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Work-Related Mental Health and Job Performance: Can Mindfulness Help?

  • William Van GordonEmail author
  • Edo Shonin
  • Masood Zangeneh
  • Mark D. Griffiths
Article

Abstract

Work-related mental health issues such as work-related stress and addiction to work impose a significant health and economic burden to the employee, the employing organization, and the country of work more generally. Interventions that can be empirically shown to improve levels of work-related mental health—especially those with the potential to concurrently improve employee levels of work performance—are of particular interest to occupational stakeholders. One such broad-application interventional approach currently of interest to occupational stakeholders in this respect is mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs). Following a brief explication of the mindfulness construct, this paper critically discusses current research directions in the utilization of mindfulness in workplace settings and assesses its suitability for operationalization as an organization-level work-related mental health intervention. By effecting a perceptual-shift in the mode of responding and relating to sensory and cognitive-affective stimuli, employees that undergo mindfulness training may be able to transfer the locus of control for stress from external work conditions to internal metacognitive and attentional resources. Therefore, MBIs may constitute cost-effective organization-level interventions due to not actually requiring any modifications to human resource management systems and practises. Based on preliminary empirical findings and on the outcomes of MBI studies with clinical populations, it is concluded that MBIs appear to be viable interventional options for organizations wishing to improve the mental health of their employees.

Keywords

Work-related stress Work addiction Workaholism Workplace wellbeing Occupational stress Job Performance Mindfulness Meditation Buddhism 

Notes

Conflicts of Interest

The authors have no competing interests to declare.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • William Van Gordon
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Edo Shonin
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Masood Zangeneh
    • 4
  • Mark D. Griffiths
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of PsychologyNottingham Trent UniversityNottinghamUK
  2. 2.Awake to Wisdom Centre for Meditation, Mindfulness, and Psychological WellbeingNottinghamUK
  3. 3.Bodhayati School of BuddhismNottinghamUK
  4. 4.Factor-Inwentash, Faculty of Social WorkUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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