The cost of work-related stress to business and naturopathy’s role in tackling the root cause
Work-related stress is bad for health and it also has an impact on the bottom line. The costs to the UK economy are an estimated £6.5 billion a year.
As an employer, are you aware of just how many sick days your workers take each year due to stress, anxiety or depression caused by on-the-job pressures? If the absenteeism is prolonged, as well as paying their wages, you may have to fund temporary replacement workers and/or pay overtime to other employees. A study carried out in the US among 18 industries showed that a 10% increase in overtime actually lowers productivity by 2.4%.
Also, if the people filling in have not been trained properly, they could become stressed themselves – it’s a vicious circle. In addition to lost productivity, there’s the personal mental and physical costs.
Companies are responsible for making sure that their staff don’t become ill as a direct result of their employment. Also, stress can be avoided, or at least reduced. As a qualified naturopath I can help businesses to take a preventative approach to workplace stress – no medication required. Instead I offer a series of holistic programmes aimed at strengthening the body naturally, aimed at strengthening the body naturally, with a focus on immunity and mental and physical well-being to lower stress levels.
What is stress?
Firstly, let’s look at stress and its causes. The World Health Organisation defines work-related stress as “the response people may have when presented with work demands and pressures that are not matched to their knowledge and abilities and which challenge their ability to cope”.
It seems that the problem is getting worse. The Health and Safety Executive reported that 26.8 million work days were lost to ill health in Great Britain in 2017/18. Of those 15.4 million days were the result of stress – that’s 57.3%.
There are loads more stats showing the upward trend. For instance, the total number of new or long-standing cases of work-related stress, depression or anxiety was 595,000, up from 526,000 in 2016/17. The incidence rate for new cases was 720 per 100,000 workers.
Of course, there may be other factors contributing to stress, such as juggling work and personal lives. But the perception is that more people are burdened by stress today than they were a generation ago.
The top issues caused by undue pressures and demands of the job and which cost companies in lost productivity and absences are:
- Lack of sleep
- Mental health problems
- Heart and respiratory diseases
- Nutritional problems
Research has shown that individuals who work more than 55 hours a week increase the risk of developing a stroke by a third and have a 13% higher risk of heart disease. Respiratory conditions, such as asthma, may be exacerbated by stress.
Tackling the root cause
As I mentioned earlier, you can root out stress without the aid of pills. While medication might help in the short term, it will not fix the problem. Naturopathy provides a long-term vision that can resolve the underlying issues and help companies to prosper.
I can offer ways of combating the mental and physical effects of stress on their bodies:
- Breathing techniques to help lower blood pressure and bring down stress
- Provide natural supportive supplements to cope with the internal stress and start the healing process
- Give guidance on how to lower stress, including avoiding stimulants such as cigarettes, caffeine and alcohol which can add to the stress burden
- Recommendations for improving their self-image and finding social support, for example, joining an exercise class
A key part of my approach is looking at the person as a whole, including other issues that could be making the problem worse. They might not be sleeping properly or could have intolerances that are causing irritation and keeping their brain foggy and inducing feelings of lethargy.
These things can be prevented and, by really getting down to the nitty gritty of what is causing the stress and anxiety could really help employees who are struggling. They would certainly be grateful to employers who are prepared to understand what is making them stressed and unhappy and contributing to absenteeism. It will also take the stress away from co-workers.
As an employer, you would benefit from better employee engagement and work quality through improved morale. This, in turn would help you retain staff, therefore saving money on retraining replacements. There could also be further savings in temporary cover, recruitment costs and health insurance.
I’d be happy to chat with you about helping stressed-out employees. Sometimes it can affect your best people. As they say, a healthy workforce is a happy workforce. And a happy workforce will be much more productive and better for the long-term health of your bottom line.
If you would like to find out more about how naturopathy can help, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org