As regular readers of Follow Health will probably have detected by now, one of our favourite topics is stress management. There are a number of reasons why this is the case, and they include the following:

  • Stress appears to be on the rise – and we feel that everybody has the potential to reduce stress levels, whether that’s by managing our own stress more effectively, or in a management capacity by creating reduced stress workplace wellbeing objectives
  • Stress, when unchecked, can lead to health problems
  • It’s also simply the case that stress is often an unnecessary blight on the lives of hardworking, productive people. And for that reason alone it has to be worth doing everything we can to reduce it

Interestingly – as mental health conditions generally become something that’s discussed more openly in general – there are more and more news stories on the topic. So it may seem a bit counterintuitive on the surface to see all this stress everywhere. But simply by talking about it (rather than ignoring it, bottling it up, sweeping it under the carpet – or any number of figurative little phrases like these) we’re taking taking the first important steps towards truly dealing with it.

In terms of looking at things from an employer’s perspective, there’s a lot that can be done to help reduce stress, by looking at employee engagement, drawing up a workplace wellbeing strategy – plus offering benefits such as EAPs and group medical insurance – the latter of course giving employees the peace of mind knowing that if they need any of the treatment covered, there will be greater choice in terms of when and at which location they’re seen.

Two stress stories this week from around the internet – first, from the British Psychology Society, who report on new research which indicates that “managers who pass on stress to their employees are negatively impacting the workplace as a result”. Interestingly, “favouritism and inappropriate humour” also undermine workplace wellbeing.

The second story is from a recent survey – reported in the health pages of various HR sites, which has some interesting points within its results. And one salient point that simply cannot be ignored is the survey results indicating that 48% of employees believe that stress has a negative impact on their working lives. meanwhile, people felt that 2012 was more stressful than 2011, but expected 2013 not to be as stressful as the previous two years.

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