After reading a quite saddening article yesterday which stated 1 in 5 workers are skeptical about whether someone with 'stress' is actually ill enough to be off work I decided to do something proactive and write a blog post. Hopefully this goes some way to help the 20% understand - stress is real, prolonged stress causes illness, and anyone experiencing the debilitating effects of stress is definitely entitled to some time off work.
Stress is defined as:
"The adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand, or a situation where demands on a person exceed that person's resources or ability to cope". (HSE, 2004)
When you feel rough, or down are you the best version of yourself or are you a half-version who just about bumbles through the day?
My guess is it's the latter - and there is no shame in this, let's just stop the double standards.
It's also time to stop for just one minute and really digest everything you have just read. If you're employees are struggling with stress, and having difficulties with things like thinking, sleeping, low energy, severe physical/mental health difficulties or inappropriate behaviour/emotional reactions - what is that doing to your business?
When our employees are struggling with stress the business suffers - FACT! Most notably:
3. get to know your employees - briefly cast your mind back to the 'effects on the employee section of the blog', all these signs are clearly noticeable if we know our employees. You cannot begin to recognise behaviour changes if you are not aware of how someone behaves... Go on have a cup of tea or coffee with your team and find out what they're really like. You may even find you like them!
4. ban emails between 10:30 & 3:30 - yes email is a fantastic tool for contacting people long distance, or sending over important pieces of information but haven't you noticed most of your emails are e-newsletters, one line (often annoying) questions and other random bits that seem to perpetually fill your inbox? The amount of time wasted each day, week month and year simply sifting through all the random e-junk is quite staggering. The other thing - someone who is struggling with stress is far more likely to focus on 'clearing their emails' than tackling that difficult job which really needs doing.
Obviously there is much more you can do than these four little things but it's a start!
Have a great day & I'll catch you soon.
p.s if you're stressed out at work then grab the free 'survive your 9-5' mini guide by clicking the link below & truly start to take back control