The 6 causes of work-related stress

In my last blog, we looked at the signs of work-related stress, but what are the causes?

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) outlines six areas which can cause stress in the workplace:
Health & Safety Executive. 2019. Work-related stress and how to manage it. http://www.hse.gov.uk/stress/what-to-do.htm.

  • Demands
  • Control
  • Support
  • Relationships
  • Role
  • Change

Let’s look at these in more detail…

Demands
What are the demands of your job or your employer?  Are they unrealistic?
Do you have skills and experience to carry out your job?

Control
How much control do you have over the work you do?
Are you allowed to manage your own workload or is it dictated to you?
Are you able to choose when to take a break or have a say in your working pattern?
Are you given an input into any decisions that are made about your job?

Support
Do you receive adequate training and support to carry out your job?
Do you receive support and constructive input at an annual appraisal?
Do you receive support and understanding regarding any problems outside of work which could affect your ability to do your job?

Relationships
Can you communicate openly and honestly with your manager and other employers?
Are there opportunities for social interaction with your colleagues, or, if you work alone, are you given sufficient support to avoid feeling isolated?
Are you being bullied or harassed by your manager or any of your colleagues?

Role
Do you have a clear outline of what your job involves (e.g. a job description or work objectives)?
Were you given a comprehensive induction when you joined the organisation or changed roles within it?
Does your role mean you have to deal with competing demands?

Change
Has something changed within your job or organisation that you’re not comfortable with?
Were you involved in the planning process of any potential changes?
Have any changes been explained to you properly? 

Quite a list, eh?!

So, you’ve recognised that you have signs of work-related stress, and hopefully you are now able to identify exactly what it is about your job that is causing you to feel stressed, so you’re now well on your way to do something about it.

Maybe you can already see where changes can be made to reduce your stress levels, but we’ll start looking at possible ways to reduce work-related stress in the next blog.

Feel free to add any comments about what you’ve learned, or you can send me a message on my contact me page.

Take care,
Becky

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