09 January 2013

How can you reduce workplace stress?

According to research almost 30% of adults are stressed due to work-related issues, so what can you do to reduce their stress burden?

A new year can always bring new levels of stress, especially returning to work after an enjoyable Christmas break.

According to research published by the Mental Health Foundation:

  • 59% of British adults say that life is more stressful than it was five years ago
  • 28% said that work-related issues are causing them stress
  • 26% said money was a cause of stress for them

With this in mind, businesses could consider staff wellbeing to ensure they are doing all they can to eradicate stress from the workplace.

Pay and play

Here are a couple of suggestions for things to help your staff keep their cool:

  • With a new year bringing travel-cost increases and the ongoing rise in inflation, are you helping your staff to manage? Look at your pay levels if you can – if not, what non-pay benefits could they benefit from?
  • Workloads can have a strong bearing on whether people feel stressed in their job – do you monitor levels of work and give support where it’s needed?
  • Make sure staff have enough time away from their office environment. Do you encourage your staff to take breaks or exercise? What about socialising with each other outside of work? Some companies have introduced things like fruit boxes to help support the wellbeing of their staff.


Andrew McCulloch, chief executive of the Mental Health Foundation, explained that staff wellbeing is essential in times of economic problems.

“Unmanaged, stress can develop into serious mental health problems, such as depression, as well as increasing the risk of physical illness such as heart disease,” he explained.

“The results of our survey suggest that too many of us still aren’t making managing stress a priority. It’s important to recognise the symptoms of stress early. Recognising the signs and symptoms of stress will help you figure out ways of coping and save you from adopting unhealthy coping methods, such as drinking or smoking.”

Stress can prove costly to businesses costly – through a rise in sick pay – and in terms of productivity, while also hurting the lives of employees. Reassessing employee wellbeing now will deliver a more positive future.