Acas launches new advice on managing stress at work

Acas has launched new advice for employers on managing stress after a third of British workers (33%) believe that their organisation is not effective at managing work-related stress.

Acas commissioned YouGov to ask employees in Britain whether they feel that their organisation is effective at managing work-related stress.

The poll also found that 34% of employees felt that their workplace was effective at managing stress and 23% neither agreed nor disagreed.

An Acas poll in March revealed that 3 out of 5 employees (63%) felt stressed due to the rising cost of living.

Acas Chief Executive, Susan Clews, said: “The cost of living is one of many causes of stress for workers. Our poll reveals that there are employers who are good at managing staff stress but a third of employees feel that their organisation is not good at handling stress at work.

“It is vitally important for employers to be able to spot and manage the signs of stress as it can lead to staff exhaustion, low morale, and reduced productivity if it is not properly managed.

“Acas has published new advice for employers that includes tips on how to spot the signs of stress, help manage it and create an environment at work where staff can openly talk about it.”

Stress can be caused by a variety of factors such as the demands of the job, relationships at work, poor working conditions, or change. Life events outside of work can also cause stress such as a bereavement in the family or financial worries over the cost of living.

Creating a positive work environment can help reduce work stress and can reap huge benefits to an organisation, such as:

  • Make employees healthier and happier at work
  • Improve performance and make employees more productive
  • Reduce absence levels
  • Reduce workplace disputes
  • Make the organisation more attractive to job seeker

Acas advice for employers on managing stress at work includes:

  • Look out for any signs of stress among staff
  • Be approachable, available and have an informal chat with staff who are feeling stressed
  • Respect confidentiality and be sensitive and supportive when talking to staff about work-related stress
  • Communicate any internal and external help available to staff such as financial advice if the cost of living is a cause of stress

The signs of stress can include:

  • Poor concentration
  • Finding it hard to make decisions
  • Being irritable or short tempered
  • Tearfulness
  • Tiredness
  • Low mood
  • Avoiding social events