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Stress at work

What it is and how to manage it, including access to our free, online course and risk assessment 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, emotional or psychological issues.

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

To help you understand more about stress and workplace stress in particular, we have produced a free online learning course called Stress in the Workplace. It also explains more about our Work Positive resource and how to use it to carry out a workplace stress risk assessment. This is aligned closely with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Management Standards.

You can find out more about each of these here.

Stress in the Workplace

You can access this course on the NHS elearning siteYou will need an account to access the course.

Work Positive

Work Positive includes a free online surveys 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
  • access the surveys tool
  • use our paperwork to support stress risk assessments for individuals with specific needs.

Access the surveys tool

Before you can login to the surveys tool, you will need to create an account on this website if you haven't done so already.

Once your website account is set up, sign in and then fill in the form on our Contact us page. Please type in "Surveys tool access" into the Message field, and we will arrange your access.

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 formal and informal encouragement, and resources provided.
  4. Relationships – promoting positive working relationships 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