According to the World Health Organization, work is good for mental health but a negative working environment can lead to physical and mental health problems such as depression and anxiety which have a significant economic impact; the estimated cost to the global economy is US$ 1 trillion per year in lost productivity (WHO,2013). Currently, work arrangements and conditions have changed considerably due to the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing new psychosocial challenges for the health and well-being of workers.
Besides the global scenario, we can see that of the member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Mexico is where a person works the most hours per year, with an average of 2,257, above the international average of 1,759, which has caused that 75 % of Mexicans suffer from fatigue due to work stress, surpassing countries such as China and the United States, according to data from the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS).
Mexican workers in Puebla.
Fortunately this issue has been taken more into consideration in Mexico and in October 2020, the Official Norm NOM 035 was deployed and implemented in Mexico to improve the work environment and psychosocial risk factors, however, not a lot of companies know how to correctly implement it or approach their workers, that is why, the Global Shapers Puebla Hub created the "Stress Fighters" project to help improve the worker's conditions. We will provide workshops in small and medium-sized companies who cannot afford the accompaniment of a specialized consultancy to raise awareness about the problems that a bad work environment can cause on people and at the same time developing activities with the workers to relieve stress and create collective systematic solutions based on a diagnostic that involves changes in the interpersonal relationships of the company.
The specific actions our Hub is taking to make a difference are:
- Create an initial diagnosis about the current state and needs of the company.
- Develop workshops based on the following two areas:
- Management, leadership, structure and high performance organizations.
- Tools for the development of high performance teams.
- Work alongside the workers during the workshops to hear their context and collectively propose better working conditions.
Short & Long-Term Goals/Results
- Train at least 20 companies, educational institutions and social civic organizations.
- Reduce the number of employees with illnesses associated with mental issues due to the work environment.
- Reduce the staff turnover rate through promoting a good work environment.
- 2000 workers reached for the first year.
- 7 shapers will directly participate in the project.
- 20 companies, educational institutions and social organizations will receive the workshops in the first year.
So far, the hub has held one 2-hour mental health awareness workshop with a group of 30 teachers from a delegation of the National Union of Education Workers in Puebla. The Project team will evaluate the results of the training and the team will provide follow-up to the attendees and will arrange a second meeting with them.
The hub is already receiving applications from different companies to provide them the training until it reaches its goal of 20 enterprises benefited.