Comstock's magazine 0519 - May 2019 - Page 20

n LEADERSHIP STRESSED OUT Employees and managers both have a role to play in reducing workplace stress BY Jessica Kriegel WE THINK WE KNOW WORKPLACE STRESS. We avoid it, we are over- whelmed by it, we relish it, we handle it, we thrive from it. But do we really un- derstand it? According to Cal/OSHA guidelines, harmful workplace stress arises in “jobs that demand a lot from the em- ployees, while allowing them little con- trol over how the job is performed” and 20 | May 2019 “organizational practices that exclude employee participation or input.” This definition makes clear that harmful stress isn’t just the looming deadline, overloaded inbox, budget crunch or commuter traffic on the way to work. Stress involves having too much responsibility for those problems in the workplace over which we have too little control. Running an interna- tional banking consortium might not be as harmfully stressful as working in a mail room with inefficient equipment. HOW OUR JOBS CREATE STRESS Studies confirm that workers who per- ceive they are subjected to high de- mands but have little control are at in- creased risk for cardiovascular disease. Today’s U.S. workers work longer hours