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Work stress, health and employees

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Last Saturday, when I was meeting my cousins someone mentioned that one of my other cousins could not make it because of her work schedule. Soon our topic shifted to work and work pressure. Amidst the talk, I found that everyone was talking about the struggle in handling work pressure. No one in the world would disagree that our lives are full of stress. If you would ask anyone to describe their workplace, how would they do? Will they say interesting? Will they say fascinating? Or will they say stressful?

The Oxford Dictionary has well-defined stress as “a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances”. In today’s competitive world, stress arises as people are always expected to do more, learn more, and work more. With this, stress has become an imperative part of our lives and disregarding that fact can certainly not be an option. Stress disrupts the emotional equilibrium, narrowing individuals’ ability to function effectively and efficiently. However, the tragedy is that many are unaware of stress managing and many tend to deal with the stress problems in wrong ways.

Stress is one of the words, whose positive implication is usually hidden. Not all stresses are bad; stress can make an individual better. But how much work pressure is justifiable? This is a question which most misses the mark to understand and answer. Work pressure is more a subjective term that differs from individuals to individuals. According to a research by Kaufer and Elizabeth Kirby, a moderate level of stress keeps the brain more alert and boost the performance. However, both low stress and high stress can reduce productivity.

But a key part remains as to how people manage stress. Many successful people have shared their story about their struggle and stress handling way, which can say a lot about the importance of stress handling in our lives. However, there are ways an employee can reduce, if not avoid the stress. Organizations must also pay attention to this fact that highly stressed employees cannot yield great outputs. For this reason, various stress management activities must be carried out. One can go for the following techniques in order to face stress:

Accommodating work-life balance:

An important yet often overlooked fact is ignoring to accommodate work-life balance in our lives. The technological development has been a boon on one hand, but on the other hand, the previously maintained gap between the personal and professional life is no longer seen. Employees have now accepted long working hours as an organizational culture. In a society where productivity is judged based on working hours, one can never escape the stress and anxiety. However, people need to consider that there must be a boundary between their home and their office. Otherwise, the pressure of their personal life can impact upon their professional life and vice versa.

Time management:

Time management is another aspect which helps to overcome the stress, yet many tend to close their eyes to. Everyone has a limited number of hours per day, but some employees simultaneously manage both their home and work and thereby are leading a happy and balanced life, whereas most struggle to complete their work. Personnel with poor time management skills are often unable to balance their lives. They always seem to be in a hurry yet are unable to complete their tasks and assignment. The most basic difference between these two groups of the workforce is their time management skills. Even though one cannot control the number of hours in a day, one can prioritize the work. Unknowingly employees tend to spend much of their time doing unproductive activities, which is the major reason for their frustration and rise in the stress level.

Opt for meditation:

Many employees have a tough time staying focused. Text messages, phone calls, notifications, etc. add up to the tensions and distractions. Moreover, stresses and tensions negatively impact the relationship and performance of employees. Overstressed employees have trouble in regulating their emotions and understanding others’ point of view. In such scenarios, meditation can be an effective tool to boost the mood and increase the relationship. It not only helps in reducing the anxiety and helping employees manage stress, but it also helps in effectively boosting their productivity.

Considering the health of an employee, who spends more than one half of her day in an organization, is a prime concern for any organization. It is high time employers understand that only a relaxed and healthy mind can work better. Furthermore, employers must play an important part in avoiding problems like ineffective supervision, unequal division of work and office politics. Moreover, the employers must mature an attitude of listening to the problem of employees and play an important part in resolving it. Hence, while dealing with people, organizations should look forward developing a friendly environment, where employees are not under pressure but enjoy their work!

Employees can reduce their stress level, by following these stress management techniques but most employees even after knowing these facts fail to implement it. Just knowing the techniques will never help, unless one has a zeal to execute it. Hence, I conclude with a question to plumb your mind – Will you implement it?

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