Has capitalism and modern business benefited from a cut-throat and competitive atmosphere? An argument can be made that yes- a serious and competitive environment fosters strong leaders and focused individuals.

But, there is a lot to support the idea that a more laid-back business approach is far superior. How is this possible? For some current business leaders, the idea will bring about anxiety and frustration. But, that also helps prove the entire point.

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Does a positive and more laid-back approach have more benefits for companies? What are some ideas to support the idea that a cut-throat business structure is not just ineffective, but downright harmful?

The Cost of Care

A 2015 poll from the American Psychological Association states that about 24% of American working adults report that they are “highly stressed,” a 6% increase from 2014. Stress is going up- it is a hot market. But, that stress comes at cost. Anxiety is one of the most medicated conditions in the United States. The APA also suggests that roughly 80% of visits to the doctor have some association with stress and anxiety.

Companies Foot the Bill

This may not seem like a direct concern for the companies, but it is. Companies are helping to pay for this care. The visits are increasing insurance costs. About $500 billion is taken from the economy every year due to workplace stress. The environment may actually be fostering stress, which workers are carrying home and visiting the doctor for. The companies are paying for it, either directly or indirectly. Insurance companies increase their rates because they need to still draw in a profit. Workers are not feeling as if they are contributing to the community – only to their health bill.

The efficiency of the workers may also decrease due to these health concerns. Stress is linked to many diseases. So, the presence of increased stress may be an arbiter for a whole lot more.

These costs are not on the surface. They are hidden, and they are hard to discover because of it. But, companies that promote a positive work environment may benefit incredibly. There is a movement to support a healthy workplace in American culture. With these punishing increases of stress levels, something has to give.