Pressure at work is a key cause of employee stress
Given that pressure at work and a poor work / life balance are key causes of stress and mental health issues, new research that indicates employees are feeling pressure from their supervisors, colleagues and technology to work during their free time should be of major concern for employers, said Neil Mountford, chair of the UK Employee Assistance Professionals Association.
The research from the University of Surrey calls for employers to do more to ensure employees are not subjected to pressure to work outside of their contracted hours and reminds us that an individual’s failure to disconnect from work can negatively impact on an employee’s wellbeing.
“Whilst employees do need to take personal responsibility for how they plan their working day and how they balance demands from their employer and clients which may naturally fall outside their standard working hours, there will be occasions where these circumstances impact on an employee’s mental health and wellbeing. Where this does happen, employee assistance programmes (EAPs) can demonstrate their value as an accessible and confidential channel that provides professional support for employees whose mental health is being impacted by pressure at work.
“Of course, EAPs can only become truly effective here where employees are aware of the scope of support that is available to them to help reduce the impact of poor mental health on their wellbeing and their work. Here it’s important that EAPs are regularly promoted to employees and that, within the organisation, they continue to be positioned as part of a wider wellbeing and engagement strategy that reviews the extent and impact of work / life balance on the culture and productivity of an organisation,” says Neil Mountford.