How to manage stress in the workplace
Most of us won’t be able to completely remove stress from our lives as it’s part and parcel of being human. However, the level of stress we experience and how we deal with it can make the difference between coping and feeling overwhelmed.
From our research, we know that stress is one of the most common issues for those who work in the automotive industry. According to the Mental Health Foundation, 74% of the UK’s working population were so stressed last year that they felt unable to cope.
What is stress?
Stress happens when we have too much pressure in our lives. This can be from a number of different sources, such as pressures at work and home, or an event that turns from pressure to stress. When we’re stressed we don’t always think clearly or do things to help ourselves feel more relaxed.
A certain amount of stress is to be expected, but if it continues for long periods of time, it can become more serious, leading to burnout or other mental health issues.
Stress in the workplace
Stress can make us feel tired, tense and overwhelmed. The combination of physical and emotional reactions to a situation can change our normal behaviour, making us less patient, more snappy, negative or even angry. This is because stress forces our body into ‘fight, flight or freeze’ mode to prepare us to stay and deal with a threat or run away to safety.
Adrenaline starts pumping around our body, our heart beats faster and our blood pressure rises. As well as behavioural problems, other warning signs of stress among employees include issues with sleep and loss of appetite. You may also notice the levels of absence through sickness rising, productivity levels dropping, engagement decreasing and more errors being made across your teams.
What employers can do
To minimise the levels of stress in the workplace, the most important thing is to check in with employees regularly and really listen to what they are saying. All areas of our lives impact our health and wellbeing, so it’s important for employers to understand that stress at home can sometimes spill over into work and vice versa. We’re only human after all.
Ben is here for those who work or have worked in the automotive industry and their family dependants, so please let your employees know about us.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch using our free and confidential helpline: 08081 311 333 or use our webchat service at www.ben.org.uk
You can also access Ben’s out of hours text support line by texting BEN to 58258
This is an edited extract from IMI's new MotorPro magazine, received free as part of IMI membership