How many of us don’t aspire to live a meaningful life? We wish a life full of achievements and happiness, we aspire to connect with ourselves and the world around us. On certain days, we may even wonder whether what we do will have any value, whether it will matter in the future, or whether we will be proud of what we do. And, in a society that lives for work, giving it some special meaning could be the solution to experience happier and more rewarding days. Workplace spirituality tells us that our levels of productivity and happiness increase when we do something that we can make meaningful and that aligns with our life purpose.
Quoting Rebeca Seal, in her book How to work alone (and not go crazy) : “If you’re happy doing what you do, or even if you hate your job, but it doesn’t bother you (maybe because it gives you something with value much bigger for you ) (…), so fine. Not everyone gets meaning out of their work. It’s not mandatory. And, in many ways, finding meaning in other areas of life is much healthier and more desirable than the modern motto that work gives us our greatest value as a person. But a work with meaning is a fantastic thing.”
“THROUGH MINDFULNESS WE ACT WITH AWARENESS, NOT BEING CAUGHT UP IN PAST, FUTURE OR OTHER DISTRACTIONS.”
In fact, enjoying what you do is a fantastic thing and this is where the ideology of spirituality at work focuses. Work doesn’t have to be influenced by our life purpose, but it becomes much more enriching when we use our talents, ambitions and dreams to build it. According to Pawinee Petchsawanga and Dennis Duchon, authors of the study Measuring workplace spirituality in an Asian context, spirituality at work consists in the search for meaning: it is a deep desire for self-knowledge and transcendence that expresses itself with sensations of “harmony, interconnectivity and unity”. People, finding meaning and purpose in what they do, open doors to an honest and liberating space where there is room for true human expression. It is this sense of purpose that, when activated, functions as a form of energy that is expressed outwardly: a happy worker who feels fulfilled in his work will be more happy to work and, consequently, to work better.
Spirituality at work thus includes the senses of connection, compassion, mindfulness, significance and transcendence. Connection happens when there is a deep sense of connection, not just with other people but with the work – when we feel part of the community in which we are inserted and we identify with the common goal of the group; Compassion comes from a deep awareness and empathy for others, accompanied by a desire to alleviate their suffering. With compassion, we have greater responsibility for the other and the desire is for mutual care; the authors describe mindfulness as a state of inner awareness where we are aware of our thoughts and actions and live in the present. through mindfulness we act with awareness, not being caught up in past, future, or other distractions; significance happens when work has meaning in the lives of those who practice it and transcendence transports us to a mystical experience of a positive state of energy or vitality given by a work full of meaning.
“TO LIVE SPIRITUALLY IS TO LIVE WITH VIRTUE AND NOT IN A RELIGIOUS WAY.”
But be aware that spirituality at work has nothing to do with religion. These and other authors make this distinction clear: to live spiritually is to live with virtue and not in a religious way. Notions such as “spirituality” or “transcendence”, due to their grandeur, often force us to look directly at our “smallness” and realize that our existence is short and that we all have our days numbered. So, if we can experience the work in a deeper way, thinking about our inner growth and evolution, the benefits are evident, whether in our personal life or in the life of the company or organization we work for.
IS SPIRITUALITY AT WORK THE FUTURE?
If there was a time when companies were only concerned with rational or monetary issues, now many are betting on a broader view. Being seen as someone who is not just a mere profit vehicle for a company or organization is very important for many people who can’t feel good about their job if they don’t feel like they’re doing something really worthwhile. Companies like Google, Starbucks and Staples have reaped the benefits of embracing this spiritual movement: stress of workers decreased exponentially, as did conflict and absenteeism. On the other hand, job performance and employee happiness levels have been increasing. Google even created a Mindfulness Meditation course, which professionals describe as profoundly transformative, as they feel happier, more productive and more creative throughout the day. The mental health benefits of meditation and mindfulness practices are recognized by many health professionals, but their application in the workplace is still being explored. We know that there is a direct relationship between psychological well-being and performance, so the existence of workplaces that value the values of spirituality can foster personal fulfillment among workers. In this sense,
Spirituality at work does not aim to solve the problems of workers and companies, nor does it guarantee absolute happiness. However, this idea that has been growing allows people to look at working hours in a different way, offering workers who identify themselves the opportunity to choose a meaningful job or to find a new meaning for the job. existing.
The question of the search for purpose is a measure that can be adopted by companies and organizations, as well as by workers. Companies can put it into practice through meditation, mindfulness classes or another type of activity, while the worker can question himself about what moves him in life and try to include these aspects in his daily work.