Stress at work has three fundamental types of consequences on individuals:
- Mental and physical health issues
- Poor inter - relationship issues with others within their team, department or of board of directors.
- Time related issues and tensions
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Individual health and well-being is crucial for everyone at home and at work. If our health suffers then our effectiveness at work suffers for both for ourselves and those we interact with. Examples of work related stress affecting our health are stress headaches, digestive problems, high blood pressure, anxiety, back, neck and shoulder tensions. Mentally stress can lead to anxiety or if long term, depressive tendencies. It is well acknowledged that stress causes or aggravates a very high proportion of medical conditions. Ill health to the individual then increases the potential for absenteeism affecting the organisation in addition to the health issues affecting the person.
Poor relationships with others in teams, departments and boards of directors within an organisation. When the department, team or board of directors is not coherent, not working together, then tensions and problems between individuals inevitably arise. This then creates a downward spiral in their effectiveness and outcomes. If this happens at higher level management or at the board level, the negative consequences can be disastrous. Whereas when the team or board has a laser light level of coherence in their thinking, the benefits will be immense and phenomenal.
The 3rd level issue, is that of how we relate to time.
Most people in business are ‘lost to the future’ - continually thinking about all the events and things they must do in the future, resulting in their thinking becoming lost to the future. This then becomes like an enormous energetic carrot - like a carrot in front of the donkey pulling / drawing them into it. However the donkey can see the carrot. We can’t! As the future does not exist, it is inherently unstable and this can cause significant anxiety in such people.
Other people are frequently thinking about the past. Thinking how life used to be so good in the past. How it could have been, but wasn’t. These people are the ‘blockers’ in group discussions.
“That won’t work, that’s not a good idea, that’s not as good as how we used to do things” etc.
For these people the present is not as good as how things used to be and so any change processes, for them must be making things worse. The present is not as good as how things were, so the future has even less chance! This leads to stagnation for the decision making group they are involved with, and causes the person to have depressive tendencies.
Both of these types of people are at risk of significant psychological tension and at risk of physiological health issues developing further down the line, resulting costly absenteeism.