Water Well Journal

December 2015

Water Well Journal

Issue link: http://read.dmtmag.com/i/608970

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Page 8 of 89

Editor's NOTE A s the meeting got closer, sharp pains around my shoul- ders and neck seemed to grow. I also began noticing cuts inside of my mouth. Is that happening because I'm grinding my teeth at night, I wondered. The meeting was finally held. Went well. And the pain and cuts? Vanished. Stress. It will hurt you—literally—if you're not careful. Physical pain, ulcers, high blood pressure, anxiety, lost sleep, moodiness, and lack of focus can all be results of stress. Chances are you've endured some of these due to your job. You may be even feeling some of these today. Trust me, you're not alone. Stress is costing employers $300 billion a year in stress-related health care and missed work according to the American Institute of Stress. A total of 77% of workers say they regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress. Another 73% say they regularly experience psychological symp- toms caused by stress. It's not the numbers that stagger me, and granted they are amazing. It's the word regularly. It's as if stress is considered part of the job today—an expected part of the work fabric like bosses, deadlines, and paychecks. It's doesn't have to be that way. It shouldn't be that way. Stress leads to poor performance. A Gallup "State of the Global Workplace" re- port in 2013 found 87% of workers around the world "are emotionally disconnected from their workplaces and less likely to be productive." The American Institute of Stress adds unhappy workers are 10% less productive. Forget the financial implications for a minute. Disconnected employees can also lead to accidents on the job. And in the groundwater industry where heavy equip- ment can be involved, accidents can be serious and even deadly. That is why it is imperative you get a handle on dealing with stressful situations. Doing so will help you, your colleagues, and in the end, your customers. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health states job conditions that lead to stress are workloads, management style, relationships, roles, career con- cerns, and environmental conditions. All can be dealt with. One of the best things to do is take breaks from time to time. Workloads are certainly high and I know time is money, but it's important workers clear their heads. I take a walk in the afternoon at a park near my office several days a week. It does wonders for my production. Have a team approach to everything. Support each other. Talk. Make sure that everyone knows their roles, and most importantly, knows the value of their roles. Employees who feel isolated are employees who make mistakes or take shortcuts. Both lead to accidents. It's obvious more workers than ever are stressed out today. Trust me, I know things can be a literal pain in the neck from time to time. But stepping back, taking a breath—or even a walk—can make a difference. It can even save lives. Thad Plumley is the editor of WWJ and director of information products at the National Ground Water Association. He can be reached at tplumley@ngwa.org and on Twitter @WaterWellJournl. STRESSED OUT AT WORK The Water Well Journal (ISSN #0043-1443) is published monthly by the National Ground Water Association, 601 Dempsey Rd., Westerville, OH 43081. Printed and mailed at Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, and additional mailing offices. Postal acceptance: Periodical (requester subscription circulation) postage paid at Westerville, Ohio, and at additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to Water Well Journal, 601 Dempsey Rd., Westerville, OH 43081. Canada Post/ Publications Mail Agreement #40739533. Return address: 4960-2 Walker Rd., Windsor, ON N9A 6J3. Advancing the expertise of groundwater professionals and furthering groundwater awareness. Chief Executive Officer Kevin McCray, CAE kmccray@ngwa.org NGWA President Richard Thron, MGWC Director of Information Products/Editor Thad Plumley tplumley@ngwa.org Water Well Journal Editorial Review Board Art Becker, MGWC, CPG; Tom Christopherson; Dan Milan; Roger Renner, MGWC; John Schnieders, Ph.D., and Robert Sterrett, Ph.D. Senior Editor Mike Price mprice@ngwa.org Copyeditor Wayne Beatty wbeatty@ngwa.org Production and Design Janelle McClary jmcclary@ngwa.org Advertising Wanda Bloch wbloch@ngwa.org Vickie Crosby vcrosby@ngwa.org Shelby Fleck sfleck@ngwa.org Circulation Coo rdinator Carol Clark cclark@ngwa.org Contributing Writers Ed Butts, PE, CPI; Donald W. Gregory; William J. Lynott; Julie Hansen; Christine Reimer; Al Rickard, CAE; Ron Slee; Lana Straub; Jennifer Strawn; and Alexandra Walsh Editorial, Advertising, & Publishing Offices 601 Dempsey Rd., Westerville, OH 43081 (800) 551-7379 Fax: (614) 898-7786 Selected content from Water Well Journal is indexed on Ground Water On-Line™ at www.NGWA.org/gwonline © Copyright 2015 by the National Ground Water Association. All rights reserved. An APEX award winner 13 consecutive years with 27 total awards, most in the groundwater industry. 6 December 2015 WWJ waterwelljournal.com

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