American companies are caught between increasingly overwhelmed, exhausted employees on one hand, and the escalating costs of treating stress-related chronic illness, on the other. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the cost of workplace burnout is more than $300 billion a year, and employers spend up to three times their direct cost in the form of absenteeism, sick days and lower productivity.
Today, the most common reason that employers cite for adopting a mindfulness program is simple — mindful practices are a remarkably effective intervention that drive stress-related health care costs down. Progressive employers are now routinely reporting dramatic decreases in stress levels and burnout, and double-digit increases in regained productivity. According to a recent Harvard Business School meta-study on wellness, mindfulness helps drive medical and absenteeism costs down by $2.75 to $3.25 for every dollar invested.