Signs of stress at work

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Health Assured team

05 February 2019

Stress is an important issue for everyone in their jobs or careers . 

It’s linked to reduced productivity, mood swings, mental health issues and other behaviours that can affect your business.

Work-related stress can creep up during times of high demands at work—it can occur when tasks exceed the ability of an employee. According to Health and Safety Executive annual report, employers lose 15.4 million days each year due to stress, depression or anxiety.

Identifying and acting on the signs of stress can support the impact of pressure whilst also making it easier to eliminate the causes.

Common signs of work-related stress

Going through stress at work can have physical and mental effects on employees. Although stress is a common problem, individuals are bound to handle it differently. With that in mind, you should be able to recognise some of the common signs of stress at work. They include:

  • Reduced focus and concentration.
  • Lack of confidence.
  • Mood swings.
  • Tightness in the chest.
  • Gaining or losing weight.
  • An increase in alcohol and drug intake.
  • Increased fatigue.

These issues are not exclusively work-related as employees may also experience them as a result of external factors. However, regardless of the source, stress can end up affecting an employee’s quality of work.


Causes of stress

If you recognise signs of job related stress in your employees, It’s important to identify and address the causes.

There are a number of factors that can ignite stress at work. Some common factors include:

  • Job insecurity
  • Imposter syndrome
  • Tight deadlines
  • Lack of equipment and other resources
  • Over or under supervision
  • Increased workload and change of duties
  • Extended working hours

Six ways to help reduce job related stress

After identifying the causes of work-related stress, employers can create an action plan to reduce stress.

  1. Acknowledgement: The first step to reducing stress is by accepting that it impedes efficiency and team morale with your organisation. Stress can grow over a long period of time and surface when the pressure becomes too much for an employee. Ignoring it will negatively affect both the wellbeing of your team and their productivity.

  2. Identify the sources of stress: By recognising areas with high-stress potential within the office, employers are able to find a resolution to the problem. Encourage management teams to engage with and monitor the workforce for areas of concern. This allows you to make the necessary arrangements to devise an answer.

  3. Action plan: The next step is to make a plan of action to address the sources of stress within the organisation. Creating a culture that encourages employees to communicate with each other helps in two ways. It allows for a more sociable work environment that helps deter from stress and encourages employees to collaborate on projects and help address any work-related issues they might be having.

  4. Wellness schemes: Employee assistance programs encourage a healthy lifestyle which is imperative when it comes to dealing with work-related stress. Schemes include introducing an office gym, yoga classes, fresh fruit days and more. Consider running a company-wide healthy eating challenge. It’s a good way to boost inter-office competition and to help employees feel better about their wellbeing.

  5. Awareness days: Recognising awareness days and arranging staff fundraisers for charity can help manage their stress levels. By shifting their attention to helping others less fortunate, they’re able to take the focus off their own stress-related issues.

  6. Social activities: It’s important for employees to be able to get along with each other. Setting some time aside for team activities in a fun environment can boost morale, increase team spirit and reduce stress. Examples of activities include blindfold challenges, quizzes, community service, drawing challenges and more.

The ability to strike a balance between home and work life offers your employees a structure and satisfaction in their daily, weekly, and monthly routines.

Contact us today for more information on recognising and managing work-related stress on 0844 892 2493

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