Wellbeing is a big trend right now and is beginning to make inroads into corporate life too. A part of wellness is recognising stress. Stress caused by work-related issues is a massive global problem, affecting the health and wellbeing of employees, as well as the productivity of companies. Work stress can be caused by any position that demands more physically and emotionally than a person can cope with. After back problems, stress is the second biggest reason for work absence and compensation.
Developing work-related stress can be triggered by many different events. Stress can be the result of someone working more hours than they can comfortably deal with, or it can come from conflict with colleagues or managers, constant changes or threats to job security.
It can be tough to recognise though, as one person’s stress is another person’s ‘challenging’. Whether an individual experiences stress is related to factors including their psychological make-up, personal life, physical health and the type of job they are doing.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of workplace stress can include psychological, physical and behavioural signs which could be:
- Excessive tiredness
- Tense muscles
- Stomach upset
- Skin complaints
- Mood swings
- Feelings of being overwhelmed
- Reduced ability to concentrate or make decisions
- Poor performance
- Lack of interest
What can trigger work-related stress?
- Whilst not exhaustive, here are some of the most identified stressors occurring in the workplace:
- Poor management practices
- Toxic culture
- Unrealistic job demands
- Working environment
- Colleague relationships
- A change in management
- Lack of support
Other factors could include:
- Long or unsociable hours
- Heavy workloads
- Short deadlines
- A change in job description and duties
- Inadequate skills for the job
- Lack of resources or equipment
- Lack of promotion
- Crisis – such as robbery or workplace death
How to get help
- If you have a prolonged or repeated pattern of absenteeism, you may be referred to occupational health. For Occupational Health Bristol, visit https://www.insightoccupationalhealth.co.uk/
- Think about what needs to be changed at work to reduce your levels of stress. It’s important to take action with small changes you can make yourself, while seeking support and advice from occupational health for greater assistance for you to be able to perform your job.
- Concerns should be discussed with manager or human resources.
- Self-help measures include:
- Be kind to yourself, eat well and take regular exercise.
- Meditation, yoga and regular relaxation and mindfulness is good for destressing.
- Try to be strict and put aside some free time just for you at least once a week.
- Remember that alcohol, drugs and smoking won’t alleviate stress long-term and can cause added health problems.
- Look into seeing a counsellor.
The benefits of employers taking staff wellness seriously include:
- A reduction in sick leave and staff turnover
- A rise in productivity
- Less injury, illness and lost hours
- Better job satisfaction
- More engagement from staff
- Money saving for the employer.