Mindfulness Improves Workplace, Researcher Finds

CLEVELAND – A new analysis of mindfulness research co-directed by Christopher Lyddy, a management scientist at Case Western Reserve University, suggests that “injecting a corporate culture of mindfulness not only improves focus, but the ability to manage stress and how employees work together.”

Lyddy, an organizational behavior doctoral candidate at Case Western, worked Darren Good at Pepperdine University to examine 4,000 scientific papers on mindfulness to condense the information into “an accessible guide documenting the impact mindfulness has on how people think, feel, act, relate and perform at work.”

Their findings, Contemplating Mindfulness at Work (An Integrative Review), were published in the Journal of Management.

“Remarkably, scientists have found the effects of mindfulness consistently benign,” Lyddy said in a release. “Of the thousands of empirical studies we read, only two reported any downside to mindfulness.”

And, he added, there is an increasing body of work showing the benefits of mindfulness is linked to improved workplace functions. Among the organizations using workplace mindfulness training are Google, the Mayo Clinic and the United States Marine Corps.

“When you are mindful, you can have greater consciousness in the present,” Lyddy said. “That’s vital for any executive or manager, who, at any given moment, may be barraged with various problems that call for decisions under stress.”

Mindfulness is defined as “present-centered attention and awareness,” he noted.

Among the findings of the study were that mindfulness appears to positively impact functioning overall, that mindfulness has been show to improve stability, control and efficiency, and that mindfulness may improve relationships through increased empathy and compassion.

Lyddy has previously written about mindfulness in the workplace. Earlier this month, he and three other researchers, including Good, wrote how the practice impacts performance, decision-making and career longevity for the London School of Economics and Politics Business Review.

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