Evidence suggests: shorter courses and practice time are effective

* In the Randomised Control Trial (RCT), 44 randomly selected Dow Chemicals employees took part in a 7 week mindfulness course especially adapted for the workplace, with short practices.Stress decreased, Mindfulness, resilience, work engagement and vigour and employee well-being increased. Key improvements included

• 30 percent reduction in perceived stress
• 50 percent decrease in number of high stress episodes
• 13 percent increase in resiliency
• 15 percent increase in work engagement and vigour
• 50 percent decrease in employee burnout

(Aikens KA1, Astin J, Pelletier KR, Levanovich K, Baase CM, Park YY, Bodnar CM. (2014) Mindfulness goes to work: impact of an online workplace intervention.)

* 152 middle managers completed an 8 week mindfulness course with 20 minutes a day practice. Managers demonstrated statistically significant improvements in levels of: (i) work-related stress, (ii) job satisfaction, (iii) psychological distress, and (iv) employer-rated job performance. “It is concluded that Mindfulness At Work Training appears to be an effective intervention for improving both work-related wellbeing and job performance in middle-hierarchy office-based managers.” (Shonin, E.S., Van Gordon, W., Dunn, T., Singh, N. & Griffiths, M.D. (2014). Meditation Awareness Training (MAT) for work-related wellbeing and job performance: A randomized controlled trial. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 12, 806–823)

* 93 Local government and private sector employees took part in 4 or 6 week mindfulness programmes with short daily practice requirements. ey findings included Increased knowledge of behavioural insights, and increases in specific mindfulness traits. "When combined with learning about behaviour change, mindfulness training can enable people to take greater control of their own behavioural systems and lead more empowered lives." "Participants reported being able to better avoid the escalation of negative spirals of thoughts, and more able to be non-judgmental and non-reactive to inner experience¸ which also seemed to enable them to pause and think before reacting to external events. For some they were expressly applying this to their decision making". "Since the programme, there was a greater willingness within working teams to acknowledge and address different manifestations of emotional response to particular situations and projects and see them as relevant." (Jessica Pykett, Rachel Lilley, Mark Whitehead, Rachel Howell, Rhys Jones (January 2016) Mindfulness, Behaviour Change and Decision Making An Experimental Trial)

* 11 Healthcare managers attended a short work focussed mindfulness training programme. The researchers found that significant positive changes in leadership were reported by participants and that this was confirmed by their colleagues. The aspects of leadership which showed statistically significant improvements were ‘leadership effectiveness’ and ‘balanced processing.’ Follow-up interviews were carried out post-intervention which showed significant increases in mindfulness and corresponding decreases in stress that were sustained post training (Wasylkiw, L. (2015) The impact of mindfulness on leadership effectiveness in a health care setting: a pilot study” Journal of health organization and management Vol 29 (7) pp893 – 911.)

* 17 physicians took part in a brief Mindfulness programme They reported significant improvements in stress, mindfulness, emotional exhaustion, and depersonalization. The findings suggest that brief mindfulness interventions “can have a positive impact on physician well-being and potentially enhance patient care.” (David A. Schroeder, Elizabeth Stephens, Dharmakaya Colgan, Matthew Hunsinger, Dan Rubin, Michael S. Christopher (2016) A Brief Mindfulness-Based Intervention for Primary Care Physicians A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial)