Blog » Life in the Mosh Pit
Spats, squabbles and the workplace Mosh Pit
I kid you not, the Mosh Pit of the workplace can result in death. The Samaritans did a survey about the hazards of the workplace as it becomes more and more stressful. and the link between a stressful job and suicide is well documented. I’m not talking about some 19th Century mill where people are dying in their thousands through poor conditions. No, this is a present-day phenomenon in our own modern workplaces. Bullying managers, long working hours, a culture of presenteeism (attending work even though sick) is how we cope with life at work. A problem made all the worse as management increasingly require ‘absences’ to be catalogued and reported upon as part of their staff performance reviews. A series of sick days can itself lead to an uncomfortable conversation if not a disciplinary. Is it any wonder that work station is the new stress zone!
What an indictment! Conflict at work is a massive problem, and the Coalition is trying to promote mediation by signing theDispute Resolution Commitment with the Ministry of Justice and the Attorney General’s office in May 2011. Reforming our workplace culture from one of stress, conflict and dispute is a priority for us if we are to reduce the absence of colleagues and team members through stress and relationship issues with others. Some simple training around maintaining a Non-Anxious Presence or handling difficult conversations productively can change both working culture and workers’ experience.
Only last week I read in an article published in the online journal People Management about the relationship of stress and long term absence. More worrying still was the comment from a person at the end of the article about using the absence of a colleague through stress to demonstrate how hard managers were pushing their staff and that it was a “badge of honour" to have someone on long term sickness leave. Are we looking at being policed into going to work through fear of being tagged an absentee through stress? If so, look forward to more sickness absence and a less committed workforce.