Mindfulness@Work Six-Week Program
The next six-week, in-person program begins on April 5th at the Diamond Health Care Centre (DHCC/VGH)!
Registration now open!
Mindfulness@Work is an in-person educational program modelling off Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). MBSR is an evidence-based training that reduces stress, cultivates physical & mental health and promotes wellbeing. Mindfulness is a basic human quality, a way of learning how to pay wise attention to whatever is happening in your life in the moment. The practice of mindfulness reduces reactivity and promotes greater connection inwardly and outwardly.
Mindfulness@Work specifically focuses on integrating the practice of mindfulness in the workplace to promote effectiveness, teamwork, and communication.
Registration and Participation
In order to participate in the program, please ensure that you have a clear understanding of the commitment outlined below.
Participating in Mindfulness@Work requires an ongoing commitment to your wellbeing. You will be asked to:
- attend all classes, including the one-day weekend retreat, and
- to practice daily home assignments for 15-30 minutes a day.
Spring 2018 – DHCC/VGH
Thursday, April 5, 12, 19, 26 & May 3, 10
9:00 – 10:15am
Mandatory Retreat: Saturday, April 28 from 10am – 2pm
For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cost – $100
Payable by cash, JV to KPGK or by cheque to UBC Human Resources (attn: Melissa Lafrance).
Most staff & faculty members have the option to access one of UBC’s professional development funding programs to cover the $100 registration fee. Please refer to your applicable professional development funding program for reimbursement procedures. Current eligible employment groups include: Faculty Association, Sessional Lecturers, Research Associates, M&P (AAPS), CUPE 2950, Executive Administrative, CUPE 116, Non-Union Technicians & Research Assistants, and Service Unit Directors & Excluded M&P.
Mindfulness@Work 2016 & 2017 Highlights
The pre- and post-evaluation surveys indicated participants:
- Reported a higher level of workplace productivity
- Noted a significant increase in their ability to handle stress
- Indicated a greater ability to resolve interpersonal conflicts in their workplaces
- Gained personal resiliency
- Felt an increase in their daily energy levels at work
- Increased their knowledge of mindfulness meditation
- Felt confident to implement their own mindfulness practice
Participants’ top three achievements were “improved interpersonal skills”, learned how to lead a healthier lifestyle” and “reduced stress levels”.
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) was originally developed by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in 1979 to improve the quality of life of those living with chronic pain and illness. Today, mindfulness-based interventions are being applied in a variety of contexts including mental health, addictions, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress, professional preparation, K-12 education, workplace, leadership, & sports performance. For references to research see mindfulness research guide.
Benefits of Mindfulness
- Increased physical and mental health and wellbeing
- Improvement in medical conditions—including chronic illness or pain, high blood pressure, fibromyalgia, cancer, heart disease, asthma, GI distress, skin disorders, and many other conditions.
- Improved coping with stressful events, less reactivity
- Increased focus and concentration
- Increased working memory
- Decreased psychological distress, relapse from depression, anxiety
- Increased Emotional Intelligence
- Empathy & Compassion for Others
“My work environment is very stressful. Mindfulness practice and the lessons learned in our sessions is helping me deal with stress and work out ways to deal mindfully with uncomfortable situations that arise”
“I react differently to situations with more calm and a level head”
“I was able to focus better. I caught my mind wandering during tasks and brought it back. My interpersonal skills at work are better”
“Biggest impact has been informal take 5’s. Find them very useful and time gained by focus and clarity afterwards more than makes up for time invested”
“When I have several tasks to do at work I am better able to prioritize them and feel calm rather that frazzled. I also don’t plan my work day while on my way to work which is what I used to do every day!”
“I have made use of a “quiet space” in the office to have a 10-15 minute formal practice when I notice myself feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, irritated and/or detached from my work.”
“As a manager, I had to have a difficult conversation with an employee about their performance. Using some of the skills and practices learned, I approached the meeting with a more open mindset and less judgmental attitude. The meeting went well and their performance was greatly improved.”
Research Collaboration Studying Mindfulness and Workplace Performance (2014 only)
We are collaborating with Sauder School of Business to offer Mindfulness@Work as part of a research study to better understand the association between mindfulness practice and workplace performance. More specifically, this study will investigate the impact of mindfulness training to:
- Improve one’s ability to stay more focus and on-task,
- Develop emotional intelligence and resolve conflict
- Enhance creativity
This randomized controlled trial will compare UBC participants who take the Mindfulness@Work program versus a wait-list control group. Participants in both the experimental and control groups will be asked to complete an on-line assessment of three performance metrics: (i) executive functions (cognitive processes related to working memory, task flexibility, problem solving) (ii) creativity; and (iii) conflict resolution style. Data results of participants in the study will remain anonymous, and results will be disseminated through publications, and highlighted through Health, Wellbeing & Benefits.
Faculty and staff who are interested in participating are encouraged to discuss this learning opportunity with their head, manager and/or supervisor. Heads, managers and Supervisors are encouraged to support faculty and staff participation in the Mindfulness@Work Program as a professional learning opportunity linking to and supporting Focus on People‘s objective in the development of a sustainable, healthy workplace. Engagement in this program will require two-hours during the work-day for six weeks, totalling 12 hours. Participation in this program intends to cultivate resilience, mental health, focus, empathy, and communication skills. Supervisors can expect the benefits of this program will transfer into your unit/department and work environment.