Stress Awareness Month

Why do you think there has been such an increase in searches around work-related stress over the last year?

The way in which people work changed as a result of covid, which for some had a positive impact on finding a greater work life balance. In recent months, there has been a slow shift back to pre-pandemic ways of working such as returning to working in the office. This coupled with a general increase in workloads and reduction in workforces has had a negative effect on many employee’s mental health and stress at work.

Others, however, may still be feeling the negative impacts of the changes the pandemic brought about which may only be manifesting themselves now.

What are common causes of stress in the workplace?

Common causes of stress in the workplace can include overworking or too much work which leads to burnout. Stressors can also include:

Job insecurityJob dissatisfactionConflict with colleagues

Given the uncertainty and economic challenges that are constantly being talked of now, it is not surprising that people are suffering from stress.

What should employers be doing to manage stress in the workplace? It would be great to have your top five tips on reducing stress in the workplace.

The top five tips for employers managing stress in the workplace are:

Managers need to learn to recognise stress in themselves otherwise they will not be in a position to help othersEmployers can look to provide flexible working options to accommodate individual’s needs.Provide wellbeing initiatives or employees assistance programmes – make them what employees need or want.Provide stress management training for employees.Encourage open conversation in the workplace about how employees are feeling and ensure that open communication is encouraged and supported. 

What can employees do if their workplace is causing them too much stress? It would be good to have your top 5 tips on what to do as an employee if you’re stressed

Talk openly and honestly to your line manager about what is causing you stress to see if you can find a way to reduce your stress at work.Prioritise and organise your work. Having too many things on at once can cause people to become overwhelmed and stressed.Take time for yourself – Step away from your work, talk to other people before returning to the task at handEngage with the employee assistance programmes if on offerLearn what your stressors are to be able to address them

Can employers refuse or appeal against someone being signed off sick (with stress)? What are the employee rights around this?

Fit notes are not binding on the employer but in the absence of compelling medical evidence to the contrary, should be adhered to by employers. Seeking specialist guidance, for example from an occupational health perspective, can also be beneficial to guiding employers and providing suggested ways forward.

Do you think the recent improvements in AI technology could reduce stress at work in the future?

Recent improvements in AI technology do have the potential to reduce stress at work but this can only be achieved if the technology is embraced and utilised in such a way to assist with working.

There is an overwhelming concern amongst the population that AI technology will replace the need for individuals in certain jobs, which may, however, create concern and stress. Having the skills and adaptability to embrace changes in technology is likely to be significantly beneficial to individuals.

The post Stress Awareness Month appeared first on HR News.

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