At times, stress can be positive. It can give us impetus and drive and help us make decisions and act quickly. Too often, however, it is ruinous, and the catalyst for serious mental health issues.


HR professionals will be unsurprised to hear there is a clear and measurable link between stress and productivity. But beyond that, taking care of your colleagues’ mental health is vital for a happy workplace – added productivity is simply a bonus.

While stress isn’t a psychiatric diagnosis, it relates to mental health in two important ways. Firstly, it leads to mental health problems, and makes existing issues worse. Stress can easily lead to anxiety or depression if it goes unmanaged. Secondly, stress can be caused by mental health problems. For instance, the daily challenge of coping with a mental health issue – whether diagnosed or not – can become an extra source of stress as the need to manage medication and appointment piles up.


HR managers have several tools for preventing stress and overwork at their disposal – but first they must learn to spot it. Common signs and symptoms of stress include absenteeism, high staff turnover, poor time-keeping, disciplinary problems, harassment, reduced productivity and accidents and errors. If employees exhibit one or more of these signs, managers need to act quickly.

But it’s not just down to employers and managers: employees themselves should employ mindfulness and time-management techniques, or practice calming breathing exercises to help them relax. Employers and HR professionals can help their colleagues adopt these solutions, in addition to their own mandated roles.


This eBook, produced by Barbour EHS, outlines the signs and solutions for workplace stress. It provides simple guidance for HR professionals, managers and employees themselves, including links to online resources and information about legal guidelines.


It’s a free download, so get it today to discover the most up-to-date advice for dealing with workplace stress.