A growing body of research suggests that contemplative practices reduce workplace stress. Being confined to a desk for hours at a time and coping with the competitive, fast-paced environments common in corporate culture can fill an office with burnt-out people consumed with dread, anger and anxiety. We’ve heard as many as a quarter of major American employers now offer some version of stress reduction. Companies are investing in the idea that limiting stress will translate into fewer employee absences, lower health care costs and higher morale.
Triple bottom line and conscious capitalism, which aim at positive social and environmental results along with profits, have become desirable business strategies and are facilitating those investments. With science demonstrating the benefits of contemplation, the combination of contemplation and capitalism has found fertile ground at places like Target and Google.
Janice Marturano, founder and executive director of the Institute for Mindful Leadership and former Vice President for Public Responsibility and Deputy General Counsel for General Mills, is a key leader of this trend. Earlier this year, her mindful leadership workshop at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland was filled to capacity with business leaders from around the world. She’s been prominently covered by the media, and Arianna Huffington invited her to host a blog on mindful leadership.