“The antidote to stress at work is not relaxation, it’s concentration” | EUROtoday

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VS'is an insidious scourge that weighs on the shoulders of many staff. According to a latest Apec research, 54% of executives expertise “often or occasionally an intense level of stress” and the proportion is even greater amongst ladies than amongst males.

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“We speak of stress at work when a person feels an imbalance between what they are asked to do in the professional context and the resources available to them to respond,” recollects the web site of the National Institute for Research and Security ( INRS). Stressful conditions that persist over time all the time have a value for the well being of the people who expertise them. They even have adverse repercussions on the functioning of firms: turnover, misplaced working days, lack of high quality of manufacturing, demotivation…”

But the place precisely does this skilled stress come from? Why is he attacking us a lot? How to treatment it ? The Canadian neuroscientist Sonia Lupien, a specialist on the query, solutions it in a captivating work entitled Stress at work vs. work stress. The researcher, instructor and speaker, additionally founder and scientific director of the Center for Studies on Human Stress, presents, with humor and schooling, analysis on the topic and analyzes the options proposed by specialists.

Point : Stress, you say, is neither an emotion nor a sense. What is it precisely?

Sonia Lupien : It's a survival response, fairly merely. A organic response of the physique to an environmental risk perceived as such by the mind. Each time it detects hazard, it prompts a fancy endocrine response which is able to result in the manufacturing of stress hormones. These will do two issues: on the one hand, they may act on the physique to present the particular person vitality to adapt to the scenario and, alternatively, they may return to the mind and act on areas concerned in consideration, reminiscence and feelings.

For instance, in the event you virtually get hit by a automotive whereas crossing the road, an immense stress response will enable you, in a couple of thousandths of a second, to return to the sidewalk – with a tightening within the photo voltaic plexus. It's great as a result of this mechanism saved you!

When the hazard disappears, stress hormone ranges rapidly return to regular. Problems come up when individuals really feel continuously below risk. Indeed, if stress hormones rise to the mind a number of occasions a day, a number of days per week, they may change the best way you interpret the following scenario. Little by little, the glass will start to be half empty somewhat than half full. In quick, it’s when the stress response turns into too power that we see bodily and psychological issues seem.READ ALSO “At work, miss syndrome is very problematic” We usually work lower than our elders and our working circumstances are significantly better. Despite every thing, stress takes its toll. For what ?

Because our work stress container is full! What must be understood is that each transition produces a stress response as a result of it includes novelty, unpredictability, lack of management and/or risk to the ego. Stress serves us exactly to adapt to those conditions.

My speculation is that, if we endure a lot from stress at present, it’s as a result of the stressors of every historic transition that has taken place on the planet of labor for the reason that industrial revolution have collected with out us attempting to resolve them step by step. and as they seem. Take the instance of the large arrival of ladies on the job market after the Second World War: this upheaval generated a major function battle – mom vs. employee – and induced important stress amongst ladies. But at present, in 2024, nothing has been resolved on this space.READ ALSO “Onboarding”: the right way to welcome new staff? New applied sciences even have a big share of accountability…

When these arrived, we thought they might make our lives simpler. This is totally false! One of the key penalties of recent applied sciences on the best way we work is to significantly enhance fragmented consideration. We are continuously bothered by emailssocial media notifications, textual content messages, and so forth.

In one in all her research, researcher Gloria Mark confirmed that the typical employee interrupts their present job to carry out one other process each three to 6 minutes throughout their workday. Other work has additionally concluded that when one process is interrupted to carry out one other, it takes the mind a median of twenty-three minutes and fifteen seconds to refocus on the unique process. It's very lengthy ! Interruptions scale back efficiency, however they’re additionally highly effective mills of stress. They create psychological overload and due to this fact skilled burnout.

It's not the work setting that creates stress, it's the best way we work.

When you multitask, you're environment friendly, however you're not productive. This is the distinction between floor work – a mode of cognitive processing that requires little focus and psychological effort – and deep work. Remember, while you had been a pupil and also you needed to submit an essay or dissertation: you wrote, you reread, you reformulated, and so forth.? You had been in a development.

The feeling was very completely different from the sensation you get after answering 2 hundred emails in a day. The mind wants this sense of development as a result of its job is to study. Researchers have additionally proven that, when the mind is targeted on a single process, in a state of cognitive engagement, stress hormones lower. The antidote to emphasize will not be rest, it’s deep work.

READ ALSO Coffee, gossip, on-line buying… What are these “non-work” moments on the workplace for? Teleworking is due to this fact removed from defending us from stress…

No, and that's exactly why I needed to write down this ebook. When the pandemic made teleworking necessary for a lot of staff, some individuals instructed me: “It's okay, it's over, I'll never be stressed at work again because I'm no longer at work. » Except that this is not the case. Researchers realized, during the pandemic, that they were wrong: it is not the work environment that creates stress, it is the way we work. I often say that the brain doesn't care if you're at work, at home jogging, or even on top of a mountain in Bali. There are just as many pitfalls here and there because stress is at your fingertips.

This is all the more important to understand since I demonstrated, more than 20 years ago, the effects of parental stress spillover onto children. So I tell people: if you want to telecommute full time because you think that's what works best for you, you need to be 1,000% certain that you're not going to be stressed. Because a house is not big, and your child will not be able to escape the stress that you will transmit to him.

Are there solutions to work stress?

Yes, and for the first time in history, it would be possible to reorganize post-pandemic work based on scientific data in neuroscience rather than on models from business schools. Thus, researchers believe that the implementation of so-called “structured hybrid” working strategies would enhance employee productiveness and scale back stress.

The precept is to divide the week into completely different durations throughout which the worker is requested to alternately perform floor work or deep work. During floor work durations, staff would dedicate themselves to conferences, discussions with colleagues and managing emails. These “anchor days,” as researchers name them, would happen within the workplace.

As for durations of deep work – or “protected free time” – they allowed you to focus on a single process, with out being topic to exterior interruptions. During today, which might be finished at dwelling, staff could be required to not use any technological communication instruments. This structured hybrid system would make it attainable to make the most of all of the capabilities of the mind and the benefits of each organizations: teleworking and co-presence.

READ ALSO “No hello, no response”: these incivilities that damage our lives in enterpriseThese suggestions suggest a whole change of method…

Yes, I do know it's not easy. Managers typically inform me: “But my job is to manage human resources and send emails. » To use the expression of researcher Cal Newport, I tell them that “e-mail is not a job”. Busyness has turn out to be a efficiency indicator and many individuals are unable to think about themselves doing the rest – by the best way, while you ship emails, you aren’t innovating, and but it’s innovation that does. flip across the economic system.

Anyone can do deep work. But we’ve got to go little by little, as a result of people have misplaced the behavior of considering… There is a research on this topic that I actually like: contributors had the selection between sitting down and considering very arduous about one thing for fifteen minutes – doing in-depth work – or self-administering small electrical shocks for fifteen minutes. And 67% of them selected landfills!

Nevertheless, I’m delighted as a result of, since my ebook was launched in Canada, I’ve obtained a whole lot of testimonials from readers who need to strive placing this “structured hybrid” method into apply. People are struggling and I can solely perceive them: I’ve been finding out the results of stress for thirty-two years and I feel that we’ve got reached an unprecedented degree of saturation.

“Stress at work vs. work stress”of Sonia Lupien, Va savoir editions, January 2024, 37 euros.