Meditation Apps vs. Virtual Meditation Classes, Which One to Choose
Your task is to bring Mindfulness to your organization and you have seen lots of advertisements for meditation apps such as Calm and Headspace. However, you have done some research and found that you could have a Mindfulness teacher lead your employees in-person or online. How do you choose the best solution for your company? There are pros and cons to choosing a Meditation App or a Mindfulness Meditation instructor. In this article, we will explore the Pros and Cons of both choices to help you make the best decision for your company.
There are three options to choose from when you decide to bring a Mindfulness Meditation program to your organization:
- Subscribe to an App service such as Calm, Headspace, or Grokker.
- Hire a company specializing in Corporate Mindfulness Programs for companies.
- Hire a dedicated employee or freelancer to work for your company.
Meditation Apps, the Pros and Cons
Subscribing to one of the App companies’ services has become a very popular choice. The App companies (Calm, Headspace, Grokker) offer a relatively low-cost solution when compared to the cost of hiring a Mindfulness Meditation company or a Mindfulness Meditation instructor. In addition to low cost as one of their pros, these companies offer a lot of pre-recorded meditations that employees can listen to at their convenience. If you focus on the price of the service and consider the large library of meditation recordings, it would appear that hiring one of the App companies is the clear way to go.
There are some additional pros worth noting. Employees can download and listen to a large assortment of meditations at their convenience. There is never a scheduling issue and employees can listen to meditation that they believe they can benefit from.
So what’s the downside?
Many of the companies subscribing to these Apps have noticed that most employees do not use the Apps. If the person responsible for overseeing the program checks the statistics provided by the App company, they will notice that very few of their employees use the App on any kind of regularity. They will see that many employees either never use the App or have only used the App once or twice and then abandoned the App.
Subscribing to a Mindfulness App can appear very attractive with the low cost attracting many HR managers. However, what happens is that companies sign up for these services, make the App available to their employees, employees try the App for a very short period, and they ultimately abandon the app.
It’s the old story of taking out a gym membership to lose weight and get into shape. People flock to the health clubs each New Year to take out new memberships. They start with great enthusiasm, go to the health club once, twice, maybe even three times, and then they stop going. And they keep the membership in place “just in case” they might return to their health club. But in most instances, that doesn’t happen.
People are signed up for a monthly membership fee by the health club. And even though they can cancel the membership, the health clubs make this so difficult, most people just continue paying month after month.
The difference with the App companies is that they have customers pay for a full year in advance. It doesn’t matter whether you want to cancel the service, you have already paid for an entire year of service. And still, when you check your stats, you see that most of your employees are not using the App. It’s a waste of money!
App companies have capitalized on the fact that HR managers do not know how to evaluate Mindfulness Meditation Programs. HR managers are primarily focused on the cost of the service. And if they see enough well-known company names signed up for the service, this is all they need to know. It doesn’t matter that many well-known companies have abandoned the Apps in favor of either hiring a company specializing in Mindfulness Meditation Programs for companies or hiring an employee or freelancer who dedicates themselves to the organization’s well-being.
Meditation Instructors, the Pros and Cons
The number one Pro to hiring a Mindfulness Meditation instructor is that your organization will be led by a LIVE instructor. These are qualified professionals who have the knowledge and training necessary to teach diverse mindfulness practices that can make a positive impact. One of the biggest advantages of having an instructor teach mindfulness to your employees is that they’ll have a more personalized and in-depth experience.
The only drawback is that it can be increasingly difficult for some instructors to create an open schedule to teach a large group of people on a continuous basis. This is one of the reasons why virtual meditation classes have become so popular in recent times.
Compelling Reasons Why Mindfulness Apps are Proving to be Counterproductive and a Waste of Money
One of the primary reasons why companies are inclined to sign up with popular apps for meditation such as Headspace and Calm is that they’re affordable. It’s basically feasibility and not “viability” that these companies run after. And therein lies the problem. What use is a mindfulness app if your employees don’t even use it? You see, to help employees overcome stress, anxiety, and lack of focus, you need to provide them with something that’s more intuitive and will instill a powerful sense of anticipation, helping employees actually look forward to their mindfulness sessions.
In light of this, we’re going to talk about how some glaring and ironic issues make trendy mindfulness apps completely useless for today’s employees.
Lack of Scientific Evidence
The Mindfulness app market has reached the billion-dollar mark. And it’s speculated that both companies and individuals will be spending up to $500 million on various meditation applications and mental health platforms this year. Yet, it’s astonishing to see that a lot of popular apps lack scientific evidence and you’ll hit a wall trying to figure out which apps are based on solid research and scientific data.
Creating a mindfulness app isn’t rocket science. Anyone can create a mental wellness app and market it to reputed social media platforms. According to research posted in the Journal of Anxiety and Depression, it was identified that out of more than 50 mental health and wellness apps offered to help with anxiety, a good majority of them did not consult any medical professionals to create the apps.
Annoying Reminders and Push Notifications
Don’t you find it a bit strange when a mindful app asks you to turn on your push notifications? It’s hilarious to think that when people are trying to minimize their anxiety and distractions, the app consistently bombards them with notifications, irritatingly encouraging them to enjoy their experience.
Push notifications render any mindful app completely counterproductive. How? Well, it forces the user to snap out of their present moment and check their phone. What’s even more frustrating is that many of the messages are daily reminders that you should use the app more frequently. How does that help an employee build focus? It doesn’t!
But can’t I just turn off my push notifications? Sure, you can. The point is that it seems as if a lot of meditation apps rely on gamification strategies. They constantly track user activities, incentivize their decisions, and try to convert their efforts to become more mindful into a “competition” with themselves.
The “Hollywood Factor” to Garner More Attention and More Subscribers
It’s interesting to see that a lot of popular apps are onboarding celebrities to promote their products. This in itself feels distracting and pointless. It feels overly commercial and at times, very gimmicky. We see a truckload of daily advertisements on our social media featuring celebrities promoting one brand or another. When it comes to mindfulness, users expect a relaxing and enjoyable interface, but instead, you get a platform full of colorful schematics to constantly highlight the fact that the app has well-known Hollywood A-listers onboard.
Users are exposed to precisely the sort of content that they’re trying to get away from in apps such as Facebook and Instagram. It’s becoming harder for them not to feel distracted at work when such mindfulness apps repeatedly feature voices they can associate a variety of other things with.
Why Virtual Mindfulness Sessions are a Game Changer for Employees
There’s no question that today’s corporate ecosystem requires a more accessible and fervent mental health platform. One that transcends the need for individual support. Consistent meditation sessions among remote/in-house employees have proven to garner tremendous advantages such as creating powerful bonds between workers, boosting focus and productivity, and encouraging prosocial activities.
So, how exactly do virtual meditation classes help companies? One of the best things about live mindfulness sessions is that they provide employees with uninterrupted access to meditation experts. Moreover, it’s a great way of helping employees manage their stress levels and minimize their anxiety to not only become productive but to help them tap into their inner selves and achieve a deep sense of harmony.
At Meditation House, we aim to bring the best mindfulness techniques and strategies to your company. Our virtual platform offers tailor-made mindfulness sessions, encouraging employees to participate on their own schedules without relying on a smartphone app.
Let’s take a look at some wonderful ways virtual meditation can help you build a productive workforce.
Mindfulness can Boost your Cognition
According to research posted in the Journal of Cognitive Enhancement, it was identified that consistent meditation sessions can help employees improve their memory. Through expert and guided virtual mindfulness training, employees can improve their cognition, which in turn can help enhance their decision-making strategies.
Mindfulness Can Help Repress Emotional Reactions
Mastering the art of managing your emotions through meditation can significantly improve your ability to focus. It’s also one of the most vital ingredients to becoming compassionate and thoughtful leaders. According to an APA research, individuals that performed continuous mindfulness practices were able to peacefully disassociate themselves from emotionally disconcerting content. They were able to compartmentalize better, focusing on the tasks at hand as opposed to participants who did not practice any meditation.
Mindfulness May Help Decrease Prejudice
Meditation is found to be one of the key factors in helping people to become more compassionate. However, it’s promising to see that new and ongoing research highlights the potential of meditation to encourage prosocial behaviors, minimizing prejudice in the workplace. Although, the research is yet to be completed, the initial results look promising.
Studies show conclusively that employees prefer LIVE Mindfulness Meditations over Apps and pre-recorded meditations by 3 to 1. And of the small percentage of people that have used the Apps, they use the App so infrequently, that the use of the App has very little benefit to the employee and to the company that the employee works for.
The true essence of mindfulness can only be achieved through meaningful collaboration between the user and the instructor. You need something engaging that has the potential to encourage employees to participate with excitement. Meditation House offers Zoom meditation classes for companies that can help make all the difference in the world.