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Spotting the early warning signs of workplace stress

The New Year can see many employees coming back into the office with money worries and concerns about the future. Learning how to spot the signs of stress early on and deal with it effectively can help to head off more serious problems and build a happier and more productive workplace.

Bad weather and winter colds on top of the post-festive slump can mean that many people don't return to work in the best of moods. The ongoing economic downturn adds another layer of worries for employers and employees alike, with many businesses uncertain about what the future holds and employees concerned about job security.

The year 2011 saw workplace stress top the reasons for long-term absence for the first time. Although work-related stress is not an illness, its psychological impact can lead to more serious problems with ill health. As well as anxiety and depression, stress has also been associated with heart disease, back pain and gastrointestinal illnesses.

Recognising the early signs of stress can help safeguard the wellbeing of your employees and minimise the risk to your business of long-term absence and ill-health. Acas provides practicalguidance and training for employers and managers on how to recognise stress and manage it effectively, looking at both the law and good practice on dealing with stress in the workplace.

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