Managing work-related stress
Stress is defined by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) as ‘the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them’.
Some people benefit from a certain amount of pressure as it can keep them motivated. However, when there is too much pressure it can lead to stress.
Stress is not an illness, but it can affect a person’s physical and mental health.
If not properly managed, stress can cause:
· ‘burnout’ (physical and emotional exhaustion);
· Anxiety; and
Stress can increase the risk of physical illnesses. For example:
· heart disease;
· back pain;
· digestive conditions like irritable bowel syndrome; and
· skin conditions.
If an employer or employee spots signs of stress, it can be helpful to have an informal chat. This can help them understand how the person is feeling and what support they need. Getting help could prevent more serious problems.
Acas has released new guidance for employers to help them better manage employees’ and their own stress. See: Causes and signs of stress: Managing work-related stress – Acas