Work and Wellbeing · 5 July 2018

Managing stressful situations like England World Cup hero Jordan Pickford

Stress has been identified as the number one hazard in the workplace

Does the England goalkeeper have the most stressful job in the country? Business owners who caught Jordan Pickford’s football World Cup 2018 heroics might have felt a hint of empathy.

After a nerve-wracking 120 minutes, Pickford saved the key penalty in a shootout versus Colombia which saw England progress to the World Cup quarter finals.

Following the game, England fans sat at home were notified by their Apple Watches that the shootout had brought their heart rate up to dangerous levels.

For Pickford – who saved the key penalty which saw England progress to the World Cup quarter finals – the stress in those moments would have been difficult to quantify.

Read more: Top ten tips for tackling work-related stress

After watching Pickford’s performance, Lynn Cahillane, a recruitment expert at online jobs board totaljobs, identified some lessons on dealing with stressful situations that can be transferred from a football pitch to the workplace.

“Last night’s performance by the England squad is undoubtedly cause for celebration, but watching the team battle, it raised the question of how those with stressful jobs can cope,” Cahillane said.

“I’d argue that Jordan Pickford’s goalkeeper position is currently the least desirable job in the world following the stress of the penalty shootout, however, this is an everyday reality for many employees with highly stressful jobs.”

“We regularly see stressful jobs top the lists from first respondents, to teachers and managers, and I’d say goalkeeper would be up there today.”

With stress-related illness apparently costing the UK economy over £12bn every year, Cahillane argued that stress is the number one hazard in the modern workplace.

She added: “Like any employer or leader, Gareth Southgate has a responsibility to his team to side-line his own stress and open up communication within the England team to address concerns as well as offer ample down time.

“Extra pressure at work has time and time again shown to worsen productivity and cause dissatisfaction amongst workers. Employers can learn a lot from this World Cup – constant pressure on a team is counterproductive and will only create a less productive team dragged down by stress.

“The key for employers is to help workers manage their stress levels to avoid health issues, which hurts both them and their employer.”

Revealed: The most stressed employee in Britain

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Praseeda Nair is the editorial director of Business Advice, and its sister publication for growing businesses, Real Business. She's an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.

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