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Brain circuits

Exercises to help practice mindfulness while working remotely

Published 20 July 2021 in Brain circuits • 2 min read

Many of us are still working remotely and may only go back to the office occasionally in the future. The lack of boundaries between work and office, and removal of social connections can sap energy and fuel burnout. To help prevent that, we can cultivate mindfulness even in our online work.

Here are some exercises to help you be mindful while working from home:

Pause and notice where your mind is. You don’t have to retreat to a spa or a mountain to reconnect with yourself. Just stop where you are and be conscious of where your head is at. Pay attention to your breath, relax your body, and observe your surroundings. This is a great thing to do prior to your online meetings, or even during long ones if you find your mind has wandered. These momentary connections with your physical senses are gateways to being more present.

Bring your awareness to the people and context that are with you virtually. You may be operating through a screen, but purposefully think about the connections and circumstances that are part of your virtual world right now.

Suspend your narratives. Offer your full online presence, absent of agendas, judgements, and ego. Connect through eye contact and warm and responsive facial expressions. When people are talking, are you able to hear what people on the team need?

Minimize multitasking. It may be tempting to answer emails or adjust your schedules while also in a virtual meeting, but don’t. You may think others don’t notice in an online situation when you do these things, but they do. Let yourself be fully present and leave the other things to do on your own time.

Practicing mindfulness can make a genuine difference in your day. It only takes a couple of minutes to do, and techniques like these have been shown to lift moods, foster wellbeing, and improve overall psychological health.


Alyson Meister - IMD Professor

Alyson Meister

Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behavior at IMD

Alyson Meister is Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behavior and Director of the Future Leaders program at IMD Business School. Specializing in the development of globally oriented, adaptive, and inclusive organizations, she has worked with of executives, teams, and organizations from professional services to industrial goods and technology. She also serves as co-chair of One Mind at Work’s Scientific Advisory Committee, with a focus on advancing mental health in the workplace. Follow her on Twitter: @alymeister.


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