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How to tackle work-related stress

Stress at work getting too much? We have some easy tips to help you manage it.

Although extremely rewarding, running a business comes with a certain amount of stress. Whether it’s down to late payments from your supplier, or simply if you’re having a busy day, stress can eat you up and often lead to precious time off. So, it’s important to understand how to manage it.

Let's explore ways to take control of stress and turn it into ammunition for better performance.

What are the common causes of work-related stress?

Before we look at how to manage and reduce stress, we need to understand what the main causes are. In a 2012 survey, the government found there were four key triggers:

  • Workload
  • Tight deadlines
  • Too much work
  • Too much pressure or responsibility

The general practitioners network dug deeper and investigated the causes of work-related mental ill health cases between 2013 and 2015. Their research indicated that workload pressures were the overriding factor in causing stress, as well as interpersonal relationships and changes at work.

How do famous business leaders manage their stress?

For those at the head of some of the largest corporations in the world, stress management is an essential part of business success. Let’s take some advice from some of the greats in the world of business:

  • Face it head on - Jezz Bezoz: “Stress primarily comes from not taking action over something that you can have some control over,” the Amazon CEO said in an interview with Academy of Achievement. “I find as soon as I identify it, and address the situation - even if it’s not solved - the mere fact that we’re addressing it dramatically reduces any stress that might come from it.”
  • Find a quiet place - Oprah Winfrey: “I usually go to a quiet place. A bathroom cubicle works wonders. I close my eyes, turn inward, and breathe.” the media mogul wrote in her book, ‘What I Know for Sure’.
  • Take a break - Susan Wojiki: “I think it’s really important to take time off,” YouTube CEO Susan Wojicki told Today. “And I’ve also found that sometimes you get really good insights by taking time off, too.”
  • Get more sleep - Arianna Huffington: “There is that special glow after a good night’s sleep when you feel really in the zone,” she said in a 2013 interview. “You feel like, ‘Bring it on - you know I can handle anything!'”
  • Move away from your desk - Jack Dorsey: When the co-founder of Twitter and Square is stressed, he takes a moment to himself for a stroll outside.

Work-related stress in the UK: Size of the problem

If you are experiencing work-related stress, you aren’t alone. A government survey found that 526,000 workers suffered from work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2016/17. The highest average rates of stress being in industries such as, Human health and social work, Public administration and defence, and Education.

As well as looking after yourself, you also need to look after your staff. Employers with more than five employees actually have a legal duty to protect them from stress at work. So, it’s important that business owners put the right risk assessments in place, before the problem escalates.

How to recognise your employees are under too much stress

It’s a good idea to conduct regular risk assessments, to make sure your employees are coping okay. HSE have examples of risk assessment templates you can use: - Example risk assessment for a small business - Example risk assessment for a small business - Example risk assessment for a medium-sized business

How to reduce business utility stress

Business utilities are hassle you don’t need. That’s why we designed an exclusive Do It For You service. This service means you’ll get a great price at every energy and insurance renewal, without lifting a finger.

We deal with the negotiations, supplier conversations, contract and everything in between. So, you can get on with running your business and looking after your employees. Find out more on our Do It For You page.