Thinking About Welfare At Work: A Look At Workplace Stress

Workplace stress is a prominent matter. With 61% of employees having suffered mental health issues due to it, businesses simply can’t neglect the issue.

But how do you actually deal with it? Thankfully there are a variety of techniques to ensure staff can effectively cope with pressure.

Here at Bright Direction Training, we’re helping to take the weight off by providing you with ways that will boost the wellbeing of employees experiencing stress at work.

How to recognise workplace stress

A key reason that this issue has become so prevalent is that people are often too busy to notice their colleagues are struggling. Plus, some indicators may not appear as excessive stress on the surface.

Regular periods of absence or sickness can be a sign of anxiety. Perhaps the reasons are symptoms which could be explained as the effects of another illness, but they might actually be triggered by workplace stress.

High staff turnover and complaints can also be a result of not tackling stress in the workplace. When stress affects your team, it affects your business and, as a result, could cause an increase in complaints from both colleagues and customers. Even if the grievances aren’t carried out formally, they can still be a signal.

In addition to this, workplace conflict can stimulate (or be provoked by) stress. Also, if you’ve noticed that a staff member’s performance has declined recently, then tension with others or pressure at work might have played a part in it.

bright direction training workplace stress

Symptoms of stress at work

Unfortunately, those experiencing workplace stress might not actually realise it. We’ve all experienced moments of strain, making it difficult to distinguish when it becomes an actual issue.

Behavioural signs can indicate that someone is struggling. If you’ve noticed a staff member is acting aggressive, frustrated or is being unreasonably impatient, then stress may be the underlying cause.

Employees suffering may also appear to have less motivation, so lack their usual creativity and come across as disinterested in their work. They may isolate themselves from the team too.

Physical symptoms of workplace stress include fatigue, muscular tension, headaches, heart palpitations and sleeping difficulties. Gastrointestinal issues can be another one, as can dermatological disorders.

As well as this, psychological signals can point to stress. Examples are feeling overwhelmed or being unable to cope, depression, anxiety, irritability or suffering cognitive issues (such as struggling to concentrate or make decisions).

How to reduce stress and conflict

Whether you’re a manager who’s become aware of a team member suffering workplace stress, or you’re experiencing it yourself, there are ways it can be lessened. Drawing on years of experience, here at Bright Direction Training, the team have identified some of the best resolutions:

Workload management can reduce pressure on your employees. This could be achieved by temporarily assigning tasks to another colleague. Goal-setting and giving clearer objectives can also help, as well as the promotion of wellbeing techniques, such as practising mindfulness.

If external factors are contributing to workplace stress, flexible working is a solution.  

For example, if someone has family commitments and their workload is putting strain on them, you could give them the chance to leave early or start late so that they will be more able to achieve a work-life balance.

Addressing conflict will achieve a harmonious environment. In these circumstances, you may need to ensure that staff are aware of what is defined as unacceptable behaviour. Make sure that each conflicting party commits to a solution and is conscious of what will happen if they don’t follow through on this. It may also require the situation to be revisited later to guarantee that it’s been resolved for all involved.

Finally, employees can reduce their own workplace stress with effective communication. Maintaining an open dialogue and reinforcing the fact that employees can approach another team member with their concerns should make this process easier.

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Managing stress in the workplace

Whether someone has had to leave a role or take a period of absence due to pressure, returning to work can be daunting.

Here at Bright Direction Training, we have a number of courses that focus on welfare at work and help get people back onto a career path by improving wellbeing. Our employability training covers many areas that help those held back in returning to work, including boosting self-esteem and developing confidence. Carried out in a relaxed atmosphere, learners benefit from our process without feeling under pressure. It’s a gentle reintroduction to the world of work and can make it easier to manage workplace stress should it arise again.

We provide training that puts the personal growth of each individual learner first, at a pace that truly suits them. And it couldn’t be easier to find out more about our courses – simply give us a call on 01204 859 859, email us at, or fill out our contact form. We’re always up for a brew at our HQ too.

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