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Positive interventions in the corporate life

Post by on Sunday, May 29, 2022

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Employees spend a major part of their waking time at work. Reducing demands and increasing resources such as  autonomy, social support, self-efficacy at work are important in promoting employees’ work-life balance, well-being and health. By introducing positive psychology interventions to the workplace we can repair the negative consequences of work stress and find ways to promote resources to improve employees’ well-being at work. Positive psychology interventions focus on building resources and preventing resource loss, and include activities that aim to cultivate positive feelings, behaviours and cognitions. 

Employers and organizations are directly impacted by mental health issues due to increased absence, a negative impact on production and revenues, and an increase in expenditures to address the issue. Furthermore, they have a negative influence on staff morale.

Workplace stress is a leading source of workplace illness, productivity loss, and human mistake. This includes more sick-days, high worker turnover, poor organisational effectiveness, and a likely rise in accidents caused by human error. Work-related stress can cause heart disease, backache, seizures, digestive disturbances, or a variety of minor ailments, as well as psychological impacts including anxiety and depression, lack of attention, and poor decision-making.

People's negative reactions to excessive pressures or other sorts of expectations are known as stress. There is a major difference between pressure, which may be motivating, and stress, which occurs when pressure becomes extreme.

Some professions are more vulnerable to mental health issues than others. A research conducted in the Netherlands compared skill levels to work speed to determine the risk of stress and mental illness in various jobs. Higher stress levels were linked to an increased risk of mental illness.

Some issues related to mental health could arise from:

Relationship problems with colleagues

Another factor might be challenging coworkers or colleagues. Dealing with a problematic coworker is more challenging since their performance is frequently compared to one's own. This, too, must be settled via civil conversation and mutual agreement. One can convey to the coworker how working together has considerably more advantages than competing. However, if things are getting out of hand, the superior concerned should be informed.

Work family conflict

Families are striving to keep up with an ever-changing environment. Individuals are attempting to strike a balance between job and family obligations. Domestic troubles may have an impact on work, so balancing work and home life by allocating enough time for both will help minimise stress.

High demand for performance

Unrealistic expectations, particularly during periods of company reorganisation, which can place employees under unhealthy and unjustified demands, can be a huge source of stress and misery. Increased workload, exceptionally long work hours, and great pressure to perform at top levels all of the time for the same salary can physically and mentally exhaust a person. Excessive travel and time away from family can also add to an employee's stress levels.

Job insecurity

Under the strains of strong economic transitions, organised workplaces are undergoing metamorphic shifts. Reorganizations, takeovers, mergers, rightsizing, and other changes have become major sources of stress for employees as businesses compete to stay afloat. These changes have put pressure on everyone from the CEO to the current employer.

Bureaucratic constraints

Certain laws and regulations are fundamental aspects of the system to function as checks and balances, regardless of organisational size or bureaucratic processes.Managers, on the other hand, are likely to face limits and stress as a result of them. Uncomfortable working circumstances, task overload, a lack of control over the work process, and plain boredom are all examples of occupational stresses. Reduced workplace pressure and work-related psychological illnesses, such as anxiety disorders, would be reduced if work role ambiguity was reduced.

The following activities or approaches that can help employees to build their resources and foster well-being at work:

1. More positive parts of work should be experienced and valued: Cognitive tactics like practising optimistic thinking and recognising pleasant work experiences can help employees develop happy emotions and feel better.

Caregivers were asked to think of a pleasant and important event they had encountered at work in an intervention trial. This might be a favourable contact with a patient, a pleasant conversation with a colleague, or a successful therapy. The caretakers were also urged to pause and reflect on this happy occasion.

2.The benefit of rest breaks: Employees' energy can be depleted by job expectations, resulting in low work engagement and feelings of tiredness and fatigue. Employees should take brief breaks from work to allow them to momentarily divert their focus away from their daily responsibilities and replenish their energy.

A simulated savouring nature exercise, such as listening to natural sounds such as bird singing or waves, and a gradual muscular relaxation activity. These are short breaks that may be done during work and are categorised as "micro-interventions." This allows an employee to take a break from work and divert their attention away from their duties.

In one study, employees were randomly allocated to one of two conditions: savouring nature or gradual muscle relaxation. The findings show that both of these brief daily rest breaks, which can easily be included into the workday, improve employee energy and minimise fatigue over the course of 10 work days. 

3.Switch off from work and find a good balance between work and private life: Employees who think about and emotionally connect with work-related concerns during their free time sometimes struggle to mentally separate or shut off. This might result in a loss of work–life balance.

Employees are able to determine their own approach to integrate or separate both living domains thanks to an intervention based on boundary theory. This online programme teaches mindfulness as a method of cognitive-emotional detachment. Mindfulness is a state of non-judgmental awareness of one's current events. Employees in our intervention discussed their segmentation techniques, such as how to keep work and personal life separate, and received mindful breathing exercises to help them focus on the present moment and let go of unwanted work-related thoughts and sensations.

A study showed that compared to a control group, employees in the intervention group experienced less emotional exhaustion, negative affect and strain-based work–family conflict, as well as more psychological detachment and satisfaction with work–life balance.

4. Practical recommendations:

• During your lunch break or when you end your job, think about anything that went well at work. For instance, a pleasant conversation with a coworker, a good presentation, or a task you loved

• Take small pauses during the day to disconnect and rejuvenate. Use them to unwind, meditate, or take a stroll.

• Make an effort to disconnect from work. Small mindful breathing exercises might help you concentrate on the present moment and let go of unwanted ideas and emotions.

Conclusion 

Positive work reflection, respite periods, and life domain segmentation may all help employees develop resources and improve their well-being.We see the following advantages for both firms and employees:

l  These intervention activities can simply be included into the workday during brief breaks or conducted during free time in the evening.

l  They may be used in a variety of vocations and are available online, as smartphone applications, or on paper. Organizations and workers must remember that these interventions assist primarily employees in need, such as those with a heavy workload or emotionally difficult job activities.

l  These therapies' long-term consequences are unknown. Individual treatments are not a replacement for more comprehensive workplace health promotion measures such as workload reduction and team building.

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