Pressure is part of work and keeps us motivated and productive. But too much pressure, or pressure that lasts for a long time, can lead to stress, which undermines performance, is costly to employers, and can damage both physical and mental health.
Common causes of work-related stress include too much or too little work, lack of control over the work being done, eg process or target-led tasks, conflicting priorities and major change. There are actions you can take to reduce the pressure these things can cause.
Where stress may be a problem, you should include it in your risk assessment and take action to tackle it.
An effective risk assessment approach to tackling stress could include the following:
HSE has also developed the Management Standards for dealing with work-related stress.They are supported by tools designed to identify and tackle stressors, ie the things that cause stress at work.
The Management Standards provide a step-by-step process for tackling stress. They have been designed to be useful to all organisations, whatever the size or type.
The Standards identify six factors that cause stress at work, help you think about whether they are present in your business, give you ideas on how to control them and produce an action plan. The six factors are: