Stress in the Workplace

Top Tips to tackle work-related stress

‘Stress’ and “mental health” are terms that we have all come to be remarkably familiar with over the last year or so. The Covid-19 pandemic has undoubtedly had a negative impact on everyone’s lives both at home and in the workplace.

It is worth outlining what the word ‘stress’ means, the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) say: “Stress is the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressure or other types of demand placed on them.”

How can we tackle work-related stress?

1) Communication. If you do not communicate with your staff or have some means of doing so through the management structure, then you may not even realise that there is a problem. Having periodic meetings with individuals or groups can be an effective way to identify that people may be struggling with stress. An appraisal can be a fantastic way to do this.

2) Have trained mental health first aiders in your workplace. Mental health first aid is a new concept. Individuals can now be trained to identify people who may be having a challenging time and be a point of contact within a business for people to talk to and if necessary, provide appropriate support.

3) Create a realistic workload. Life has been difficult recently, many sectors such as hospitality are understaffed and overworked. Unfortunately, there is no magic solution to this problem, but it is important to remember that people can only compensate for a lack of staff for so long, before they will burn out. It is easy to put more work onto people that are able ‘to handle it.’ In the short term, it may seem productive but in the long term, people will start to crack.

4) Create a pleasant working environment. Simple things like good lighting, adequate ventilation, and a lovely place for people to have a break, can make an enormous difference. Also, encourage people to take their break, their annual leave, and not do not create a culture where people feel that they never leave work because of access to emails on their phones. Work-life balance is a term that is thrown about a great deal these days but how good are you at implementing it within your business? Overworking someone can have a negative impact on their family life and that they will have an impact on their work life.

5) Allow people to work flexibly or from home. This does not work for every sector, which is clear, but where possible, it can reduce stress significantly. Getting out of the house in the morning and commuting can add another level of stress that is not always necessary. The cost of fuel has gone up recently, therefore people need to spend more money on traveling to work. As an employer, if you can make your employees’ lives more comfortable from a financial perspective, you will have happier people.

To find out more about Mental Health First Aid Training for your business, check out our website.