Stress in the workplace

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), stress, depression and anxiety were the main factors for time off work in 2017/18, equating to 15.4 million working days lost.

Stress at work can be caused by a number of factors and everyone’s reaction, or coping mechanism for stress, is different. That’s why, for an employer, it can be difficult to know when an employee is feeling stressed or be in a position to read the warning signs.

Therefore, employers should always be as proactive as possible in considering the factors that could cause ill health due to stress. For example, are the team dealing with an unusually large or unmanageable workload? Have there been any changes to work or the working environment that could lead to stress?  Employers who are able to identify risks early on could reduce the amount of time that employees take off sick.

One way to help avoid stress is for employers to encourage employees to have a good work/life balance. According to a recent article by HR Director magazine, flexible working was named as one of the top ten factors that play a key part in workplace happiness. The survey revealed that flexible working made employees happier than annual leave allowance and financial-based rewards, which came seventh and tenth on the list respectively.

If you would like advice relating to your place of work, or you are an employer looking for more information regarding a Stress at work policy please contact the Employment team at Downs Solicitors to see how we can help.