People in general are strong and resilient to certain levels of stress, in fact some stress can be healthy and motivating. That deadline for the project can push you to work the extra hour to complete it; hat success feels good.
Let's look at when stress isn't healthy, for example bullying in the workplace, belittling from management, staff cutbacks, financial cutbacks and traumatic events to name a few. These are the underlying causes of on going stress that is unhealthy and creates negative work environments.
Studies and statistics say 54% of workers say that stress caused them to argue with other people. 74% report having psychological symptoms due to s stress, and 300 Billion a year is spent by employers on stress related health care and lost work days according to officevibe.com
Businesses and corporations spend millions of dollars on Health and Safety Training, with little feed back and participation from employees. It's needed, it's required, it's mandated, and it's boring. Workplaces are becoming safer because of the training and the mandates. Employees are experiencing less injuries on the job. So why is there still an issue of negativity and stress in the workplace?
The old line of "Be kind, because you never know what war another person is battling" comes to mind. Some stress comes to work with the employees. Some stress can't be avoided. Statistics in the United States say that 85% of all accidents at work are caused by stress. That's outstanding. With the millions spent on avoiding accidents, would it not be better spent on teaching employees how to deal with and counteract the affects of stress?
We can not escape stress, it's in our environment, its in our food (preservatives, chemicals), it's in our relationships: it's everywhere. If it's everywhere, it is certainly being brought into and fostered in the workplace.
It's time to counteract it. Time to bring healthy activities, habits and beliefs into the workplace to encourage employees to stay grounded and connected within. It's cheaper in the long run to encourage an employee to meditate to relieve stress, than it is to pay out a WSIB claim for an accident that occurred due to stress.
Rather than sweeping stress under the rug, hoping it will go away, like what has been happening in the workplace for years. Maybe it's time to start creating an atmosphere that looks stress in the eye, and offers activities to counteract it. Why not shift the attention to supporting employees through stress so they feel safe, validated and comfortable in finding balance.