Workplace and its Struggle with Stress

“A healthy working environment is one in which there is not only an absence of harmful conditions but an abundance of health-promoting ones.” - WHO

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Nowadays stress is part of every office environment. It is causing huge problems to employers and employees, mentally and physically. People are facing less of sleep, headache, lack of energy while at work and others. As a good manager or employer, it is a company’s duty to take care of their assets. As a matter of fact, 46% of Americans are having stress due to their work.

A healthy job, a concept that most of the organizations are seems to forgotten with time. It a one where the level of stress and burden on an employee is according to their abilities and resource. Not just that, that work one is getting must be under the amount one can control. And also correspond to the support they are getting from one’s team and people who matter to them.

“A healthy working environment is one in which there is not only an absence of harmful conditions but an abundance of health-promoting ones.” – WHO

The Cost of Stress:

Have you ever wonder how much stress can cost an employee or employer? If you are an employee you might already know one cost, stress causes you. And, if you are an employer you might already know which one we are going to talk about here. So, there are two kinds of cost of stress, one is ‘Productivity Cost’ and another is ‘Financial Cost’.

Productivity Cost:

The more time you give to your work more productive you get. We have been thinking like this for a long time. Even I like to think like that before I read some facts. Jeffrey Pfeffer, an American philosophist, showed in a study that how time affects the output and productivity.

He conducted a study on 18 different universities for this. He found that when overtime kills your productivity. No matter how skilled you are, as you start to give overtime, you start to lose your productivity. In numbers, he said, a 10% increase in the overtime can decrease productivity by 2.4%.

Also, with the help of John Pencavel, Pfeffer cited the correlation between hours worked and productivity. Penclave deduced to this, “the optimum number of work hours was about 48 per week. Below that number, output declined proportionately with the decline in hours worked. But once workers clocked … more than 48 hours, output started to fall.”

Financial Cost:

As already mentioned, organizations have started to forget about a healthy job or workplace. They are not taking this seriously. Pfeffer also contributed to this research too. According to the study, spending on health problems caused due to stress is 8% of total health care spending. Annual spending on health care from employees due to different conditions are like:

  • $46 billion due to high job demand
  • $24 billion unbalanced Work-Life relation
  • $13 billion for long work hours
  • $11 billion for lack of job control

All these reasons are parts of the definition of a healthy job. If these things are taken care of properly by employers or organizations then this much of big amount could have been saved.

My Views:

Even some organizations know these facts but still just made little changes in their work environment. Providing some perks and free lunches is not going to solve these problems and organizations need to understand that.

Organizations need to respect the health of their employees. There are so many facts and statistics that might open their eyes. But I think it is not a one-way change. There are some employees who are ready to compromise their health for the love they have for their work. Those employees also need to learn their limitations and fill it up with the resources. Doing everything by themselves is not going to help them. Cooperate with your team, take outer help for things, acknowledge managers if something is not right.

Organizations and employees need to work together to eliminate this havoc from the office culture. Organizations can introduce automation tools for marketing, take the help of technology to reduce the workload of their employees. Providing resources is in the hands of organizations but utilizing them is in employees hands. As both start to work in harmony there will be hope for a healthy job.

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