Meditation at the workplace has become almost commonplace since the practice was embraced by a number of big name companies, like Google, Target, and General Mills.
Arguably sparked by the widely broadcasted success of the health insurance company Athena – which noted that they saved $3,000 per employee per year by offering meditation – this initial “trend” has become a movement that is embraced by large and small companies alike.
A recent poll found that more than 20% of companies across the country have some sort of mindfulness meditation program available for employees, and this number continues to grow as more and more employers see the inherent benefits.
But when will employers start to see results? Does a meditation program have to be in place for years before it can be deemed successful?
Just Eight Weeks!
The aforementioned Athena made waves in a 2015 New York Times article when its CEO stated that it didn’t take long to see a reduction in stress, pain, and costly doctor visits after implementing a meditation program.
But a new study has taken this to the next level by suggesting that noticeable results can appear after just eight weeks.
Anxiety, Stress and Depression Decreases
The study was initially unique in that it solely targeted lawyers – easily one of the more stressful and time-consuming professions.
Partnering with the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL), the researchers provided an eight-week mindfulness and meditation program for the group of participants. The subjects were asked to meditate daily, and to follow guided meditation practices to essentially “learn the ropes.”
Orchestrated by the University of Western Ontario, the results after just two months of practice were fairly startling.
According to the study:
- Job effectiveness increased by 6.15%
- Depression decreased by 28.84%
- Anxiety decreased by 30.29%
- Stress decreased by 32.45%
Quickly Changing Office Environments
The study was considered significant by a number of medical practitioners and company leaders for its focus on lawyers, but it also provided a little extra insight into how quickly meditation could change an office environment.
Many professionals in all varieties of fields have documented how they feel less stressed and happier at their jobs after a few weeks of meditation. But this study that was released within the last few months collectively combined a host of voices to show a veritable trend.
The results make sense, too, when examined a little closer.
Increases Focus and Reduces Stress
Continuous distractions are one of the biggest hindrances to productivity at the workplace, with an estimated 20% decrease in performance reported for people who are “distracted” throughout the day.
On average, a worker can concentrate just 11 minutes on a single task without having their attention being diverted elsewhere, and this timeframe is actually much less for folks who are continually stressed or anxious.
But because meditation addresses the brain in two distinct ways – by increasing our focus and by reducing our stress – this level of attention has an opportunity to soar.
Granted, this recent study is just another piece of research in a long list of scientifically backed studies that have found a connection between meditation and a better performing workforce.
But considering that employees and employers alike are reporting noticeable results after just eight weeks, the question isn’t whether you should implement a mediation program, but how soon can you do so?
I Can Help!
Having a professional teacher on your side will go a long way in getting you started. Once you’re on the path, you’ll be amazed at how far meditation will take you.