Stressed at Work? Is it your Business Chemistry?

Stress. It may be one of the most talked about workplace topics of our time. Enter “workplace stress” into a search engine and you’ll find thousands and thousands of articles outlining what’s stressful, why it’s stressful, how to cope, and the consequences if we don’t. Increasingly, stress at work is acknowledged as an engagement-sapper, a productivity-stealer, and a dangerous health risk. But is everyone really that stressed out all the time? Do some people experience the workplace as more stressful than others? What strategies do people most often use to cope? In the past year, Deloitte’s Greenhouse Experience Team has embarked on a large-scale study of professionals to find out more.  Today, we release the findings on Deloitte.com–Business Chemistry’s Stress Study.

Through an online survey we asked people a series of questions about their stress levels, how stressful they find various workplace situations to be, how effective they are under stress, and how often they use a variety of coping strategies.

In addition to answering questions about stress, all respondents completed the Business Chemistry® assessment, enabling us to compare their responses to the stress questions with their Business Chemistry type. We found statistically significant differences between Business Chemistry types in several areas.

This research is a powerful first step for teams looking to improve working relationships, and ultimately, team performance during times of stress.

Let us know more about your experience with stress at work and your thoughts about our study.  Comment here or share your thoughts on Twitter, @DrSuzBizChem #stressstudy. Also, don’t forget to share this with your team and colleagues!

Read more about the study and our findings on Deloitte.com

For tips on what to do about stress on your team read Business Chemistry Do’s and Don’ts During Times of Stress

View our webcast “Stressed at work? It might be your working style”

Read more about our methodology

Dr. Suz
Suzanne Vickberg, PhD (aka Dr. Suz)
Dr. Suz is the Greenhouse Team’s very own social-personality psychologist, which means she studies how people’s thoughts, behaviors and preferences are influenced by both who they are and the situations they’re in. She uses Business Chemistry to help teams explore how the mix of perspectives brought by their individual members influences their work together. Follow her on Twitter @DrSuzBizChem

This publication contains general information only and Deloitte is not, by means of this publication, rendering accounting, business, financial, investment, legal, tax, or other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such professional advice or services, nor should it be used as a basis for any decision or action that may affect your business. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your business, you should consult a qualified professional advisor. Deloitte shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by any person who relies on this publication.

As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.

Copyright © 2016 Deloitte Development LLC. All rights reserved.

When a Driver isn’t just a Driver—Scientists and Commanders


A while back I shared some hints for recognizing a Driver, as well as some suggestions for flexing your own style to theirs. As a quick reminder, generally speaking Drivers are logical, competitive, and tolerant of confrontation. They’re often skilled with numbers and technically-oriented.

You might also recall that I recently revealed there are actually two sub-types of Integrators—Teamers and Dreamers. Well, as it turns out there are also two sub-types of Drivers. We call them Scientists and Commanders. As with the Integrator subtypes, drilling down the level of these Driver sub-types provides us with even clearer guidance on how to flex our style to theirs or to create the kind of environment in which they’ll thrive.
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When an Integrator isn’t just an Integrator–Teamers and Dreamers

A while back I shared some hints for recognizing an Integrator, as well as some suggestions for flexing your own style to theirs. I hope you’ve been putting this information to good use! As a reminder, generally speaking, Integrators are empathic, diplomatic, and not likely to be competitive. They prioritize relationships, value consensus, and feel a sense of responsibility to others. They’re open-minded and trusting.

Business Chemistry was designed to be simple enough to understand and remember. That’s why we focus on just four primary types. But sometimes it’s helpful to get a bit more granular. And in this case doing so reveals that Integrators are not all equally easy to recognize, and in fact, there are two sub-types of Integrators. The Teamer is outgoing and more extroverted, while the Dreamer is reserved and more introverted. If there’s a Teamer in the room you’ll probably know it, but the Dreamer is more elusive.

If you’ve ever had difficulty recognizing an Integrator, this difference may be why.
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Going with the flow: Cascades can hinder team decision-making

My last post suggested that making decisions in diverse teams can help avoid decision-making traps, and there’s research evidence to support this view1. However, team decisions are often no better than individual decisions—and sometimes they’re even worse2. So what’s going on?

Essentially it has to do with the difference between having diversity on a team and managing the team environment and process in a way that enables the group to actually benefit from that diversity.

There are various mechanisms through which biases and poor decision-making can actually be heightened rather than diminished on a team, even a diverse one.

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Stuck in the status quo? Why Guardians are risk averse…

Why are Guardians Risk Averse?

I’ve been thinking a lot about Guardians lately. In particular, I’ve been wondering why they sometimes seem a bit stuck in the status quo, preferring to do things the same way they’ve always done them rather than experiment with new approaches. Have you ever noticed that?

As I thought about it I realized that actually, research has shown that it’s not just Guardians–there’s a general tendency for people to make decisions that maintain the status quo. There’s even a name for it—the status quo bias—and psychologists have hypothesized that it’s a self-protective mechanism1. In order to break from the status quo we need to take action, and doing so requires accepting responsibility and opening ourselves up for criticism. Since most of us don’t particularly like to be criticized, keeping things as they are is a much safer choice.

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