Why are employers increasingly interested in mindfulness? Specifically, why have companies like Aetna, Apple, Google, and General Mills implemented mindfulness training for their employees? With over 4,000 scientific papers published on mindfulness (half of them in the past three years), evidence is emerging that links mindfulness to better workplace functioning: increased productivity, more efficient teamwork, fewer errors, better communication, and fewer sick days.

But what exactly is mindfulness? And why is this surge of mindfulness research influencing management strategies, team-building practices and organizational structure? This latter question will be the focus of subsequent blogs, comprising a five-part series on mindfulness in the workplace. This first blog covers the basics, reviewing the scientific evidence that supports mindfulness.

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