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Summary

We hope you have found this week’s work interesting. Below we summarise some of the key themes that emerged from the activities.
Untidy desk

In this week we have covered a great deal of information on stress, health and performance in the workplace. We have discussed what stress is, and how it can impact performance in the workplace through decision-making, our behaviours and the relationships we form with our co-workers and clients. We have discussed the difference between positive and negative stress responses and on what we call a ‘challenge’ response to stress. We then talked about how we can see stress as a challenge, the important role of cognitive appraisal and how our personality and the leaders we work with – or are – can impact the stress response. We will revisit many of these issues in Week 3 where we draw on strategies to help manage stress and enhance performance.

We also think it is worth saying that while we talk about the role of individual differences in the stress response, and strategies we can use to help manage our own stress, organisational and societal factors have a significant role to play as well. There is no blame – or fault – in experiencing stress. All of us who teach on this course can remember periods where we were stressed at work, and the many clients we have seen, can also recall times when they experienced significant periods of stress at work and did not perform to their potential. In our next week we explore how the world of work has changed with a specific focus on remote working and the role of technology – and explore how these factors impact stress, health and performance in the workplace.

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Workplace Wellbeing: Stress and Productivity at Work

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