July 11, 2014
Life is full of stresses, many of which we can easily handle. In fact, some stress is good for us. What psychologists term Acute Stress is that feeling we sense when met with the unexpected. This is the famous “fight-or-flight” response that helps us work through difficult situations and avoid danger, such as a potential accident. Our heart rate increases, our muscles tighten and we feel that rush of adrenaline that quickens our reaction times. Once the episode passes, our bodies return to a normal state.
However, if we have prolonged or frequent episodes of such stress, it can be damaging to our health. This is termed Chronic Stress and, in prolonged or severe cases, such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, produces both mental and physical problems. According to the American Psychological Association over half of U. S. workers surveyed indicate that they feel severely stressed at work and that such stress reduces their effectiveness on the job. So much so that the study estimates that employee stress costs American employers $300 billion each year in lost productivity and legal and medical costs.
The most common reasons for on-the-job stress are feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work expected, interpersonal conflicts, seeking a balance between work and personal time, and concerns about job security. So what can you do to help your workers, your staff and yourself reduce stress? Here are a few suggestions:
Life and work are never completely stress-free, but applying these common-sense actions will help alleviate the chronic stress that can get between your employees and the productivity they want to deliver.