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Whilst many UK employees are happy and relaxed at work, nearly a fifth still struggle with stress.

Health and well-being at work has moved up the agenda for many employers over recent years. We’re seeing increasing evidence of organisations understanding the impact poor well-being can have, not only on their employees, but on wider organisational productivity, turnover and engagement.

Thankfully, we’re witnessing more openness around mental health – encouraged further by initiatives such as Mind’s Heads Together campaign – which aims to lift the stigma and help employees reach out if they are struggling.

There are several reasons why employees might be stressed at work, the most common being workload. Indeed, nearly two-fifths of employees (38%) the CIPD surveyed said they were under excessive pressure at work at least once a week. Although this figure has remained stable over the last few surveys and hasn’t increased, it also hasn’t decreased, and remains even higher for those in the public sector (48% of employees). Similarly, almost a third of employees (31%) say they often or always come home from work exhausted.

However, stress isn’t always work related and it is important to identify this.

One of the challenges for employers and line managers is that stress isn’t always visible, so any action taken to resolve it tends to be more reactive than proactive. But prevention is better than cure, and if organisations can put in place measures to monitor and alleviate stress at work before it develops into more serious issues, they can expect generally happier, healthier and more productive employees.

Whilst there are many measures that can be put in place to help individuals suffering with stress, there are actions employers can take to prevent stress from developing in the first place.

The Tess Group offer a variety of bespoke and tailor-made wellbeing training programmes for employees. Through thorough needs analysis, questionnaires (which are private and confidential) and further quizzes, The Tess Group work with businesses to ensure their employees are happy and healthy at work and know that their employer genuinely cares.

For more information on these offerings, contact Faye Moore on faye.moore@thetessgroup.com

Overall, managing stress at work is down to good communication and effective response. Whilst measures such as flexible working and job sharing can help those with too much on their plate, employees need to feel that they can reach out for help in the first place, and the key to that is cultivating an open and safe environment, with line managers well-equipped to have those sometimes-difficult conversations. With more proactive actions around stress at work, and organisations regularly reviewing and revising what their employees need, there’s no reason why cheerfulness and optimism shouldn’t remain at the top of the leader board for UK organisations.

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