Dealing with Stress at Work and LifeAUTHOR: Francisco Sáez
Unfortunately, we have increasingly assumed that working under a lot of pressure is the most natural thing in the world. It’s like part of the game. It’s like something included in our salary. Are we paid to suffer? No way! The pressure with which people work in many companies, and the stress that comes from it, are problems that affect both the employee and the company, and both should try to solve them.
Even assuming that a moderate stress level can increase work performance, the level of stress that we are capable to manage varies from person to person; and when the limit is exceeded, we have a very serious problem.
Too much stress causes that workers feel terribly tired and even depressed. Under these conditions, it is normal to perform less work, and that the work gets done with less quality. Not to mention the work that is not getting done due to absenteeism.
The World Health Organization speaks of depression as a silent epidemic that will be the most common disease in 20 years, and a huge problem for the countries’ economies, not only for the cost of its treatment, but also for the loss of productivity that it causes.
A constant and excessive pressure on the quantity and quality of the work to be done, along with unrealistic deadlines, end up burning anyone out. The factors that cause stress at work are usually related to management style, poor personal organization and interpersonal relationships.
But of course, not all stress comes from the workplace. Personal life, with all its different responsibilities, may contribute to stress, and make the worker unable to cope with his workload.
We all suffer stress. The key is our ability to recover from that stress. Again, a good knowledge of oneself is paramount. Knowing when and how to rest, meditate and recharge the batteries depends on every one.
Either by the workload or personal factors, companies should create an environment in which employees could speak openly about their concerns and all the things that cause them excessive stress.
Companies and employees must work together to solve this problem. They must become aware of the problem, analyze its causes, take measures and periodically evaluate the results of those measures.