Fighting Workplace Stress

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Many people think that people go to work, trudge happily through their day, and come home to rest and relax. In fact, most workplaces are nothing like that. The actual workplace is usually stressful, with deadlines to meet, meetings to go to and interpersonal conflict to go through. And then many people take that stress home with them—worrying about the next day, worried about their paycheck and trying to get enough sleep so they can feel well in the morning.

A recent study on workplace stress indicated that high stress workers see the doctor 26 percent more than low stress worker. Stress has been found to be the underlying cause of more than half of worker’s days off. The cost of unanticipated absenteeism can be costly to the company.

It often begins with periods of anxiety and negative emotion that have a way of being difficult to go away. As these symptoms worsen, they can go on to anxiety disorders and depression. The cost of taking care of a patient with either of these two conditions can be extensive. Productivity diminishes and there is an increase in absenteeism. The cost of medications to treat these disorders is high and the cost of seeing the doctor or therapist is even higher. Employees who subsequently get substance abuse because of their stress have a difficult time beating it. These are the same people that get insomnia, tiredness, stomach ulcers and high blood pressure as secondary disorders.

In order to tackle this expensive and heart-wrenching problem, it is up to the employer to make sure they create job spaces that are as stress-free as possible. Create the workspace to diminish extraneous noise. Make sure the deadlines are reasonable and make sure someone at the workplace understands and recognizes the early signs of stress.

One way to battle stress related issues is to adopt a wellness program. The program will include discussions about stress, exercise programs such as walking, teaching healthier eating and participating in a few fun activities during breaks that can create some levity in the workplace. The employer can bring in experts who can teach workers things like meditation and yoga. There can be classes on stress reduction so that employees know how to uncover stress in its early stages and do something to protect themselves from serious complications of stress.