Many surveys have been conducted on how stress affects the workplace. Some of the findings paint a pretty dismal picture about how much influence stress has on many aspects of work. For instance, a study in the United Kingdom estimated that up to 80% of industrial accidents could be attributed to stress. It concluded that stress could be costing the community up to $14 billion a year in lost productivity and health related costs. This is a huge amount of money that could be saved if the work environment could be made less stressful. The money saved could be used in far better ways like funding education or improving the health service. This article will discuss what makes a work environment stressful and how to make this environment stress free.
In the United Kingdom legislation is now in place whereby employers are obliged to offer stress awareness training to their employees. Even if the employee doesn’t take the training, so long as it has been offered, the companies have fulfilled their legal obligation. The intention is clear, however, that the government recognize how important it is to reduce stress in the workplace.
However, it’s not really up to the government or individual businesses when it comes to your stress in the workplace. Ultimately it is your responsibility to take action against stress. Having some formal anti-stress policies should only make it easier for you to take action.
The main causes of stress in the work environment include :
Long or difficult hours
Lack of support
Poor management communication
Poor work organization
Inadequate staff numbers and resources
Lack of recognition
Lack of training
Lack of control or input
Personal and family issues
All these issues can be grouped into three categories.
The first might be termed ‘how you do the job’.
The second might be seen as ‘how the job treats you’.
And the third relates to issues away from the job that may affect your performance at work.
If some of these issues are affecting your work and causing you undue stress then you need to take action. And this revolves around speaking up. Voice your concerns to the management. After all, the better you do your job, the better shape their company will be in. As a responsible manager they should work to reduce your stress levels. After all, that is their job.
There are many different ways you could ask for your employers help in reducing your stress, but if you make outrageous claims or demands the chances are you will receive an unfavorable reaction.
Here are some guidelines to ensure that you work together with your manager or employer to reduce stress and get the best results.
Firstly, make sure you have some solutions to the problems you are facing. Have at least two solutions that benefit both yourself and your employer. If your solutions are biased towards you then a dialog can be started around the finding a solution to the issue.
Don’t be confrontational or aggressive when discussing the issues with your employer. Approach the issue in a serious, professional way. You may find that you will be taken more seriously and treated with respect.
It is important to remember that you have as much input into your job as anyone else. Ensuring that the work is stress free is beneficial for both you and your employer. Working towards creating a stress free environment is the ultimate goal of both parties.