We live in a quagmire of stress, uncertainty and anguish that makes our daily lives much more difficult. It goes without saying our physical and mental state after what we have experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic in recent years, but… Where does work-related stress come from?
Where does work-related stress come from, how does it influence the work environment, what about the work climate and productivity?
We have the whole article ahead of us to answer these questions. Let’s get started!
What exactly is work climate?
It is the atmosphere generated in a work environment. In order to know what work climate exists in companies, personnel policies and evaluation techniques are used through the analysis of employee behaviour, perceptions and emotions in the work environment. This task is the responsibility of the Human Resources department.
The work climate is influenced by the physical environment (pollution, space, facilities, lighting), the social environment (communication, companionship), personal characteristics (motivations, expectations), organisational characteristics (productivity, satisfaction, absenteeism) and structural characteristics (management style, company structure, company size).
And that’s not all, read on!
How the work climate influences productivity
One in four people will have a psychological crisis at some point in their lives. Forty-two per cent of workers have already experienced anxiety and sleep problems in recent years. And one of the elements that most influences mental health is the working environment, “although more than a trigger for stress and anxiety, it can be a risk factor when there is a certain predisposition to these disorders”, as Cuídate Plus stresses.
When the work climate is healthy:
- It increases the feeling of belonging to the company.
- The perception of the company improves.
- Teamwork is encouraged.
- Employee motivation increases.
- Sick leave and absenteeism are reduced.
- Labour productivity is increased.
When the workplace is harmonious and appropriate to the activities we carry out, productivity increases. If, on the other hand, staff feel uncomfortable, there will be greater dissatisfaction and demotivation, leading to low productivity. In this sense, the company must always be aware of how to improve productivity. And to do so, it can make use of new staff training, training for the development of talent and leadership skills, change of habits, etc. Not only will this increase the feeling of belonging to the company, but it will also increase labour productivity.
Beyond the professional characteristics of workers, there are social, physical and mental factors that influence their well-being. And although there is no magic formula to guarantee it, training their skills through disciplines such as coaching makes them more committed and easier to communicate with. As a result, there will be a better working environment and higher productivity.
Having a healthy work climate makes for a more successful company!
Triggers of work-related stress and people most prone to it
Peering inside ourselves makes us feel for a moment more afraid than usual. It is a strange sensation that reminds us how unknown we are even to ourselves. Who knows what we will find in there.
“What if I’m not as self-confident as I thought I was? What if the problems that are looming in my life are related to emotions I haven’t resolved in the past?
Relax, work stress affects more than 45% of workers, but the key to solving it is to start by knowing its causes:
- Work environment. This refers not only to organisational or structural characteristics, but also to physical ones such as poor lighting or noise.
- Work-life balance. Lack of time for private life is a factor that can directly influence the increase in work-related stress.
- Lack of personal development. When a worker feels stagnant, he or she is much more likely to suffer from stress.
- Lack of communication. Interpersonal relationships are key in companies, but when they don’t flow, things get complicated.
- Work overload. When responsibilities and the number of tasks to be performed increase, it is easier to develop stress.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines work-related stress as “the reaction an individual may have to work demands and pressures that are not commensurate with his or her knowledge and abilities, and which test his or her ability to cope with the situation”.
10 golden rules to reduce stress at work
The crux of the matter is not stress, but the way we react to it. As our mental health depends a lot on the level of stress at work, let’s look at some keys to reducing it:
- Set realistic goals.
- Take care of your workspace.
- Encourage your social relationships.
- Avoid excessive critical thinking about mistakes.
- Plan as much as possible.
- And don’t forget to switch off after work.
- Communicate assertively.
- Take care of your diet.
- Get enough sleep.
- Take a break.
“Without well-being, life is not life, it is only a state of languor and suffering” – François Rabelais
Conclusions on work climate, stress and productivity
To what extent can health be affected by a toxic work environment? How can you stay safe in a fast-paced world?
Every day, many patients come to psychological consultations with problems associated with stress and the working environment. It is common knowledge that stress is one of the major handicaps of today’s world. In fact, it causes serious damage to the mind and body.
But it all boils down to pausing, here and now, to look for ways to solve this problem in companies.
Big problems, big solutions. Physical and mental stress can also be solved through online coaching, with high-performance platforms for behavioural change and wellbeing.