Workplace stress is a common problem and one which has the potential to increase the number of sickness-related absences in your workplace. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) says stress is the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other demands placed on them. In some work situations pressure can cause motivation, but excessive pressure has the potential to cause work-related stress.
According to the NHS website, psychological problems, including stress, anxiety and depression, are behind one in five GP visits.
Stress symptoms include:
- dry mouth
- strange aches and pains
- loss of appetite for food
Employees dealing with stress may be tempted towards unhealthy behaviour such as drinking, smoking or drug use and comfort eating. This has the potential to cause further health problems.
If you’re an employer, tackling stress in the workforce can decrease the number of staff sick days, boost productivity and increase morale. The HSE believes good management practices can help reduce work-related stress and provides management standards approach to help you take practical steps to minimise stress in the workplace. At OHBM we can help you implement these methods within your business.
As an employer, some of the things you can do to reduce employee stress levels include:
Does your workplace have a cycle to work scheme or 5-a-side football team your employees could get involved in? Do you offer reduced rates membership for local gyms? Exercise can help employees feel stronger physically and mentally, and enable them to deal with problems more calmly.
Avoid encouraging unhealthy habits
Does your workplace have a regular Friday night out in the local pub? While socialising is a great way to build relationships, you could encourage non-alcohol related activities instead. Bowling, a visit to a climbing wall, the cinema or the theatre are all enjoyable options that don’t revolve around alcohol.
Consider work-life balance
In the UK we work the longest hours in Europe. Lots of stressed employees could mean you’re expecting to much from them. Could you offer more flexible working hours, or at-home working arrangements to your team?
Talk to the team at OHBM to help you determine the best course of action to reduce stress in your workplace and boost the overall well-being of your team.