For those of you that have just entered the job market you might think it's a good idea to work as hard as possible to please senior management. Unfortunately, this approach can cause unnoticeable stress that often leads to more severe health issues. Don't wait for that moment a few years down the line when you compare yourself to the person you were and realize you're burnt out.
Early in 2013, the University of Hong Kong carried out an investigation about 「Sub-optimal Health」 caused by work stress. Sub-optimal health is considered the stage between health and disease with the physical and psychological symptoms often difficult to diagnose. HKU surveyed 535 Hong Kongnese between the age of 18 to 65, and found that almost 97% of participants showed at least one symptom of sub-optimal health. Among the most common was eye fatigue, back pain and frequent tiredness. People who sleep no longer than 8 hours on average are most likely to suffer from some type of psychological health issue, be it frequent frustration, anxiety or an increased tendency to lose their temper.
According to the Stress Investigation of Workers in Hong Kong published by the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Union, Occupational Safety and Health Association in 2017, there is a strong correlation between the number of hours you work and the levels of stress you experience.
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The main cause of stress: The continuous need to be make timely decisions, an extremely heavy workload and often unrealistic or tight deadlines for task completion.
The main cause of stress: Frequent changes to educational policies and curricula, a large administrative overhead, lesson preparation and demanding expectations from parents.
The main cause of stress: Staff are stretched due to a manpower and equipment shortage in front-line services, there's also a large administrative (paper-work) overhead placed on employees.
The main cause of stress: A significant amount of ambiguity across roles and a lack of support are cited as frequent sources of pressure and stress for employees.
The main cause of stress: An expectation from senior management to work overtime on a regular basis as well as unrelenting, heavy workload.
Ensure you understand the risks of taking a demanding role over the medium to long-term. Personal development and progression are important, but unless you find balance you will jeopardise your health which will ultimately disadvantage you in the future.
It’s a common saying, “The early bird catches the worm”. However, recent research suggests this is only applies to around 25% of people.