Stress and Mental Wellbeing in the Workplace

Stress and Mental Wellbeing

Stress and Mental Wellbeing

By Halal Incorp,

The cost of workplace stress — and how to reduce it | Rob Cooke

Manchester: Stress can place an immense demand on an individual’s mental and physical health, leading their behaviour and performance to plummet downhill. It can also have an impact on both their work and personal life; dampening their relationships with family, friends and colleagues. It’s one of the major causes of long term absence from work, and long term mental health conditions e.g. depression and anxiety.

It is therefore vital to be able to identify the signs and risks of work-related stress at an early stage, to allow the effective management of a team’s metal wellbeing and ultimately, success. In order to do this, employers and companies should conduct thorough checks of workplace activities in order to reduce the likelihood of stress occurring.

Work related stress is the result of large amounts of demands which have been placed on either an individual or a group of employees, and often leads to physical and/or mental health conditions. An example of a physical health issue caused by stress is drug dependency, and an example of a mental health condition is anxiety.

Stress and Mental Wellbeing

This form of stress affects not just the individuals themselves, but also the company as a whole, as it is widely recognised that it results in reduced engagement and productivity, and a higher number of absences from the workplace. Furthermore, work-related stress may not be a direct result of stress from the demands from work, it may also be caused from a personal aspect, e.g. a loss of a family member.

Due to this, it is important for the employer to help their staff to manage their workplace and personal responsibilities.

There are many signs which can be linked to work-related stress, and can come as different types. Some of the emotional signs can be: crying, sensitivity, an over-reaction to slight problems, and feeling overwhelmed.

Some of the signs which can be recognised from an individual’s work rate are: inconsistent performance, lack of motivation, and errors which are not usually made. Physical signs are also sometimes evident, in the form of: tiredness, headaches, and a loss of appetite/weight gain. Some of the signs can be easily spotted, and some cannot.

Stress and Mental Wellbeing

It is therefore important for the employer to carry out extensive checks at an early stage to recognise which individuals are on the verge of or are currently suffering, and put in the appropriate support systems where necessary.

So what are some of the ways that work-related stress can be handled? The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) list six areas which can affect work-stress, and need to be managed correctly in order to keep stress to a minimum:

  • Demands – for example the workload that an individual has
  • Relationships – encourage the employees to work together to promote a healthy environment and prevent conflict from occurring
  • Support – what supervision and materials are available in order to allow the employee to do the right jobs?
  • Control – are employees in charge of their own work? To what extent?
  • Role – what is an individuals role and what is their purpose in the organisation?
  • Change – how is change controlled and managed?

Aside from recognising stress in the workplace, and offering appropriate intervention where necessary, there are also a wide variety of resources and help available to individuals outside of the workplace, including:

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