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Does 'mindfulness' mean happier workplaces?

Mindfulness is a something of a buzzword at the moment, with an increasing amount of emphasis being put on awareness of the world around us in an effort to stave off stress.

It's even a hot topic in the business world, with over 100 British business leaders meeting in London Thursday for a "mindfulness at work" summit, highlighting the negative effects of today's stressful workplace.

It certainly seems to be working for some companies.

U.K. transport provider, Transport for London, introduced a mindfulness course in 2009. In the following three years, it reported that the number of days off for stress, anxiety and depression fell by 71 percent among the 600 employees who went on the course. Absences for all conditions dropped by 50 percent.

Depressed businessman
Will Selarep | Getty Images

British entrepreneur Michael Acton Smith, co-founder of mindfulness app Calm, told CNBC that the inter-connected world we live in was a big contributor to our stress levels.

"These devices are wonderful, these super-computers we have in our pockets but it's also making us always 'on', always answering one further email in bed and we're exhausted and that is causing a lot of issues in the workplace," he said Wednesday.

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The Calm app includes a meditation timer for "quick meditation breaks throughout your day."

Before Calm, Acton Smith founded children's entertainment company Mind Candy, which produced the hit online game Moshi Monsters. He told CNBC's "Worldwide Exchange" that businesses were waking up to the fact that stress had an impact on profits.

"Happier employees are more productive, more resilient and take fewer days off for sickness, these are all positive things for businesses," he said.

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More businesses were teaching their employees how to meditate between ten and twenty minutes a day, he said, and were seeing the benefits.

"There are huge numbers of scientific studies being done to show how this has major benefits for everyone," Acton Smith added.

- By CNBC's Holly Ellyatt, follow her on Twitter @HollyEllyatt.