He sat in silence in his office. He was lonely. His social contact, never more than a minimum, was soon turning into isolation, a wall. His wife was unhappy, so was his company. Did anybody understand him? A business psychologist analyzed his problem—it was the stress.
He could be you, or any of your CIO peers.
There is no shortage of causes for stress in today’s busy lifestyle. Research has identified a series of work related stressors that have the potential to alter a person’s health, and their level of motivation and commitment at work.
“Work and peer pressure cause stress and factors like team management put a lot of pressure on a leader,” says N.K. Verma, GM-IT, Rashtriya Chemicals.
Prolonged exposure to such stressors may lead to heart diseases, gastrointestinal disturbances, anxiety and depression, increased absenteeism, and reduced productivity at work. It destroys a person’s judgment and distorts their decision-making process.
So, how can a CIO deal with stress? Sudin Baraokar, VP, UK Retail and Business Banking,
Barclays Technology Center India, Pune, has an answer: “One way to de-stress is to have an open mind to changes in technology and the business landscape. The best way to build a strong mind is by shunning arrogance, ego, and working with everyone, as if they are your partners.”
Regular exercise can also help release some of the excess energy activated by the body’s ‘fight or flight response’.
“I follow a strict fitness regime to relax. Yoga and a 45-minute walk every day keeps me refreshed and rejuvenated,” says Verma.
He adds that delegation can help reduce a lot of stress. “Work has to be delegated to people who are reliable and responsible.”
“Work-life balance is maintained by prioritizing and integrating work in a harmonious way,” says Gopichand Katragadda, group CTO at Tata Sons.
Giving a patient listening to employee concerns and showing appreciation goes a long way in lowering the stress levels of people around you. With a positive attitude, one can create a healthy work climate.