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Understanding and Managing Stress in the Workplace

Health Matters are encouraging employers and employees to be ‘mindful’ when it comes to understanding and managing stress in the workplace. Stress isn’t always bad. A little bit of stress can help you stay focused, energetic and able to meet new challenges in the workplace.

While some workplace stress is normal, excessive stress can interfere with your productivity and performance, impact your physical and emotional health, and affect your relationships and home life.

There are many steps that can be taken by both employees and employers to deal with stress and reduce the risk of stress. Recognising stressors in the workplace and learning to manage these is vital. As today is National Stress Awareness Day, we ask you to raise awareness of stress with colleagues and think of how employers and employees alike can be more mindful with regards to managing workplace stress in the longer term.

Recognising Stress in the Workplace

Recognising that you are stressed is the first step towards doing something about it. Stress may be caused by factors within the workplace such as high workload, increased pressure or conflict with a colleague. Other external factors in your life may contribute to your stress at work such as relationships, financial difficulties or physical health problems. If stress isn’t managed it may lead to further mental health problems.

Steps to Deal with Stress

There are ways in which we can look after ourselves to help take control of stress.  Getting a better night’s sleep, eating well, being active and taking time to relax can help control the stress in our lives. Avoid alcohol, drugs and smoking as these can not only damage health, but make stress worse. Health Matters’ Stress Awareness sessions can help employees recognise stress with a particular focus on the workplace setting and learn the importance of controlling this.

How Can Management Help?

It is important for managers to understand the effects of workplace stress and provide support to their colleagues. The HSE has estimated that stress-related ill health, accidents and absenteeism are responsible for the loss of 6.5 million working days each year, costing UK employers around £370 million. It is important for management to be able to recognise signs and symptoms of stress and understand the causes.

Our Stress Management training has been specifically developed to meet the needs of organisations that have recognised the crucial role managers, supervisors and leaders play in the reduction and prevention or workplace stress. This can be completed for a number of employees within your workplace setting.

Mental Health First Aid training can be of great benefit to a workplace also. Having appointed persons trained in mental health first aid within an organisation can create a more open culture to discuss mental ill health including stress and promote recovery.

To mark National Stress Awareness Day, take action and discover ways in which you can reduce stress throughout your workplace. The Steps for Stress leaflet is a brilliant resource to circulate around your employees.

 

Find out More

To find out more about our range of health and wellbeing programmes for the workplace, please contact us by email on [email protected], visit www.healthmattersni.com or call Newry: (028) 30256482 / Belfast: (028) 90020044.

 

Other Resources:

www.mindingyourhead.info

stepsforstress.org

www.hseni.gov.uk

www.mindfulemployer.net