2019 CSCE Annual Conference - Laval (Greater Montreal)

2019 CSCE Annual Conference - Laval (Greater Montreal) Conference


Title
MINDFULNESS-BASED STRESS REDUCTION: AN INNOVATIVE WORKSHOP TO REDUCE STRESS AND IMPROVE THE PERFORMANCE OF CONSTRUCTION PROFESSIONALS

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Author(s)
Dr. Mei-yung LEUNG, City University of Hong Kong
Mr. Khursheed AHMED, City University of Hong Kong (Presenter)
Abstract

The construction industry is known to be a stressful working environment, and construction professionals (CPs) face a great deal of stress at work that may harm their performance and health.  In recent years, the popularity of mindfulness for managing stress has grown.  Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) workshops are considered an effective and innovative approach to managing stress and improving performance.  However, this new approach has not yet been explored in the construction industry.  This study aims to investigate the impact of MBSR workshops on CPs, by comparing the mean differences in pre- and post-workshop and mean scores between MBSR group and a control group.  A questionnaire survey was administered to both groups before and after the MBSR workshop.  Semi-structured interviews were also conducted individually after the completion of the workshop.  An independent t-test and Pearson correlation were used to examine differences in mindfulness characteristics, emotional stress, and organizational performance.  The findings revealed that most of the mindfulness characteristic items received significantly higher scores among the MBSR participants as compare to non-participants.  This result shows that mindfulness characteristics have a direct influence on CPs, improving their organizational performance by reducing their emotional stress.  Pearson correlation showed a significant negative relationship between mindfulness characteristics and emotional stress and a positive association between mindfulness characteristics and organizational performance for MBSR participants.  Therefore, this study reveals that MBSR workshops have a practical impact, both reducing stress and improving performance.  It is thus recommended to introduce this new approach in organizations, particularly in the construction industry.  Finally, we also propose new directions for further research, including longitudinal studies to identify the long-term effects of MBSR training in the construction industry.

Keywords: Construction Professional; Emotional Stress; Mindfulness Characteristics; Organizational Performance.