Stress at work - Healthy Working Lives

Stress at work

What it is and how to manage it, including the Work Positive Tool

​​​​​​​​​While it is good for us to experience some challenges and pressures in life, excessive or long term pressure can lead to stress. If this continues, it can lead to a number of physical and mental health problems.

As an employer, you are expected to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment for stress in your organisation. You are also expected to address any problems identified.

To help you carry out a stress risk assessment we have produced a resource called Work Positive. This is aligned closely with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Management Standards.

You can find out more about each of these below.

Work Positive

Work Positive includes a free online survey tool. This can be used to help you fulfil the requirements of stress risk management in your organisation. All results are anonymous and meet the requirements of data protection law.

You are able to

  • send an online questionnaire to all or some of your employees
  • view the results online
  • compare your results against organisations of similar size or sector
  • consult directly with your employees about the results
  • create a plan of action that you can then monitor and review.

Using the survey tool

To start using the Work Positive tool, you will need to create an account with us. Please follow the instructions on the survey tool's page.

Use the Work Positive tool

Once signed in, you can create your survey and then submit to us for approval before sharing.

Management standards

Management standards for the workplace have been developed by the HSE. They cover six key areas of work design that, if not properly managed, can lead to stress and/or poor mental health amongst your staff.

The six areas are

  1. Demands – such as workload, work patterns and the working environment.
  2. Control – how much say people have in how they do their work.
  3. Support – the encouragement, sponsorship and resources provided.
  4. Relationships – promoting positive working to avoid conflict and dealing with unacceptable behaviour.
  5. Role – whether people understand their role within your organisation there are no conflicting roles.
  6. Change – how organisational change is managed and communicated.

You can find out more about the Management Standards on the HSE website.

Visit the HSE site for Management Standards