Saturday, March 17, 2007

Stress At Work And Six Ways to Handle It

While it’s not a great idea to dwell on problems you can’t do anything about, it’s important to realize that most problems reach the can’t-do-anything-about stage, only because you’ve turned a blind eye. Ignorance is not always bliss.

When you have workplace issues staring you in the face 24/7, you may find a dip in productivity, efficiency, commitment and concentration levels. Which is why it makes sense to take immediate action, when you find yourself in the thick of the following six situations.

1 Bad apples
One bad apple in a team can spoil the entire barrel, suggests new research conducted by William Felps and Terence Mitchell of the University of Washington Business School

Whether it’s the office bully, the lazy Joe/Jane in the next cubicle, the team slacker or the chronic pessimist, a single employee “can seriously damage an entire company”. The study says a “single toxic agent” can be the catalyst for a downward spiral in workplace productivity.

What you can do: People may argue that the positivity of other co-workers could balance out negative vibes, but this doesn’t hold true, apparently.

And ignoring the problem person won’t make him/her vanish into thin air. Take some action, even at the cost of sounding like the office snitch. Your career is at stake too, after all.

2 Unfair boss
Nearly 20% bosses don’t keep their word, more than 25% badmouth their subordinates to co-workers, says a Florida State University study

You’ve probably heard the saying: Employees don’t leave their job or company, they leave their boss. But you don’t realise how true it is, till you’ve been at the receiving end. Poor managers create problems for companies too, leading to poor morale, less production and higher turnover.

Their “victims” report more exhaustion, job tension, nervousness, mood swings and mistrust. They are also less likely to take on additional tasks, such as working longer or on weekends, and are generally less satisfied with their job.

What you can do: Most organisations hold anonymous feedback sessions; give vent. You could also approach your boss’ boss; take sufficient proof along. And if all fails,consider putting in your papers. No job is worth emotional torture and political games.

3 No-Time Syndrome
55% employees say they don’t have enough time for themselves, 63% don’t have enough time for their spouses or partners, and 67% don’t have enough time for their children,says a new US survey

Clocking in never-ending hours is part and parcel of most jobs. But as the months go by, you realise that the only “life” you’re left with revolves is the one at the workplace.

What you can do: Something — anything — before it’s too late. Take up the issue with your department head, probably with a few colleagues who feel time-drained too.

Determine if your team is short-staffed, or if there’s an unfair load on you. Don’t take on another employee’s work (in part or whole) just because you’ve been made to believe that you are much better at it.

4 Techie stress
Nearly 50% employees believe technology increases stress, the US-based Kensington Stress & Technology in the Workplace Survey reveals

Also, 51% report that the possibility of losing documents due to computer crashes causes them “a lot of, or some, stress”. The demands of email and voice mail have also contributed to an overall increase in stress in the last year.

But the study concludes that technology is a double-edged sword. It reveals that 55% workers felt more productive at work, when compared to the last year.

What you can do: Ask yourself if you have made yourself more dependent on machines, than you ought to have. Don’t spend hours gazing at documents on your computer screen; do your eyes a favour and hit “Print”. Also determine if can do with a little less email dependency.

5 Burnout
Fast pace of work, role conflicts, lack of role clarity, emotional demands, and the need to mask emotions at work — have been recently reported as unidentified causes of burnout

Research conducted by the National Institute of Occupational Health, Denmark, measures burnout according to three scales, reflecting different domains of life and of job content: personal, work-related and client-related burnout.

Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) is used to measure burnout, by assessing emotional exhaustion, reduced personal accomplishments and depersonalisation.

What you can do: If you aren’t in the mood to get into the how and why of MBI, do the time-honoured thing — just take off. And when you get back to work from your break, start from scratch. Set realistic work targets: spell out what you plan to do now, and stuff that can wait or can be delegated.

6 Sexual harassment
The Supreme Court’s 1997 Vishaka Judgment opened up a discourse on sexual harassment at the workplace, but little has been done to ensure effective resolution of complaints

Women’s organisations, that have been lobbying for a law, say it is ridden with loopholes — it does not cover professionals (only employees), students and those who are part of the unorganised sector. Plus, it does not permit the complainant to talk to the media when the case is on.

What you can do: A new bill is due to be tabled in the Parliament’s summer session, but don’t refrain from taking whatever action you can. Stunned into silence as you may be, react.

Even a strong reaction can be threat enough to the perpetrator. And don’t think you are the only victim; if you chance upon even one person who is sailing in the same boat, consider approaching the top brass.

Source of this article: Mid Day

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Construction Update of Burj Dubai, World's Tallest Tower

The World's Tallest Tower scheduled for completion in December 2008 - The Burj Dubai as it looks now...don't miss the last picture! It will be over 800 meters tall when complete (click on photos to see bigger).

Source of these: Possibly

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