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Preventing Workplace Stress

Date: 5 May 2015

Here’s Prof Mowbray’s checklist of the steps needed to create and sustain a psychologically healthy, positive working environment and prevent work-related stress:

  • Define the role leaders and managers have in the prevention of stress;
  • Clarify the behaviours that prevent stress at work;
  • Get the Board and top team on board;
  • Create an appropriate strategy for change;
  • Introduce psychological responsibility for self and others;
  • Share responsibility for the future success of the organisation throughout the organisation;
  • Create a culture of wellbeing and performance;
  • Encourage adaptive leadership;
  • Make the working environment one that encourages and supports optimum performance;
  • Build resilience within the workforce.

The focus is on leaders and managers. It is they who have the capability and capacity to make the organisational and environmental changes necessary to achieve a stress free environment in which the workforce can flourish.


The creation of such an environment will have a profound impact on achieving optimum performance.


Health, wellbeing and productivity in the workplace

In the United Kingdom during 2013–2014 an estimated 1.2 million people who worked during the last
year were suffering from an illness (long-standing as well as new cases) they believed was caused or made worse by their current or past work. Half a million of these appear to be new conditions which started during the year. 


Health, wellbeing and productivity in the workplace
A Britain’s Healthiest Company summary report
Marco Hafner, Christian van Stolk, Catherine Saunders, Joachim Krapels and Ben Baruch

Top tip! No hiding from work email for employees

Companies need to set clear policies on acceptable use of work email, as well as regarding when to switch off - employees need to know it is OK to let work email that arrived after hours wait until the morning.

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