Mindfulness at work: being while doing

Lyddy, Christopher, and Darren J. Good. “Being While Doing: An Inductive Model of Mindfulness at Work.” Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 7, 2017, pp. 1-18. Full text.

Abstract. Mindfulness at work has drawn growing interest as empirical evidence increasingly supports its positive workplace impacts. Yet theory also suggests that mindfulness is a cognitive mode of “Being” that may be incompatible with the cognitive mode of “Doing” that undergirds workplace functioning. Therefore, mindfulness at work has been theorized as “being while doing,” but little is known regarding how people experience these two modes in combination, nor the influences or outcomes of this interaction.

Drawing on a sample of 39 semi-structured interviews, this study explores how professionals experience being mindful at work. The relationship between Being and Doing modes demonstrated changing compatibility across individuals and experience, with two basic types of experiences and three types of transitions. We labeled experiences when informants were unable to activate Being mode while engaging Doing mode as Entanglement, and those when informants reported simultaneous coactivation of Being and Doing modes as Disentanglement. This combination was a valuable resource for offsetting important limitations of the typical reliance on the Doing cognitive mode.

Overall our results have yielded an inductive model of mindfulness at work, with the core experience, outcomes, and antecedent factors unified into one system that may inform future research and practice.

Mindfulness interventions in the workplace

Hafenbrack, Andrew C. “Mindfulness Meditation as an On-The-Spot Workplace Intervention.” Journal of Business Research, vol. 75, June 2017, pp. 118-29.

Abstract. This article introduces the concept of mindfulness meditation as an on-the-spot intervention to be used in specific workplace situations. It presents a model of when, why, and how on-the-spot mindfulness meditation is likely to be helpful or harmful for aspects of job performance.

The article begins with a brief review of the mindfulness literature and a rationale for why mindfulness could be used on-the-spot in the workplace. It then delineates consequences of on-the-spot mindfulness interventions on four aspects of job performance – escalation of commitment, counterproductive work behaviors, negotiation performance, and motivation to achieve goals.

The article closes with three necessary conditions for an on-the-spot mindfulness intervention to be effectively used, as well as suggestions for how organizations, managers, and employees can facilitate the fulfillment of these necessary conditions. Possible negative consequences of mindfulness and which types of meditation to use are considered. Taken together, these arguments deepen our understanding of state mindfulness and introduce a new manner in which mindfulness can be used in the workplace.

Mindfulness and ‘facebooking’

stress-at-workCharoensukmongkol, P. (2015). Mindful Facebooking: The moderating role of mindfulness on the relationship between social media use intensity at work and burnout. Journal of Health Psychology. Published online before print. Abstract.

Research on the role of social media use in the workplace has gained more interest, yet little is known about personal characteristics that might influence the outcomes that employees experience when they use social media during work. This research aims to investigate the impact of the intensity of social media use at work on three aspects of burnout: emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and lack of personal accomplishment.

Results from partial least squares regression found that mindfulness significantly mediated the relationship between the intensity of social media use at work on emotional exhaustion and lack of personal accomplishment. These findings suggest that using social media during work tends to increase burnout in employees who have a low level of mindfulness, but it lowers burnout in employees who have a high level of mindfulness.