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Stress Awareness Month – Stress in the Workplace

Apr 19, 2017

Deadlines, workloads and fellow colleagues are all common causes of stress in the workplace. Despite the frequency of related incidents, only 5% of employees off sick with stress admit it to their boss.

The NHS quote the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) on their definition of stress as “the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures and demands placed on them” on their website. In this blog post we discuss further how employees can speak out and tackle stress in the workplace.

Write a list

It’s important to look at all of your current tasks and give yourself daily and realistic targets. Planning your week is a great way to stay focused and relieve stress as your mind will be more prepared for upcoming tasks. Create an excel spread-sheet, word document or even a hand written to do list. Writing down a list of tasks allows you to visualise your priorities, making them easier to manage. This method will help you relax and move forward with your daily routine.

Speak out

It may seem like an awkward situation to put yourself in; however your line manager needs to know how you’re feeling at work. Every company is obliged to have a health and safety policy which ensures that the employees’ health is paramount. Stress is a very important part of health and healthy being so your company must take issues related to stress seriously. ┬áIf you’re still a little nervous about speaking to your manager direct, discuss your thoughts with a friend or colleague first.

Healthy eating and exercise

Take regular breaks and get some fresh air. One of the best ways to reduce stress is healthy eating and exercise. Starting a running (or walking) club at lunch times will create a social atmosphere and make you feel better about your day. Even walking to the nearest shop on your lunch break can vastly improve your mood. It is also part of Health and Safety regulations if you sit at a desk using a computer that you get a certain amount of “screen free” time during a workday period, ensure you take it.

Regular catch-ups

The majority of us spend more hours at work than we do with our families, so it’s really important that you enjoy your work, feel valued and feel you are achieving your goals. Having regular reviews and catch ups with your line manager about how work is going, how you are finding things and any challenges you have are a great way to keep potential stress problems limited. By having regular conversations with your manager, they will understand how you are feeling. So when you are finding things hard it will then seem easier to talk to them about because you speak more frequently.

Managers

If you are a manager in the workplace, it is part of your managerial responsibility to ensure that your staff members are happy and working in a safe environment. This not only means physical health and safety around the office, but mental safety too, as this can be just as harmful in some cases.

Keep an open door policy and ensure that every member of staff feels comfortable in coming to speak to you about their feelings. Discussing stress and how to conquer it is a massive part of running a successful business, so be sure to let your staff know that they are appreciated and that they can talk to you when they need to.