Stress At Work
Stress is the fight or flight response you get when something goes wrong, or danger occurs. It affects each of us differently, and can cause problems with physical and mental wellbeing, often caused by friction at work or in personal relationships, which can lead to reduced harmony and productivity in the work place, as well as increased sickness, absenteeism and presenteeism. It can also lead to an early death if left unmanaged over extended periods.
The problem at work
If one of your employees experiences unmanaged stress over a period of time, often brought about by things such as tight deadlines, long hours, a lack of support at work or home, breakup of marriage, death of a close family member, or financial struggles over a period of years, their work performance will suffer. As will that of your team.
If staff do not have the right degree of support in order to help them through these challenging times, they will get sick, which will also negatively affect the rest of your team. This will damage your overall staff morale, engagement and retention. This often equates to poor external relationships and company reputation.
The latest estimates from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) show:
• The total number of cases of work related stress, depression or anxiety in 2015/16 was 488,000, a prevalence rate of 1510 per 100,000 workers.
• The number of new cases was 224,000, an incidence rate of 690 per 100,000 workers.
• The total number of working days lost due to this condition in 2015/16 was 11.7 million days. This equated to an average of 23.9 days lost per case.
• In 2015/16 stress accounted for 37% of all work-related ill health cases and 45% of all working days lost due to ill health.
The main work factors cited by respondents as causing work-related stress, depression or anxiety (LFS) were workload pressures, including tight deadlines and too much responsibility and a lack of managerial support.
Providing the right degree of support for employees going through stressful times, is essential to their wellbeing, your workplace harmony, and your bottom line profits. Happy staff provide a better, friendlier service, which creates a better atmosphere, and better results. This often stems from the feeling of being supported at work, especially if things at home are not going so well.
Taking stress at work seriously is the difference between a workplace where people want to go to and feel better about their life through providing a meaningful service, and a place they would rather avoid.