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Five tips for reducing stress in the workplace

Stress, depression and anxiety comprise 44% of work-related ill-health cases

With stress, depression and anxiety accounting for 44% of all work-related ill-health cases last year, XpertHR has published five tips for reducing employee stress.

In 2018/19, stress, depression and anxiety comprised 54% of all working days lost due to ill-health, according to the Health and Safety Executive.

The main work factors causing work-related stress, depression and anxiety are workload pressures, including tight deadlines, too much responsibility and a lack of managerial support.

Jo Stubbs, XpertHR’s head of product content strategy, said not only do organisations have a legal duty to manage the risks arising from stress, but it also makes sense from a business point of view.

“Where they take effective stress-management steps, this is likely to have a positive impact on a wide variety of areas impacting on the bottom line, including recruitment, retention, absence and employee engagement,” she added.

The guide encourages employers to tackle excessive workloads; manage working hours; provide support and training; prevent bullying; and encourage two-way communication – for example, ensuring staff are clear about what is expected of them and providing a clear route to raise workplace problems. XpertHR said managers need to be consistently vigilant to the possibility of employee stress. Often employees will not want to admit they are stressed because they may feel embarrassed or guilty or fear that they will be perceived as weak or incompetent if they do.