Mexico, one of the countries with the highest work-related stress, says UNAM

Being a workaholic is not the same as being committed to a job; this confusion is detrimental to both, employees and companies
Mexico, one of the countries with the highest work-related stress, says UNAM
Photo: Courtesy
30/04/2018
14:52
Newsroom
Mexico City
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Mexico is one of the countries with the highest number of people suffering from work-related stress, according to Erika Villavicencio Ayub and Gladys Martínez Santiago, from the Psychology and Medicine Departments, respectively, of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

Estimates show that 85% of corporations in Mexico are toxic, that is, that they fail to provide adequate conditions to their employees and to look after their human talent, in addition of encouraging several disorders, such as stress, which in turn cause work addiction, burnout syndrome, harassment at work, "loafing",  among others.

This situation affects both parties (company and employee) as it translates into higher costs for companies due to low productivity, and an increase of accidents in the workplace, abstentionism, and “loafing" employees (those who go to work but don't actually work).

During a press conference, Villavicencio stated that if the company fails to provide adequate conditions so its employees are allowed to have an improved work-life balance, then employees are at risk of suffering from stress. “Workload distribution and specific schedules are important factors to prevent this.”

Work addition is one of the most frequent illnesses and it is on the rise thanks to technology.

“A workaholic is someone who works over 50 hours a week and technology contributes to this situation. We can be outside of the office, on vacations, or it could be early in the morning and we're still replying to emails through our smartphones,” stated Villavicencio.

Being a workaholic is not the same as being committed to a job but their respective characteristics get confused and encouraged for the benefit of organizations even when work addiction affects both, companies and the individuals working at them.

The experts agreed that workaholics have an obsession with work, are constantly busy, and find it hard to delegate tasks or work in teams, and feel anxious over having leisure time. Thus, they are susceptible to high levels of stress, family troubles, gastritis, colitis, insominia, or even karoshi – death by overwork, a serious health problem in Japan.

For the experts, in Mexico the challenge is to approve and implement the Official Mexican Standard on Psychosocial Risk Factors. “We have to learn to identify these factors and risks, and then learn how to assess them and control them,” says Gladys Martínez.

It's vital to understand and educate employees to differentiate between providing results, being committed to the job, and meeting your goals; and developing an illness which is detrimental to the integrity and health of individuals, concluded the experts.

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