When your entire being protests waking up on every Monday morning and going to work, you know you are in trouble. Office life is getting the worse of you. You hate seeing the sight of that god forsaken place, and would trade your soul with the demon to climb back inside your covers and hide in for the entire life. You start getting a migraine just at the mention of your workplace. That is when you know you have been affected by the office-sickness-syndrome! Working in an office mainly involves sitting in a chair and staring at the computer screen for long break-less hours, missing lunch breaks to reach deadlines or eating junk to avoid wasting time. All these practices have a drastic impact on your physical health. Here are the 10 reasons why your office life is gradually robbing you of a healthy physical being.
1. No movement!
Half of your office time is spent sitting at one place for far too long than your body can sustain. The only movement might shifting to reach out for a file or raising your head and nodding at someone. For an average person, who doesn’t drink or smoke in excess, sitting for more than six hours a day for two weeks, makes the muscles unable to take in fat and raises the blood sugar level, increasing your weight and possibilities of diabetes. The electrical activity in your muscle goes down and the rate of burning calories falls down to one calorie per minute, which is one-third of what it is when you are walking. In a gist of it, sitting for over six hours a day can cut down your life span by seven quality life years. So, it’s not only smoking that kills, people!
2.Surviving on junk!
Grabbing a pack of chips, or hawking over stale bread dishes like burgers, hot-dogs in appeal of saving time, does more harm than good to your body. Pressure to hit deadlines and to show that they are hard workers makes employees rarely leave their desk. A study shows that more 40% of the workers don’t leave their office the entire day for a walk or a whiff of fresh air. Snacking on junk food slows down the brain activity, increases indigestion and thereby leads to an unhealthy body. Intestinal infections, cerebral damages, are common effects of a bad diet. Worse than that is missing food altogether! Skipping meals has become a common occurrence in light of the hectic work schedule and hustle-bustle of office place. Not only does not eating affect the energy levels of your body and hamper your focus, they start a routine that eventually make you a victim of critical medical problems.
3. Occupational Stress!
Stress is defined as harmful emotional effect of a situation on a person. It can be a tension or a factor or a situation that causes emotional imbalance. Work place stress has been on an ever increase due to cut throat competitions between companies and between employees of the same company. It occurs when your boss gives a workload which is far more than your ability to handle at a time. Refusal of redress of grievances, improper personal-professional life balance; all cause the mind of an individual to become tense. Stress takes a toll of the nervous system of the body- loss of sleep, increased headaches, loss of appetite; all result in deterioration of health. According to as study, one-fourth of employees consider their work to be the topmost source of stress in their life. It often leads to depression, anxiety and gradually a highly unstable mental makeup. A recent survey, published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, noted that for those working 12 hours a day, there was a 37% increase in risk of illness and injury in comparison to those who work fewer hours.
4. Lack of belonging!
As more and more mechanization is devouring the industrial face, the connection between an employee and his job is reducing. He doesn’t feel the satisfaction of working for something that interests him. Mechanization of human resources has more harmful effects on the individuals than the benefits it has for the company. The employee deals with computers and papers and numbers, not people. Degradation of mental heath is obvious in such a scenario, where the organization is too rigid to listen to its workplace and has no sense of creating a healthy workplace environment. The carrot and stick approach is not the right way to deal with the factor resources that are driving force of your company. Low morale, lack of enthusiasm, doing jobs of opposite interests; all have a terrible effect on the mental health of the employee.
5. Lack of work-life balance!
The most prominent complaint of the private sector employees is that the organization tries to own them. Even after working for far longer than the stipulated time, they do not let you spend your free time in peace. Weekends, family issues, personal life; all this holds no meaning for your employer. You work for more than a heavy 50 hours a week and still they want you to cut down your personal commitments for work. Forced to choose between work and life, the inability to balance the two causes a huge strain on the individual. Neither are they able to work efficiently, nor is their family life at peace. Divorces, fights with spouses, unhealthy relationships with children due to lack of time; all of this leads to a damage in the overall personality and severe mental illnesses. The workload and expectations of dear ones are all together too much for one sole being, and ultimately it does take a toll on your health. If only bosses could view their employees as humans and not just factors of productivity!
6. Immature and ineffective leadership!
Toxic workplaces, i.e, work places that make you physically and mentally sick, have a common characteristic. The managers or other leaders in the office are too self-involved, immature and insensitive to listen to their subordinates. Such workplaces are fueled by such dysfunctional leaders. Emotional distance, unwillingness to resolve conflicts, lack of empathy, aggression and egoism, all are the signs of a poor leader. Such cold response from their supervisors highly discourages the employees, leaving them bottles up with their feelings and unresolved differences. Workplace environment becomes tense and the colleagues have a hard time getting along. Every small issue contributes in increasing the stress and tension, lowering enthusiasm, affecting mental stability and emotional virtues.
When mistakes are explained by blaming you, you are a scapegoat of either a colleague or your manager. Employees are belittled, high performers are criticized of being incompetent. You are bullied into accepting responsibility of something in which you had no role to play in the first place. It’s either that, or the threat by your superior to fire you, or file a false complain by your colleague. Sometimes, even the Human Resource Department is unable to come up with a way to deal with the bullies and in the end goes along with them to avoid risking the reputation of the firm. This is an additional problem which threatens the life and property of an individuals, as at times the threats are not empty.
8. Workforce Diversity!
A workplace is an amalgamation of people from all cultures, castes, religion and race. The more the diversity at a workplace, more are the chances of conflicts and unhealthy relationships. This leads to dissatisfaction, low self-confidence, discrimination on the basis of caste and therefore aggressive counter arguments making the environment stressful for everyone. The effect that a negative comment on one’s religion can have on him is undoubtedly enormous and at times, causes irreparable damage. There have been cases of medical disorders in an individual due to the hurtful statements he received from his colleagues and superiors at his workplace. Thus, workforce diversity, if not managed with great care, can affect an individual’s mental and physical health.
9. Sexual harassment!
Women have since eternity been exploited and sexually harassed by their bosses for prospective chances of promotion and higher pay. Myriad cases have been filed, and at times, these victims have been silenced to lodge a complaint. Rapes, sexual assault are common hearings in the corporate world, where everyone is hungry to climb the ladder of success. The physical blows and mental scars are all too often too hard to heal, and damage the spirit of an individual for a lifetime.
10. Poor Communication!
All too often employees do not get a feedback on their performance, or if they do, it’s only a negative feedback. Rest of the times, they are either ignored or left out of loop on everything. Employee empowerment is major in increasing the good work ethics in the employees. Unwillingness to recognize the contribution of the employee, stealing their ideas and presenting them as their own, or stagnating them in their positions forever- everything works as a driving force in alienating the employees, demotivating them, affecting their mental stability and enforcing poor working habits which eventually deteriorate their health.
These are the reasons why your office life is sucking on your health, physical and mental. The day you stop feeling that Friday is your savior, that’d be the day when your work will stop being a source of stress!