Stress in the workplace can affect every aspect of an organisation, from absenteeism rates to interpersonal relationships. It’s vital to recognise the signs of stress as early as possible so that actions can be taken before serious stress-related illness occur. The challenge that we face when spotting stress is that everyone experiences it in different ways, which contributes to stress manifesting in very different ways.
There are many factors at work that can indicate a potential problem.
For an individual in the workplace, there will be changes; these changes can be physical, emotional, behavioural, or a combination of all three. Changes can include:
Extroverts becoming withdrawn
Becoming more accident prone
A dramatic change in weight
Of course, we all experience ‘bad days’, so we are really talking about situations where people display these negative changes for a period of time (e.g. 5 days in a row).
Looking at an organisation as a whole, there are also signs that a workforce are stressed. This can manifest itself as:
High staff turnover
Increased absenteeism and sickness levels
Long-hours work culture
Employees not taking their full holiday entitlement
Low productivity and efficiency
Recognising stress is the first step to reducing stress.