Preventing Work Related Stress
Work-related stress is a growing problem around the world that affects not only the health and well-being of employees, but also the productivity of organisations. Stress is not an injury or an illness, however excessive and long-lasting stress can have a negative effect on employees’ health, safety and wellbeing and can lead to psychological injury. Arising where work demands of various types and combinations exceed the person’s capacity and capability to cope.
Work-related stress can be caused by various events in and around the workplace. For example, a person might feel under pressure if the demands of their job (such as longer hours or increased workload) can be highly stressful and harder to comfortably manage. Other sources of work-related stress include conflict with co-workers or bosses, constant change, and threats to job security, for example a potential redundancy.
Work-related stress is recognised globally as a major occupational health and safety (OHS) hazard and can be challenging for employers to prevent and manage.
Identifying Work Related Stress
The signs or symptoms of work-related stress whether it is physical, psychological, and behavioural that can be found in the workplace.
Physical symptoms include:
- Problems sleeping
- Slow reactions
- Shortness of breath
Psychological symptoms include:
- Feelings of being overwhelmed and unable to cope.
- Cognitive difficulties, such as a reduced ability to concentrate or make decisions.
Behavioural symptoms include:
- Increase in sick days or absenteeism.
- Diminished creativity and initiative
- A drop in work performance
- Problems with interpersonal relationships
- Mood swings and irritability
It is important for employers to recognise work-related stress as a significant health and safety issue. A company can and should take steps to ensure that employees are not subjected to unnecessary stress, including:
- Ensure a safe working environment.
- Make sure that everyone is properly trained for their job.
- De-stigmatise work-related stress by openly recognising it as a genuine problem.
- Discuss issues and grievances with employees and take appropriate action when possible.
- Devise a stress management policy in consultation with the employees.
- Encourage an environment where employees have more say over their duties, promotional prospects and safety.
- Organise to have a human resources manager.
- Cut down on the need for overtime by reorganising duties or employing extra staff.
- Take into account the personal lives of employees and recognise that the demands of home will sometimes clash with the demands of work.
- Seek advice from health professionals, if necessary.
To find out how Rehab Management can help your organisation, contact us today.