Stress is an inevitable by-product of any working environment. On a daily basis employees experience stress from a whole host of workplace activities and stressors such as impending deadlines, lapses in communication and workload pressure. For the most part, a little stress can be good as it encourages us to perform at our optimum capacity, however when the levels of stress reach critical status it can have a negative effect on productivity, whilst also increasing levels of employee sickness and absences. Despite the fact that stress affects each individual differently, continued high levels of stress can have a serious impact on the physical and emotional health of your employees, in some instances leading to cases of high blood pressure, anxiety and depression. Therefore, it is extremely important for you, as the employer to tackle stress in the workplace head on by taking the necessary measures to effectively reduce the levels of stress employees feel. Within a busy office environment, stress often occurs as a result of situations that fall beyond the employees’ control, for example a deadline being pushed forward. In this instance, employees tend to adopt a frantic approach to their work in order to everything done at once. This is an unachievable task even for the most adept professional. Employers should encourage their staff to focus on the aspects of the situation they can control by creating a to-do list, which prioritises their workload and helps them complete their tasks in the required time, without becoming overwhelmed. Another key measure to help reduce employee stress is communication. Rather than opting for a culture of silence, employers should welcome open dialogue amongst staff and their management. Something as simple as talking enables employees to share any issues they are facing, allowing you, as the employer to address any problems you may have missed. Organising regular meetings is great way to provide your staff with the opportunity to bring to light any problems, whilst finding solutions that may make the workplace more productive and efficient. Finally, work should not just be a task orientated environment, but a place that encourages social interaction. For the most part, we enjoy our jobs, but the long working day can often leave us exhausted. Employers should consider creating a work hard, play hard atmosphere by organising regular activities for your workforce for example team lunches. Incorporating social aspects into the work environment will help establish a sense of community, encouraging employees to foster a greater working relationship with their colleagues, thus reducing their levels of stress. Workplace stress can negatively impact the productivity and growth of any business. Taking steps to counteract its effects and create a more positive work environment, will not only increase employees’ levels of job satisfaction and wellbeing, but will also help your business run more efficiently moving forward. For further clarification on this issue please contact Health Assured on 0808 278 0734.