Broadly, the campaign is intended to raise awareness about the psychological, physical and social risks related to stress at work.
EU-OHSA’s latest pan-European opinion poll revealed that 51% of workers find work related stress to be common in their workplace and 4 in 10 workers think that stress is not handled well in their organisation . The Healthy Workplaces Campaign aims to help companies successfully and effectively manage and prevent work related stress. While a small amount of preoccupation at the workplace is normal, excessive stress can interfere with workers productivity and impact their physical and emotional health: in fact prolonged psychological pressure may result in serious health problems such as cardiovascular or musculoskeletal disease leading to workers poor performance. The ability to deal with and manage stress can mean the difference between a company’s success or failure.
Finding ways to manage workplace stress is not about making drastic changes to the work environment but it revolves around understanding healthy responses to stress, and tackling ways to manage stress in synch with workers needs and their employers’ necessities. On launching the campaign, Commissioner Andor said that ‘managing work related stress is one of the cornerstones in ensuring the health, safety and well-being of European workers. Workplaces cannot afford to ignore work related stress, which increases absenteeism and lowers productivity.’ Also the EU Strategic Framework on Health and Safety at work 2014-2020 emphasises that better protection of workers’ mental health is a key factor to prevent work related diseases.
The campaign anticipates that it will raise awareness of the problem of stress and provides for the required support and guidance to employers, managers, workers and their representatives on creating a healthy environment in which workers feel motivated, and esteemed. In that way, business productivity is bound to improve and escalate.
The Healthy Workplaces Campaign is also backed by the EU Council Presidencies, the European Parliament, the European Commission and the European social partners.