Guide

How to deal with stress

Seven key ways to manage stress at work

Work-related stress can cause major problems in a business. It could reduce productivity, lead to sickness absence and increase staff turnover. You have a legal duty to ensure that your employees aren’t made ill by their work, including stress-related illness.

Dealing with stress helps to ensure the wellbeing of your employees and yourself. Follow these tips to effectively manage stress.

1. Carry out a workplace stress audit to find out if stress is a problem for your business. This can involve a questionnaire or talking informally to employees.

2. Look out for the signs of workplace stress. This can include irritability, increased sick leave and reduced quality of work.

3. Help staff prioritise their workloads, and set realistic targets. Make sure that no employee feels they have too much or too little responsibility.

4. Make sure that staff take their holiday entitlement. See know how much holiday to give your staff.

5. Where possible give employees more control - allow them to plan their work schedule and decide how to tackle problems.

6. Be sympathetic when employees are suffering from personal-life stress such as an illness in the family or a bereavement. Offering flexible working arrangements can help. See time off for personal commitments and emergencies.

7. As an owner-manager or self-employed person, it is important to manage your own stress. You can try practising relaxation techniques, living a healthy lifestyle and avoid regularly working long hours.