A research presented at the American Psychological Association’s annual conference over the weekend by Robert Hogan, psychologist and leadership consultant, revealed that workplace stress is not just about what it costs employees but that it also costs American businesses $300 billion per year.
The World Health Organization says that the loss in billions is due to rising insurance and health care costs, that employees under stress have to bear.
Robert Hogan says that bad managers are the main cause of stress for employees and a “major source of misery.” He says that two thirds of employees say that the most traumatic part of their job is the person their work is accountable to – their immediate bosses.
Gordy Curphy, a leadership consultant in St. Paul, Minn. says, “There’s also a clear link between your immediate boss and the level of employee engagement. We know mean bosses and incompetent bosses are some of the biggest reasons why employees become disengaged.”
But bad and uncaring bosses are not the only thing that is impacting workers health negatively. Studies by the Pennington Biomedical Research Center show that there is co-relation between become obese and losing active jobs.
Lead researcher Timothy Church said, “The more physical activity you do throughout the day, the healthier you are going to be — bottom line. It’s hard to explain it, but there is something very powerful about physical activity that reduces stress both short term and long term.”
The fact is that if you are going to work throughout the day and night and that too in stressful conditions your chances of developing diabetes or suffering from a heart attack or stroke greatly increase.
However, if you are working in a stressful environment and leaving it is not an option, it is best that you follow these tips that will make life at the workplace much less nerve-racking and less likely to kill you.
First and foremost change your environment as much as possible and give yourself more space to breathe. Stop hoarding. Desk clutter is one of the prime reasons for work not being done on time or the important file getting misplaced. A cluttered work area may not kill you but it will certainly kill your work.
Organizing Guru Nancy Castelli, founder ofBalance says that it is fact that a cluttered workspace can make you less productive and also affect your mental clarity. She says, “Clutter is self-inflicted stress. You waste time looking for something, then waste more time reproducing it because you couldn’t find it.”
Charles Gerba, a professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona, says a desk has 400 times more germs than a toilet seat because surveys reveal that for many workers their desks double as a dining table. The surveys say that only one in ten workers actually takes a lunch break, the others prefer to snack away at their workplaces.
Castelli recommends that tidy your workplace the SPACE acronym, where s stands for Sort, P for Purge, A for Assign a Space, C to Containerize and E to energize.
There was a very popular commercial that humorously showcased the perils of putting on weight. It showed a office worker taking a bite out of a burger and the button of his pants rips off and shatters the office coffee pot.
It pays to lose that extra weight and reduce the expanding waistline. It will make you huff and puff less at the workplace and greatly reduce your risk of developing heart disease, hypertension and diabetes.
Don’t eat at the office vending machine or the fast-food chains. Pack your own lunch and make sure it has just enough proteins, carbohydrates, vegetables and snacks like yogurt and fruits – sufficient to fill your stomach and keep you energized and and alert throughout the day.
Okay stress at the workplace is a given and unavoidable. It is something that you cannot wish away, so the next best thing is to accept it and start ‘enjoying’ it. There is no point in worrying about something over which you have no control, no amount of fretting or fuming is going to change it, so it’s best to take it in your stride.
According to WebMD unending stress can lead to a host of medical issue, including headaches, stomach ulcers, high blood pressure, pains in the chest and insomnia. Moreover, it was found that stressed people, seek redress in alcohol, drugs and tobacco, which further aggravates the stress instead of relieving it.
Never react to stressful situations and don’t get provoked into retaliation or hasty actions. Relax and find an isolated place to get some peace and quiet. Beth Shaw, yoga guru and founder of Yoga Fit Training Systems suggests that you do some yogic breathing exercises’ and meditate to get your heartbeat to normal and your focus away from the situation that triggered the response.
Don’t be lethargic at the workplace, slouching over your desk. Poor posture can lead to arthritis and can do permanent damage to your muscles, tendons and spine.
Make appropriate adjustments to your workstation. Keep your monitor at eye-level, rest your feet flat on the ground whilst sitting in your comfy chair, whilst typing keep wrists in a neutral position. Don’t remain stationery for too long. Take a break after every hour of work, stand up, extend your arms, stretch your legs pull your neck inwards and outwards, take a bathroom break, drink a glass of water and only then get back to work.
Getting enough sleep is of paramount importance. Late nights have become a habit that most of us cannot avoid, so ingrained it has become in our daily routine. A study published in the European Heart Journal showed that people who work ten hours a day are more likely to suffer heart related diseases some of which could even be fatal. Lee Loree, the inventor of the Sleep Tracker device says that the body’s natural tendency is to wake up when the sun rises and sleep when the sunsets. “After working and being engaged all day, you need time to let your mind relax and prepare for sleep. Watching an hour of an action series or checking email before bed isn’t going to help you sleep well,” he says.
No amount of exercising and sweating away at the gym will rectify the upwards of eight hours that you spend sitting at your desk just moving your eyes and fingers. The study’s author concludes that our trends towards obesity and our falling health are directly correlated to the loss of “active” jobs.
Walk your way to your job. Catrine Tudor-Locke, a specialist in walking says that the minimum number of steps a worker needs to take in a day is 8000.
Understand that workplace stress is normal and nothing out of the ordinary. How you face up to it and your capacity to deal with it can mean the difference between victory and failure. Even though you may not be able to subdue your boss or make him ineffective but that doesn’t mean you’re powerless—even when you’re stuck in a seemingly hopeless situation.
-Workplace stress is not a time-bomb waiting to explode and that you will have to totally readjust or think about changing your jobs – just focus on changing one thing over which you will always exercise total and have exclusive command: your own self.Research Says, Bad Managers Major Source Of Misery For Employers by Harrison Barnes