I saw this interesting article in the Harvard Business Review by Rich Fernandez, who ran exec development at Google, on managing stress and anxiety at work.
It got me thinking that because we are now 'always on' does that mean we are also always stressed? And what does that do to our productivity levels and overall wellbeing?
The general theme of the article is that we are so focused on getting stuff done and being 'always on' that there is little time for rest and recovery. An athlete would be just as focused on the recovery side as they are on the training. So why don't we approach our own profession in this way?
The piece is well worth a read but the main recommendations to help your team manage stress are as follows:
--Encourage well-being practices
--Allow time to disconnect from work
--Train brain to deal with chaos
--Be purposefull about gap time
--Exercise empathy and compassion
I think these are some pretty good pointers. In my experience the reaction to advice like this is that is all sounds nice but it just does't work in reality - there's just too much to do!
But contrary to popular belief, I'm sure that more time for recovery would make us more productive (and less stressed).
It can be tough enough to manage your own stress. But how can you, as a manager, help the members of your team handle their feelings of stress, burnout, or disengagement? Because work is getting more demanding and complex, and because many of us now work in 24/7 environments, anxiety and burnout are not uncommon. In our high-pressure workplaces, staying productive and engaged can be challenging. Although it’s unlikely that the pace or intensity of work will change much anytime soon, there’s a growing body of research that suggests certain types of development activities can effectively build the capacity for resilience.