Mindfulness in the Workplace
“The popularity of mindfulness in the workplace has provoked concerns about motivation. There has been criticism that mindfulness is being used to prop up dysfunctional organisations and unsustainable workloads. One widely-read US critique coined the term “McMindfulness” and argued that “mindfulness is offered as just the right medicine to help employees work more efficiently and calmly within toxic environments” Some in the trade union movement have been wary. “The TUC is concerned that wellbeing programmes should not be used as an excuse to avoid addressing stressors in the workplace. The reality is that wellbeing at work will be difficult to attain without some basic standards of working life and that involves looking at wider issues such as management style, workload, hours of work, worker involvement, and the level of control a worker has over their work”
Despite these valid concerns, it seems that mindfulness has considerable potential across a very wide range of capacities needed in employment ranging from emotional resilience and empathy to cognitive skills and creativity. While it seems that mindfulness can offer real benefits for reducing stress and absenteeism, it is important to emphasise that as an isolated intervention it cannot fix dysfunctional organisations. Mindfulness will only realise its full potential when it is part of a well-designed organisational culture which takes employee wellbeing seriously.
While it seems that mindfulness can offer real benefits for reducing stress and absenteeism, it is important to emphasise that as an isolated intervention it cannot fix dysfunctional organisations”