Chronic stress affects productivity and the bottom line. It also increases and worsens heart disease, stroke, impotence, hypertension, back problems and depression. Obesity and flu go up too.
Stress can kill…or at least injure. It causes rigidity and diminishes the ability to help others.
Working well under acute, short-term pressure is one thing, and can be entirely helpful and healthy.
Working well under constant, unremitting, long term stress is another thing altogether. It means higher cortisol levels, a constant-fight-or-flight-response, and burn-out. Not healthy.
The most powerful and easiest interventions workers can learn are small, focused interventions to minimize stress and balance work and family.
This leads to lower employee turnover and improved productivity…just what I teach in seminars.
Consider these facts from the Business Group on Health:
“Each year, an estimated 39 million work days are lost to obesity-related illnesses.4
Influenza-attributable illness for adults aged 18 to 64 years accounts for $5.6 billion in lost productivity resulting from 17 million missed workdays.2
Depression is estimated to cause 200 million lost workdays each year at a cost to employers of $17 to $44 billion.5
Hypertension complications are a major cause of preventable absenteeism, reduced productivity and disability, making it one of the most expensive health conditions for employers.6″
The answers to these conditions is not more work, more medication, more hunkering down or “company fun days.”
Instead, it’s breathing techniques to stop the stress barrage. It’s teaching resilience. It’s permitting more control over time, and giving people time away to recharge…for their sake, for the company’s sake, and for the work’s sake.