How promoting well-being in the workplace can cut lost days for businesses


Friday 12 April 2019



With April being Stress Awareness Month - there is emphasis on how promoting well-being and a positive working environment can help cut the £5 billion a year lost through absence.

Stress Awareness Month has been marked in the UK since 1992, when health care professionals and health promotion experts across the country join forces to increase public awareness about both the causes and cures for this modern stress epidemic.

According to research, over 11 million days are lost at work each year because of stress at work; with absence in the workplace currently costing the country over £5 billion annually.

Peterborough-based recruitment agency Anne Corder Recruitment has some advice for businesses.

Karen Dykes, recruitment partner, said: “As well as affecting individuals, their families and colleagues by impacting on their health, stress in the workplace impacts on employers with costs relating to sickness absence, replacement staff, lost production and increased accidents.

“Employers do, however, have a legal duty to protect their workers from stress in the workplace by carrying out a risk assessment and acting on it.”

Stress can be triggered by so many different factors, but industry figures estimate approximately three to five UK workers consider their workloads to be excessive, often with daily struggles to meet deadlines.

Karen added: “People also bring home-related stress into the workplace. Although employers are not legally responsible for stress that originates in the home, well-managed organisations will have arrangements that allow them to address it.

“This might include such things as access to counselling services and tweaking or changing working hours.”

Some tips and advice for businesses on addressing, and measures to prevent, stress in the workplace:
- A regular delivery of fresh fruit
- Supplement yoga, gym or mindfulness classes
- Encourage cycle to work initiatives with rewards for a more active commute
- Introduce flexible working arrangements or remote/home-based working.

“Many senior leadership teams have asked for the input of workers to find out what methods would be most effective in reducing stress. Collaborative project teams can prove to be an effective intermediary to hear the issues faced and consider suggestions of stress relieving initiatives that work best for everyone,” added Karen.

There are more details from the HSE website at www.hse.gov.uk/stress/.