There's an old (2004) article from the CBC: INDEPTH: MEDITATION
The Pursuit of Happiness
- Using an MRI to test monks who are meditating
- Using meditation to help olympic athletes and stressed-out office workers
- Meditation courses being offered by hospitals (e.g. St. Joseph's in Toronto)
One way to look at it would be from the point of view of stress: if meditation helps cope with stress, and if the job is stressful, then meditation helps with the job, am I right?
But IDK whether a company might admit whether their employees are subject to stress?
I remember Tom DeMarco's The Deadline: A Novel About Project Management (1997) included the claim/observation that, "People under pressure don't think any faster."
For anecdotes about the connection between stress, problem solving, and concentration, you might find some large percentage of developers (and research scientists/engineers) have had or remember the experience of "seeing the solution to a problem" when they "stop thinking about the problem". I remember puzzling over a bug during one afternoon, and then more-or-less suddenly "seeing" the cause of it after I left work and was walking home and enjoying the day (weather and landscape) outside.
That seems to be so common-place that it could be an archetypal way of problem solving: you have a problem, so, you go out for a walk, ...
I found it noticeable with cigarettes too, when I used to smoke: feel stressed at work, step outside for a smoke, feel destressed, inevitably therefore see the solution i.e. what I need to do to solve the problem or at least what I needed to try next, step back inside to my computer to do that.
BTW "productivity" is IMO notoriously difficult to measure in software developers: because people don't know what to measure; and you don't usually have teams and people working on several identical (comparable) software problems; and choosing specific metrics distorts behaviours (joke reference).
So arguing via stress (meditation => stress => productivity) might be easier to "prove" than a direct link (meditation => productivity).
Here's a possible anecdote/joke for someone who objects to people "doing nothing" while at work.
This guy is in his office (an office! you can tell it's old story...),
sitting back in his chair with his feet up on the desk. His manager
walks past, looks in the door, sees him sitting like that (instead of,
you know, working) and asks,
- "What are doing?"
- "I'm thinking."
- "Thinking? Can't you do that at home?"