Workplace stress

21May10

Workplace Stress

Do you feel tied to your desk? Are you afraid of being seen to be slacking if you leave the office on time? Have you forgotten what ‘a normal seven-hour day’ feels like? Does the phrase ‘work/life balance’ apply to everyone BUT you?

According to important new research published last week in the European Heart Journal (EHJ) you are not alone if you are feeling overwhelmed by work. The culture of workplace overtime in the UK may be earning its subscribers far more than a few extra pounds in their pay packets.

According to the research, people who work three or more hours of overtime a day are 60% more likely to develop heart trouble and potentially die of a heart attack, than those who work a normal seven-hour day.

Rory Murphy of workplace firm Water Wellpoint described such people in an article in The Observer newspaper as ‘the-never-go-home-on-time brigade’. Water Wellpoint conducted a research exercise into the extent of the over work problem. Their discoveries were shocking:

People surveyed: 152

People who worked over their hours: 72%

People who worked late every day: 27%

When the culture at work is to stay late and to work longer hours stress levels increase. This stress has a knock on effect.

  1. Stay late at work/work longer hours
  2. Isolation grows from life outside work
  3. People no longer have time to socialise
  4. Family life suffers
  5. Relaxation time all but disappears

Dr. Marianna Virtanen of University College London who conducted the European Heart Journal research identified ‘a spiral of despair’. She writes that ‘marriages come under pressure and tensions can rise with children, who don’t see their mum or dad because they are off to bed before they get back. Personal relationships suffer, and they (the ‘overworkers’) can end up having no one to talk to about their situation.’

It sounds horrible, doesn’t it?

The Office of National Statistics holds data that shows us that last year work related injury and ill-health resulted in the loss of around 29m working days, of which some 11.4m involved stress, anxiety and depression. With such a culture of working late and working overtime is there anything we can do to break the cycle?

Richard Jones of the Institution of Occupational Health and Safety

Has a selection of recommendations to ease stress in the workplace for employers. These include:

  1. Offering free health MOTs to employees
  2. Providing healthy food in the work canteen
  3. Organising at work physical activity sessions
  4. Organising at work wellbeing sessions
  5. Improving work/life balance
  6. Allowing personnel to work from home more often
  7. Reducing time spent commuting
  8. Enable systems of flexible working
  9. Allowing recovery times following busy periods
  10. Employing tele- or video-conferencing to save travel time

One way for individuals affected by workplace stress to feel more in control of their working lives is to manage workplace stress by using hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy works to reduce stress by challenging both your thoughts and your beliefs about both stress and anxiety. It provides a way to take a different and more effective perspective on your personal emotional management.

Hypnotherapy enables you to think consciously about your life and about those areas in your life where you might be experiencing stress. It then helps you to analyse both your beliefs and your thoughts and to start to change them.

Hypnotherapy can allow you to feel more in control of your responses to the anxiety and stress in your life. It might even give you your weekends back.

www.hypnosisselfhelp.co.uk

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