How to promote stress management in the workplace?
Stress in limited quantities and smaller time intervals helps in achieving both personal and organizational goals. Taking a look at the pressure-performance graph, the optimal value of stress is far from zero. On the contrary, a healthy dose of intensive and demanding periods gives dynamics to our professional life, pushes us to deliver and improve our results. Healthy tension makes us creative, focused and motivated.
Harmful effects of this tension are seen when it becomes overwhelming and hard to deal with in the long run. Extensive working hours and tight deadlines may be some of its evident causes. Simplicity of the task also determines levels of stress occurring – novelty usually brings stress with it, since we did not develop mechanisms of dealing with tasks, people or technologies being put in front of us yet.
Introducing even a light physical activity during the working hours may help in concentrating and maintaining stress levels within healthy limits. Having positive surroundings and incentives for doing a good job may, in fact, turn stress into a healthy adrenaline and result in increased efforts that are meaningful to the individual. Even adequate lighting features in the office could trigger positive biological reactions in our bodies. All these features are to be thought of by both HR specialists and those dealing with health and safety measures at the workplace.
It is utopian to think of a workplace as a possible zero-stress place, however it should certainly be a place in which levels of stress and how it affects the workforce are monitored and controlled. Noticing that peak performance is achieved when there is a healthy push, tension and passionate discussions brings awareness of a necessity not to avoid stress in general, but the type of stress that is decreasing the effectiveness and has negative impacts on one’s health as well. Building resilience, practicing empathy and putting the human wellbeing first is an ethical and long-term sustainable path of running a business.