How to beat workplace stress

作者:Archer; Rob 刊名:New Scientist 上传者:宋建海


WHEN colleagues take time off for illness, most of us assume they have a cold, flu or a stomach bug, perhaps. Few realise that 49 per cent of all working days lost in the UK in 2016-17 were caused by work-related stress, depression or anxiety. Stress is an insidious problem. Short-term stress, such as working to an imminent deadline, can be beneficial. But if the pressure never goes away, it risks leading to chronic stress, which can bring on significant mental health issues. This, in turn, creates further stress on the employee and their colleagues and families. There are also consequences for physical health: studies have shown that long-term stress leads to a compromised immune system, contributing to debilitating headaches, digestive disorders and cardiovascular disease. Very few firms know how to improve this dire situation; in fact, many are unwittingly making things worse. The good news is, we are starting to get a handle on how to beat stress and – even better – prevent it from becoming a problem in the first place. One of the most important protective factors is a resource known as psychological flexibility. Studies have shown that it has profound effects on mental health and workplace performance, helping people do their jobs more effectively while improving health and well-being. “Psychological flexibility allows people to become more resilient in their responses to high work demands,” says Rob Archer, a chartered psychologist who works with a number of companies a