Didn’t we know that our daily jobs are imposing extreme levels of stress? And, that our mind and body is not prepared to handle ‘so much’? People keep on worrying about their work life balance. At the same time, they continue with their so called ‘toxic jobs’. And, this goes on until you face a major breakdown.

Before it’s too late to ponder over our lifestyle and what needs to be done, we are blessed with this new publication released on March 20, 2018 ‘Dying for a Paycheck’. All thanks to Jeffrey Pfeffer, for sharing his ambitious aspirations with the world. Pfeffer is a professor of organizational behavior at Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Workplace Stress
iStock/Kilhan

Facts and Figures on the organizational behavior:

Work place has always been significant to one’s happiness. Modern workplace is imposing threat on health including psychological effects. The key factors influencing health are long working hours and work-family conflict. Pfeffer’s study revealed few facts on the organizational behavior.

  • “Workplace stress is the fifth leading cause of death in U.S.”
  • “Lots of research shows that your tendency to overeat, overdrink, and take drugs are affected by your workplace.”
  • “We are harming both company performance and individual well-being, and this need to be the clarion call for us to stop. There is too much damage being done.”
  • “Job stress and poor management is killing people — accounting for up to 8% of annual health costs and leading to 120,000 excess deaths every year in the United States.”

There can be a correlation between work place stresses and health.

Is workplace related to health care crisis?

Coming from the life of CEO of Barry-Wehmiller, Robert Chapman has shared great insights on the relationship of workplace stress and health crisis. Here are the key points:

  1. An extensive portion of the health care cost comes from chronic diseases. Chronic diseases are those which tend to become more common with age. Examples are obesity, diabetes, arthritis, cardiovascular disease, asthma and circulatory disease. Around 75 percent of the disease burden in the U.S. is from chronic diseases.

This is supported by the data compiled by the World Economic Forum and several other sources.

  1. Stress has been the underlying cause of behaviors like overeating, under exercising and drug and alcohol abuse. The available epidemiological literature shows that these chronic diseases are triggered by stress.
  2. Though stress is common to modern life, data suggests that workplace is the biggest sources of stress.

By summing up above observations, it can be easily concluded that the leaders of the organizations, viz. CEOs are the cause of the health care crisis. They contribute to the establishment of such work environment and culture which becomes the source of stress.  Thereby this stress contributes to the appearance of chronic diseases. And, these chronic diseases are the major component of the rising health care costs.

 The impact:

The way these facts have come out in the society is unnerving. The impact of this is many folds.

  • People come to work even when they are sick. They are not as productive compared to their average performance on these days.
  • Companies are facing problems with ‘presenteeism’. People come to office and are present physically but fail to focus on their work.
  • People become non-performers on so called ‘sick days’. There are lost workdays because of psychological stress and illness. This has a huge impact on having high health care costs.
  • A survey revealed that a considerable 7 percent of people got hospitalized because of workplace stress.
  • An alarming 50% had missed time at work because of stress.
  • And, lastly, people are quitting their jobs. The reason for such a decision is job stress.

This definitely comes with a huge cost to businesses. And, companies need to focus on this problem rather than ignoring it. It is said that, to acknowledge and declare the problem is the beginning of the solution.

This spark of light has ignited from Stanford Graduate School of Business. It carries with itself the ability to transform the workplace health. Let people and not just executives ‘wake up’ to the hope such that it brings solace to the heated minds. May the ‘Silent Spring of Workplace Health’ arrive soon!

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