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Can a stress-free workplace still contain stressed employees?

Stress in the workplaceCharlotte Gallagher of P3 People Management has been talking to Property Aspects Magazine about why stress should still be a concern to employers who reside over a relatively low impact, stress free workplace.

Stress may not come from work itself, but can still have huge effect on work performance, and various signs, from an increase in absence to making poor decisions, could show an employee, or indeed a workforce, is suffering.

Last year the Daily Mail reported that stress is the most common reason for a worker being signed off long-term sick, with experts calling it the ‘21st century equivalent of the Black Death’. According to the CIPD, last year also saw stress become the number one cause of work-related absence for the first time in both public and private sectors.

Charlotte Gallagher was on-hand to discuss how to handle stress in a workplace, even if the workplace itself is not the cause of the stress.

She commented: “Managers need to be consistently vigilant to the possibility of employee stress, since every individual is different in terms of coping strategies. An organisation that is free from complaints is not necessarily one in which no stress problems exist.”

Charlotte continued: “This is a possibility because few employees will admit to stress because they may feel embarrassed about it, or fear that they will be perceived by management as weak or incompetent. It’s key for managers to be educated about the common causes of workplace stress, such as over-long working hours, excessive workloads, lack of support or training, or fear of isolation.”

She concluded: “The most important thing is to create a culture that is supportive, so employees feel able to speak openly about stress, and where asking for help is not seen as a sign of weakness. Having a manager or supervisor that can support an employee means that the employee will suffer fewer negative effects. This way a supportive manager can “buffer” the impact of work stresses, as can the support of peers and colleagues.”

P3’s team of HR consultants boast a collective experience of over 55 years. Property Aspects appreciates the contribution of their Founder and Managing Director Charlotte Gallagher. For more details call 0161 941 2426 or email