To mark European Health and Safety week, which took place at the end of October 2014, Jenny Dawson from The McOnie Agency in the UK looks at stress in the workplace and how it can be tackled by implementing some simple measures.
A critical editorial deadline is looming and you haven’t even started drafting the copy. As well as this, you have a customer on the phone wanting you to deal with an imminent crisis that has suddenly erupted down at HQ. Might I add that you also have a new business meeting scheduled in London in an hour and you need to leave the office in five minutes to catch your train.
Are you stressed yet?
We all have those days where we take on too much, where there does not seem to be enough hours in the day to deal with all of the tasks that need to be done. Unsurprisingly, days like this place a considerable amount of strain upon individual employees and if they feel unable to cope, could result in intense feelings of anxiousness and isolation.
The HSE has identified stress as “a significant cause of staff illnesses and is linked with high levels of staff absence, staff turnover and operational errors.” It is therefore in a businesses best interest to identify and manage the issue from the outset.
Guidance on how businesses can help cope with work related stress has been developed by the HSE and can be found on http://www.hse.gov.uk/stress/standards/index.htm. The approach clearly identifies a system of work that, if implemented, will undoubtedly help prevent illnesses arising.
Stress can hit at any time and can affect anyone at any level of the business. Recent research also shows that work related stress is not confined to any particular industry or job role, therefore a worldwide understanding of the issue is urgently needed.
Because of this, managing work-related stress has been the focus of this year’s European Week for Safety and Health at Work. Taking place from 20 to 24 October, hundreds of awareness raising events have been held across Europe to mark the week. EU-OSHA and its partners are aiming to get Europe talking about stress and how we can tackle the issue together.
So let’s get involved in the discussion. Tweet us @McOnieAgency with your stress busting tips and help us play a small part in managing and preventing the build up of stress within our workplace.
Here’s a little tip from us to get you started:
- Introduce flexible working options within the workplace
Here at The McOnie Agency we work a “nine-day fortnight”, meaning we work nine days every two weeks. By working a little longer on each of our working days, we get an extra day off every second week. This flexibility improves our work life balance that in turn, helps to reduce staff stress levels. A sure win for all parties involved!