Monday, May 7, 2012

Healthy Business

“An apple a day keeps a doctor away.”  Many of us are aware about this proverb.  But, in today’s competitive working environment, this theory along cannot justify to maintain a good countenance and physique and you have to carry out much more to consider in pursuing a good health.  Because of tremendous work pressures to achieve the target in terms of sales volume and bottom line, health of the employees are always under stressful situations. Top of it, recession has diminished the business growth which leads to employee’s lay-off.  So, the employees have to share the additional work load causing less attention to the healthy habits of in-take of proper foods and adequate sleep.   This erratic lifestyle evolves a syndrome where work becomes primary and health issues become secondary.

You can ask yourself “Is your job hazardous to your health?”  In earlier days, I have seen many people used to climb staircases to visit their offices. Now, hardly people are eager to do so because their health may not permit particularly if the office is situated at third floor and above.  In the earlier days, people used to resort to have made plain and simple foods for lunch which of course was very nutritious.  Now, people are more accustomed to devour fast food and relax with all junk foods.  They may cherish but, at the cost of their health.  They call these lunches as “power lunches” and do not want to advocate for healthy foods at home.  The employees of today’s generation and who are holding the coveted positions invite the health problems and they are not cautious until it make rat-tat to their central system and when their job becomes hazardous to their health, they wake up, but by the time, it is too late.  These powerful employees hardly have the time to count calories. 

“Health on Foundation” conducted a recent survey among corporate executives and the respondents vehemently confess that recent showdown in the economy and the resultant salary / job cut, the increased work pressure has increased their anxiety level and ultimately causing health hazards.

The research findings of “Health on Foundation” indicate that most of the employees do not like the outrageous torturous working pressures just to adhere to the deadlines and achieve target.  Around 60 per cent of respondents feel to quit the job, if there is no improvement in their working environment which causes health hazard.  The same sentiment echoed by Dr. David Rajan, CEO of ortho one.  He has seen many victims who suffer from mental stresses because of their non-adherence to the stringent stipulations of target achievements.  Many employees of big organizations and multinationals consult him for their stress related acts and pains and particularly during the phase when business undergoes recession.  Dr. Rajan further explains that both the employers and employees are unable to identify this syndrome of health hazard and get swayed away with the hectic working life supplemented by erratic food habits.  They simply ignore the early symptoms of such stress that employees are undergoing.  Some of the employees face little more stress problem which is known as “Carpel tunnel” symptoms which invariably needs surgery and lot of rest to recuperate.

It is very essential for the employees to distress so that they focus on their assignment.  The employers are to remind their employees about the benefits of basic health management like stretching and free hand exercising.  In fact, it is quite common now-a-days to have swimming pool, gymnasium, and badminton court in many multinational and large organizations so that the employees are able to manage time on the basic needs of the health management. But, unfortunately, even today most of the organizations do not care much about these basic needs and they only talk on corporate excellency in terms of business growth and bottom line.

As per Ms. Pranita Priya, Manager-HR, chimes group Pvt. Ltd., a software company of India, “When companies are downsizing their employees’ strength, the balance employees are under compulsion to take roles of new jobs over and above their existing one, to take extra load of their jobs and also to find new markets for their products etc.  These new roles in their job functions, burden of extra workloads sometimes do not perfectly suit to their designed level of workloads and these ultimately affect the productivity.  During this transformation of change work pattern, the employees are befuddled and occasionally become dumb found.  They also become vulnerable to the highly misunderstood features of work life change.  This ultimately causes mental stress.” When recession engulfs business growth, the companies must learn the techniques to adopt with the work life changes and accordingly the employees are also to be trained.  The companies must ensure their learning change without inviting health hazards.  If employees are reluctant to accept the changes in their work pattern, then the companies will lose its competitiveness and its cost efficiency and effectiveness will be downgraded.

Though most of the working professionals try to adjust with extra burden working load without increase of stress levels but there are many who find it extremely difficult to balance and they surrender and give up.  The HR experts advise that professionals must take adequate steps to deal in with stress levels without inviting unwanted health hazards.  They suggest a lot of ways by which the employees can control their stress levels and also perform well to maintain productivity.

The various ways suggested by HR experts are as follows:

1)      Make the job smeared with little bit funny atmosphere.
2)      If job pressure shackles you, then leave the same for the time being and concentrate on some other lighter activities like reading news letters, e-mails, or business related information.
3)      If excessive mental stresses are developed out of the fear of not achieving targets or deadlines, immediately take the help of your superior to reduce your workloads or guide you to show the right direction.

       4)      Periodic deep breathing exercise will help you to regain your concentration and reduce stress level.
5)      When workloads irritate you, do not indulge in any sort of arguments with anyone in the organization because that will increase your anxieties, stresses and ultimately affect your health.

One thing is to be remembered, if health is properly maintained then the output of the business or particular job function ameliorates.  But, if health is always succumbed under pressure, any amount of work cannot develop the desired output.

If there is a situation when one is getting completely exhausted, then it is his inability to cope up with the tremendous work pressure or it may happen that the particular employee is strained by his organization.  In this situation, the employee must share his loads with others or refuse to take further loads until he finishes the existing load in hand.  But, in any circumstances, quitting the job is not an ideal solution. 

If the particular person who is strained can practice the above suggestions and move so, for a period of time, if he is detaching himself from all sorts of activities and simply relax, he can regain his concentration level.

There are some organizations namely Chinese groups, adapt a practice of fitness regime whereby a competition is held to encourage the employees so that they focus to the needs of their maintaining healthy lifestyle. They call this competition as “Care for yourself and achieve your dream.”  Many multinational organizations like Hewlett Packard, General Motors, Ford also follow norms to ensure that their employees are able to lead a healthy lifestyle to increase their functional outputs.  

From all these health related measures, the main criterion is to ensure that the employees are able to remain physically fit and attain a desired “Body Mass index.”  This level of fitness will make them stress and anxiety free, allow them to concentrate more on their output in terms of maintaining deadlines and achievement of target.  And ultimately, the health of business is excellent when you as an employee are in healthy lifestyle cycle.
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