Reduce IT Stress and Increase Productivity

Businessman Meditating to Ignore Workplace DistractionsAny job that entails tackling all of the information technology issues that afflict a company on any given day, in addition to driving a business toward the head of the innovation curve, is not for the faint of heart. With so many stressors existing in the lives of chief information officers and their staff members, it can sometimes be useful to take a deep cleansing breath in more ways than one.

Given the very nature of the IT profession, worrying is practically a part of most job descriptions. If an organization’s entire system crashes at the drop of a hat, the tech department is the one left rushing frantically to put the pieces back together. On top of that, they have to use any fleeting moments of spare time to prevent such catastrophes from ever occurring again and determine which progressive solutions they need to install to ensure that that is the case.

For this reason, it is not completely out of the ordinary for IT professionals to be on edge, and rightfully so. Certain CIOs have recognized this high-stress work situation and have decided to combat this problem through various means, some of which are traditional, while others are less orthodox.

Deep cleansing breaths for IT professionals
According to Computerworld, the software giant Intel has recently opted to provide its tech employees with complementary mindfulness classes in order to help them manage their stress they are prone to experience throughout their workdays.

For the past year and a half, this IT company has encouraged representatives to participate in courses that feature activities such as instructed meditation and guided breathing. So far, approximately 1,000 to 1,500 tech professionals have decided to capitalize on this opportunity, learning how various techniques to assist them in mitigating job-induced anxiety.

“I was kind of skeptical before. I’m an engineer and very data-driven by nature,” said Brian Cockrell, a software engineer at Intel who partook in the firm’s eight-week program Awake@Intel. “But the pace of work has picked up lately and you’ve got IMs, cellphones, emails and all this data. I thought I would give this a shot.”

These courses offered to tech representatives are not just about relaxing for the sake of it. Instead, IT employers such as Intel hope to equip staff members with the skills needed to manage their stress and be mindful so that they can enjoy their job and even increase their level of productivity.

Mindfulness increases productivity
It may seem counter-intuitive, learning to relax in order to get more work done faster, but some Intel employees can attest that they are experiencing significant results when trying to tackle projects.

“We were trying to get a two-stage boot to work wirelessly,” Cockrell told Computerworld. “We said we’d do mindful engineering for a couple of hours. We turned off cellphones, IM and Outlook. Over a couple of mindfulness periods, we nailed it. It was a breakthrough.”

As more and more IT firms see the benefits that come along with offering their representatives the chance to take meditation and breathing courses, this practice is expected to gain in popularity. This is especially true among companies that have their tech professionals doing everything from formulating algorithms and manipulating data, reducing their stress levels and enabling them to complete innovative initiatives with rapid precision.

Cut down on unneeded stressors
If CIOs want to decrease their employees’ stress levels, but do not have the resources to create an extensive mindfulness program, then they will have to make it a personal mission to cut back on unneeded stressors.

Health Guide explained that if IT executives employ several tactics while managing their staff members, then they should successfully reduce the level of anxiety throughout their work environment.

Perhaps the most important thing that CIOs can do to solve this issues is to ensure that there is clear and regular communication among all portions of their departments. Everyone should know exactly what his or her role entails, which will guarantee that tasks are completed in the proper manner. As a result, there will be fewer instances of last minute scrambling, either redoing work that was carried out incorrectly or tackling duties that were overlooked.

In that same vein, IT executives should keep their representatives in the loop so that they can contribute to decision making. Because tech professionals will be the ones executing projects, it would be useful for CIOs to consult them to be certain that everyone can handle the responsibilities that they will encounter up ahead. This will prevent department members from getting in over their head with initiatives, cutting back the amount of stress incurred.

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