The line between work and home is blurring. Combining this with our capacity to constantly reflect on our everyday experiences and plan for the future leads us to the less productive activity of “mindwandering”, in other words, doing something (eg: writing an email) while our mind is busy elsewhere (eg: planning a holiday). Mind-wandering is a problem for workplaces as it can diminish productivity. It is made worse by stress, which causes a problematic cycle for staff and employers – the higher the stress, and therefore distractions, the more time staff invest in work and the more stress rises.
The situation is complicated by accessibility to internet devices that feed the mind-wandering brain at work, and enable work-conscious staff to cheat on their leisure time at home. This cycle can be broken by programming brains differently.
Those who integrate mindfulness into their lives (eg: by focusing on direct experience, being mindful) tend to experience higher productivity.Importantly, mindful staff are unlikely to keep working where there is mindlessness among employers (those who, despite knowing the consequences, carry on placing huge demands).