The Labour Force Survey reports that in 2013/14
- The total number of cases of work-related stress, depression or anxiety was 487 000 (39%) out of a total of 1 241 000 cases for all work-related illnesses, and
- The number of new cases of work-related stress, depression or anxiety was 244 000.
- Resulting in a total of 11.3 million working days lost over 2013/14
The HSE define work-related stress, depression and anxiety as ‘a harmful reaction people have to undue pressures and demands placed on them at work’ which can include not just the workload itself but also changes at work and interpersonal relationships.
In my experience the additional stressors I have noticed include hot desking, especially where bits of equipment don’t work properly, job insecurity, lack of recognition from management, difficult to achieve deadlines and no time to even stop for lunch.
Recently I was on a business course and we were told that employees were happiest when they were working at 80-85% of capacity, busy but not frantic.
- So what changes can be made to make sure that you’re happy at work this year?
Why not start with the things you can control.
- Make sure your workstation, chair, laptop etc are set up correctly for you. If you’re hot desking ensure you make the changes at the start of the day so you’re comfortable all day. If you need any help on what to do check out my new website ergonomics at the physio place. If you need extra equipment make sure you have it available and that it works well for you.
- Factor in a break from your desk every hour, even if you’re just standing up.
- Try varying the jobs you need to do throughout the day
- Make sure you take a lunch break. So many people eat something at their desk and continue working or ‘googling’. Continuing with the same posture and tasks throughout the day is a know contributor to aches and pains.
- Take regular exercise even if it’s just a short walk. A change of scene together with some exercise will help recharge you and help with your circulation too
- If you’re struggling with your workload it’s unrealistic you need to speak up, your manager may not be aware that you’re struggling.
I appreciate that actioning these things can seem like a mountain to climb but why not try adding in a couple of these suggestions each week and by the end of the month you might be feeling like you’re back in the driving seat.