Flourishing in Life, Work and Careers
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Flourishing in Life, Work and Careers

Individual Wellbeing and Career Experiences

Edited by Ronald J. Burke, Kathryn M. Page and Cary Cooper

Happiness in one aspect of our life can positively impact upon our satisfaction within other domains of our life. The opposite also rings true. Today’s generation of working people have often been called the generation who want it all. But can we really have it all? And at what cost to our and others’ happiness? Flourishing in Life, Work and Careers explores ways in which contemporary working people can thrive in a complex, volatile and uncertain world. Combining both research and practice, the contributors of this book cover all bases from individual wellbeing, family, work and career experiences, to leadership. They conclude by providing the reader with tools to combine what they have learnt and apply it to their own lives.
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Chapter 10: Mindfulness improves work engagement, wellbeing and performance in a university setting

Paul W.B. Atkins, Craig Hassed and Vincent J. Fogliati


This chapter explores the effects of mindfulness training on autonomous motivation, work engagement, wellbeing and performance at work. Universities are under increasing pressure to improve performance in knowledge and creative work. In response to these pressures, the Australian National University introduced mindfulness training as part of its career development offering in 2010 and regular eight-week programmes have been offered to all academic and general staff of the university since that time. At the same time, the university commissioned research regarding the causes and effects of changes resulting from the courses. From a university perspective, the primary aim of the initiative was to increase both staff performance and overall wellbeing. The performance of knowledge workers such as those in universities depends upon discretionary effort and this in turn depends upon goal clarity and the self-regulatory capabilities to act effectively in pursuit of goals even in the face of setbacks, negative emotions and difficult relationships. As universities are public institutions with a social change role, staff wellbeing is easily justified as an end in itself. But improving wellbeing can also be justified from an instrumental perspective.

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