Stress and illness in the workplace: what can be done?

workplace-stress-006In an MORI research study, stress was found to affect almost 60% of the working population. Critically for organisations, 30% of those who have experienced significant levels of stress feel that it has lessened their commitment to their employers. Stress was also cited as having a negative effect on the health of over a third of the working population.

The effects of stress:

  • Substantially reduced efficiency and accuracy of work produced
  • Reduced performance in physical tasks
  • Negative effect on abstract planning, decision-making and creativity
  • Tiredness and irritability
  • Weakening of the immune system and the development of physical illness

Approximately 360 million working days are lost annually in the UK at a cost of £8 billion, and half of these absences are ‘stress related’.

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) states The cost of stress to your organisation may show up as high staff turnover, an increase in sickness absence, reduced work performance, poor timekeeping and more customer complaints.”

 

What can be done?

 

Boosting the health and well-being of your employees can make a huge improvement to their morale and motivation, significantly enhancing their job performance and reducing absenteeism. This can have a direct impact on the quality of service you provide to your customers.

Some countries overseas, notably Denmark, have been addressing this problem for a number of years.

Their occupational health services have been working closely with employers to provide a flexible approach to the reduction of stress and work related illness.  As part of this initiative, some firms now involve complementary therapists in the maintenance of well-being amongst their workforce.

Indian Head Massage has proved very popular in this field, and therapist are increasingly employed by companies in Denmark, and now also in the UK, with impressive results.

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