Tuesday, 13 September 2011 16:00Bullying or rudeness in the office has been in headlines recently, and for good reason. Incivility among co-workers can exacerbate workplace stress, increase absenteeism and even have a detrimental effect on employee performance, as workers spend more time dealing with personal problems instead of doing their job.
Charleston, N.C. news source The Post and Courier recently featured an article by doctors Mehmet Oz and Mike Roizen, who gave recommendations on how to diffuse workplace bullying.
First, good manners don't just apply at the dinner table. Making kind remarks and holding back when feeling the urge to make a rude or defensive comment may help keep bullies at bay. Additionally, simply avoiding trouble-makers can be a good strategy, according to the doctors.
If bullying or rudeness gets to be a real problem, Oz and Roizen recommend talking to a supervisor to make them aware of the situation. Together, bosses and workers can develop strategies to ensure a civil office.
An article in Live Science reports that workplace bullying can be more detrimental and disruptive than sexual harassment.
"Targets of severe workplace bullying are suffering from physical and psychological conditions that would just drive even the strongest of us into the ground," said David Yamada, of Suffolk University Law School in Boston, quoted by the news source.
It's likely that subjects of rude behavior and actions, as well as the bullies themselves, are experiencing high levels of anxiety. As a result, employee wellness programs that provide tools and resources for stress management may be in order.
Monday, 12 September 2011 16:00Sometimes, a bereavement period is not enough to help workers heal from a significant loss. After coming back to work after a short time off, some employees may experience high levels of workplace stress as they continue to experience grief on top of carrying out daily responsibilities.
As a result, some extra help may be needed. Stress expert and author Lauren Miller said that methods meant to relieve anxiety can be helpful for the bereaved, since the physical reactions to trauma can be similar to those of stress.
"When trauma of any kind enters into your life, your body goes into a freeze. Your breathing becomes shallow, your left brain stops communicating with the right brain and you experience a 'deer in the headlights' response to life," Miller said.
This suggests that employee wellness programs that promote holistic and healthy ways to alleviate stress could be helpful to workers in more ways than one.
Healthy living and stress management have been shown to be powerful tools in maintaining a positive mood, staying focused and dealing with the everyday stressors of life, in addition to those that pop up unexpectedly.
Sunday, 11 September 2011 16:00Many professions require workers to perform a juggling act with their responsibilities, which often entails staying afloat of the latest industry findings, performing day-to-day tasks with efficiency and accuracy as well as taking on jobs small and large at the drop of a hat.
Could it be that lawyers endure these stressors more than other professionals? Apparently so, according to an article in The Sydney Morning Herald in Australia.
The report reveals that legal aid workers employed by the government deal with high levels of workplace stress, bullying and poor mental health, as a survey showed that an estimated 13 percent of healthcare claims made by these workers stem from psychological issues.
In a write-up on the Law Blog of the Wall Street Journal, lawyers shared their views and feelings on job-related anxiety.
"Lawyering started out stressful, and it’s pretty much stayed stressful, or gotten more stressful. This stress has the capacity to wear people down. It’s certainly tiring," wrote a commenter under the name Venkat.
Other law professionals on the blog reported that stress stimulates their desire for unhealthy foods, while others said that stress is a boon to them at times.
This suggests that individuals who work in the high-pressure environment of a law office may be in need of employee wellness programs that provide tools and resources for stress management.
Thursday, 08 September 2011 16:00Doctors often deal with workplace stress as the result of having to make difficult decisions on a daily basis, some of which have lives depending on the correct answer. Researchers at the University of Cincinnati recently conducted a survey to determine whether physicians working in different fields have similar stress levels.
Using a number of work intensity measurement tools and questionnaires, the team of scientists examined anxiety levels in 45 family healthcare providers, 20 general internal organ specialist, 22 neurologists and 21 surgeons.
The researchers discovered that general internists and surgeons experience similar levels of workplace stress. Interestingly, they also found that these types of professionals are significantly more anxious than family physicians and neurologists.
Overall, surgeons reported highest levels of task concentration, stress and physical demands when compared to the other specialists.
"A physician's work can be assessed by the time required to complete it and by the intensity of the effort, which is central to properly valuing the services being provided," said lead investigator Ronnie Horner, Ph.D.
Results of this study suggest that there may be a need for employee wellness programs for stress management in a variety of healthcare settings.
Tuesday, 06 September 2011 16:00While some efforts have been made to reduce workplace stress for medical residents, such as decreases in the duration of shifts, training to be a doctor still appears to be a tough job.
Mayo Clinic researchers recently found in a study of 16,394 medical residents that 51 percent of them reported burnout, and about 46 percent said they experience emotional exhaustion as a result of their work. Moreover, some 29 percent of respondents reported feeling depersonalized or cynical, and nearly 15 percent said their quality of life was "as bad as it could be."
The team of scientists noted that residents with student loan debt tended to have a lower quality of life than their debt-free counterparts. This was especially true for those who owed more than $200,000. Study authors noted that the average debt for medical students is $160,000.
"We hope that now that we have established national numbers for these distress variables, we can perhaps focus less effort on documenting the problem and turn greater attention to how best to improve the situation," said lead author Colin West, M.D., Ph.D.
Results of this study suggest that healthcare facilities may benefit significantly from employee wellness programs that provide tools and resources for stress management.
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