The Future of Stress in the Workplace

In talking with friends of mine lately, I am aware of more stress from their work. A lot of that stress is from the perception of the world at large. To most, it seems a bit less stable at the least.

The more stressful the world is or seems in general, the more the workplace tends to become a more stressful place for employees. Managers and companies need to be aware of this.

Stress is likely the most under managed severe health concern related to the workplace. Regulations abound about things no one around seemed to be even aware of as existing much less as a problem. Safety programs mandate the use of coffee lids when moving around the office purportedly to keep horrendous burn victims from appearing when none were there before the Lid Law.

Stress is not so invisible. And far more important. In fact, stress works like a wildly infectious disease with proven extensive, costly and wide spread consequences. Just little things like strokes, heart attacks, depression, suicide, destroyed families, bankruptcy from extreme health care costs, etc. And sure, it is nothing a coffee cup lid can cure, but it seems unchecked.

I think that OSHA, the Government, Corporations, Unions and others are afraid to look. They should be. It is going to be expensive in the short run and the money for it must come from the market at large, not the individual.

The good news is, we can now measure stress to a great degree. Whether this will ultimately be done from the employees PC by taking blood pressure and related stress indicator readings and the like while they are working or some other method, the technology to begin to manage this severe problem at work is there to a greater degree than is being used. We need to better manage stress.

It will be expensive, manipulated and, at least for a time, be difficult. But it is not different that working people to the risk of death in a different way. Many places conditions are, well let’s say, inhumane (and frankly unproductive).

Managers can help themselves and their workers. Simply watch for the signs of stress and its spreading and maybe do more proactive things that help reduce and relive stress. More on that later.

Stress is a killer. It deserves more attention, especially now when things are so hard on people.


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