The Rise of Corporate Meditation and Mindfulness
3.5 min read. This article looks at why corporate meditation and mindfulness is more important than ever before, as the business world embarks on fundamental changes.
We’re living through fascinating times that have highlighted how quickly our world can be turned upside down. Attitudes and practices such as meditation, mindfulness, gratitude, compassion and resilience have never been more relevant as health, mental health and well-being become a worldwide focus.
This shift in mental health awareness is evidenced by the worldwide growth of apps such as Headspace and Calm. Another well-known app, Smiling Mind, recently reported 150% growth in app downloads during March 2020 in Australia.
Governments sensing the enormity of the challenge have begun injecting additional funds into Mental Health. A recent example being the Victorian government, announcing that $60 million will be invested in mental health support. 
Workplaces are undergoing mass change, instability and facing an uncertain future. There has never been a greater need for meditation and mindfulness to support the mental health and overall wellbeing of workers.
The extenuating benefits of corporate meditation
The benefits of meditation and mindfulness in the workplace are well documented. Global companies such as Google and Apple are aware of the resounding benefits meditation has on their workers. From combating stress and burnout, through to enhanced connectivity, positivity and productivity. They invest wisely to ensure that meditation is a practice that can be easily accessed regularly by all employees, on a daily basis. And it is not just reserved for some time-out in a dedicated space. Mindfulness is an inherent part of the working culture. For instance, Google embedded mindfulness in meetings, providing scripts and recordings for one- or two-minute meditations for the start of meetings.
However, corporate meditation and mindfulness is not just reserved for big corporations with large budgets for health and wellbeing. In recent years, it has become much more mainstream and attainable. Many businesses of all sizes and budgets now have the means to integrate mindful practices into the workplace. Business leaders are beginning to realise that the benefits of taking a pre-emptive approach to mental health is far-reaching. With recent shifts impacting the corporate world, taking a preventative lead is more important than ever.
More meditation and mindfulness practitioners are needed
It is an opportune time for those who are interested in taking their meditation teaching business into the corporate sector. Not only will mental health receive more attention and funding, but it will also become a priority for businesses who are facing changes in day-to-day operations. It is quite possible that we are at the forefront of a vital shift in how corporate environments operate for the longer term. Fragmentation within workplaces due to the recent work from home orders, has had wide-ranging effects on mental health. A recent survey conducted by Relationships Australia  indicated that 63% of respondents have experienced changes to their mental health in response to changes in their working conditions. While the effects of how COVID-19 has impacted the corporate world is still unfolding, the requirement to adapt to change has been immediate.
Many business leaders are being forced to evaluate how they show up to the task of supporting their staff. The mental health effects resulting from long periods of working in isolation has come to the forefront to be addressed. This is particularly the case for those who found that opportunities to socialise in the workplace can positively affect mental health. In fact, according to a recent study (Tinson, 2020) these key social networks can be so effective that they improve the perceptions people have of their jobs. The adverse effects of this shift is likely to continue, with preliminary studies suggesting that up to 30% of jobs can conceivably be performed from home once the pandemic subsides (Pennington & Stanford 2020).
So what might this mean for the future of corporate meditation? It will mean that businesses will need to assist their employees with tools to cultivate self-awareness, emotional regulation and resilience. This means investing in, and empowering the workforce through tools that assist personal growth, such as meditation and mindfulness. It is, after all, the personal strides an individual makes by traversing their inner experience, that leads to the tangible results of increased focus, productivity and job satisfaction in the outer experience.
Our new elective
It brings us great joy to be able to provide our students with the educative resources to assist in the overall health and wellbeing of others. With all the changes that are happening in the business world, we are thrilled to announce the new Corporate Meditation and Mindfulness elective. This wonderful elective has been authored by ACMM coach Tim James. Tim brings together a collection of experienced corporate meditation and mindfulness practitioners through interviews and videos to share insights, strategies and tools for providing your services in the corporate sector.
Stay tuned! On the blog next week as we discuss how to prepare yourself for working within corporate meditation.
The ACMM team