Stress is one of the most common perils of working in a corporate environment these days. While the term “stress” has a negative connotation; in corporate environment, it can denote positive as well as negative emotion. However, the general feeling, always, is to consider it to be a bad thing.
Being under stress, or more appropriately being “stretched” is actually a sign of optimum utilization of resource- the employee/worker. Given the size of workforce in companies and the complexity of jobs, it is easy for workers to “freeload”. Hence, stress is important to take the most out of the human resources. However, it is important to provide the right environment to workers so that the input of stress results in an output useful for the company as well as the individual.
Generally, when people talk about stress at work, which is bothering them; they are actually talking about the negative stress. This happens when a worker is loaded with work but not given enough power or control. Without the right quantum of control, the worker wouldn’t “own” the job; but would rather treat it as a task to be completed.
Stress is “good” when it is accompanied with “ownership”. With ownership comes engagement to the task which generates “positive stress”; which actually comes from within rather than outside. A worker might actually work for more hours, with more dedication and might appear more stressed; but would be more satisfied and deliver better in this scenario.
As leaders and managers of people, it is important to understand this difference between positive and negative stress. Loading your subordinates with tasks can only deliver results but with increased stress. Loading subordinates with power/control results in ownership, better results and positive stress.