As professionals, at some point we all feel pressure and experience desperate times within stressful environments. Therefore, it is important to understand how stress and negativity can stand in the way of achieving something exceptional, why the impacts of stress can be physically and mentally restraining, and how staying positive and avoiding stress can help you get a bad situation under control, or overcome a setback.
Stress puts the body in a state identified as “fight or flight mode,” which is a physiological reaction that occurs in response to a perceived harmful event, attack or threat to survival. In that mode the body detects an external threat and allocating its resources to fighting that threat becomes a priority. It, therefore, overlooks other needs. On a physical level this could cause the immune system to drop and have less capacity to fight. On a mental level, we have less capacity to think creatively and instead rely more on our instinct to instantly react.
It is important to not undermine the effects of constant pressure or a stressful environment, whether you are working out, concentrating at work, or even trying to heal from an illness. If you are feeling negativity or stress you are less likely to succeed.
A 2019 Staples Workplace Survey stated that 41 percent of employees would be willing to take a 10 percent pay cut to join an employer that cares more about their wellbeing. Therefore, recruiters might well avoid using terms like “stressful” and “high-pressure” to describe a working environment. Instead, introduce it to candidates as a positive challenge. Challenging people to leave their comfort zone is one thing, while presenting them with a discomfort zone as a positive attribute is another.
Awareness about the importance of welfare matters at work is constantly evolving, so here are some tips on how to improve stressful environments:
Strengthen your appeal as an employee-friendly workplace
Revisit your corporate communications to strengthen your appeal as a modern workplace. Regularly organize team-building activities, and amplify them in branding activities as part of the company’s image and positioning.
Adjust your work environment to address employee stress levels
Even if your line of work is particularly demanding, you can try to compensate the workload with other incentives, such as regular rewards for high achievers. Encourage the environment to be one of empowerment, kindness and trust.
Lead by example
Do not expect your subordinates to treat their subordinates better than you treat them. If you want to upgrade your work environment, it starts with the boss.
This Article was previously published by Forbes Middle East.