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Steps To Work Support Stress Awareness Week 2019

According to a recent report published by the Health & Safety Executive, more than 600,000 workers throughout the UK suffer from work-related stress, depression or anxiety, with an estimated 12.8 million days being lost as a direct result.

Defined as being a harmful reaction that people have to undue pressures and demands placed upon them, work-related stress, depression or anxiety accounted for 44% of all workplace ill health cases and 54% of all working days lost during the last 12 months. Notably, the predominant cause of this issue was workload, in particular tight deadlines or too much pressure, as well as organisational change or a lack of managerial support.

With this in mind, good stress management is of the utmost importance in modern workplace environments and working with your employees to develop pragmatic coping strategies is conducive towards success within both an internal and external capacity.

Here are some top tips on how you can prevent or reduce stress in your workplace:

  • Ask for help. Everyone needs a hand from time to time. Discuss your workload with your manager. Talk about setting realistic targets and how you can solve any problems you’re having.
  • Balance your time. Occasionally you may need to work longer hours to get something done, but try to claim this time back later if you can. Don’t do too much at once. Give each task your full attention. It often takes longer if you try to do too much at the same time.
  • Reward yourself for achievements. It is easy to focus on what needs to be done next and forget to reward yourself for what you have already accomplished.
  • Take short breaks throughout the day as well as at least half an hour away from your desk at lunch. Go for a short walk outside if you can.
  • Take some time off. If things get too much, taking a few days off or a long weekend can help you feel refreshed and actually increase your productivity in the long run. Use the holiday you’re entitled to.
  • Make a Wellness Action Plan to map out what causes you stress and what keeps you well at work. Make use of other support already on offer. Some organisations provide employee assistance programmes (EAPs) which give free advice and counselling. Others have internal systems such as mentoring or buddy systems.
  • If you don’t feel supported, communicate this. If you feel you can’t talk to your boss, speak or write to your human resources department or trade union representative if you have one.

If you are experiencing work-related stress, depression or anxiety talk to someone within your organisation that you can trust about the support that is available to you, such as your line manager or HR personnel.

*The Health & Safety Executive is a government agency responsible for the encouragement, regulation and enforcement of workplace health, safety and welfare. Please click here to read the full report.