Stress and quality of life at work it is the object of study of countless researches that show how a good part of the professionals is getting more stressed because of work.
Stress, this is a word that usually causes chills between employees and the HR team of companies. That's because, it is more and more common a business reality where people live stressed, affecting your health.
Stress has been one of the biggest causes of absence from work in the past ten years, according to Social Security. In that period, leave due to emotional and mental disorders increased almost 20 times.
And to combat these alarming numbers, HR's work in relation to stress is incessant. It is not easy to deal with daily charges in the business environment, so actions are needed that focus on stress and quality of life at work.
And stress itself not only affects productivity and professional motivation, it also physical and mental health.
To improve this scenario, we will explain what stress is and talk about some actions that may be important in the relationship between stress and quality of life at work. Check it out below!
Stress: what is it?
“Stress is a natural defense that helps us survive, but the chronicity of the stressful stimulus has damaging consequences for our body.” (Alexandrina Meleiro – Author of the book “Psiquiatria Estudos Fundamental”).
The author and psychiatrist, Alexandrina Meleiro, also points out some diseases that can be caused by stress:
- high pressure;
- muscle aches;
- back pains;
- pain in the cervical region;
- skin changes.
The word stress it was first used in 1926 by the endocrinologist Hans Selye.
He used the word to explain a series of reactions from patients suffering from different pathologies. In 1974, he changed the definition to “a non-specific response of the body to any requirement ”.
In the dictionary, the definition of stress is:
“Physical or emotional exhaustion caused by several and different reasons, due to suffering, illness, tiredness, pressure, trauma, being defined by the disturbance of homeostasis, balance, which leads the organism to adapt by increasing the secretion of adrenaline”.
Regardless of the true meaning of stress, what is known is that dealing with stress and quality of life at work is not an easy task. And anyone who discovers the secret to keeping employees motivated and happy has the key to success.
Stress data in Brazil
A recent survey by the International Stress Management Association (Isma – Brazil) placed Brazil as the second most stressed country in the world. The first position was with Japan.
AND 69% of people points the work as the main reason for your stress. Among the main causes reported are the overload of tasks, long working hours and the tension in the corporate environment, due to poor relations between employees and managers.
It does not stop there! According to Social Security, people who suffer from some emotional or mental disorder, which can be caused by stress, spend more than 100 days away from work.
It is estimated that by 2030 will be spent over 6 trillion dollars due to people with psychological and emotional disorders. Hence the importance of HR to put itself at the forefront of strategic actions that manage to deal with stress and quality of life at work.
How to improve the quality of life at work: 5 actions
To be able to change this scenario, HR needs to take some measures that go against the stress and quality of life at work. From leadership guidance to flexible work schedules.
Know some possible actions of how to improve the quality of life at work!
1. Flexibility of working hours
O excess in the workday appears as one of the main causes of stress at work. In addition to excessive charges, many employees don't even have time to “breathe” inside the company. And this business universe, almost unstoppable, makes the employee sick.
The flexibilization of working hours when possible appears as an alternative for improve the quality of life of the professional. The work routine in big capitals is stressful.
It takes time to reach the company, traffic, rotation of vehicles and personal chores. It is practically impossible to reconcile all of this without having a minimum of stress. That is why the flexibilization of schedules is so valued today.
Whether with home office once a week or early departures at some point. At Avon, employees leave 1h early in the winter. At Avaya, employees work 8 hours a day, but can choose the time of arrival and departure.
2. Lectures to raise awareness about mental health
Despite alarming data on stress and quality of life at work few companies have a mental health program. Only 18% of organizations have some type of stress-related planning, according to a survey by Isma-BR.
Except that not creating actions that can change this scenario only leads to an even greater increase in illnesses and leave from work.
Therefore, it is very important that companies recognize the problem of stress and quality of life at work to support your employees.
Be it with lectures to raise awareness about mental health or even going further, offering regular psychological workshops and consultations. The idea and plan of this type of action is to help those who suffer with stress to overcome all prejudice around the problem.
Not only that, but also by encouraging and supporting them to seek help as quickly as possible.
3. Guidance from leaders
Leadership has a complete impact on the team's attitudes within the organization. The influence on the performance of your employees is visible.
If the company has a good leader, the productivity is high. Now if the leader is an executioner, results are compromised and stress increases.
That is why HRs need to be increasingly attentive to building leadership within companies. Making leaders / managers aware of their importance in the execution of tasks, but also in the quality of life of employees.
A survey by the United States Psychological Association found that 75% of American employees cite the boss as what causes stress at work.
That's why HR needs to maintain managerial control over leaders. Whether with constant feedback, training or guidance on their importance in the stress and quality of life at work.
4. Prevention of stress
Another good option for dealing with stress and quality of life at work is through prevention. It can come through small situations and benefits created by HR that can offer some kind of relaxation for employees.
And there are quite viable options. They range from acupuncture, massage therapy, meditation, acupuncture and yoga.
They are therapies that can be planned in the work environment, on certain days or even in agreements with clinics that offer this service.
Initiatives that seem simple, but that can completely change the relationship between stress and quality of life at work.
5. Environments to relax
It is impossible to work 8 hours a day without stopping. Rest and moments of relaxation are fuel for the employee not to stress and lose motivation.
A survey by the Estado de Minas newspaper showed that productivity increases from 30% to 50% when there is a favorable environment in the company.
We are talking about spaces that escape exclusively from the daily routine. In other words, companies that offer something new and stress-free. For example: reading space, nap, games room and massage spaces increase the performance of your employees.
According to a survey by the American company Right Management, motivated teams make 50% more productive. Therefore, it is essential to keep employees de-stressed in order to keep them motivated.
Stress and quality of life at work: it's time to change!
Being able to create actions for the stress and quality of life at work became an object of desire for HR teams. Companies that manage to keep employees relaxed and happy differentiate themselves in the market.
This is because, when the employee sees himself motivated and not stressed, he becomes less ill, misses less work and is more likely to produce at a high level. Thus, excess stress and quality of life at work do not match.
You either have a totally stressed out team or a happy, quality-of-life team. But finding balance is not an easy task and requires a total HR dedication on employee satisfaction in the company's day-to-day activities.
Throughout the content we present some actions for your company to deal with stress and quality of life at work. And what actions do you apply on a daily basis to reduce stress in your company? Tell us by leaving a comment on the article!
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