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Title: Mindfulness and employees in the workplace
Author: Rich, Michelle
ISNI:       0000 0004 7657 350X
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2019
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The overall aim of this research is to identify the impact of a brief, low-cost mindfulness meditation training program for employees in a workplace setting, specifically in the UK higher education sector. Although there has been extensive research on the efficacy of mindfulness training for perceived stress of employees, to date, there has been limited research exploring the following: (a) impact of mindfulness-based training interventions on work-related outcomes (b) long-term impact of those interventions, and (c) use of self-help training interventions (low-cost) without supplementary guidance. This thesis aimed to address the research gaps through three empirical studies. Firstly, Study 1 used a randomised waitlist control trial design (N = 125) to assess the impact of offering a mindfulness-based intervention to employees. Intention-to-treat analysis showed improvements in mindfulness and perceived stress after the offer of the Headspace® app. With higher levels of participation, results showed progressively greater improvements in mindfulness, perceived stress and two work-related outcomes, work-life-balance and emotional job engagement. Study 2 then used a longitudinal (12 months) repeated-measures design (N = 60) to investigate the extent to which the amount of Headspace app usage predicted mindfulness, perceived stress and work-related outcomes. Simple regression analysis showed that higher Headspace usage led to greater improvements in work-life-balance and emotional job engagement, however other outcomes were not significant. Study 3 used a qualitative design (N = 13) to explore participants' 12-months experiences of practicing mindfulness, and the perceived impact on their workplace issues. From a thematic analysis of phone interview transcripts, three themes evolved: challenges (workplace related), selective focus (experience of mindfulness), and work impact (from more mindful approach to workplace). Overall, the findings from this thesis provide support for the effectiveness of brief mindfulness-based training in improving mindfulness and perceived stress. The findings demonstrate that those who use a mindfulness training app can improve their work-life balance and emotional job engagement within two months and both work-related outcomes can be improved with increased usage over one year, although improvements do not increase in mindfulness and perceived stress, and other work-related outcomes. Finally, this thesis contributes to research on the use of digital smart-phone apps as an effective delivery method of mindfulness-based training.
Supervisor: Ogden, Jane Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral