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Improve Mental Health in the Workplace

January 30, 2019

Improve Mental Health in the Workplace

In 2010-2011 and 2014-2015, there were up to 91% workers’ compensation claims linked to work related stress or mental stress. With statistics like these, it’s clear that it is a growing problem in businesses all around the world, not only impacting the mental health of workers, but also the productivity of organisations.

As with any issue, prevention is the best solution. It will stop the issues from becoming too serious and causing major difficulties later on.

Causes of work related stress include:

  • Long hours
  • Heavy workloads
  • Tight deadlines
  • Changes in duties
  • Job insecurity
  • Lack of autonomy
  • Unfulfilling/boring work
  • Over-supervision/mico-management
  • Insufficient skills
  • Lack of proper resources
  • Lack of equipment
  • Harassment
  • Discrimination
  • Poor relationship with colleagues
  • Few promotional opportunities


clock on blackboard


How to identify stress:

  • Erratic behaviour
  • Not getting things done
  • Emotional response
  • Complaints of lack of managerial support
  • Withdrawn from colleagues
  • Complaints of not coping with workload
  • Reduced participation in workplace activities
  • Increased consumption of alcohol, cigarettes, caffeine or sedatives
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Indecisive
  • Loss of confidence
  • Unplanned absences
  • Increased errors/accidents
  • Use of grievance procedures
  • Conflicts with team members/managers
man and woman in cafe arguing

Physiological symptoms:

  • Headaches
  • Tired all the time
  • Look run down
  • Rashes
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Reduced reaction time
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Musculoskeletal complaints
  • Persistent gastrointestinal problems

Man head in hands stressed

What can you ask your staff when you’re noticing these signs?

“I noticed you’ve been looking a little run down lately. Is there anything you want to talk about, or anything we can do to help?”

“I’ve noticed you’ve been absent from work more than usual. Is there anything going on that you would like to speak about?”

“Is there any support we can offer?”


two men talking in office


What can you do to reduce work related stress?

Learn more about how to improve employee morale by clicking here.

Workplace stress is costing the Australian economy up to $14.8 billion dollars every year. While there are ‘healthy’ types of stress that can drive productivity without negative impacts, if you don’t pay attention, the negative types of stress can drive your productivity down a lot. When statistics are paired with the fact that your happiest & least stressed employee can be up to 3 times more productive than the ones on the opposite end of the spectrum, it’s probably time to consider what you can do to help alleviate stress in your workplace.

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