workplace stress

By: Julie Thorpe

workplace stress 

Alleviating Organisational Stress

The World Health Organisation has called stress “the health epidemic of the 21st century”:

  • Across the major world economies stress levels at work are rising with 6 in 10 workers reporting increased workplace stress. The highest rise in workplace stress was reported in China (2009) with 86 per cent of sampled employees stating that they experienced a stressful working life.
  • 80% of American workers report feeling stress at work and nearly half say they need help in learning how to manage the levels of stress they endure.
  • Even in traditionally laid-back Australia things are getting tougher in the workplace. Australian employees are absent for an average of 3.2 working days each year through stress. This workplace stress costs the Australian economy approximately $14.2 billion
  • Some 13.7 million working days are lost each year in the UK as a result of work-related illness at a cost of £28.3 billion per year and an estimated 442,000 workers in Britain believed that the stress they were experiencing at work was making them ill – (Labour Force Survey, 2008/9)

The effects of globalization and changes in the nature of work itself have added greatly to the stress felt by workers in the global economy.  Globalisation has brought new methods of working and much higher productivity demands to first-generation factory workers, has increased time pressure at work and competition for that work.  Meanwhile, job insecurity has increased and social benefits have decreased, with less time available for family and community life.  Key aspects contributing to stress-related disease, according to WHO studies, are too high or too low job demands, a fast work pace or time pressure, a lack of control over work load and work processes, lack of social support from colleagues and/or supervisors, discrimination, isolation, psychological harassment, lack of participation in decision making, poor communication or information flow, job insecurity, lack of opportunity for growth, lack of advancement or promotion, irregular working hours (especially shift work), and being exposed to unpleasant or dangerous physical conditions, and not being able to control them.

It is clear that productivity and a harmonious work environment are early casualties of workplace stress. ‘Human Energistics’ assessments show strong correlations between a rise in accidents, absenteeism and long-term illness in companies with poor internal communications and poor energy flow between different levels of the organisation.  Stress factors are strongly correlated with general workplace interaction and to our emphasis on the need for workplace dialogue as a central component of the successful and energetically empowered organisation.

Just Solutions has a strong workplace stress assessment and reduction program, based around the following priorities:

  1. Secure assurance of top management buy-in to minimize work-related stress in the organization and workplace.
  2. An organisation-wide awareness campaign on the causes, consequences, costs, and solutions to workplace stress.
  3. Conduct a workplace stress risk and HE assessment.
  4. Include the work-home interface as a factor in stress risk assessment.
  5. Establish and/or empower a Joint Health and Safety Committee with a full understanding of adverse health effects of stress.
  6. Ensure that the program and the committee have secure and informed worker involvement.
  7. Establish clear goals and timelines for addressing stress risks.

A phenomenon that has attracted much interest recently is the mass fainting of workers as the result of workplace stress.  This kind of ‘mass psychological incident’, or MPI, is actually quite common, with examples being encountered with regularity in factories, offices and schools.  Just Solutions has particular expertise in dealing with the underlying aspects of such events, using its HE assessment tool alongside its general workplace experience to pinpoint the specific conflicts that underlie these dramatic reactions to the stressful workplace.

In conjunction with our sister organisation, IntoAlignment, we also offer development and coaching at the personal and organisational levels to deal with the effects of stress on the individual.

IntoAlignment coaches and consultants are highly qualified and skilled in the use of a wide variety of the latest energy therapies, including: EFT (Emotional Freedom Therapy), Emotrance, Hypnotherapy, NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), PSYCH-K, and Z-Point.  The combination of this professional excellence with the business and workplace experience of Just Solutions provides an unrivalled range of support to organisations and their employees facing uncertainty, personal stress or performance issues.