Facts About Stress

How stress affects your employees and your business:

STRESS results in…

✔ Poor concentration
✔ High absenteeism
✔ Ineffective decision-making
✔ High error rates
✔ Low motivation
✔ Bad morale
✔ A hostile work climate
✔ High staff turnover
✔ Impaired communication skills
✔ Increased smoking, drinking and drug-taking (including pain medication and anti-depressants)
✔ Poor time-keeping

Our modern business environment is causing unprecedented levels of stress-related illness.
Employee professionalism suffers when negatively stressed, which affects both staff and clients.

It is the company’s responsibility to reduce levels of stress among workers.
Companies need to change working practices to cope with rising mental health problems and costs attributed to pressure of work and increased productivity demands. Take preventative measures now in order to achieve Government targets aimed at reducing work-related stress and illness costs.
Changes in company working practices and more open attitudes towards stress and mental illness may forestall the enormous increase in stress-related problems predicted in industrialised countries.

Could offering employees massage in the office save employers 24 days off sick per person per year? HSE 2012: The latest Health and Safety Executive (HSE) figures show that in the UK stress is the second most commonly reported condition in self-reported work-related illnesses. An estimated 428,000 workers in 2011/12 suffered from stress due to their current or past employment and on average each person took an estimated 24 days off work. It is also estimated that 10.4 million working days were lost in 2011/12 due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety.

Effects of Stress on Individuals:

Emotional effects

✔ Anxiety
✔ Anger
✔ Depression
✔ Increased irritability
✔ Negative attitude
✔ Paranoia

Physical symptoms

✔ Fatigue
✔ Backache
✔ Headache
✔ Migraine
✔ High blood pressure
✔ Accident prone-ness
✔ Asthma

All this has a negative effect on staff and customers and can lead to major human resource problems. Employer liability for employee well-being is becoming ever more clearly defined and organizations are well advised to recognize the need to proactively reduce stress at work.

The reactions produced by stress originated in response to danger, with adrenaline production preparing you for ‘fight or flight’. However fear, anger and frustration encourage a negative stress reaction. The adrenaline produced is not used for flight or flight and instead remains harmfully in the body where it can be converted to cholesterol.

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) predicts a dramatic increase in depression and stress over the next few years. In UK, studies have found that 30% employees suffer stress-related mental problems each year and an ‘alarming’ increase in incidence of depression, now 2nd only to heart disease in disabling workers. Incidences of mental, neurological and behavioural disorders are rising so fast that they will shortly overtake road accidents, AIDS and violence as the primary cause of work years lost due to premature death or disability. It has been found that job stress can be as bad for health as smoking.

HSE 2009 – 2010: The Health and Safety Executive estimated that in 2009-10, 23.4 million working days were lost due to work-related ill health. Musculoskeletal disorders and stress were the most commonly reported illnesses. With this is mind, forward-thinking employers are seeking out new ways to keep their staff healthy and motivated.

HSE 1999: The Institute Of Management estimated that 270,000 workers take time off work EACH DAY because of work-related illness. That is an annual UK employment cost of 7 billion pounds and is rising all the time. The Health and Safety Executive has concluded that:
✔ Work-related stress is a serious problem
✔ Work related stress is a health and safety issue
✔ That it can be tackled in part through the application of health and safety legislation.

H&SE has therefore instigated a 10 yr programme aimed at reducing work-related stress and associated problems. Organisations with 5+ employees must undertake stress risk assessments. Government targets include:
✔ Reducing the number of working days lost from work-related injury and ill-health by 30% by 2010.
✔ Reduce incidence of people suffering from work-related illhealth by 20% by 2010.
✔ World Health Organisation (WHO)
✔ World Federation for Mental Health