For good reason (escalated by the COVID-19 pandemic), enterprises realise they need to ensure employee’s mental wellbeing is taken care of. Also that employees are helped to better take care of themselves. It’s in the enterprise’s interest. Activities geared to supporting them are booming and IT and HR departments are driving them. Mindfulness practice is an important aspect but there is more.
I wrote a trend report / eBook a few years back: Mindful over Mind Full. The essence of that report was that mindfulness practice (through meditation and supported by technology) was growing in popularity amongst consumers and being brought into the enterprise. The report was published in 2015 – check out the growth amongst consumers in the chart since then and this is definitely also impacting enterprise adoption. I guess this confirms the trend and more and more are becoming enlightened to the benefits 💥
Leading the charge on Mindfulness
You need not look further than Microsoft (disclosure) and some recent announcements they just made to see who is at the forefront. At a recent global event for employees, customers and partners (Ignite), the CEO of Microsoft announced a partnership with Headspace, one of the leading meditation apps out there. You can view the recorded conversation with CEO’s of both companies that accompanied the announcement.
The announcement was not just about the Headspace partnership but encompassed a slew of other technology announcements from Microsoft – more on them all here: Insights for wellbeing and productivity. Also check out the video for a little more on where Headspace fits into the equation and how it is integrated in a workplace tool like Microsoft Teams.
The essence of a lot of the efforts (partnerships and new technology announcements) is that employee wellness and productivity can and should be supported by being more mindful and using technology to support that.
Mindfulness at Microsoft has long been supported, this is just the latest iteration involving customers. And it’s not just Microsoft that is a proponent, my trend report cites many companies that have been thinking about this for a long time. Mark Benioff, CEO of Salesforce is another very vocal proponent and practitioner – just do a search to see the many articles on the subject.
Apart from my trend report I pursue something I have called Dharma Hacking – mindfulness through meditation supported by tech is amongst some of its practices. More on it here: Dharma Hacker – An Overview.
I don’t use Headspace because I am a bit of a purist about my meditation practice. I mean by this, that I prefer to meditate unaided, in its purest form and have been doing so for many years now. I guess I got to the point of being able to mediate without the need for any aids. For someone starting out though, I would suggest considering an App like Headspace and there are many others.
I have just started using the Forest App to track my meditation practice – see some screenshots of my meditation forest and other stats from last month.
I love how it allows me to quantify my practice. I’ve started using it for other things now too, writing blog posts like this one for instance, which also has a tag.
Next target is to automate things a bit. This is something that Microsoft is doing well by tracking your work productivity for example, i.e. through MyAnalytics you get insights into your work behaviours without you having to manually track things.
I’m going to have to look at hardware like the Oura ring or the Apple Watch. What I’d like is to be able to meditate and a device picks up on that automatically, tracks my meditation sessions over time and then report on the impact this is having on me. At this stage it seems these options are as elusive as Nirvana 🙏 😁
Not that I need evidence of the impact. Through direct experience, I can feel the improvements I gain after prolonged meditation sessions but thats for another post.