Ask anyone to name the most stressful professions and they might guess neurosurgeon, bomb diffuser, miner or even stockbroker. But a new study suggests that it is menial, thankless jobs that leave people suffering the most stress, and are consequently the most damaging to health.
“Boredom is far worse for the employee than good stress,” says Aoife Quinn, founder of Quinn HR Consulting Group. “In over 25 years of dealing with employees in corporations, I found that employees who are bored are unhappy and lack energy. Those who are bored may well seek other employment opportunities.”
What most people don’t realize is that positive experiences — even small ones — provide you with valuable resources that can be used to reduce stress, including physical symptoms such as headaches or muscle tension. They make it easier for you to detach yourself from work at the end of the day.
Over 40% of people in the U.S. say they are not doing enough to manage their stress, and the consequences of that could lead to all sorts of health-related problems. A recent study published in the journal Neuron showed people who are stressed have more difficulty with self-control and are more likely to choose to eat unhealthy food.
“In times past, human activity naturally downshifted as dusk signaled the approach of night. There was no push to get home, since most people were already there. As daylight gradually receded, the world quieted and the chirping of crickets and trilling of night birds began, as all things darkened, slowed, and cooled. In modern times, however, as dusk approaches, night begins with “the rush hour”—a massive, noisy, grinding, smoky movement of people and machines. Automobiles, buses, trains, and planes shuttle hoards of people from places of work, school, and daily activity back to their homes. Lost in this bustle, we typically thwart the onset of night.” — Rubin Naiman
The impact of stressed employees on the organization is a major human capital issue. According to the Towers Watson 2013/2014 Staying@Work™ survey, 78% of employers identify stress as the top risk factor for their workforce; leading to lost productivity due to unplanned absence.
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