Do you often feel like you are under pressure in the workplace? Research shows that stress is one of the leading causes of sick leave in the UK, as more of us fail to achieve the perfect work/life balance it’s important to understand how we can manage and reduce stress levels in the workplace before we find them getting out of hand.
It’s common these days to find yourself getting up early and heading straight to the office for an early start, and failing to leave at a sociable hour, meaning your routine can affect our health. Economists at the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health estimated that mental health and stress-related absence was costing the UK economy £8.4bn per annum; stress is more than prevalent in the workplace, and it is something that should be carefully considered to see how it can be reduced.
Praxis42 conducted a research on the main causes of stress in the workplace and how it can be reduced to bring a higher level of productivity to your work.
Managing Stress vs Sick Leave
High levels of stress in the workplace can sometimes lead to the worsening of other health issues, including bringing out potential underlying health issues, this could include heart disease, obesity, depression and diabetes, research undertaken in 2015 shows that an estimated 1.2 million people say that they believe an illness was either caused or made worse by work.
Feeling overwhelmed at work might cause you to lose confidence in the job you are undertaking, and you might feel angry and less productive; the HSE defines stress as ‘An adverse reaction people have to excessive pressure or other types of demands placed on them. It is the body’s natural response to a demanding situation’ – stress in the workplace is one of the main causes of motivation levels dipping and productivity lacking, and managing stress is important to limit the number of sick days taken due to stress.
It’s important to understand that stress is not always bad, managing stress is important as long as it is controlled within your own comfort zone it can help you stay focused and motivated to meet new challenges head on.
Key Sources of Stress at Work
There are few key sources of stress at work, and some of these include lack of job security, as well as a lack of control and engagement, employees may feel like they do not have a good work-life balance, and long working hours might be putting a strain on their personal life.
Often poor communication from management level and amongst teams can cause stress due to the sheer amount of time that we are spending with the people we work with, if there is a certain level of misunderstanding amongst people then this can cause a disruptive atmosphere to emerge. We spend a lot of time with the people that we work with, therefore it’s important to create an atmosphere whereby employees get along and are encouraged to partake in social activities
How Can Stress Be Reduced?
Leading by example is one of the best ways that stress levels can be reduced, it’s important for management and those who are higher up in the business to set the precedent when it comes to maintaining control of your own emotions. Negativity, anger and stress can easily be transferred between employees, therefore a positive atmosphere is one of the first steps in creating a stress-free work environment.
One of the most important things you can be doing is switching off at the end of the day, taking the time to enjoy quality time with your family and friends, blow off some steam by going for a run and doing some exercise. It’s key to manage your time effectively too, make sure you are taking regular breaks from work and go on holiday, these kinds of breaks will leave you rested and will put you in a much better frame of mind to return to work with a clear mind.