Healthy Life through Stress Management project
In the context of our modern society, stress has become one of the biggest threats to an individual’s health and safety. Given its "invisible" characteristic, stress tends to be overlooked thus unaddressed, creating favorable premises for the development of both psychological and physical illness.
In a very concise definition, stress is an automatic physical and mental response to challenges or any situation that forces an individual to adapt to change. It is therefore clear that this response has a constant presence in our lives, in our professional, personal, and social endeavors. In this context, developing the necessary skills and accessing the proper tools to identify and manage specific risk factors has become a very important element for any individual thriving to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Several studies state that work related stress issues have a significant impact on the health of people, the success of organizations and local economies.
Approximatively half of European workers believe that stress is a common factor in the work place and that like other issues affecting mental health, stress can cause adverse psychological, physical and social issues.
When it comes to specific industries, various studies and surveys conclude that workers in the HORECA sector endure highly unfavorable working conditions leading to a serious risk of work related stress. As a result, The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work has identified HORECA as a high-risk sector.
A study released by The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work states that " long and non-standard working hours are characteristic of the HORECA sector. Most workers in Europe (63.5%) never work longer than 10 hours per day. However, in the HORECA sector 47.5% workers have a working day of 10 hours or more at least once a month. The average working week for European workers is 39.6 hours; a worker in the HORECA sector works an average of 43.4 hours. "
The same study reveals that over 71% of HOERCA staff works in the evening and more than 45% work at night Moreover, most HORECA personnel works over the weekend — 83% on Saturdays and 69% on Sundays.
Taking into account the demanding work hours as well as the high workload, and working under time pressure with continuous customer contact, it is not surprising that individuals working in the HORECA sector experience problems with their work-life balance and stress related illness.
This is the context that prompted the development of the Healthy Life Through Stress Management project, an endeavor that addresses the risks that this unseen enemy of the human health and wellbeing poses.
Through its implementation, the HLTSM project facilitates the following goals:
increased knowledge and skills for stress identification, prevention, and management
increased transversal competences of management and executive level personnel in the HORECA sector, thus enabling them to correctly identify, address and manage workplace stress issues within their organizations.
increased soft skills in the areas of communication, collaboration, resilience, and stress management
increased retention of employees and improved manager-employee relationships
development of necessary skills that enable better prevention and management of work conflicts and accidents
improved overall physical and mental health of HORECA personnel
The goals of the project gravitate around three main intellectual outputs:
IO1 - Manual for the identification and management of work-related stress
IO2 - Mini Guide for management and executive level personnel in HORECA industries - "Healthy lifestyle"
IO3 - Video Course on the subject of work-related stress - prevention and management
The resources that have been developed through the HLTSM project have been designed to facilitate the accumulation of relevant knowledge and skills for a timely identification of stress related hazards. Moreover, the project advocates for professional involvement and commitment and the creation of support systems necessary for the successful implementation of prevention measures and healthy lifestyle practices.
The target group that the HLTSM project is addressing is represented by management and executive level personnel working in HORECA sector.