Dealing with stress at work? Get it under control today.

We probably have all experienced stress at work at some point in our working life.

Meeting a deadline or covering for absent colleagues are everyday examples of stress at work. Usually they only last for a short amount of time and then the stress levels return to normal.  But what if they don’t?

In 2014/15, 440,000 people in the UK believed they were experiencing work-related stress levels that were making them ill (Health & Safety Executive)

Visits to Doctors surgeries by patients with problems like stress, depression or anxiety resulting from their work environment are rising every year. Now one in every five visits for stress issues are work related.

stress at work

The Health and Safety Executives (HSE) formal definition of work related stress:  The adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them at work. 

It’s important to understand that stress is not an illness – it is a state. However, if stress becomes too excessive and prolonged, mental and physical illness can develop.

What things can cause stress at work?

 Reasons for feeling stress at work can include:

  • Work pressures, like having to meet short deadlines.
  • Poor time management practices.
  • Basic business processes not in place.
  • Lack of support from managers within the workplace.
  • Work-related bullying and even violence.

What can you do to manage stress at work?

 Time management:

  • Create a ‘to do’ list and rank your jobs in order of importance. Work on the most important first.
  • Accepting that your in-tray will always be full is a step towards a less stressed working day.

Take a break:

  • Make sure that you take a lunch break. Taking 20 minutes away from your work station to walk out in the fresh air will ease stress levels significantly.

Learn to say No:

  • Saying no to your manager is not an easy thing for most people to do. It’s easy to keep saying yes to requests from them to take on more workload. But if you do, when you know you won’t be able to complete it, then stress levels will rise.

Dealing with a bully:

  • A toxic work environment is something that can be difficult to deal with.  Bullying in the workplace happens more often than most businesses would like to admit. Bullying isn’t against the law but harassment is.  Visit this DWP webpage to find out more information: Workplace Bullying & Harassment.

stress at work

What are some of the physical signs of work related stress?

  • Headaches.
  • Feelings of anxiety such as heart palpitations.
  • Sleeping difficulties, such as insomnia.
  • Gastrointestinal upsets, such as diarrhoea or constipation.
  • Dermatological disorders like acne breakouts.
  • Muscular tension.

 If you are feeling stressed at work, do something about it.

Talk to your manager, HR department or someone else that you trust at work.  Explain the stressful situation and how you are feeling about it.

Employers have a duty to ensure they look after the health, safety and welfare of their employees. This comes under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974  They are also required to conduct risk assessments for work-related stress so that you are protected from extended stressful situations.

Don’t just put up with feeling stressed at work.  It’s not how it is supposed to be.

Anice McNamee (Marketing Manager)