We are all confronted with stress at work, whatever our profession and whatever our position.
This phenomenon is becoming so commonplace that we are given the impression that it is the logical evolution of society and that we must adapt to it!
This notion first appeared in the 1980s when working conditions improved – work was less arduous, its duration decreased and the number of days off increased!
On the other hand, in recent decades, the world of work has undergone many upheavals which explain the increase in psychological constraints:
- First of all, the multiplication of work tools thanks to technological progress: Mobile phone, email, text messages, we are constantly solicited. There are no more \“office opening and closing hours\”, we can work everywhere and all the time, there are no more spatial and temporal limits to the exercise of our work.
- These new tools also create multiple forms of solicitations at the same time, and we are always jumping from one emergency to the other. It is impossible to prepare a file without being interrupted by an email or a call. Thus, because of these permanent interruptions, to which one must respond in the minute, the tasks planned for the day are not finished in the evening and the working time is lengthened…
- Globalisation and new technologies also create a new form of pressure: we are forced to produce even more with less time and at less cost to compete.
- The aspirations and anxieties of today’s society increase the fear of losing one’s job: people with permanent contracts feel indebted and have to work more and more to preserve their \“privileged\” status, people with fixed-term contracts work more and more to get a permanent contract…
- Globalisation also leads to a race for competitiveness: you have to be the best, the most efficient, resist the pressure, surpass yourself and even sacrifice yourself. Leaving before 11pm when you work in a large law firm or consultancy is frowned upon. On the contrary, sending emails at 3am will be seen as a proof of our investment.
- All these elements will create a difficult atmosphere in the workplace. Even though the walls and the hierarchical system are coming down in companies: we all work side by side in open space, we go on seminars together, we relax together, etc. Yet it is not easy when professional relationships are not at their best.