Did you mention the word stress? This is the new normal, read on...
The term stress is usually used to explain the feelings that people experience when the requirements made on them are higher than their ability to deal with it. At such times people could feel overloaded, under remarkable pressure and incredibly tense psychologically. The may suffer from anxiety and have anxiety attacks. Stress influences everyone, young and old and is also a normal reaction that humans will experience every once in a while; when confronted with situations that put them under pressure.
Stress can be considered in conditions of external and internal stressors. External stressors are sources of stress that people can see, they are all around us, these range from traumas, life experience or just daily problems. Internal stressors are sources of stress that are inside us and tend to be the most frequent sources of stress. They will be the thoughts and emotions that pop into your mind and make you feel uneasy, these ranges from unrealistic objectives, uncertainties, low self-confidence and apprehensions.
The workplace is a key element in stress. A report conducted by the International Stress Management Association found that over 50 percent of men and women in work suffered from stress over a period of a year. Also, statistics show that one-fourth of employees had taken time off for being sick and tired due to stress. Common factors behind stress at the job include; workloads, extended hours, responsibilities, role targets, bullying or harassment, insufficient job security, poor working environment, the organisational framework, profession development and inadequate support. Stress is present in all companies, particularly if employees are confronted with much workload, little support, job dissatisfaction and too little autonomy.
Based on the American Psychological Association's total annual stress study, 65 percent of US citizens declare that work is number one on their list of stress sources. It may be easy and would cost nothing to write off the opinions of this 65 percent as a statement coming from lazy/incompetent people. But the actual monetary cost of this opinion is quite shocking and will leave you wide-eyed with probably this thought in mind “this a serious problem that needs to be addressed in your organisation”.
Effect of stress on daily productivity:
41% lose 15 to 30 minutes of productivity a day
36% lose 1 hour or more each day
23% report their productivity is not affected by stress
Effect of stress on effectiveness:
46% come to work 1 to 4 days per year when too stressed to be effective
30% show up that way 5 or more days per year
24% say stress does not influence their effectiveness
Effect of stress on attendance:
55% miss 1 or 2 days per year
29% miss 3 to 6 days per year
16% miss more than 6 days per year
Effect of stress on personal tasks:
41% lose less than 30 minutes per day
40% lose 30 minutes per day
19% lose more than 1 hour per day
(A data presentation of the effects of stress based on research carried out in October 2012 by a ComPsych Stress Pulse survey.)
You can't remove stress from a workforce. In fact, the way employees respond to and relate with stressors demonstrates to an extent their capacities to handle unpleasant situations. However, if rampant stress issues remain unaddressed, the consequences will be damaging in two main ways: First, your employees' output and health are affected, and second, the results of stress -- increased absenteeism, higher turnover, lower quality and level of work, which will, in turn, lower your profits.
Stress levels in the workplace are rising with 6 in 10 workers in major global economies experiencing increased workplace stress. China (86%) has the highest increase in workplace stress (The Regus Group). Data on two of the worlds big economies, US and UK, provide a chilling insight into the stress levels experienced by workers in these countries.
Managing stress is important and stress management in the workplace is far too common. I will give you stress management tips and techniques in future articles.
Marie claude Bouchet
Mental well-being, stress management, resilience etc.