Guidance for Employees
Anyone can suffer from work-related stress, no matter what work they do. The earlier that it is recognised and addressed, the easier it is to deal with.
Here are some simple steps to follow:
Talk it Through
The best thing you can do if you are feeling stressed is to talk to someone.
Talk to your line manager, or a friend or colleague:
You may feel unable to talk to your line manager about how you are feeling and you may find it useful to talk to a friend, colleague or an independent person who could act as a mediator or provide alternative support in some way. Raising issues with your line manager is important, as they have responsibility for you and your work. You may decide that it is best to meet with your manager’s manager. Consider ways in which the meeting could be made easier e.g.: holding the meeting in a neutral location, bringing a colleague or trade union representative to the meeting. You might find also find it helpful to talk things through with your GP.
Discuss work issues:
You should discuss whether work has contributed to you feeling stressed. Consider what particular aspects of the job may cause you stress or make you feel anxious. You may have some practical suggestions about what can be done about these. Think about how you would like your work to be monitored. What goals are realistic in the circumstances? How would you like your work to be monitored and at what frequency?
Discuss issues outside of work
Whilst you do not have to reveal issues external to work, it may be helpful to let your line manager or others know about issues that are affecting you, and which may impact on your work. if you are willing to discuss your medical care it may be useful for you to let your line manager know certain aspects of this e.g. side effects of medication which might impact on your work.
If you are Signed Off Work by your GP
If your GP signs you off from work, you should inform your line manager as soon as possible. It is important that you maintain regular contact with your line manager whilst you are absent from work. If you are signed off work due to stress (either work-related or due to personal issues), your line manager will automatically refer you to Occupational Health where both you and your manager can obtain support, advice and guidance.
The University’s Health and Wellbeing Policy contains useful information for employees on how to manage sickness absence.