Stress in the workplace: How it's impacting workers and what employers can do

Stress during difficult times is news to…no one. It happens. And due to what is beginning to seem like an endless string of not-at-all-positive current events, many of your workers may be experiencing more stress than ever.

But it's vital to keep the pressure your staff is under (at work, home, or wherever) manageable. Because while some level of stress is expected (and widespread for a reason), it can get out of hand fast. And when it does, it directly impacts your employees and your business as a whole.


Workplace stress doesn't just impact quality of work…it impacts quality of life, too

Stress negatively impacts individuals' mental and physical health and, with it, their quality of life. People who are overly stressed and dealing with diminished quality of life as a result also see the creativity, productivity, and adaptability they bring to work reduced. And it’s not just about bringing their best selves to work. Stress and poor mental health directly affect employees’ ability to come in to work at all. In 2022, an estimated 17 million working days (18.6 per employee affected) were lost due to stress, according to data from the Health and Safety Executive. This impacts their performance and progress on an individual level and costs the organisations that employ them billions of pounds.

Too much stress, particularly in a work environment, negatively affects mental health. This directly impacts two of businesses' most significant challenges: maintaining the quality of work and worker quality of life—and you can't have one without the other.

By supporting mental health and helping employees handle stress, employers can support both performance (quality of work) and wellbeing (quality of life).

Some stress is unavoidable, but taking the right steps to manage it—especially in the workplace—can make a big difference in our mental health and quality of life.

Is your organisation doing enough to address stress across your workforce? Find out more in our Quick Read: Stress, mental health and quality of life.

  • The impact of stress in the workplace on employees' mental health and quality of life
  • How unmanaged stress may negatively impact performance, and business outcomes at your organisation
  • Easy-to-implement ways your organisation can use to help employees effectively manage stress and support overall wellbeing
  • Why handling stress effectively may mean shifting your approach to workplace wellbeing