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  • Writer's pictureAustin Aloysius Tay

Psychological stress in workplace – The impact on organisations.

Updated: Oct 20, 2023


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As we already know, personal impact is unavoidable, how does stress in the workplace affect organisations? Just imagine when employees are absent from work or have decided to leave because of the stress they experienced in the workplace. Organisations must look at replacing them and ensuring that productivity does not slip.

According to the Annual Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, which collects information from private industry and reports reasons for and duration of absences from work, in the United States, long-term sickness absences such as stress, anxiety and neurotic disorders were found to be higher in percentage as compared to other types of injuries or health problems. It was found in a data collection done in 2001, that of the 42.1 per cent of work absence cases due to mental ill-health, people were away from work for approximately thirty-one days or more.

All these accounted for four times greater than the number of workdays lost for all other nonfatal injuries and illnesses in the United States. (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 2004). Black (2008) argued that psychological distress, compared to injuries and physical illnesses, is likely to be undiagnosed and untreated until it becomes an issue for the individual, who will need significant time away from work to recover.

A convincing business case for tackling mental health problems in the workplace (Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health, UK) estimated that mental ill-health costs UK businesses in the region of £26 million per annum. Hilton (2005) suggested that employers who did invest in mental health initiatives such as screening and facilitating help-seeking behaviour could benefit from a five-fold return on such investment.

So organisations do prick up your ears and realise that without happy employees, it will, in some way, thwart your business. As Black (2008) said, ‘Good mental health is good business.’


1. Flaxman, P.E., Bond, F.W., & Livheim, F. (2013). The Mindful and Effective Employee. An acceptance and commitment therapy: Training Manual for Improving Well-Being and Performance. New Harbinger Publications Inc, p9.

2. Flaxman, P.E., Bond, F.W., & Livheim, F. (2013). The Mindful and Effective Employee. An acceptance and commitment therapy: Training Manual for Improving Well-Being and Performance. New Harbinger Publications Inc, p9.

3. Black, C. (2008). Working for a healthier tomorrow. Report commissioned by the Secretaries of State for Health and Work and Pensions. Norwich. England: Stationery Office.

4. Hilton, M. (2005). Assessing the financial return on investment of good management strategies and the WORC project. University of Queensland. Retrieved from http://www.qcmhr.uq.edu.au/worc/Documents/Hilton_Paper(2005).pdf.


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