How To Manage Stress In The Workplace

21st May 2024

a-time-to-unwind-young-professional-taking-a-break-at-the-desk-in-their-office-SBI-322087977 (1).jpg According to the Mental Health Foundation, 14.7% off people experience mental health problems in the workplace and evidence suggests that 12.7% of all sickness absence days in the UK can be attributed to mental health conditions. 

Our working environment can have a big impact on our mental health and could affect performing well in our daily tasks. That’s why, here at Skipton Business Finance, we take mental health seriously and always try to encourage a good work-life balance. We currently have 44 Mental Health First Aiders across the Society, which helps increase mental health interventions and create an environment where colleagues feel supported and more aware of the resources available.

When people are feeling stressed or burned out, their performance and interactions with colleagues could suffer, so it’s crucial to learn how to manage these sorts of situations and try to minimise some of the key triggers for workplace stress.

In this guide we are going to read about how you can recognise signs of stress, a few ways to combat stress at work and how to ask for help if you think you’re suffering from mental health difficulties.


Signs of stress

Here are some general signs that could indicate someone might be suffering from stress or mental health problems.

- Work performance: You might be able to recognise if someone is experiencing stress by their sudden inconsistent performance, loss of motivation and continuous errors even if the work has been explained multiple times. 

- Change in behaviour: If a person suddenly changes their behaviour towards their colleagues or managers this could also be a sign that they might be struggling with stress. These can include irritability, overreacting to problems, criticizing other people, difficulty in relaxing and constant tiredness.

- Withdrawal: Arriving late to work, absenteeism, missing deadlines and a lack of socialising with others could also mean that a person might be struggling and therefore not wanting to talk to their colleagues and isolating themselves.


How To Cope With Stress At Work

The Workplace Health Report revealed how UK professionals are impacted by stress and in 2023 the most common self-reported stress level is moderate at 34%, followed by moderate-to-high at 26%. It’s also important to understand that work-related stress doesn’t just disappear when you head home for the day, it can take a toll on your health and happiness if it persists and it’s not addressed. 

Any job can have stressful elements, even if you love what you do, therefore if you’ve recognised signs of stress, don’t worry, you don’t have to go through these alone. Here are some solutions you can try to help improve the situation:

1. Understand about stress and mental health: It’s fundamental to recognise the signs of stress and educate ourselves on how to combat these feelings.

2. Determine what you find stressful: Sit down and map out what causes you stress. Once you know, talk to your employer. They may be able to help you make changes on how you work and your workload and recommend you speak to one of our Mental Health First Aiders.

3. Take time to recharge: It’s very important to take time off to relax and ‘switch off’, especially to avoid the negative effects of chronic stress and burnout. If you’re not able to take time off, step away from your laptop and work phone throughout the day to see if that helps.

4. Connect with people: A good support network of colleagues, friends and family can help you through your work troubles and help you see things in a different way. Opinions and advice from trustworthy people are always very helpful.

5. Get support: Every business should be equipped to handle people suffering with stress or mental health problems. Here at Skipton Business Finance, we have 44 fully trained Mental Health First Aiders, you will be able to find the list of these people on the SharePoint of the Society. Find out who you can speak to now.


Mental Health First Aiders

Over 40 colleagues at Skipton have been trained as Mental Health First Aiders. If you, or someone you’re concerned about, are feeling under pressure, stress, or experiencing mental health difficulties, there’s someone you can talk to. Mental Health First Aiders are a point of contact. They are not therapists, but they can give you initial support and signpost you to appropriate help if required. 

Remember that you are not alone and someone will always be available to talk you through the next steps. Everyone has either experienced stress first hand or knows someone who has, however not everyone knows that there is help available. By following the advice above, we hope to shed light on this sometimes difficult but very important aspect of working life at Skipton.