May 06, 2010
What does a “conscious workplace” look like? This isn’t just a question we ask ourselves at a small, nonprofit Buddhist organization like Tricycle. Increasingly, as a society, mindfulness in the workplace is an idea we are exploring and embracing. With high-profile companies like Google investing in projects like their School of Personal Growth (see Joan Duncan Oliver's "Buddha in the Googleplex" from Tricycle's Summer 2009 issue) it’s clear that the concept has gone mainstream.
This Wisdom 2.0 interview with Gopi Kallayil, part of the Search Advertising Product Marketing Team at Google, sheds a little light on the question: what does a “conscious workplace” look like? It discusses whether tensions and ego-clashes are inherent in hierarchical companies where some employees get promoted and others do not, and the importance of a collaborative work environment.
Talking about office competitiveness, Gopi says:
Some people think that they can escape such issues by going to live in a monastery or ashram, but I have been to many ashrams and seen that these issues follow you — you get upset when the director of the ashram did not promote you to be senior teacher! This is because these things do not exist outside of you; they exist inside you. You take them with you wherever you go, whether you are working at a corporation or living in an ashram.