In 2016 it was reported by the Health and Safety Executive that over 480,000 people in the UK reported that work-related stress was making them ill.
Many people say that they benefit from a certain amount of pressure in the workplace, it keeps them motivated and productive. However, when there is too much pressure placed on them, workers can start to feel overwhelmed and become stressed! The level of pressure a person can take depends on the individual.
The most common causes of work-related stress are:
- Becoming overwhelmed with the amount of work or type of work
- Not having control over how or when they do their work
- A lack of support from managers and colleagues
- Failure to build relationships based on good behaviour and trust
- Lack of understanding as to how their role fits within the organisation
- Organisational changes especially when they aren’t communicated properly
The effects of chronic stress
Our nervous systems are not good at telling the difference between emotional and physical threats. If you are overly stressed about an exhausting work schedule, your body can react just as strongly as if you’re facing a true life-or-death situation. The more your emergency stress system is activated, the easier it becomes to trigger, making it hard to shut off.
If you feel stressed frequently, your body may exist in a heightened state of stress most of the time and this could lead to serious health problems. Chronic stress disrupts nearly every system in your body.
Health problems caused by stress include:
- Depression and anxiety
- Sleep problems
- Autoimmune diseases
- Digestive problems
- Skin conditions, such as eczema
- Heart disease
- Weight problems
- Reproductive issues
- Thinking and memory problems
Tips to reduce or prevent stress
If you are stressed at work, the first step to make you feel better is to identify the cause. There is always a solution to a problem, but not taking control of a situation and doing nothing will only make your stressful situation worse.
Here are some tips to reduce or prevent stress:
- Be active. Exercise will reduce some of the emotional intensity that you’re feeling.
- Plan a realistic time management task list
- Work smarter, not harder
- Take short breaks during the working day
- Connect with people who make you feel good and happy
- Have some ‘me time’
- Eat a healthy diet
- Accept the things that you can’t change
- Speak to your line manager or HR to put a plan in place
If you have tried self-help techniques and they aren’t working, you should visit your GP and speak with them about how you feel.
For more information or to arrange for an Ergo Squad representative to evaluate your workspace to help your business achieve its potential, please get in touch using the form below.