SAP and Google have adopted workplace mindfulness programs that address job disruption caused by artificial intelligence and other emerging tech. Are they on to something CIOs should know?
Not long ago the concept of mindfulness would have brought a round of giggles and guffaws in the boardroom. Those days are gone. SAP has delivered mindfulness training to over 6,000 employees, another 5,000+ are patiently waiting for their turn.
While the concept bombed with senior leadership when it was termed 'mindfulness training', 'attention training' was an instant hit. Google uses it to help employees prepare for new roles as AI replaces jobs.
- Watch your language. 'Stress training,' for example, may turn off those who aren't stressed.
- Make it your own. It's not necessarily about incense and sitting cross-legged.
- Lead with knowledge. Hard research will dissuade naysayers.
“Increasingly, green building project teams have attempted to incorporate biophilic design into their projects, but often their efforts amount to adding trees and plants or water features to their buildings. I believe this is because nothing in their training or backgrounds has prepared them for this exercise, and their experience with green building rating systems has trained them to fulfill the minimum requirements of a checklist without thinking past that step. True biophilic design goes much further and deeper.”
This excerpt from Amanda Sturgeon’s new book, Creating Biophilic Buildings, looks at how Google employed biophilic principles in every aspect of their Chicago headquarters design. Google turned a windowless cold storage warehouse into a light-filled space. Key biophilic elements:
- Daylighting promotes circadian rhythms and reduce stress. Task lights with color temperature settings
- Places of refuge – private spaces where employee can feel protected but not unconnected
- Direct visual connections to the outdoors
- Video walls that undulate patterns of nature
She stresses the need for making biophilia part of the design strategy, rather than placing a few green things around as an afterthought.
Google loves quantifying stuff. But when it comes to optimizing team collaboration, it turns out their secret sauce is an unwritten social code.
Interestingly, what the found was the best ingredients for effective teams was equal participation and good sharing both within and outside the team.