Mindfulness at Work

Although you’d think that I'd be very encouraged that a lot of companies are encouraging their staff to explore mindfulness and are promoting its benefits, I’m actually very concerned. 

While it should be an obvious benefit to provide and make time for, I think there’s a risk that the people who are offering it as a benefit may not understand it. Even worse, directors and HR managers may even think it’s an easy way to remove stress and anxiety and consider it a complete solution to any mental health issues their staff experience.

“Feeling stressed because we’ve doubled your workload and you rarely leave on time, just go and meditate.“

This could also become a stock response to stress in future, and I fear that many people will use it as an excuse to justify unacceptable working conditions. As much as I value meditation, it's clearly not the answer to workplace bullying, poor conditions or personal tragedies.

While I think it’s fair to say that meditation will help you accept what you are experiencing and change your relationship to it, some things simply aren’t acceptable or tolerable. There are also likely to be physical strains caused by serious workplace issues, and I can’t see how meditation can help with this.

If you injured yourself in a workplace accident, I don’t think anyone could simply say it was ok because they offered a cheap gym membership where you could rehabilitate. The same thing should go for meditation, and it’s up to us all to start making ripples in the water.