Stress factors CIOs and IT Managers should be aware of

Stress has increased as the result of economic and social pressures that are so pervasive that productivity has been adversely impacted. CIOs and managers are trying to decrease stress while at the same time getting some false information on stress management and its drivers. There are some common myths that make the management of it difficult.

Only major symptoms of stress require attention

This assumes that the “minor” symptoms may be safely ignored. Minor symptoms of stress are the early warnings that the stress in the environment is getting out of hand and that managers need to do a better job of managing stress.

If you wait until you start seeing the effects of ┬áthe “major” symptoms of stress, it may be too late. Those early warning signs are best listened to earlier rather than later. A change in the work environment (such working shorter hours - more team “fun” get togethers) to deal with those early warning signs will be far less costly (in time and economics) than dealing with the effects of not listening to them.

Stress is the same for everybody

Some get stressed out by high pressure at work, while others may thrive on it. Stress is different for everyone. What is stressful for one person may or may not be stressful for another; each of us responds to stress in an entirely different way.

For instance, some project managers may get stressed completing weekly project reports, while for others such a task isn't stressful at all.

Stress is always bad

If this is the case then no stress makes staff happy and healthy. But this is wrong - stress is to the human condition what tension is to a musical band: too little and the music is dull and raspy; too much and the music is shrill or the string snaps.

Stress in and of itself is not bad (especially in small amounts). So while stress can be the kiss of death or the spice of life, the key is to understand how best to manage it. Managing stress makes us productive and happy, while mismanaging it may hurt us and cause us to fail or become even more stressed.

Stress is everywhere, so you can't do anything about it

So is the possibility of getting into a plane crashing every time we go on a business trip, but we don't allow that to stop us from flying. When stress is mismanaged, it's difficult to prioritize. All your problems seem to be equal and stress seems to be everywhere.

You can plan your workday so that stress does not overwhelm you. Effective planning involves setting priorities and working on simple problems first, solving them, and then going on to more complex difficulties.

The most popular techniques for reducing stress are the best ones

Everyone is different - personal situations are different, and their reactions are different. A comprehensive stress management program tailored to the individual works best.

No symptoms, no stress

An absence of symptoms does not mean the absence of stress. Some individuals experience symptoms of stress in a very physical way, even though stress is a psychological effect. Feeling anxious, shortness of breath, or simply feeling run down all the time can all be physical signs of stress. Feeling overwhelmed, disorganized and having difficulty concentrating are common mental signs of stress.

Uncertainity driven by a poor infrastructure is a stress driver.   CIO and IT Managers should strive to create an environment that is clear as to what is expected and how it is going to be accomplished as one vehicle to reduce stress generators.

Improve IT Infrastructure as a way to reduce stress

The policies have just been updated to comply with all mandated requirements and include electronic forms that can be Emailed, filled out completely on the computer, routed and stored electronically -- a total solution.

We have just completed a major update of most of the individual polices and almost all of the electronic forms.

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