When I started working one elderly lady told me the success for any worker is if they can provide the 5 Q’s.to their employers. I scratched my head. I asked what was that. She replied “Quickness, Quality, Quantity, Quietly, and Qualified..” She also told me not to stress if I can’t do all 5 at the same time. “Chances are you can achieve most but not all. But keep trying.” then she laughed and walked away..
Back in the 60’s, before technology grabbed a hold of the global markets, there was work stress, but it did not take its toll on employees and employers as we have had in the past decade.. And the pace is racing in alarming rate.
With so much to do, to read, and to learn to keep up with all of the changes It is getting to be you have to be a professional juggler to stay in the game. You find the effort gives you sleepless nights, bad eating habits and more physical ailments from your head to your gut..
You occasionally hear of someone, like a single parent, who is juggling that role and also juggling full time schedules for work and school and you wonder how they do it. They rarely complain of stomach issues or lake of sleep. What is their secret, And somehow they still find time to get some exercise in their daily lives.
On the other end, I had a friend once who worked in the accounts receivable department for a luxury apparel company. She would fight traffic jams to come in on time, have 4 coffee, skip breaks, have lunches at her desk, stay late, and take work home. For the 10 years she was there she had suffered from continuous pain in the neck, shoulders and stomach. This increased after 2008 when they laid off the accounting assistant and others causing her to work harder, stressing and grinding her teeth. One year she lost over 50lbs in 3 months without trying that is when she called it quits and had to file for disability. She was in her early 50’s. There are many like her, leaving the job sector because they are drained.
Work Stress = Productivity Lost
Work Stress is becoming more prominent in many sectors of the work environment.
It not only affects the worker but cuts into productivity of the departments and company.
The consequences of stress-related illnesses costs businesses an estimated $200 to $300 billion a year in lost productivity. It was discovered as far back as 1908, researchers discovered that once stress reaches a mid to high level, productivity drops off remarkably. When productivity drops off, the bottom line suffers.
It also cost companies due to absenteeism when a whooping 26 percent health related lost of productivity is due to stress related complications. Accidents due to stress related distractions or sleepiness is 60-80 percent of accidents of accidents at work.
In 2007 the American Psychological Association (APA) conducted a Stress Survey. Nearly ¾ of American workers surveyed reported that they were experiencing physical symptoms of stress due to work. A surprising 2/3rds of those surveyed also said that work was the the main source of stress in their lives. Additionally, 30 percent of workers reported “extreme” stress levels.
Some of the physical complications one can experience with work stress are headaches and gastrointestinal complications (upset stomach, ulcers etc.). Chronic stress can further cause anxiety, insomnia, high blood pressure, and a weakened immune system, It has been noted also that it may cause obesity, depression and heart disease.
According to the American Psychology Association, the top stressors for people in the workplace, in order of importance, are:
- Low salaries (43 percent)
- Heavy workloads (43 percent)
- Lack of opportunity for growth and advancement (43 percent)
- Unrealistic job expectations (40 percent)
- Job security (34 percent)
Tips to De-Stress During Work.
So what can you do to combat your work stress without succumbing to the negative factors. There is plenty of things you can help your head and heart.
- Take your breaks and your full lunch periods – The work is not going to get done with accuracy any faster by you staying at your desk for breaks and lunches. Make healthy eating habits when you grab lunch. Leave out the junk food and shoveling the food down quickly so you can get back to work.
- Drink less caffeine and more water or pure juice unsweetened – Cutting back on the coffee and caffeinated drinks, your heart will thank you years from now. What your body needs more than caffeine is water to wash out the toxins and hydrate your organs. Besides the 8 glasses a day, you also have to replenish the water for every cup of coffee or soda.
- Simple stretches and walks – Every couple of hours get up and walk around the office or a little walk outside to realign thinking. Breathe, slow your pace and smile. Enjoy your break to recharge the mind.
- Learn to relax – Learn to relax with slow deep breaths. Learn to meditate or yoga. Take morning or evening walks to destress before and after the work day.
- Read something other than work related material.
- Talk to your supervisor – If more employees told their supervisor that the stress level is getting out of hand they may take the issue seriously before it is too late for the company as well as the employee. And if they refuse to do anything to lessen the stressful environment then it is time to polish the resume.
- Track your stressors – Keep a journal for a week or two to track which situations give you the most stress so that you can act to lessen it.
Remember Less Stress = Lower Healthcare Cost
Is your business software causing you added stress. Contact Tom at Facilitated Software Solutions to check out options.