Stress and Psychosocial Trauma

Lucy D | Opinion Paper OP12 | Institute for Employment Studies | Nov 2007

Excessive workplace stress can be costly both to employees and their employers.

As well as causing significant health problems for the individuals affected, it can be detrimental to staff performance and lead to compensation claims. It also accounts for a substantial part of staff absence.

The origins of workplace stress are often found in management practices and styles, and in work design, as well as the physical nature of working environments. Thus, while awareness raising and training are important interventions for managing workplace stress, they must be supported by appropriate HR policies and practices.

This opinion paper explores the causes of stress, what employers can do to tackle stress, and effective rehabilitation practices.