Does any of this sound familiar? Long hours, conflicts...

EDITORIAL: "Long hours, heavy workload, job insecurity, the threat of job loss or redundancy, and conflicts with other workers or bosses."

Sounding familiar yet?

That's the cause; these are some of the symptoms: "Depression, anxiety, a drop in work performance, feelings of being overwhelmed, fatigue, headaches and an increase in sick days or absenteeism".

It's called work stress and it's little wonder health authorities are advising bosses to recognise it as a significant health and safety issue.

The Workplace Health and Safety Qld website says: "When stressful situations go unresolved, the body is kept in a constant state of stimulation, which can result in physiological and/or psychological illness. Common health outcomes ... include cardiovascular disease, immune deficiency disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, musculoskeletal disorders and psychiatric/psychological illness."

Having worked for decades in the high-stress environment of daily news production, I've seen all of those outcomes in colleagues.

But the experience has also taught me that stress is not always a bad thing, that the stimulation it offers is often necessary for creative and efficient outcomes.

It's when the stress is unrelenting, unreasonable and unrewarding that it becomes dangerous.

So workers, take some time in this Mental Health Week to de-stress.

Bosses, think about how to make any stress in your workplace controlled, creative, perhaps even fun.

It will pay off for you in the end.


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