Work Place Stress is Rising – And It’s Going to Get Worse

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With public sector cuts and a double dip recession looming, a leading management consultancy predicts rises in work place stress, which will be bad for employees and expensive for employers. Help is at hand though with some advice for employers.

A UK management consultancy with an international reputation for supporting leaders through difficult times, is warning that that not only has the recession left many employees with high levels of stress, but in areas such as the North East, likely to be badly affected by Government cuts, the situation is only going to get worse. Durham based Protostar Leadership Development has produced a free 8 page booklet for employers to give to their staff, as a small step towards addressing work place stress. The booklet called “Let’s Talk About Stress” covers topics such as how to identify if someone is suffering from stress, practical steps to avoid or reduce it and a list of resources that employees can use to help themselves.

Michael Coates, Managing Director of Protostar said “Over 13.5 million work days are lost each year in the UK, due to staff being off with stress and the situation is getting worse. In addition, the financial penalties for employers who do not meet their legal obligation to protect their staff against stress, are rocketing.”

A recent report by the Health and Safety Executive stated that stress can cause a variety of serious medical conditions including, heart attacks, lowered immunity, ulcers and increased chance of miscarriage. Michael Coates pointed out that “Typically people only realise they have been suffering from stress when the symptoms become severe, yet they should have been looking out for, loss of concentration, poor memory, feeling depressed, difficulty sleeping and irritability, all of which are often put down to having a bad day.”

With common causes of stress being too much work, fear of change, job insecurity and change of management, the likely cuts in the public sector are predicted to cause an increase in employees showing such symptoms and employers are urged to look out for the early signs and offer support. “Private companies are also at great risk, as the cumulative effects of a recession, job cuts, wage freezes and fear of a double dip recession, are just as likely to cause stress, as public sector cuts,” said Michael Coates.

Michael highlighted that “A number of UK organisations have already downloaded the free booklet, branded it as their own and are intending to distribute it, in addition to delivering training to managers on how to prevent stress within their teams. We can only hope that more follow their lead.”

The free editable booklet can be downloaded from

We have images available. For further information/interview requests please call Michael Coates 0191 3855455 michael(at)protostar-uk(dot)com


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