Tackling workplace stress: MIH Solutions share advice on ensuring positive mental wellbeing at work  

By Catherine Pierre, Copywriter and Jo Yeaman, Managing Director 



Nearly half of long-term workplace absences in the UK are due to stress, making it an important consideration for employers. It is always important to spotlight the issue. 


Stress is a state of mental or emotional strain caused by adverse circumstances. It’s the body’s response to a perceived threat, challenge or barrier, which can be an environmental condition like the workplace.  


Stress manifests in many ways - apathy, fatigue, headaches, trouble concentrating. Reducing workplace stress will help increase performance and productivity, generating an overall feeling of wellbeing. 


The biggest reported cause of work-related stress is office politics, affecting just over one in three employees. Other causes include poor communication, concerns about individual performance or job security, tensions with leaders and poor company culture.  


Identifying those experiencing stress and understanding why it’s happening is therefore the first step to resolving problems. But how? A distressing situation for your colleagues may not be distressing for you and vice versa (and some of us are good at hiding stress, so you can’t always tell). 


At MIH, a dedicated group of colleagues from all areas form our ‘health and wellbeing circle’. This group is charged with identifying sources of workplace stress and practical countermeasures, placing the power to make a difference in the hands of those most likely to experience stress. Our employees know best what works for them, and they noted that we tended to focus too much on ‘the serious stuff’. To counteract this, they arranged a walk around Calke Abbey and, more recently, a visit to the escape rooms in Burton’s High Street. These were excellent bonding experiences, reminding us that we are people as well as colleagues.  


An afternoon jaunt, a visit by an office stress dog and a massage therapist (although not at the same time), a facilitated team time out and encouraging flexible working around personal commitments… we’ve proven that even small things really can make a big difference. 


Ultimately, we think that tackling workplace stress isn’t something you can achieve alone in a darkened room or as a leadership team. It’s something everyone needs to contribute to, and employee needs will be different in every organisation.


You can find out more and access additional resources on the Mind website. If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health, you can access immediate support via the Samaritans.