Why are stress and psychosocial risks important?
The psychosocial workplace environment has a significant effect on the health and well-being of workers.
Workers suffering from work-related stress can go on to develop serious mental and physical health problems. This in turn has an impact on the organisation and society as a whole.
For the individual worker, the negative effects may include
- burnout and depression;
- difficulty in concentrating;
- problems at home;
- drug and alcohol abuse; and
- poor physical health, especially cardiovascular disease and musculoskeletal problems.
At the organisation level, the negative effects include
- poor overall business performance;
- increased absenteeism;
- presenteeism (workers turning up for work when they are sick and unable to function effectively); and
- increased accident and injury rates.
Check out our infographic on Cost of work-related stress to business and key warning signs
On the positive side, by creating a good psychosocial work environment you are ensuring that workers are healthy and productive at work. Absences due to work-related stress will be reduced or non-existent. And the business costs resulting from lost productivity will also be reduced.
Successfully managing work-related stress and psychosocial risks will help to maintain a happy workforce. Worker engagement, commitment and innovation will increase.
Work-related stress may also contribute to increased rates of early retirement. A positive work environment will help to retain such workers.