Workplace Wellbeing

Groundbreaking Tool for Measuring Workplace Stress: NIMHANS

February 5, 2023
Nitesh Padghan

It's no secret that stress has become a ubiquitous part of our lives, especially in the workplace. From meeting tight deadlines to dealing with a demanding boss, work-related stress is taking a toll on our mental and physical well-being. 

In fact, according to a recent survey by Hush, one in five Indian workers suffers from workplace depression. This not only affects an individual's performance and productivity, but it's also a major risk factor for non-communicable diseases. 

But what if we told you that there's a solution to this problem? A groundbreaking tool that can assess and measure work-related stress accurately and quickly.  

Breaking the Chains of Work Stress

Groundbreaking Tool for Measuring Workplace Stress: NIMHANS
Photo by Elisa Ventur on Unsplash

An innovative tool has been developed by the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurological Sciences (NIMHANS) to Assess and Classify Work Stress-16 (TAWS-16), an innovative tool that integrates three critical aspects of work stress - stressors, coping mechanisms, and symptoms. 

TAWS-16 is not just any ordinary stress assessment tool. It's a game-changer! Let's take a closer look at what makes TAWS-16 so special.

Unpacking the Unique Components

This tool is specifically designed to tackle work-related stress in the Indian workforce. With two sets of 16 questions, TAWS-16 takes into account not just stressors at work but also coping mechanisms and physical symptoms. The tool categorizes individuals into three colour-coded risk categories ( yellow, red, and green ) to help employers offer targeted interventions.

Streamlining the Administration Process

TAWS-16 is fast and easy to administer, taking only six to twelve minutes to complete. Taking the test can be done manually or electronically, making it accessible to everyone. And the best part? Results are provided instantly, so you can start taking action right away!

Extensive validation and reliability assessment: 

TAWS-16 is not just a quick solution but a reliable one too. It has been extensively tested and validated for Indian workplace settings, ensuring that the results you receive are accurate and trustworthy.

"No matter how much pressure you feel at work, if you could find ways to relax for at least five minutes every hour, you'd be more productive." - Dr. Joyce Brothers

No more outdated methods

Groundbreaking Tool for Measuring Workplace Stress: NIMHANS
Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

The current stress assessment tools in the public domain may measure stress, but they often fall short by considering factors not related to work and are too lengthy to administer regularly. Moreover, they don't consider employees' coping abilities or the manifestation of physical symptoms.

But that's not all; these tools aren't even validated for Indian workplace settings, making them irrelevant to the unique challenges faced by the Indian workforce. This is where TAWS-16 comes in - a tool specifically tailored to the Indian workplace. 

The program identifies common work stressors that Indians face and addresses problems specifically associated with the Indian workforce. It assesses work-related stress in a given workplace and considers various factors - exposure to stressors, frequency of exposure, coping abilities, work-stress level, and symptoms.

The Power of TAWS-16

TAWS-16 is a closer look at work stressors and provides a unique approach to stress assessment. This tool identifies the common work stressors faced by the Indian workforce and provides a solution tailored to the Indian workplace. The administration of TAWS-16 is fast, simple, and effective. It only takes between 6-12 minutes to complete and can be done manually or through a web-based application.

Not only is TAWS-16 easy to use, but it also provides immediate results. The results are categorized into three color-coded risk categories (red, yellow, and green), which allows for targeted interventions. The fast and effective administration of TAWS-16, combined with its immediate results, gives workplaces the power to take control of their employees' stress levels.

TAWS-16 has undergone extensive validation and reliability assessment, so you can be confident in the results it provides. 

Leading the Way to Wellness

For too long, traditional stress assessment methods have fallen short of addressing the unique stressors that Indian workers face. TAWS-16 changes that by offering a fast, simple, and effective solution to the problem. This tool considers the challenges and pressures that come with the Indian workplace and provides immediate results that can be used to create targeted interventions.

Gone are the days of outdated stress assessment tools that fail to address the unique stressors of the Indian workforce. TAWS-16 takes a holistic approach by integrating stressors, coping mechanisms, and physical symptoms to accurately assess work-related stress in just 6-12 minutes.

As a corporate wellness company, at The Wellness Tribe we understands the toll work-related stress can take on employees' mental and physical well-being. That's why we are excited about NIMHANS' groundbreaking tool for measuring workplace stress: TAWS-16.

The Wellness Tribe is here to support you with AI-driven analysis and wellness solutions for your employees. Let's break the chains of work stress and prioritize employee well-being together.


A New Approach to Corporate Wellness: Putting the Focus on the Team

May 5, 2023
Nitesh Padghan

In today's fast-paced work environment, corporate wellness programs often prioritize self-care to combat stress, burnout, and mental health issues. However, an emphasis on self-care might not be the ultimate solution for employee well-being. 

Instead, organizations should consider adopting a collective approach to wellness, fostering connections and support among team members.

Embracing the Collective Approach to Wellness

Moving beyond the individualistic mindset requires a paradigm shift in how we perceive and address workplace challenges. By reframing adversity as a shared experience, employees can strengthen their connections and work together to overcome obstacles. This approach allows team members to pool their resources, learn from one another, and develop novel strategies, creating a more resilient and supportive work environment.

One effective way to implement this mindset is by introducing "relational pauses" into the workplace. A relational pause is a temporary break from task work in which team members are invited to discuss how their work affects them personally. This exercise aims to facilitate genuine and authentic connections among employees, allowing them to support one another better and collectively navigate the challenges they face.

Uncovering the Power of "Struggling Well" as a Team

When adversity is framed as a collective experience, employees can relate to one another more effectively, leading to increased compassion and empathy. Sharing personal experiences allows team members to see each other in a more nuanced light, revealing both strengths and weaknesses. This openness fosters an environment where individuals can grow, learn, and lean on one another during challenging times.

Discussing emotions helps disperse overwhelming feelings and enables employees to make sense of their experiences. As teams practice relational pauses, they become more aware of their own dynamics and can make deliberate choices about how they interact with one another. This self-awareness and intentionality can lead to a more cohesive, empathetic, and supportive team environment.

Practical Ways to Incorporate Relational Pauses into the Workplace

Here are some suggestions on how to integrate relational pauses into your organization:

  • Make it a regular part of team meetings: Encourage team members to share their thoughts and feelings during status meetings. This will help normalize the practice and create a supportive atmosphere where employees feel comfortable opening up.
  • Respond to escalating emotions: If tensions rise during a meeting or project, take a moment to pause and focus on the emotional dynamics at play. Encourage team members to share their feelings and listen empathetically to one another.
  • Develop loss rituals: In situations where employees face significant setbacks or losses, create rituals that enable emotions to be acknowledged and processed. Sharing experiences and emotions helps build resilience and fosters a sense of shared purpose.
  • Incorporate relational pauses into existing wellness initiatives: Use existing wellness programs as a platform for introducing relational pauses. Focusing on work's emotional realities can make these initiatives more meaningful and impactful.

Case Studies: Successful Implementation of Relational Pauses

1. Redemptive Design Associates

Redemptive Design Associates, a design consultancy specializing in repurposing office spaces, has successfully integrated relational pauses into their workflow. 

After failed pitches, the team takes a moment to discuss their emotions and experiences, allowing them to process their frustrations, sadness, and hopefulness together, and fostering a supportive and understanding environment.

2. Palliative Care Unit

A palliative care unit in a large hospital has implemented a routine for discussing feelings after a patient's passing. By sharing their emotions, the staff members can better cope with their grief and support one another during difficult times.

3. Pacific Life Re's "Tea & Talk" Meetings

The London office of Pacific Life Re holds informal "Tea & Talk" meetings, where employees come together to discuss topics of shared concern. These gatherings, hosted by a wellness champion, have no fixed agenda, encouraging participants to share their thoughts and feelings in a relaxed and supportive atmosphere.

Embracing Emotions at Work

It's not uncommon for managers to hesitate when it comes to discussing emotions at work. However, smart leaders understand that embracing emotional openness can lead to improved communication, resilience, and teamwork. Encouraging employees to discuss and collectively work through challenges creates a supportive environment where everyone can thrive.

By fostering a culture of open communication, employees can build stronger connections with their colleagues and better understand each other's perspectives. This promotes a sense of shared purpose, improving collaboration and helping the team navigate adversity together.

Closing Thoughts

As organizations continue to evolve, it is crucial to reevaluate our approach to corporate wellness. We can create a more supportive and resilient work environment by shifting the focus from self-care to collective well-being.

Fostering genuine connections among employees should be at the heart of modern corporate wellness initiatives. By embracing relational pauses and collective well-being, organizations can empower their employees to thrive together, leading to a more resilient, empathetic, and supportive work culture.

Mental Health

Perfectionism Leads to Anxiety, Depression, and OCD in Youth: Study

August 2, 2023
Nitesh Padghan

We often praise perfectionism as a quality that propels us to greatness. Yet, recent research paints a more complex and troubling picture, particularly for our youth. The drive for flawlessness might actually be linked to anxiety, depression, and OCD among individuals aged 6-24. 

Here's a closer look into this study that may cause us to rethink our views on perfectionism.

Understanding Perfectionism

What is perfectionism, really? It's not simply about wanting things to be perfect. It's a multifaceted personality trait characterized by:

  • High Standards: A relentless pursuit of excellence and accuracy.
  • Self-Criticism: A harsh and often unforgiving view of one's own performance.
  • Striving for Flawlessness: An ongoing need to achieve an unattainable ideal.

While this drive can fuel success, it's not without consequences. Perfectionism can lead to negative outcomes, especially among young people who are in a vulnerable phase of self-development.

The Two Sides of Perfectionism

Perfectionism isn't merely a monolithic trait; it's a multifaceted concept with layers that can either facilitate growth or foster discontent. Here's a closer examination of the two sides of perfectionism that the study sheds light on. You'll find that there's more to perfectionism than meets the eye.

1. The Drive to Excel

On one side of the coin, you have what's known as "perfectionistic strivings." This refers to the inherent desire to achieve high standards and excel in various pursuits. At its core, it's about setting ambitious goals and working diligently to attain them.

This form of perfectionism is not necessarily harmful. In fact, it can be a catalyst for growth, innovation, and success. It’s the fuel for athletes aiming for a gold medal or artists reaching for unparalleled creativity. 

When channeled positively, it becomes a driving force that propels individuals towards excellence without the self-flagellation often associated with perfectionism.

2. The Trap of Never Being Enough

The other side, however, is where the pitfalls lie. "Perfectionistic concerns" refer to an obsessive worry about achieving perfection, coupled with a constant fear of failure or judgment. This side of perfectionism can become a relentless chase, where the pursuit of flawless execution leads to an overwhelming sense of inadequacy.

Here, the standards are not just high; they are often unrealistic and unattainable. The fear of making a mistake or falling short can become paralyzing. 

It leads to stress, anxiety, and in some cases, even depression, OCD, and other mental health challenges. The desire for perfection becomes a burden rather than a motivator, leading to a cycle of self-criticism and dissatisfaction that can be difficult to break.

Not Just a Local Issue

The reality of perfectionism's impact stretches far beyond borders, cultures, and personal experiences. This isn't just a matter that concerns a select group; it's a global issue that resonates across various spheres of life. Here's an exploration of how and why perfectionism becomes a worldwide concern.

Consistency Across Cultures

The study found that the connections between perfectionism and mental health disorders such as anxiety, OCD, and depression were consistent across different countries. This provides compelling evidence that perfectionistic tendencies are not limited to specific cultural norms or societal pressures but are a human phenomenon.

It's not just about a high-achieving society or a competitive school system in one country. It's a shared struggle that transcends geographical locations. The pursuit of flawlessness has become a universal trait that may be rooted in shared human fears and desires. 

It calls for a broader understanding and acceptance that perfectionism and its consequences are common threads weaving through diverse human experiences.

Gender and Age: No Boundaries Here

What makes the study even more significant is its consistent findings across gender and age. The negative aspects of perfectionism don't seem to discriminate. Whether a young boy in his formative years or a teenage girl navigating the complexities of adolescence, the harmful side of striving for perfection manifests similarly.

The fact that perfectionistic concerns were found equally impacting both males and females suggests that societal pressures and personal aspirations are universally shared. 

Likewise, the consistency across different age groups within the 6-24 years range highlights that the struggle with perfectionism may begin quite early and extend through critical development stages.

The Dark Side of a Virtue

Perfectionism Leads to Anxiety, Depression, and OCD in Youth: Study

The research reveals that perfectionism can turn into a significant risk factor for developing psychopathology in young people. Particularly those who were already experiencing symptoms of anxiety, OCD, or depression showed even stronger connections with perfectionistic tendencies.

Moreover, the study found the association between perfectionism and psychopathology was even more pronounced in clinical samples than in non-clinical ones. It indicates that perfectionism is not just a quirk but a potentially severe issue that may require professional intervention.

Limitations and Path Forward

The study, while groundbreaking, had its limitations:

  • Methodology: Most of the included studies were cross-sectional, limiting causal conclusions.
  • Lack of Data: Variables like ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and cultural factors were unexamined.
  • Quality Variance: The quality of the studies varied widely, indicating potential methodological biases.

Despite these limitations, the research opens up vital pathways for future exploration. There's a need for interventions focusing on reducing the harmful aspects of perfectionism. It's about finding a balance that fosters ambition without crippling fear.

A Time for Reflection

The perfect balance, the flawless execution, the unblemished record – these are ideals we often strive for, especially in our success-driven culture. But at what cost?

Perfectionism is a double-edged sword. What fuels some could destroy others. This study beckons us to reflect on how we approach perfectionism in our own lives and those of the young individuals around us.

It's a call for a cultural shift that not only celebrates achievement but also encourages growth, resilience, and self-compassion. We must build an environment that recognizes human value, embraces flaws, and nurtures the inherent potential in our youth – perfect or not.

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