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Stress Awareness Day

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It is a problem which can affect office workers from anywhere in the country and today is the day designed to highlight the problem – it is stress.

Stress is the second biggest cause for workers to take time off, only being taken over by home and family issues.

One in six employers have stated it as the most common reason why staff are absent from work in a survey carried out by Group Risk Development (GRiD)

Despite the high number of people being affected by it, stress is preventable and taking the wellbeing of staff into consideration could have huge benefits for employers in the long run.

Katharine Moxham, spokeswoman for GRiD, said: “Stress is often overlooked as a cause of long-term absence from work, compared to acute medical conditions such as heart attack or cancer.”

More than 13 million workdays are lost every year due to stress and this has a financial as well as functional impact on companies.

Since 2009 staff have been under increased pressure to fulfil bigger workloads with less help and fewer resources as many companies feel the pinch of tighter budgets.

Department leaders and line managers should be trained to spot the early signs of stress and put initiatives in place in order to help workers cope better.

Jill Miller, adviser from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, said: “Rather than employers simply consigning themselves to this issue, there are many things they can do to help ease the pressure on employees and help them to strike the appropriate balance between their private and working lives.”

For the 13th year in a row Stress Awareness Day will see a number of events taking place throughout the country and an added emphasis on stress seen in the workplace.

Ideas and resources to help organisations run events are available on the International Stress Management Association website.