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June 20 2016


The Pulse of Stress in the Workplace and How it is Killing Company Profits

There are two main schools of thought in modern business. The first thought process matches up with modern capitalism. Keep up with the business or fall behind. Business is about making money, and a company does not owe anyone anything and should not be expected to. The other school of thought is often considered an extension of millennial indifference and “feeling owed.” Receiving paid time off is good. A positive work environment is healthier and smarter for long-term business growth. So, let’s all have a good time while we are here.

Allen Baler

The truth is that the vast majority of businesses do not exist on either side of this continuum. Most companies are a little competitive, but also want to promote a healthy working environment.

A common attribute of a cut-throat business environment is a hierarchy. It is this structure that supports competition- the pursuit of more pay and higher levels. There is substantial evidence to support that a hierarchical business structure is counter-intuitive. The American Psychological Association shows that individuals low in a hierarchy increase their chances of cardiovascular disease and death from heart attacks. When all other things are created equal, people high in the food chain are causing undue stress to the lower hierarchy.

These health costs have an effect on stress levels, the frequency of doctor visits, and insurance costs for the company. If a company has a lot of stressed employees, the employees will seek medical attention. With enough attention, attention will be brought to the insurance company. It’s an embattled cycle that will increase costs to the company. These numbers are not always tied back to stress levels in the company.

A positive work culture is a good thing. Furthermore, a positive work culture is not the inverse of a cut-throat work culture. Not everyone has to be on the same plane. But, there is also no need for unnecessary hierarchy divisions. There are adverse effects for “too much corporate,” and equally disadvantageous results for a complete lack of a hierarchy. Ultimately, companies need to be aware if they are steering too far down a road that just doesn’t work.

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