Are you feeling Overworked, Overwhelmed, Overloaded and Overtired?
Underpaid, Underused, Undervalued and Under Stress?

There is no such thing as a stress-free job. Indeed, we need a certain amount of stress in our lives in order to achieve our goals. However, too much pressure, long hours and unrealistic deadlines can cause stress at work. Individuals differ in their response to stress and to how much stress they can take before it becomes harmful. We not only need to understand where stress is coming from but to realize that its causes and effects are quite different for different people.  (See Personality Types).

However, if the pressure is too great for too long a period of time, most people will suffer from stress and its consequences.

We spend the bulk of our waking time at work so it’s important that we are able to manage our time and productivity effectively so that we have time to have a life as well!


LABOUR FORCE SURVEY carried out by HSE 2019

In 2018/19 stress, depression or anxiety accounted for 44% of all work-related ill health cases and 54% of all working days lost due to ill health.

  • Stress, depression or anxiety is more prevalent in public service industries, such as education; health and social care; and public administration and defence. By occupation, professional occupations that are common across public service industries (such as healthcare workers; teaching professionals and public service professionals) show higher levels of stress as compared to all jobs.
  • The main work factors cited by respondents as causing work-related stress, depression or anxiety were workload pressures, including tight deadlines and too much responsibility and a lack of managerial support).


Full report




  • unrealistic deadlines
  • high expectations,
  • technology overload
  • unmanageable workloads
  • not enough staff


  • lack of control over aspects of the job
  • lack of involvement in decision making
  • account not taken of staff ideas/suggestions about the job
  • lack of influence over performance targets
  • lack of time

The Physical Environment

  • lighting, noise, smells dust,
  • excessive heat or cold
  • overcrowding,
  • lack of privacy
  • hot desking


  • aggressive management style
  • lack of support from others
  • isolation at work
  • bullying and harassment
  • lack of understanding and leadership
  • manager forever critical
  • others not pulling their weight
  • others take credit for personal achievements
  • poor relationships with colleagues

Job security

  • pay cuts
  • reduced hours
  • lack of job permanence, e.g. temporary/fixed term contracts
  • change of role or management
  • fear of redundancy

Work-life balance

  • long hours affecting personal, partner and family relationships
  • over-demanding and inflexible work times
  • unsocial hours
  • excessive travel time
  • taking work home to meet deadlines


A calm mind = confidence, competence and control

STRESS TIPS AT WORK – they may seem obvious, but this is a useful checklist!

  • Be clear about your role and responsibilities – if not, ask
  • Check that your job description is correct
  • Plan your work in writing – planning and being in control reduces stress
  • Prioritise your tasks
  • Set goals and targets
  • Finish one task before starting another
  • Ask for help when you need it
  • Keep a diary – either paper or electronic
  • Get plenty of sleep – our minds need recharging as much as our phones
  • Eat healthily and regularly
  • Drink lots of water – its important to stay hydrated
  • Pace yourself well
  • Take regular breaks during the day
  • Walk around every now and again – STRETCH those muscles to prevent problems later on
  • Have a lunch break – no excuses
  • Learn to say no (when appropriate)
  • Do not go to meetings unless they are productive and
  • good use of your time (or directed to go
  • Do NOT procrastinate
  • Avoid who and what wastes your time
  • Try not to take work home
  • Do not respond to calls or emails out of work – you could be taken for granted!
  • Keep a stress diary – write down what bothers you, either to get it off your chest or for reference or a reminder when sharing concerns
  • Don’t beat yourself up if you make a mistake!
  • Talk to someone about how you feel
  • Make your manager aware of any concerns
  • Ask for training if required
  • Ask for the Stress or Wellbeing Policy