Stress in the workplace

Recognising Workplace Stress (2016)

Stress in the workplace can affect every aspect of an organisation, from rates of absence to working relationships.

Recognising the signs of stress as early as possible will allow action to be taken before serious stress-related illness occur.

There are many factors at work that can indicate a potential problem. For an individual in the workplace, there will be changes which can include:

  • Extroverts becoming withdrawn
  • Becoming more accident prone
  • Becoming short-tempered
  • A dramatic change in weight

We all experience 'bad days', but a week or more of 'bad days' could indicate a potential problem.

Signs that your workforce are stressed can be:

  • High staff turnover
  • Increased absenteeism and sickness levels
  • Long-hours work culture
  • Employees not taking their full holiday entitlement
  • Low productivity and efficiency


Teachers, nurses, housing, welfare officers and other public sector workers, along with some professional and managerial groups, all have high prevalence rates of self-reported work-related stress, according to the latest UK Labour Force Study.


In the UK on average

13.5 million - Total number of working days lost due to work-related stress in the UK
30.6 - estimated number of days off work taken by each employee suffering from stress
£530 million - cost to the British economy each year of work-related stress, depression and anxiety
237,000- number of workers who reported new cases of work related stress in the UK 


From the Health and Safety Inspectorate

Work Related Stress - Information for Employees

Work Related Stress - Information for Employers 

From the UK HSE website

Work Related Stress - together we can tackle it

What is Stress?

Work Related Stress resouces on the UK HSE website