How to Practice Mindfulness in the Workplace

How to Practice Mindfulness in the Workplace

Through the COVID crisis, Your Finance Team have concentrated on supporting clients with advice on their company finances and making sure they understand the government support available. However, more than ever, we have seen how COVID has created real anxiety amongst business owners due to uncertainty and the rapidly changing economic environment. All of this takes its toll, and we are very aware of the human impact of the virus. To help you, we have provided some tips for wellbeing in the workplace.

Did you know there are 70 million sick days a year in the UK due to mental health issues? Mindfulness in the workplace is a hot topic.  It’s about more than just being ‘nice’ or speaking politely to people.  It is about embracing an approach to working with others that benefit them and you.  COVID-19 has had more businesses than even looking into how they can protect their staff members mental health and their own! But how do you practice mindfulness in the workplace?

What is mindfulness?

Being mindful is something that can be used in all parts of life, not just at work.  It is about being present and in control of your actions and behaviours.  Scientists say we spend as much as 47% of our time with our mind’s wandering or not focused on what we are doing.  Take driving to and from work – can you remember every moment of it?

While that’s okay for some routine tasks we don’t need to think about, the lack of mindfulness can be a sign of being unhappy and also impact productivity.  We often let our minds wander when doing tasks we don’t enjoy.

On the other hand, when we are mindful and engaged, then we feel happier and more in control.  We are more aware of situations, interactions and also how we impact other people. With COVID dominating workplace practices at the moment, being mindful and engaged can only be a benefit to businesses.

How to be mindful in the workplace

When it comes to applying mindful principles to the workplace, there are lots of different ways to approach it.  This means you can find ideas or concepts that work best for you.  Here are a few examples to help you be more mindful.

Be consciously present

When you are consciously present at work, you are aware of what’s going on around you and within you.  This means managing what you are doing but also being aware of how you feel.  It requires full attention to each thing and ignoring those random thoughts about what’s for dinner tonight or what’s on the TV later.

Concentrate on a single task

Multi-tasking often seems like a good idea, but it rarely is.  Instead, it is better to focus on one thing and give it all of your attention.  You can even keep a time journal to track what you should be doing when and focus entirely on that thing.

Be humble with others

Being humble can be tricky; we need to prove ourselves and show we are worthy.  But by using humility with others in the workplace, you can have a more harmonious and happy work life.  Learn mindful exercises to help you focus on widening your attention and not simply focusing on your story.

Most importantly – be kind to yourself

You are only human, and no-one has been in this situation before. As much as staff may be looking to managers to help them navigate this new way of working, managers are equally new to this situation! Rather than putting pressure on yourself to deliver immediate “fixes”, take the time to explain to your team that you are doing your best, but that the situation is evolving daily. Let them know you understand it is difficult for them too. But that you also are dealing with the unknown, by involving your team, they may appreciate your tasks more, and we can all learn to be a little kinder to each other.

A better workplace for all

Being mindful can be tricky, but once you learn certain techniques or tactics, you can make it part of your life.  This creates a better workplace for you and everyone else, making the day at work more pleasant and harmonious.  We are in a time of need to pull together as a strong working team, leading to more robust businesses. A pandemic has knocked us all for six, but let us work together and be mindful that we are strongest when working together and supporting each other.

We are a member firm of the Institute of Chartered Management Accountants and a certified Xero advisor

cima-accountant-kent XERO Silver Partner FSB Member