Stress in the workplace

Managing Stress in the Workplace

Managing Stress in the Workplace

To recognise Stress Awareness Month this April, we will be discussing the topic of stress in the workplace and how to manage it through the use of a stress risk assessment.

Stress can place huge demands on an employee’s physical and mental health and affect behaviour, performance, and relationships with other workers. It’s a major contribution of workers being on long-term sick causing absence figures of 17.1 million working days lost in 2022/23 (stated in the most recent figures from the Health and Safety Executive).

Stress Risk Assessments

Employers are responsible for identifying the risks of stress in the workplace and developing a stress risk assessment that looks at the following:

  • Demands: for example, workload and the working environment.
  • Control: for example, how much say someone has over their job.
  • Support: for example, the level of supervision and resources available to do the job.
  • Relationships: for example. promoting positive working to help prevent conflict.
  • Role: for example, making sure people understand their role and how it fits in the organisation.
  • Change: for example, how organisational change is managed and communicated.

Work-Related Stress

The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) defines work-related stress as:

‘The adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them at work’. People begin to feel stressed when they feel they don’t have the resources they need (whether physical, financial, or emotional) to cope with these demands.

According to the HSE, 875,000 workers are suffering from work-related stress, anxiety, or depression in 2022/23, of which 338,000 are new cases.

Stress can affect people mentally, for example in the form of anxiety and depression. However, it can also affect people physically, for example in the form of heart disease, back pain, and alcohol and drug dependency.

Employee assistance programmes (EAPs), flexible working options, and a good work-life balance can contribute to reducing stress in the workplace.  Workplace initiatives can also help people to manage workplace stress.

An employer needs to understand that an employee’s personal circumstances can cause stress and in turn, influence their performance in the workplace. Employers can help by ensuring they treat people as individuals to assist them with balancing work and personal lives.

Recently, the HSE introduced a significant change which states that employers must consider mental health in the workplace like they would have to consider physical health.  Employers can do this by ensuring there are appointed mental wellbeing first aiders in the workplace.

How can HPC help?

At HPC, we offer an online 2-day Mental Wellbeing First Aid course, with our next course scheduled for the 26th and 27th June. This online course includes a detailed module covering stress. It explores stress and how it may make us think, feel, and behave. Plus, helpful wellbeing strategies and unhelpful coping methods are studied to help you understand what strategies should be used and avoided. For more information on this course, including details on the other modules and to enquire please click here.

The Health and Safety team at HPC can also assist you with managing stress in the workplace by drawing up and conducting Stress Risk Assessments. This will help you to easily spot signs of stress and deal with it accordingly.

To find out more information or if you require any advice about stress in the workplace get in contact with our team of experts.

T: 0330 107 1037


LinkedIn: High Performance Consultancy

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