Did you know that it’s estimated that workplace stress, anxiety & depression are the reason for 40% of all absences; costing the UK economy more than £1bn a year.
Also did you know that if stress is not dealt with sufficiently quickly it can develop into much longer term conditions including anxiety, depression and even heart disease?
The HSE defines stress as “The adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed upon them at work”. For a business, it’s important to understand the distinction between pressure and stress. Pressure can be positive and a motivator to achieve better performance and reach goals. But stress arises when the pressure becomes excessive and/or prolonged.
It seems that despite the seriousness of stress to business on the whole, that many employers are still not equipped to deal with the problems that can arise. This is disappointing given the HSE has issued some excellent guidance for businesses to follow. The HSE management standards are there to help manage the key causes of stress at work and help to identify areas for improvement. Rather than do nothing at all we would advise any business to look at these standards.
Having a system in place to both identify and then tackle stress at an early stage in our experience really can make the difference between a person being able to quickly return to work or to not returning at all.
Being open to discussing stress can have a positive impact on staff performance and help to deal with issues before they develop into much bigger problems. Studies have shown it’s a fact that many employees are still unwilling to admit to suffering with a stress related illness. The studies have suggested this is because many feel their managers and work colleagues will not be understanding and supportive. It appears that many think they will have a black mark put upon their employment record.
So rather than wait for stress to become a big problem why not put plans in place to take positive action? If you need help then our team can offer expert advice.