Stress at Work

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Stress at Work

2022-02-24T10:32:11+00:00 February 24th, 2022|News, All, Company News, HR News|

If you are an organisation with more than 5 employees, it is a legal requirement for you to have a written risk assessment for stress posed to your employees. Stress is defined by Health & Safety Executive (HSE) as ‘the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them’. HSE do frequent spot checks on businesses’, so it’s worth sitting up and taking notice of this.

Causes of Stress

Stress at work can occur for a number of different reasons. Workers may feel they cannot cope with the demands of the role or that they have too much workload for the time they have. Workers could feel out of control; maybe micromanaged so they have no autonomy about how they go about their job. Workload may be given that does not appropriately match a worker’s skills and abilities and they may feel they are not given enough training and support, or they may not fully understand the requirements of the role. It might be that they are being bullied at work or they may for some other personal reason, not be fully engaged with the business.

Effects of Stress

The effects of work-related stress on the employee are various and can include the following:

  • Sleep disturbances
  • Tummy problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Anxiety and/or depression
  • Loss of concentration
  • Lack of motivation
  • Loss of memory
  • Bad decision making
  • Substance misuse
  • Inappropriate behaviour
  • Isolation
  • Poor punctuality

The effects of this on an organisation include

  • High turnover with staff burn-out
  • Increased absenteeism
  • More grievances/complaints
  • Increased ill-health, accidents and incident reports.

Sign of Stress

It is important to know what to look out for to prevent as far as possible the effects that stress can have on your employees and on the business. Stress is not an illness, but it can cause physical and mental illness and should be treated seriously. If you act early, you can reduce the impact of stress. Watch out for arguments between staff or evidence of arguments at home, mood swings, increased emotional reactions, reports of stress, higher sickness absence, a decreased performance. Employees make become more withdrawn than normal or look worried. They make take more time off than normal or be later into work than normal.

How to Help

Encouraging a culture where workers feel able to talk about stress is one of the most powerful things you can do to help. Talking about stress can really help to diffuse the problem but many will feel they can’t because of the stigma attached to suffering with stress. If you can encourage people to talk about it, then you can also offer solutions. You can look at training needs analysis or workload issues or implementing an Employee Assistance Programme. As an employer you have a legal responsibility to assess the risks and a risk assessment can really help towards creating a strategy for combating stress at work.

About Aspire HR

Headquartered in Cambridge, UK Aspire HR make Human Resources available and affordable to all companies no matter how small. Few businesses can afford a full time HR professional.

Aspire HR is your flexible HR manager; here to help you protect your business, leaving you to concentrate on what you do best – run your business. We help businesses to grow and be profitable, and we look to partner with you to build strong long-standing relationships.

Get in touch with our CIPD accredited HR Consultants today on 01223 855441.

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