Why it's imperative for employers to monitor stress


April is Stress Awareness Month

Stress is something that we all experience frequently throughout life, however it’s important that we know how to manage it and to stop ourselves from getting too stressed as that’s when it can become a reason of concern and can have an impact on your day-to-day.

What is Stress?

Stress is “the body's reaction to feeling threatened or under pressure” (NHS). It’s something that we can feel often due to work pressures, deadlines, and workloads or tasks. It can also be due to reasons outside of work, but this can impact our work performance. Usually, stress will pass once whatever it is that’s causing it has stopped; it’s a very normal and common feeling.

It does however, become a problem if it’s persistent and too much. When it is too much, it can have an impact on our moods and our body; there’s both mental and physical effects and people can experience a mix of symptoms. It can be a cause of burnout, which is also a serious state of emotional and physical exhaustion.

Emotional Symptoms of Stress:

  • Irritability
  • Anger
  • Overwhelmed
  • Brain Fog
  • Worry

Physical Symptoms of Stress:

  • Stomach ache
  • Headaches
  • Skin rashes/ reactions
  • Nausea
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Chest Pains

How Does Stress Affect Employees in the Workplace?

There are various ways in which stress can affect work. It can have an impact on work performance and standards, absence levels, long-term sickness, presenteeism and business costs.

Stress can create brain fog, tiredness, and it causes a lack of concentration or focus. Tasks that usually can be done easily or well, can be feel complicated and hard to do. Work can feel a lot more difficult and if you’re experiencing symptoms of stress, both mental or physical, you may need to take time off work as short-term or long-term sickness; stress contributes towards 51% of long-term sick leave from work. For organisations, this can be really damaging and costly, so it’s imperative that businesses monitor and offer support to help employees with stress levels and their wellbeing.

Having occupational health services can help support staff through their stress and other mental health issues they’re experiencing. It’s crucial to look after staff wellbeing levels to ensure productivity, support recruitment, and success. UKIM Occupational Health & Wellbeing offer a large suite of services and wellbeing initiatives to support organisations and individuals- it benefits everyone.