Stress can affect anyone at any time and work-related stress is a serious issue for UK employers. According to the Stress Management Society, more than 12.5 million working days are lost every year because of stress. Absences related to stress costs the UK industry £12.47 billion each year and are believed to trigger 70% of visits to the doctors and 85% of serious illnesses. Is it time we start taking work related stress more seriously?
HSE’s formal definition of work-related stress is: “The adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them at work”.
According to HSE.gov.uk there are six main areas that can lead to work related stress. These are: demands, control, support, relationships, role and change.
For example, employees may say that they:
• are not able to cope with the demands of their jobs
• are unable to control the way they do their work
• don’t receive enough information and support
• are having trouble with relationships at work, or are being bullied
• don’t fully understand their role and responsibilities
• are not engaged when a business is undergoing change.
Stress affects people differently – what stresses one person may not affect another. Factors like skills and experience, age or disability may all affect whether an employee can cope.
We all experience stress at one or another point in our lives and this is normal. It is important to remember that stress is not a mental illness, it is a mental state and we need a certain amount of stress in our lives in order to function properly. Stress only becomes an issue when it becomes extreme or overwhelming to those suffering with it. If stress lasts for prolonged periods of time it could develop into a mental or physical illness.
Recognising when an employee is stressed can help prevent prolonged periods of absence from work, boost team moral and ensure employers are demonstrating a duty of care towards employees. Identifying the signs of stress at an early stage increases the possibility that positive action is taken to deal with the cause of stress in the workplace. In turn this will minimise the risk to employee’s mental health and lessens the effects of disruption to the team or department.
At Workspace Technology we take the concerns of our staff seriously by implementing statutory guidelines, procedures and apply good practices to ensure our staff stay healthy and safe within the workplace. Some of the measures we have in place include:
• Creating open communication to enable colleagues to discuss their concerns
• Encouraging staff to go outdoors during breaks
• Keeping staff hydrated during the day by providing freshwater facilities
• Promoting leave home at home and do not take work home with you
• Providing flexible working hours
• Engaging staff in work social activities
For opportunities to work at Workspace Technology, please visit our careers page.