Stress in the workplace

Stress has a major impact on the modern workplace, leading to Absenteeism, Risk Exposure and significant Cultural and Commercial Costs. Even though it is a very sensitive issue, stress and other psychosocial risks can be successfully tackled, and reduced; tackling stress in the workplace is worth the effort. It leads to a better engaged workforce, a happy and healthier workforce, significant cost reduction and improved productivity and efficiency.

What are work-related stress and psychosocial risks?

When psychosocial stress impacts employees in the work place, staff feel that demands of the job exceed an employee's ability to cope. A recent publication by EU-OSHA emphasises how psychosocial risks relate to the negative psychological, physical and social outcomes that arise from poor organisation and management in the workplace.  

Psychosocial work place stress factors can range from:

  • Excessively demanding work and/or not enough time to complete tasks.
  • Conflicting demands and lack of clarity over the employee's role.
  • Working alone, especially when dealing with members of the public and clients.
  • A lack of support from management and colleagues, creating poor interpersonal relationships.
  • An unjust distribution of work, rewards, promotions or career opportunities.
  • Difficulties in combining commitments at work and at home.

Effectively tackling psychosocial problems create a healthy working environment, in which employees feel valued and the workplace culture becomes much more constructive and positive, therefore, consequently, business performance improves.

Author:  Neil Shah, Chief De-stressing Officer, The Stress Management Society, April 2014