Work related stress

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Definition - What is stress?

"The adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them"

Stress is not an illness but if it becomes excessive and/or prolonged, mental and physical illness may develop. Work is generally good for people if it is well designed, but it can also be a great source of pressure. Pressure can be positive and a motivating factor, it can help us achieve our goals and perform better. Stress is a natural reaction when this pressure becomes excessive.

Are you stressed?

Stress produces a range of signs and symptoms, the following is not an exhaustive list of the symptoms of stress but if you feel that your attitudes or behaviour is changing due a situation at work or home, these may indicate stress and a need to seek further advice from your GP.

Anyone can suffer from work related stress, no matter what work they do.

Well-designed, organised and managed work is good for us but when insufficient attention to job design, work organisation and management has taken place, it can result in Work related stress. Work related stress develops because a person is unable to cope with the demands being placed on them. Stress, including work related stress, can be a significant cause of illness and is known to be linked with high levels of sickness absence, staff turnover and other issues such as more errors.

Stress can be an unnoticed and gradual build-up of the many pressures experienced in work, at home and in everyday life. Most people are able to cope with the big issues in life and can find them exciting but for some they are too demanding or combined with everything else going on, they can become overwhelming, resulting in stress. Stress effects people in different ways that can either be dealt with or if not spotted or understood, or adequately tackled lead to more problems both physical and mental.

Phoenix quote: Stress is a difficult issue to deal with as everyone handles pressure in a different way. Personal issues can also affect the workplace, as people can arrive at work already under pressure from home life pressure. There are however actions that an employer can take, including clear policies, stress assessments and training for employees.

Training for stress awareness can be found at http://www.phoenixhsc.co.uk/e-learning-courses/stress-awareness

More information on work related stress can be found at www.hse.gov.uk/stress