Believe it or not, a growing number of employers have introduced and offered meditation at the office to lower stress and aid the wellbeing of their employees. The bottom line is to promote health through meditation, and alleviate the adverse effects of stress and its associated rising health care costs.
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety, stress-related ailments cost companies about $200 to $300 billion annually in increased absenteeism, tardiness, and the loss of talented workers. 70% to 90% of employee hospital visits are linked to stress.
An Ohio State University 2009 study found that employees who engaged in twenty minutes of meditation and yoga per day combined with an hour group meeting once a week for six weeks reported having less stress and better sleeping patterns. The program utilized the mindfulness-based stress reduction program to create its own low-cost, low-dose version tailored for the workplace. Employees didn’t have to commit much time, and could meditate and move at their desks.
Early adopters of meditation in the workplace include companies like Apple and Google, and now Procter & Gamble, Yahoo! and HBO have followed suit. McKinsey & Co., a management and consulting firm, created meditation and self-analysis programs for employees and other corporations, citing that a meditation program it developed for an Australian client saved the company more than $20 million. Prentice Hall Publishing has even made the “Quiet Room,” a special meditation space in its corporate headquarters for employees to meditate, pray or have quiet time when they are stressed. A.G. Lafley, CEO of Procter & Gamble and advocate of meditation in the workplace, has been noted saying, “You can not out-work a problem, you have to out-meditation it.”
Employers use meditation in the workplace as a practical way to balance out the heaviness of corporate culture while producing calm and communicative employees. Just 10 to 15 minutes of meditation a day leaves employees feeling more confident, more productive and with increased job satisfaction. Meditation at work allows employees to relax, concentrate and have a heightened morale, plus it decreases stress, anxiety, depression and insomnia. Statistics show that less workplace injuries and accidents happen when employees are relaxed, and call in sick less when reaping wellness benefits of meditation.
The kicker? Meditation is one of the cheapest solutions a company can find to motivate, maintain and benefit employees while benefiting themselves.
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