Effects of stress upon the workforce

As many employers will know from experience, 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 increased errors.

Stress can hit anyone at any level of the business and recent research shows that work related stress is widespread and is not confined to particular sectors, jobs or industries.

Stress can lead to loss of motivation, commitment and confidence, which in turn causes late arrival and absence.

Furthermore, the Government Health and Safety Executive (HSE) states that signs of stress within a staff group can cause the following:

  • Disputes and disaffection within the group
  • Increase in staff turnover
  • Increase in complaints and grievances
  • Increased sickness absence
  • Increased reports of stress
  • Difficulty in attracting new staff
  • Poor performance
  • Customer dissatisfaction or complaints

A recent report (2011/12) by the HSE revealed that around 27.0 million working days were lost in total, 22.7 million due to work-related illness and 4.3 million due to workplace injuries.On average, each person suffering took around 17 days off work, 21 days for ill health and 7.3 days for injuries on average. Stress, depression or anxiety and musculoskeletal disorders accounted for the majority of days lost due to work-related ill health, 10.4 and 7.5 million days respectively.

A government review of sickness absence in the workplace (2011) states that employers pay billions each year in sick pay and associated costs, plus the additional costs of managing business while people are absent.

Many corporations and businesses are now encouraging their staff to take a twenty minute break to experience the de-stressing and energising benefits of onsite massage within the workplace – staff rewards, morale booster, stress-buster, brainstorm, energiser.

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