Working a job that is free of stress is rare, however there’s an easy way to make your current job less stressful: work four days instead of five. This is obvious, but what might not be obvious to some is that a four day work week is just as productive as a five day week. One of the largest companies in New Zealand tested a four day week with their employees and found great success and now other companies are looking to them to learn about it.
Analysis of one of the biggest trials yet of the four-day working week has revealed no fall in output, reduced stress and increased staff engagement, fuelling hopes that a better work-life balance for millions could be in sight.
Perpetual Guardian, a New Zealand financial services company, switched its 240 staff from a five-day to a four-day week last November and maintained their pay. Productivity increased in the four days they worked so there was no drop in the total amount of work done, a study of the trial released on Tuesday has revealed.
The trial was monitored by academics at the University of Auckland and Auckland University of Technology. Among the Perpetual Guardian staff they found scores given by workers about leadership, stimulation, empowerment and commitment all increased compared with a 2017 survey.
Stop compulsively checking your email. Frequent checking of one’s inbox will lead to stress for a few reasons so it’s best to schedule your email checking to every couple of hours or so (depending on your job). By limiting how often you look in your inbox you will be able to focus on other tasks and actually get things done. And getting things done and off you your todo list will lead to less stress.
So relax and don’t let your inbox be your boss.
Checking email less often may reduce stress in part by cutting down on the need to switch between tasks. An unfortunate limitation of the human mind is that it cannot perform two demanding tasks simultaneously, so flipping back and forth between two different tasks saps cognitive resources. As a result, people can become less efficient in each of the tasks they need to accomplish. In addition to providing an unending source of new tasks for our to-do lists, email could also be making us less efficient at accomplishing those tasks.
Indeed, although the participants in our study sent and received roughly the same number of emails during both weeks, they reported doing so in approximately 20 percent less time during the week when they checked their email less frequently. Constantly monitoring our inboxes promotes stress without promoting efficiency. When it comes to checking email, less might be more.
Stanford University’s Calming Technology Lab has found evidence to support what most commuter cyclists already know: riding a bike to work instead of driving a car lowers one’s stress. Not only are you improving your own mental health you’ll be consuming less gas and save a lot of money while getting physically fit.
There is no better day than today to start riding your bike to work.
“It’s particularly interesting to see that many people don’t transition back into the home after a long day of work very well. By biking to work we know that the physical nature of cycling and physical exertion will engender a more calm and focused state of mind. So while being good for us physically, we also see lots of psychological and emotional benefits.”
In this TED talk, Kelly McGonigal examines the biology of stress and concludes that we really shouldn’t be all that worried about it.
Stress. It makes your heart pound, your breathing quicken and your forehead sweat. But while stress has been made into a public health enemy, new research suggests that stress may only be bad for you if you believe that to be the case. Psychologist Kelly McGonigal urges us to see stress as a positive, and introduces us to an unsung mechanism for stress reduction: reaching out to others.
Researchers from the University of Toronto have found out some the primary reasons people get angry. Thanks to their research we now know what one can do to lower their anger levels: get an education and keep on living.
It was found that younger people experience more frequent anger than older adults. This is mainly due to the fact that younger people are more likely to feel time pressures, economic hardship, and interpersonal conflict in the workplace (three core stressors that elevate anger levels).
Feeling rushed for time is the strongest predictor of anger, especially the “low-grade” forms like feeling annoyed, revealed the study.
Having children in the household is associated with angry feelings and behaviour (i.e., yelling) and these patterns are stronger among women compared to men.
As compared to people with fewer years of education, the well educated are less likely to experience anger, and when they do, they are more likely to act proactively (e.g., trying to change the situation or talking it over).