I really think that employers could boost employee retention and reduce the incidence of stress leave if they just made sure that there was at least one friendly cat per head in the workplace. Simple, right? I have some other ideas, too – for example, foot spas at every desk and complimentary cocktails.
Okay, so maybe I shouldn’t rush to open up shop as a corporate stress management consultant just yet – I’d be better of joining forces some kind of resort-style day spa in Tokyo, by the sounds of it. But hey, at least I’m thinking about this stuff. For most people I know, managing workplace stress barely makes a blip on their radar of mental health.
Take my colleague, Cassandra. She puts on this act of being cool as a cucumber, but I can tell she’s sweating underneath – every time a new project comes in, she starts chaining double-shot macchiatos (out of anxiety, I think) and then embarks on a downward spiral of disrupted sleep, chaotic communication and a rather short temper, to put it diplomatically.
It’s important to learn stress management techniques, Melbourne workers are under increasing amount of pressure. Do you have a personal coach? A workplace program? A well-thumbed book that breaks it down in a clear and comprehensible manner? Or perhaps a feline guru whose purring sends you into a state of blissful disregard for what Sharon from finance thinks of your latest report?
In all seriousness, I’m up for pushing the cat thing. Failing that, though, I’ve heard that it’s possible to hire a corporate stress management trainer to bring your team up to speed on what stress is, what its effects can be and how to deal with stress in a healthy way. All things considered, I can see how that could be a more efficient (and perhaps more effective) option than simply doing a cat drop.
I’m pretty sure Cassandra just needs someone to point out her crazy cortisol spirals to her, preferably in an authoritative manner. I think she’d be totally capable of going and doing something about it.