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Staying Stress Free at Work

7th November 2019

Staying Stress Free at Work

This week is National Stress Awareness week – a week designed to increase understanding and encourage discussion about the dealing with stress.

Stats from the Health and Safety Executive revealed that, in 2017/8, over half of all sickness days were a result of a work-related mental health problems. This accounts for anxiety, depression and stress.

It is clearly a significant amount, so it’s important that business do all they can to look after their staff – and employees do all they can to look after themselves.

What causes stress-related illnesses in the workplace?

Of course, this type of illness could be caused by any number of different factors – both in and out of work. However, there are some factors that feature more regularly than not.

Long Hours

Working long hours is not good for you. Yes, sometimes you need to stay later to meet a deadline or finish a task. But doing this day in, day out will be really damaging for you. Maintaining a strong work life balance is vital for staying healthy. It’s important to be able to switch off and relax. You will also find that your productivity improves with a better work life balance, meaning you can get the same amount of work done in less time!

Job Insecurity

Often, worries about the security of your role can cause uncertainty and stress. If the business is going change, it can cause worry as an employee about your future. In the current economic climate, with many businesses unsure as to what the future holds, lots of people will be worrying about the safety of their jobs.

Harassment/Discrimination

Harassment or discrimination from another member of the team can cause the recipient a lot of stress. It can cause you to feel unsafe or unwanted in your workplace, leading to anxiety and worries.

Lack of Training/Resources

Being unable to complete functions of your role – and not getting adequate help from management to fix this problem – is a big driver of stress-related illness. Spending each day being unable to complete the tasks you are being paid to do can build up worry and stress.

What can employers do?

So what can employers do to help their employees and lead to a reduction of days taken off work for mental health related illnesses?

Firstly, ensuring that your employees have a strong work life balance by not overloading them with work, making sure they don’t work long hours and providing support in the lead up to deadlines. Easing this pressure on them will bring good results.

It is important also to make sure that your employees are adequately trained for the role they are doing. If they aren’t, then train them to be so. This may be internal training with yourself or another member of management. Or it may involve sending the employee to a workshop or getting an external trainer in for a specific area.

Finally, ensure there is a clear, confidential and easy HR process in place. This allows employees the safety of being able to report any grievances they may have. However, it is not simply enough to have the system in place. It is crucial that any complaints are acted on efficiently.

 

 

 

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