Online mindfulness training reduces negative workplace behaviours such as bullying and harassment, according to researchers at the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business.
The researchers engaged participants at two different B.C. workplaces in a 30-day mindfulness challenge using an online mental-health tool that aims to improve resilience and performance and reduce stress. The challenge is the brainchild of Vancouver-based MindWell-U, which creates online and in-person mindfulness and training programs.
The study found online mindfulness training has a positive impact on reducing negative workplace behaviours such as bullying, rudeness, hurtful behaviour and attempting to embarrass co-workers. It included surveys conducted with more than 500 employees before and after the 30-day challenge.
“It’s well-documented that mindfulness training has positive workplace benefits such as increased empathy, resilience and focus, but it’s interesting to learn the 30-day mindfulness challenge also makes employees behave more respectfully with colleagues,” said Daniel Skarlikci, the Edgar F. Kaiser professor of organizational behaviour at Sauder School of Business, in a news release.
“This is important because negative treatment by co-workers is linked to stress as well as unhealthy conflict, ineffective teamwork, low employee morale and poor performance.”