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Having a Stress-Free Workplace

Some Facts about Stress

  • Stress is a state – not an illness 
  • Stress is a reaction to too much pressure 
  • Some pressure is good and can act as a positive motivator 
  • When pressure becomes too excessive and prolonged it is experienced as stress 
  • Workplace stress occurs when work-related pressures exceed the employee's ability to adapt to these pressures 
  • Too much stress may result in mental and physical illness

The Business Case for Reducing Workplace Stress

Stress takes its toll on an individual’s health and well-being but it can also take a real toll on workplaces. While the actual costs of stress in the workplace can be different for each organization, many of the causes of stress are the same.

Employers can measure those costs (external PDF) and develop a plan that works specifically for their organization to help minimize the effects of stress on employees.

Benefits of Having a Stress-Free Workplace

  • Improved employee retention and recruitment
  • Improved employee engagement, thereby reducing presenteeism
  • Decreased disability coverage costs
  • Increased productivity and growth
  • Reduced risks of workplace accidents and injuries
  • Higher employee morale

What Employers Can Do

Many Canadian employers are taking action external link on workplace stress. The best way to do this is by using a Comprehensive Workplace Health Promotion external link approach that creates an environment that builds on the supportive efforts of management and employees to care for their own well-being. Creating that environment involves:

  • Effective communication
  • Social support
  • Supportive beliefs, values, norms and policies 
  • Supportive management practices  
  • Job control and decision making
  • Leadership style
  • Work-life balance practices
  • Supporting individual health practices


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