Stress in the workplace

What is Stress?

Stress is your body’s way of responding to any kind of pressure demands placed on us that are difficult to deal with.

It can became overwhelming.  whether stress it’s real or imagined—the body’s defences kick into high gear in a rapid, automatic process known as the “fight-or-flight” reaction or the “stress response”.

Is stress an issue in the workplace?

HSE estimates that 13.4 million working days were lost to stress, depression and anxiety in 2001. Each new case of stress leads to an average of 29 days off work. Work-related stress costs society about £3.7 billion every year.

Are Employers legally obliged to control stress as a workplace hazard?

The need to tackle stress as a workplace hazard  is recognised in law. Under the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, employers are obliged to undertake a suitable and sufficient risk assessment for health hazards at work – including stress – and to take action to control that risk.

What are the common workplace causes?

  • Fear of being made redundant
  • More overtime due to staff cutbacks
  • Pressure to perform to meet rising expectations but with no increase in job satisfaction or being appreciated
  • Pressure to work at a fast pace all the time
  • Lack of control over how you complete your day to day tasks
  • Being bullied and harassed
  • Not in control of your own workload

Some tips for reducing stress

Maintain an work life balance

  • All work and no play is a bad mix.  Find a balance between work and family life take up a hobby, plan in some leisure time, a massage, exercise, or even meeting friends regularly are all stress busters.

Eat a balance diet

  • Do not over indulge in alcohol, smoking, maintain a balanced diet, always eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, do not skip meals.

Try to have enough quality sleep

  • Try to go to sleep at the same time each day, try do relax before going to bed.

Leave in good time in the morning

  • There is nothing worse than leaving late, getting stuck in traffic, and being late for work, not a good start, don’t add to your stress levels by running late.

Plan regular breaks during the day

  • Do not sit at your desk and eat your lunch, try taking a walk, this will assist you to recharge and relax and the result is in being more productive.

Switch your mobile phone off after working hours

  • Do not leave your phone on out of working hours especially weekends, and deal with e-mails and calls, this can became a worry if you cannot deal with a request out of working hours.

Don’t over commit, know your limits, learn to say no

  • Try to not fit too much during the working day, prioritise your tasks. Not everything can be ‘Urgent’

Accept that somethings cannot change

  • Sometimes we have to accept that some things cannot change – This needs serious consideration, we either accept, or choose another less stressful route – Work in a different department at work, evaluate your employment more cons that pros?




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