Ask Dr. Job’s chief contributor, Sandra Pesmen, is a member of the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame and author of “DR. JOB’s Complete Career Guide.”

Winner of several journalism awards, Pesmen is a graduate of the University of Illinois Media College at Urbana, and is listed in several Who’s Who editions. She also has been Corporate Features Editor of Crain Communications Inc., founding Features Editor of Crain’s Chicago Business and a reporter/features writer for The Chicago Daily News.

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Stress Steals Company Productivity

NO MATTER HOW GOOD YOUR  company security systems are, you still may be getting robbed.

If  your employees are too stressed to do their best work, you're getting robbed of productivity.

That's the observation of Siamak Farah, CEO of InfoStreet, makers of SkyDesktop, a free Cloud-based desktop.

Most businesses have great security systems in place to protect their "property," he says Small businesses place cameras on-premise while larger businesses have gates, security guards, and electronic entry cards. Yet, the real thief responsible for more than $200 billion annual loss in US businesses is lurking within. 

Farah claims many employees are unaware of their stress, and others feel they simply can't do anything about it.  In reality, the do-nothing attitude is causing loss of productivity, unhealthy workplace relationships, costly employee turnovers, absenteeism, and increased healthcare costs. A simple examination of your business can eliminate or highly reduce this silent productivity killer.

Following are some of her observations of stress-causing issues:
* Lack of time or perceived lack of time.
How do I overcome it? Make sure you are realistic about the deadlines you set for yourself and your employees. 
Stress robs your productivity

*Too much multitasking.
 Regardless of whether you are a good multi-tasker or not, working on too many things at the same time is stressful. Since our intuition is to accomplish projects and do them well, a portion of our mind is occupied with that laundry list of things to do which will in turn cause stress.  If too many tasks are forced upon us, that stress is mixed with resentment and the results are substantially worse. 
Set priorities and as a very nice side effect, it will require you to be aware of all points of view, project dependencies, and your talent pool. 
* Lack of Clarity / Tentative Status / Indecision
People need to know where they stand. They like to know what is expected of them and what their status is.  Indecision, or worse yet - flipped/flopped decisions, lead to uncertainty. Uncertainty is the lifeline of stress. 
Be clear in your requirements. If others give requirements to you, ask for clarity before embarking on the project.  

* Lack of Knowledge:
: People get stressed out when they don't have the right expertise to deal with the situation. 
 Create an environment in which people do not fear bringing up their lack of expertise

* Change:
Some people get bored easily. That boredom causes stress for them and they crave change. Arrange it.


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