While reading through some research on workplace stress and its effects on health, I came across an alarming comparison.

The effect of workplace stress on health is as large as the effect of secondhand smoke on health.

That’s right folks, your workplace could be as toxic for your health as sitting in a bar full of tobacco smoke every night. Scary, right?

Workplace stress is an epidemic. The health and economic consequences are very real, and it affects every industry. While it’s important for all employers and employees to address workplace wellbeing, I think it’s especially important for those of us in mission-driven fields. Here’s why.

Healthcare is expensive
It’s no secret that healthcare costs in the United States are high. The cost to companies and employees grows each year. In mission-driven companies every dollar matters. Particularly in the nonprofit field, unforeseen increases in healthcare costs can make or break the annual budget. From an employee perspective, rising premiums and out-of-pocket costs drive excellent talent into financially precarious positions or to higher salaries in the corporate sector.

The psychological stakes are higher
Mission-driven individuals care. They are invested in the work they do, the people they serve, the causes they champion. Because of this investment, mission-driven workers can easily slip into cultures of overwork, which eventually leads to burnout. In addition, in many settings, mission-driven workers are subjected to second-hand trauma by virtue of the work itself.

The work MATTERS
The work you are doing in your mission-driven career is IMPORTANT. It’s contributing to positive change, improving people’s lives, bringing joy and beauty to the world, and creating hope. Whatever it is, without you, your company, or your work, someone or something goes without. The world needs a healthy, thriving, mission-driven sector.

If workplace stress is a problem for you or your company, contact us to get information about our solutions, including the stress-reduction, Well at Work(shop).

About the Author Aubrie Fennecken

Aubrie Fennecken is the Chief Alchemist at Opportunity Kitchen | work + wellness strategist | nonprofit fundraising expert | providing productivity and self-care support for mission-driven humans

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