If you want to be a good boss please don’t interrupt your workers. If you are coworkers, please don’t interrupt each other. A recent study has shown that we physically react to stress in the workplace cause by interruptions. We can use this nugget of knowledge to create workplaces which don’t increase people’s stress by basically respecting one’s work time.
If you have had a bad boss, I’m sure you can relate to this. Let’s all remember to give people their space.
â€œMost research into workplace interruptions carried out to date focused only on their effect on performance and productivity. Our study shows for the first time that they also affect the level of cortisol a person releases, in other words they actually influence a personâ€™s biological stress response.â€
What surprised the researchers were participantsâ€™ subjective responses in terms of how they perceived psychological stress. They observed that participants in the second stress group, who were interrupted by chat messages, reported being less stressed and in a better mood than the participants in the first stress group, who didnâ€™t have these interruptions. Interestingly, although the two groups rated the situation as equally challenging, the second group found it less threatening.
Generational distinctions are mostly meaningless, although sometime there is a glimpse into cultural trends based on age. One generational difference that is a good one to see (among many) is that “millennials” don’t want to work for jerks. Workplaces used to worship the leaders who pushed people around and were overly assertive; today the standard is changing to bosses who actually realize that humans work for them and they aren’t just disposable “human resources.” Sure, there aren’t as many jobs out there as before, but we must remember that millennials have grown up in an economy without care for them (serially underemployed with no job security, pension, or even a ‘normal’ 9-5 pay cheque), so a jerk boss has little sway to keep employees around since millennials don’t have much to loose by going elsewhere.
Let’s hope that the changing workplace to a friendly space can also make the economy a little more human too.
In some workplaces, making a colleague cry is considered a sadistic rite of passage. In the culture of commerce, behaviour that would be inexcusable in pretty much any other context is not only tolerated, but rewarded.
To what end? What real benefits are conferred on a business when its leaders are nasty? Abusive behaviour sure doesnâ€™t spur productivity: A 2006 Florida State University study of 700 employees in a variety of different roles found that those with abusive bosses were five times more likely to purposefully slow down or make errors than their peers, and nearly six times more likely to call in sick when they actually felt fine. Nor does it do much for employee morale: As Stanford organizational behaviour professor Robert Sutton wrote in his 2007 bestseller, The No Asshole Rule, brutish managers â€œinfuriate, demean and damage their peers, superiors, underlings and, at times, clients and customers, too.â€