The current economic climate has created a culture of increased pressure; longer hours, increased workloads, fewer staff and resources. But what impact is this having on the health of your employees?
As an employer you have a legal obligation to reduce and where possible prevent work-related stress. In addition, helping your staff increase their resilience to stress will improve motivation and productivity which will have a direct impact on profitability.
Stress is Linked to Organisational Under-performance
Did you know that stress, anxiety and depression have recently become the most common causes of long-term absence amongst non-manual workers? Stress has also been linked to high staff turnover and other indicators of organisational under performance, including human error.
If you are concerned about organisational under performance due to stress then let’s talk. We can work with you to create a programme to meet your needs and obligations.
What Exactly is Stress?
Despite popular misconceptions, stress is not an illness, but a state of mind. On those days when we have deadlines which we can’t meet, the phone never stops ringing, the bills are mounting up or we are experiencing relationship problems, we can all feel under pressure’.
A certain amount of pressure is good for us all. It gives us the get up and go which we often need to get things done. Some people even work better when they are under pressure. However, a prolonged period of feeling under excessive pressure can lead to stress and this can affect our mental and physical wellbeing.
Why is too Much Stress Bad for our Health?
If left unchecked, the chemicals that are released during times of stress and the changes they produce in the body can be harmful. In the short term this can cause health problems such as depression, anxiety, high blood pressure and increased cholesterol. But over time this can lead to more serious conditions with an increased risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Long term exposure to stress can lead to many serious conditions including;
- Low Energy
- Hair Thinning or Loss
- Muscular Pain and Tension
- Fluid retention
- Heart Disease
- Irregular Heart Beat
- Stomach Ulcers
- IBS and IBD
- Weight Gain
- Skin problems including Ageing and Acne Rosacea
- Eczema and Psoriasis
- Irregular Periods
- Low Libido
- Night Sweats
- Liver Disease
- Coughs and Colds
- High Blood Pressure
- Sore Throats and Mouth Ulcers
Signs of Stress in the Workplace
Here are some signs of increased stress and anxiety…signs that can signal that your workplace is no longer positive and that people are begining to suffer, as will your business unless they are remedied.
- Increased irritability, poor concentration, reduced productivity and presenteeism
- Deteriorating personal or work relationships, including bullying behaviours
- Becoming more ‘emotional’, moody or over-reactive to what others say
- Taking more time off work than usual
- Greater use of substances such as alcohol, tobacco and drugs (prescription and illegal)
- Starting to behave differently that’s out of the norm
- Changes to eating and sleep patterns
- Physical reactions such as sweating, palpitations and increased blood pressure
- Feeling negative, depressed and anxious most of the time
- Feeling trapped or frustrated … and believing there’s no solution