Image by xeeliz via Flickr
Life in the modern Ireland has become increasingly stressful. Stress, for example, recently overtook back pain as the single biggest cause of absenteeism in the Irish workplace.
For employers that’s a big thing. The Irish Small Firms Association (SFA) recently estimated that staff absenteeism alone could be costing small businesses in this country more than €800 million every year – pointing out that it was a conservative estimate and that the actual figure could top €1 billion. Stress also decreases the productivity of employees who make it in to work – so employers are hit by a double whammy.
For the individual employee increasing levels of stress in the workplace is also bad news. Although some stress at work is inevitable – even desirable, because the resulting adrenalin helps to keep us focussed, motivated and performing at our peak – too much stress has the opposite effect, and productivity tends to plummet. Another worrying aspect of stress is that it can, if left unmanaged, have far reaching implications not just for your performance at work, but also for your long term mental health.