What if you’re a surgeon and you sway from your tolerance during open-heart surgery? You could nick an artery. What if you’re a landscape architect and your contractor creates an unintended slope toward the house? Your client will be very unhappy when water pools near their house after each rain. Tolerance, or the “allowed” deviation, is not only vital in the function and success in concrete objects but also in intangibles like our mental health.
“According to the World Health Organization, the cost of stress to American businesses is as high as $300 billion,” Arianna Huffington notes. Staggering. What are we doing to our workforce? Or what are we not doing for them?
First, we have to acknowledge where these $300 billion are going. Health care costs to businesses skyrocket when employees don’t feel good. There are five aspects to health: mental, emotional, physical, social, and spiritual. We give our employees a comfortable, safe place to work and often a gym to exercise in…that’s physical. We are opening up the work environment to create spaces for collaboration…social. Spiritual is really not in the realm of companies to address. What are we doing about the emotional and the mental? We’re working our employees to the brink.