We spend most of our adult lives in the workplace, so are likely to feel work-related stress at some time. The good news is that job stress can be avoided or averted.

The World Health Organization defines stress as “the reaction people may have when presented with demands and pressures that are not matched to their knowledge and abilities and which challenge their ability to cope”.

Some job stress can help you to be productive and get things done, but prolonged or severe stress can have a negative effect on your mental and physical wellbeing, as well as your performance and social relationships at work.

Ideas for employers to reduce work-related stress:
  • If you employ staff, make sure they have a balanced workload and they have the support to do their job well. Check in and ask how they're doing. 
  • Understand workplace stress and how to make workplaces safe by referring to the relevant WorkSafe safety and prevention resources.

Ideas for workers to reduce work-related stress:
  • Learn to recognise your signs of stress – they can include fatigue, irritability, depression, disturbed sleep and more.
  • Think about what is stressing you at work – it could be your tasks or workload, the time at which you work, the context, or how you are managed. 
  • Speak to your boss about what's generating that stress and how you can work together to help manage it. Many larger companies offer free Employee Assistance Programs. 
  • Request a casual Friday or work Dog Day. At VicHealth, we see the benefits to dog owners as well as to other employees who get to interact with the dog and also the owner – it can open up positive relationships at work.

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