Archive for the ‘Work Stress’ Category
At The Oxygen Plan, we have been working to communicate and educate employers about the adverse impact of stress on employee health as well as the associated costs to the employer. As examples, here are some our favorite and, by now, familiar yet always stunning statistics:
- Stress costs US employers $4 Billion per year, or 13% of GDP
- This translates to approximately $5000/employee/year (actual estimate is $4888)
- Stress is responsible for 70-95% of physician visits
- Stress is linked to the 6 leading causes of death
- Stress is a significant risk factor of a myriad of other health conditions and chronic diseases, all of which compound health care costs and erode employee engagement & profitability.
That’s why this morning, on the Today Show, we were glad to see a segment on stress, further emphasizing the importance of addressing stress in our lives:
- People in the US spend approximately $800 million per year on anti-anxiety medications
- In the US, 1 million employees miss work every day due to stress
- Stress can make your “real” or biological age as much as 32 years older than your chronological age, largely due to the stress hormone, cortisol
- Chronic stress causes brain cells to deteriorate and die, contributing problems with memory, attention and concentration.
So, more bad news. But as we at The Oxygen Plan emphasize even more – also highlighted on the Today Show – the good news is that individuals can reverse and minimize these effects on health by understanding how stress impacts health, measuring that impact, then taking steps to better manage that stress. Employers can dramatically improve their bottom line by doing the same for their employees.
Research has long since established that stress can be toxic to our health, but a recent study sheds some new light on just how damaging stress really is:
People from many countries admitted in this latest study conducted by The Workforce Institute, the number one reason they call in sick when they aren’t, is stress. Workers said they’re be less likely to take mental health days if they had more paid time off, were able to work flexible hours, or could choose compressed work weeks. And some employees who appeared to be playing hooky said they used their sick time to take care of sick children or run personal errands that a minimal amount of paid leave didn’t allow for.
Do you call in stressed? What impact does it have on your business? Employees are feeling more and more stressed, what can you do to help your employees? Read about The Oxygen plan for your business.
Studies show that workplace stress has increased over the past several years and that productivity can drop if employers don’t address the problem.
More than three-quarters of Americans are stressing out about something related to their jobs, according to the 2011 Work Stress Survey by Harris Interactive and Everest College. The survey found that out of nearly 1,000 adults found that 77% are stressed by at least one thing at work. The top stressors: low pay, commuting, unreasonable workload, fear of being laid off. Next in line: annoying co-workers, the boss, poor work/life balance and lack of opportunity for advancement.
For advice on how to deal with these issues in your company read on for tips on keeping your employees in the Green™ at work.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health advises employers to help their employees handle stress. NIOSH defines job stress “as the harmful physical and emotional responses that occur when the requirements of the job do not match the capabilities, resources, or needs of the worker.”
The agency recommends that employers find ways to relieve employee stress because too much stress can result in job-related injuries. Read more below as NIOSH defines what work stress includes, causes, and prevention factors. Help your employees live in the Green™ and manage their stress by using The Oxygen Plan for your business.
Find more information under the ‘Employers’ tab on the main page.
Own your own business and want to know how to minimize turnover rate? The article below talks about a survey conducted by Deloitte that found many employees to be unhappy with their jobs and even feeling unappreciated by their companies.
To learn more about how to keep your employees satisfied click the ‘Employers’ tab on the main page. Happy green reading!
Aren’t we always told that as long as we have the most education, the rest with be smooth sailing? Well not according to a new study done in Ontario. It states that although those with higher education are more sought after in the job market, they are also the ones who have the most trouble with work/life balance and feel the most stress related to their jobs.
Read on to find out more about work/life balance and use The Oxygen Plan `stress decoded®’ to help with yours!
An increase in job burnout over a period of 18 months is associated with a 2.09-fold increased risk of developing musculoskeletal pain during the subsequent 18 months, according to a study led by Galit Armon of Tel Aviv University focusing on 1,704 healthy people. The researchers say high job demands may increase muscle tension and decrease micropauses in muscle activity, leading to pain.
Even the Seven Dwarfs had stress issues. Imagine seven little guys — with very distinct personalities — living with the kind and gorgeous Snow White, but going to work in a Diamond Mine, by day, cheerfully singing "heigh ho, heigh ho, it’s off to work we go". Talk about optimism among competition! Poor Snow White is probably torn, too, making sure not to show too much favoritism among her eccentric little roommates.
Do you ever go to work and think of it as a cartoon environment? Humor is a very good way to diffuse any stressful situation and keep us in the green, if only momentarily. Cartoons or funny visual images, although cute and amusing, are not real. Job stress, is.
Many of us are doing exactly what we want to do; or doing our best at a job that may be a steppingstone to our real goals; or, at the least, finding ways to make the best of less-than-optimum situations in the workplace.
Most of us spend the majority of our time at work, producing products, delivering services and/or ideas for public consumption. It is a place where structure and deadlines; forms and formats; evaluations and strategies are, for the most part, imposed upon us. Pressures to produce the biggest and the best constantly hover in the background of any business, even if you own and operate your own.
So, how do we function and still stay in the green, at work?
- Re-evaluating your core values is a good — and affirming — place to start. Ask yourself, "How much of the best of me do I give to my job?" This brief and empowering self-examination will yield your own appreciation of the green qualities you bring to work! And, you can be sure, that your green attitude is not lost on co-workers or bosses. It is very contagious.
- As employees, we know from the start that we will be working and making decisions for the good of the company. We are doing that job, however, because we were the best and greenest candidates for the position. So, in addition to performing our tasks to the best of our ability, remember that we were picked for the individual skills and assets we bring to the work experience.
- Issues with particular people in the workplace are most commonly the source of on-the-job stress. It’s unrealistic to think that everyone we encounter in a given work day, is going to be green for us. When you see that stressor or an interaction approaching, thinking green on the inside will encourage you to be green, on the outside. Try it. It works! You’re in charge of your thoughts, so why not paint as green a canvas, as you can?
- Trust your own inner dialogue with yourself to a) not be drawn into YELLOW areas and/or b) to look at the situation with objectivity and optimism and c) above all, be true to yourself in the encounter to give and get as much oxygen, as possible. Limiting contact and communication with yellow-ish (or even RED) people — if you can — is the most direct way of maintaining a green mindset.
- Focusing on specific tasks/goals and prioritizing the order in which you accomplish them makes for an unbeatable green feeling of achievement.
- Take breaks — literally walk away from your desk, 2 or 3 times a day to take a peek outside, grab a cup of coffee with a co-worker OR if you need to stay at your desk, just close your eyes for a second, take a few deep breaths of refreshing oxygen, and carry on. Take a book or your iPod to lunch with you. The visual and/or aural diversion holds relaxing, recharging green benefits.
- Look forward to the end of your day; to enjoyable plans you may have with friends or family after work; to shopping; to catching a movie with your partner; to just getting out of the building and into the and green areas of your life.
- Think of the check you’ll see at the end of the week! Very green. Being financially solvent is a happy state of being, for anyone.
Whether we believe it or not, being the best we can be can’t be shut off, at will. We may have to alter the ways in which we apply and accept greenness in the world, but each of us has an awesome core of green goodness to nurture and share — even at wO2rk®!
Importantly, the article with the title above was posted on MSNBC.com yesterday. Sadly but equally importantly, the article puts real names and faces to the billions of dollars stress costs US employers. As noted in the article, the media continue to report that the economy is turning around yet there are stark human statistics telling us the any such turnaround hasn?t yet reached most American households.
At The Oxygen Plan, we note that Stress displays itself in a number of physical and emotional ways, including sharp changes in mood and demeanor; changes in appetite and bodily appearance; muscle tension and body aches; changes in sex drive; general fatigue, migraine headaches, upset stomachs and gastric illnesses.
We also note that stress is also linked to the six leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, cirrhosis of the liver, accidents, and sadly, suicide. We are also dedicated to helping individuals and companies reduce and better manage their stress, effectively reducing economic and human costs.
Thank you to MSNBC and author Eve Tahmincioglu for publishing the article. Take a look: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37402529/ns/business-careers/
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