It’s no secret that a stressful workplace can give rise to a host of challenges for leaders and team members. Research consistently shows that stress affects factors such as cognition and attention, which in turn impacts productivity.
But it’s not just about the bottom line anymore. In today’s organizations, we understand that our people are the lifeblood of our operations and, if their personal wellbeing is being affected by workplace stress, it’s something that we need to address together – if necessary, through fundamental change.
Such change is, of course, a considerable undertaking. There’s no magic bullet that can dissipate stress and boost productivity overnight. All areas of the business need to be reviewed to find the pain points that are causing stress to build up, affecting employee wellbeing and productivity.
The answers can be found in mind training, and specifically mindfulness. But when it comes to integrating these into our leadership style and our organizational culture, we need to think about how – and why – we are doing it.
While the pandemic has catalyzed significant change in working environments and in general employee attitudes to work, in a busy working life there are always going to be pressures. While we can’t eliminate those completely, we can change the way we deal with them. This is where mind training comes in. Mind training suggests that, rather than letting your phone, emails, and laptop control you, you should go back to treating them as tools that help you as part of a balanced, enjoyable approach to work.
One of the keys to mind training is self-awareness. We live in an age of distractions, in the digital environment in particular, which has eroded our attention spans and become a significant source of stress in itself.
According to the American Psychological Association, 43% of Americans are “constant checkers” of text messages, email, or social media accounts, and 18% of Americans say the use of technology is a “very or somewhat significant source of stress.” Executives frequently complain of tiredness, some of exhaustion. By cultivating self-awareness, we can monitor and regulate how much of our time is devoted to dealing with digital demands, allowing us both to manage our personal resources and develop resilience. It’s ultimately about regaining control of our working environment.
“43% of Americans are “constant checkers” of text messages, email, or social media accounts, and 18% of Americans say the use of technology is a “very or somewhat significant source of stress."”
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