Stress in the workplace

Written on 05 Oct 2011

According to a recent survey by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, stress has become the main cause of long-term sickness absence in the British workplace. The number of stress-related sickness absence days has increased over the past year as the recession continues to bite.

Heavier workloads, lack of support from bosses and uncertainty about the future are examples of situations that can contribute to workplace stress. It is important to be aware that the culture of an organisation can cause problems in terms of its lack of communication, consultation or participation in decision-making, together with unjustified restrictions on behaviour.

Some of the symptoms of stress to look out for are:

  • anxiety
  • low mood
  • exhaustion
  • tearfulness
  • poor sleep
  • aches and pains
  • reduced or increased appetite
  • concentration problems
  • aggression
  • increased smoking and/or drinking

Feeling trapped in a dead-end job because of limited opportunities for promotion and training, or threat of redundancy through restructuring of the organisation can have a huge effect on our wellbeing at work.

Relationships with colleagues can also be a major source of stress. Workplace bullying, for example, can be highly destructive to the person at the receiving end, affecting all aspects of his/her life, not just in the workplace.

In order to reduce stress a balance has to be struck between the demands of a job and the ability to respond to those demands. Taking initial small steps to improve life at work can be very empowering.

Contact me at counselling@alisonhopkins.co.uk or on 07946 517967 if you would like help to tackle stress at work and increase your wellbeing. Alternatively, you can use my contact page.

If you've been affected by the topic that I've covered in this blog post, and would like to discuss your feelings, you can leave a public comment below. Alternatively, if you'd like to communicate with me on a one-to-one basis about any issues you'd like to discuss further, you can either email me or call me on 07946 517967.

Comments

Jeremy's picture
Jeremy 26 Oct 2011

Stress in the workplace is very common. Most people having stress are those people busy working for their jobs. A good way to manage workplace stress is to spend time for your self and have your self relaxed in a place away from the causes of generalized anxiety.

Tom's picture
Tom 10 Jan 2012

It's up to the organisation to provide some kind of occupational health to prevent workplace stress - i.e. be proactive and not reactive. If anything, it's line managers who need training up to recognise the signs of stress - they're the ones on the front line, they should have the skills to recognise, pinpoint and then point people towards these services...