Everyone knows what it takes to crush it at work: non-stop hustle. Being ready to go at a moment's notice and taking care of business at 3 a.m. or 3 p.m. You'll rest when you're dead, right? You've got bigger problems to solve.
Google disagrees. So does Apple. Same with Nike.
Some of the biggest companies in the world, fueling our greatest innovations, know the power of meditation at work. Those companies I've mentioned before all actively encourage their employees to take a moment to relax and re-center themselves.
I was skeptical at first, but now I'm on board. I practice meditation regularly and encourage my employees to take a step back and breathe. Here's why.
It Kills Burnout
Sometimes, your best employees are also the ones burning the candle at both ends. They'll be super productive for months or years at a time, but something will change after that. Productivity will halt and they might start looking for an exit.
If you're trying to keep your talent happy for years to come, encouraging them to take a meditation break every now and then can work wonders.
Wellness researchers at The Cleveland Clinic recently tested an online stress management program at a hectic call center. Participants reported a 31 percent reduction in stress levels and a 28 percent increase in vitality, enabling employees to be more productive throughout the day.
Several experts preach the importance of meditation as a way to prevent burnout. Studies have shown that meditation helps those in high-stress professions such as medicine or teaching. Meditation causes the body to produce fewer stress hormones, allowing the body to boost its immune system, keeping employees healthier.
You don't have to have a special meditation space to achieve these results. Even just a 10-minute mindfulness break during the day can do wonders.
It Boosts Your Culture
When employees feel that you care for their well being beyond workplace production, they're much happier. A study shows that 91 percent of employees feel that practicing mindfulness in the workplace has a positive effect on company culture.
While the free gourmet food, open workspaces and on-site medical care are some of the more-publicized perks to working for Google, the company places high emphasis on self-care. Employees have access to nap pods and massage rooms. Former Google engineer Chade-Meng Tan (employee No. 107) started one of Google's most popular programs: Search Inside Yourself.
The course, which focuses on breathing mindfully and listening to fellow employees, started with a group of 500 Googlers, but quickly found a calling big enough to merit a waitlist. Google employees have even claimed the program changed their lives.
If you're looking to start a program like that in your office, I highly recommend Tan's book, also called Search Inside Yourself.
It Makes Your Employees Better
Google knows that when employees are happy and mindful, they're being productive. That helps the company culture -- and the bottom line.
Several studies have shown that taking a mindfulness break has a supercharged effect on the mind. After meditation, your employees can be at peak performance. Instead of trying to boost this with coffee or a 5-hour energy shot, give meditation a try.
A University of Washington study shows that employees who took meditation training were able to stay focused for longer and were less susceptible to distraction. Meditation can also help you with multitasking, as several studies have proven.
In one workplace, which tested meditation, 63 percent of employees said they were able to better manage themselves at work. Additionally, 60 percent said they felt more focused and had enhanced decision-making skills.
Wouldn't you love to have an office full of employees who are on-task, productive, happy and not distracted? Maybe it's time to look at a practical solution: meditation.