Understanding and dealing with Stress in the workplace

Careers Advice
Understanding and dealing with Stress in the workplace

With more people than ever spending most of their adult lives at work, isn’t it imperative that our jobs make us happy? This week is International Stress awareness week and we’re going to make the most of it by putting stress prevention at the forefront of both what we do internally for our staff, and also what we do for you.

Throughout the week we’ll be posting a series of blogs, videos and top tips around stress prevention and awareness to help make sure everyone has the information and tools they need to not only cope with stressful situations at work, but hopefully avoid stress-related issues getting out of hand.

Today we start at the beginning - why is stress at work such a big deal? With 11.7 million working days lost in 2015/16 due to stress, it’s not only compromising people’s long-term health but it’s also costing businesses billions. Luckily, a lot of research is being done into the issue, the results of which are (hopefully) starting to get businesses paying attention.

 

The stats

The results of the Mental Health Foundation's 2018 study found some worrying results.

Mental Heath Foundation Study 2018

‘Powering through Stress’ is certainly something that rings true in the recruitment industry but also in the industries we recruit for; where a certain amount of stress can be considered a good thing. It keeps us on our toes and can be a driving factor to achieve targets, meet deadlines and close those deals.

But when is enough, enough? And where does the responsibility lie for a happy healthy workplace?

 

What causes stress?

There are many contributing factors to work stress. The Health and Safety Executive suggests there are 6 main areas - demands, control, support, relationships, role, and change. For example, employees may feel that they:

  • are not able to cope with the demands of their jobs
  • are unable to control the way they do their work
  • don’t receive enough information and support
  • are having trouble with relationships at work, or are being bullied
  • don’t fully understand their role and responsibilities
  • are not engaged when a business is undergoing change

 

But it’s important to understand that stress affects everyone in different ways – an issue that one person finds stressful may not affect their colleague. Skills, experience, age or disability (not to mention external influences from personal lives) may all affect how an employee deals with and reacts to certain stresses.

So – who takes responsibility? Whilst the employer must implement healthy practices within the business, and garner openness and good communication, we must make sure that staff look after themselves and recognise when to speak up if stress is creeping in.

To address these topics, this week we’ll be  sharing our top stress-busting tips including:

  • Tips on how to balance stress at work
  • How to avoid getting stressed in job interviews
  • How to get the right work/life balance in demanding industries
  • Stressbusting lunchtime activities

 

So, keep popping back and we look forward to hearing your thoughts throughout the week.

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