Stress in the workplace – deal with it.

If stress isn't on your H&S agenda, why not?

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Stress in the workplace. We have seen the stats released by HSE, haven’t we?

If not…

In the UK alone there are 526,000 employees suffering with work-related stress, anxiety and depression.
12.5 million working days were lost in 2017 due to work related stress, anxiety and depression.
Workload was the cause for 44% of people, followed by lack of support.

Organisational stress is a problem. So, what is it and what isn’t it?

Stress in the workplace can come about when the demands and pressures put on to us outweigh our knowledge, skill ability or is maybe perceived by us in that way.

This can then be made worse by things such as:

Not feeling supported.

  • Feeling like we have little or no control.
  • Having a poor working environment.
  • Poor working practice (long hours, unpredictable hours).
  • Having poor relationships with our colleagues.
  • Not fully understanding our role and responsibilities.
  • Lacking direction.
  • Lack of participation in decision making.
  • Poor communication.
  • Changes/Poor change management.
  • When this happens it is difficult as an individual to keep balanced between home life and work life, healthy wellbeing and unhealthy habits.

Decisions become harder, irritability kicks in, logic decreases.

I know for me, I stop being nice to myself. I don’t have time for exercise, healthy eating and socialising. These are all things that can wait because Nigel and I believe that getting our head in to work more and being strong will get us through the issue.

It doesn’t.

So what can you do in your business to support your employees?

Show that stress is not taboo, it’s perfectly normal.

To do this you will need to show that it isn’t embarrassing a stigma or career limiting.

Hold a conversation.

If you see someone struggling in a team. Ask them ‘do you want a coffee’, ‘you don’t look your usual self, is there something on your mind?’, ‘how can I help?’

Ask, Listen & Action.

Create a stress survey. Find out, anonymously, what pressures people have in your business. Ask what could be done to relive this. And put in a process of improvement. You may find some of the ideas are really simple.

Bonus Tip – Don’t tell people ‘just don’t worry about it’. No one has ever stopped worrying because someone has told them to stop worrying.

We can see from the stats stress in the workplace is a serious issue. It’s not going anywhere. So we need to embrace it, cuddle it, understand it and work with it.

If someone fell over in your workplace and broke a leg it would be on your H&S agenda. Talking about what happened, why it happened and how to stop it happening in the future.

Stress should be on your agenda too.

Originally published at

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