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Addressing Workplace Stress

Workplace stress is a prevalent issue that affects a significant number of individuals. According to a report titled Attitudes in the American Workplace VII, conducted via telephone interviews back in 2001, it was claimed that approximately 80% of people experience stress at work. However, it’s important to note that this statistic is not explicitly mentioned in the actual report. As we delve into the topic, let’s explore some realistic strategies for managing workplace stress that can contribute to our overall well-being.

The Fallacy of a Quick Fix

One should approach with caution any claims of an easy, one-size-fits-all solution for stress reduction. Recently, I came across a social media post promoting the idea that taking a 20-minute walk in nature daily can cure stress. While connecting with nature is indeed beneficial for mental health, it’s unrealistic to expect a simple walk to be a panacea for everyone’s stress-related challenges. Such a flippant response fails to empathise with the complexities individuals face and offers no tangible guidance for achieving long-term results.

"You can spend 20 min a day in nature early in the morning before work, or evening time after work. Those who want to make it work will find the way, those who don't, will find an excuse"

Red flag alert

Understanding the Root Causes

To address workplace stress effectively, we must examine its root causes. Self-employed individuals often carry immense pressure, constantly feeling as if they are in competition with everyone. Without proper planning, they may jump straight into action, disregarding the importance of a well-thought-out strategy. As the saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail.
Similarly, inadequate guidance and incomplete processes can lead to frustration and poor performance within a team environment, ultimately contributing to stress. In situations where there is a lack of structure and support, finding time to reconnect with nature becomes nearly impossible. Paradoxically, when time is allocated for such activities, the individual may no longer feel stressed because their engagement in the business has dwindled.

"...[W]e believe that connecting with nature is vital for mental health and overall well-being. Urban household gardening provides a wonderful opportunity to create a natural environment right at home (remote workers). Spending time in your own garden can help lower stress levels, improve moods, and promote inner peace."

Good solution, wrong timing

Reflecting on Realistic Solutions

While it would be ideal for everyone to have access to a personal garden, the reality is that housing shortages have become an ongoing issue. Additionally, the recent debates surrounding remote work productivity undermine the feasibility of individuals finding solace in their own garden.
However, let’s not forget how connecting with nature undeniably benefits our well-being. So how can we adapt these principles to our specific circumstances?

Your concerns may not be new but they are specific to your business. Boilerplate templates don't take into account your USP. But if your serious about doing it differently, it's time you create your HouseRules.

Embracing Realism in the Workplace

To break the cycle of stress perpetuation, it is crucial for leadership teams to review and improve existing procedures and processes. If leaders themselves contribute to the stress levels, it not only harms individual employees but also has a detrimental effect on the entire business. Companies must consider the costs incurred due to sick leave, recruitment efforts, and potential legal issues arising from employment claims. It’s essential to acknowledge that business owners are also on a learning curve and need guidance rather than smokescreens before they can address the underlying issues.

A Balanced Perspective

Allow me to share a personal reflection. While I initially doubted the effectiveness of connecting with nature, I have come to appreciate its positive impact. During holidays, one of my daily highlights is walking along the seashore, witnessing the transition from night to day. However, in work mode, emails and calls often disrupt my attempts to organise my thoughts during walks.

Recognising that even minor irritations can accumulate and eventually lead to stress is important. When these issues persist without signs of change or support, they can significantly affect an individual’s well-being.

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Cas Johnson, The Ethical Strategist presented with a bow to work together

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