As we approach mental health awareness week, there is no better time to reflect on your current workplace practice of dealing with stress and mental health.

What is work-related stress?

Stress is the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or demands placed upon them. If sustained over a period of time, it can lead to mental and/or physical illness.

The main causes include workload demand, how much control someone has over their job, lack of support available, and negative relationships.

Stress may present itself in any form that is uncharacteristic to the employee, such as a decline in work performance, an increased emotional state, difficulty relaxing, withdrawal from social contact at work, aggressive behaviour, or a number of other physical signs.

Stress and poor mental health is a huge cause of long-term absence from work. Long-term absences can have a negative impact on other members of the team and the business as a whole. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent and reduce stress at work.

Guidance for manager’s on preventing and reducing stress at work

A manager can cause, exacerbate or reduce workplace stress depending on how they deal with their employees. Good managers will have a proactive approach and aim to prevent a problem or intervene early before it becomes significant or an employee goes on sick leave.

Some tips for managing employees’ stress:

  • Get to know your team. Nurture an open and supportive workplace culture so that employees feel able to seek support when they are stressed.
  • Review workloads, duties and responsibilities. If necessary, conduct a stress-risk assessment to identify and eliminate sources of stress.
  • Ensure employees have access to any training and resources they feel will support them in doing the best they can in their roles.
  • Accommodate flexible working requests where possible as they may alleviate stressors outside of work and allow employees to be more focussed and relaxed during work time.
  • Check in on the mental health of employees who are home working with regular catch ups.
  • Have an up-to-date ‘Stress and mental wellbeing at work’ policy which signposts available support.

If you feel that your workplace would benefit from further advice or policies in the prevention and management of workplace stress, please do get in touch with a member of the Employment team at Gorvins on 0161 930 5151 or email or complete the online contact form.

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