage of group meditation is that it costs the company little to nothing. There are free apps for your phone and many helpful websites we are you can find instructions to start a program.

So, If I were interviewing at a company that offers meditation or -better yet- a meditation room I would come away thinking they want to take good care of their people.  Going with that assumption,  I hope you get a job offer.

©Copyright Eva Del Rio

Eva Del Rio is creator of HR Box™ – tools for small businesses and startups. Send questions to Eva@evadelrio.com

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