Pest control feature articles, stories and analysis

07 September 2022

Investing in health and wellbeing for pest management companies

HEALTH AND SAFETY | PPC108 September 2022

In 2020 and 2021, 822,000 workers in the UK experienced work-related stress, depression or anxiety, according to a report by The Health and Safety Executive.

With that in mind, how can employers and companies look out for signs and help their most valuable asset, their employees? Raj Kakar Clayton, Managing Director at Which? Trusted Traders explains.

wellbeing hero1

With the pandemic having caused drastic changes to many of our working patterns – for example, increased workloads, being furloughed or even being made redundant – it’s no wonder workers in the UK suffered increased levels of anxiety and depression.

With 822,000 workers in the UK having gone through work-related stress, data from the Labour Force Survey (conducted by the Office for National Statistics), showed that the rate of self-reported work stress increased as a result of the pandemic.

Respondents in the survey cited tight deadlines, too much responsibility and a lack of managerial support as the main trigger points causing stress.

As the work environment and landscape continue to evolve and change, we have spoken to our Trusted Traders and our wellness helpline, which we provide to all endorsed Trusted Traders, to compile and provide some advice for both employers and employees on dealing with stress in the workplace.

Tell-tale signs of stress in the workplace

When it comes to stress in the workplace, it’s prudent you know the tell-tale signs so these worries can be alleviated before they get worse. So managers and other co-workers should always look out for the below signs, as advised by the not-for-profit organisation The Stress Management Society:    

  • Colleagues who are usually extroverts becoming withdrawn over time
  • Colleagues becoming more accident prone
  • Colleagues becoming short-tempered (however, everyone has bad days, so you would look to see if these negative changes are displayed over a period of time).

There can also be signs that indicate if your whole workplace is stressed. These include:

  • A high staff turnover
  • Increased absenteeism and sickness levels
  • A long hours work culture
  • Employees not taking their full holiday entitlement
  • Low productivity and efficiency levels.

Witnessing these signs will of course help identify stressed colleagues in the workplace but, as an employer, you must go further in investing in your employees’ health and wellbeing and effectively make the working environment a safe psychological space. Here are some suggestions that may help...

Get moving

Even a little regular exercise can help ease stress, boost your mood and improve your self-esteem. 

Aim for 30 minutes on most days, broken up into short 10-minute bursts if that’s easier. 

If you work on your feet all day, exercise may be the last thing on your mind. You may assume that, because your job is so demanding, you take regular physical activity for granted.

But it’s still important to take measures to avoid chronic problems and injuries. Try to do 10 minutes of stretching before or after work, and consider working on strength training at the gym or at home with online tutorials.

An easy way for employers to promote exercise in the workplace is to introduce active travel policies promoting walking, cycling, flexible working and incentive schemes. 

According to the government, interventions to increase stair use are effective. Simple signs near any lifts can point out that two minutes of stair climbing each day could burn enough calories to eliminate the weight an average adult gains each year.

Practice a relaxation technique

If you’re an employee, try to take time to relax each day and give your mind a break from worry. 

Meditation, breathing exercises, or other relaxation techniques are excellent ways to relieve stress and restore some balance to your life.

If you’re an employer, could you set up subscriptions for your employees to mindfulness apps such as Headspace and CALM? You could also let your staff know about any free resources they can access. Mental health charity Mind has some free resources for both employers and employees.

Don’t lose out on sleep

If you’re an employee, you may not have much say on your hours and you may be required to work unsocial hours and night shifts. 

If you’re an employer, you can reduce fatigue and tiredness in your workplace: if the organisation has shift patterns, let employees have a say if you can, and consider sharing night shifts around more personnel.

Encourage an open door policy

Most of the time employees want to feel psychologically safe in the workplace; to feel that no questions are too minor and feedback, both ways, is constructive and not uncomfortable to either employer or employee. 

Adopting an open door policy will indicate to employees that a supervisor or manager is open to an employee’s questions, complaints, suggestions and challenges. It should, as a result, go on to encourage open communication, feedback and discussions about any concerns.

Although some methods will work for a business or individual employee, others may not be so helpful. Take these as a starting point to make the workplace enjoyable and a safe emotional space.

The success of your organisation is dependent on your employees and ensuring that the most important asset in your company is happy and stress-free is in everyone’s interest.

About Which? Trusted Traders

which logo

Which? Trusted Traders is an endorsement scheme that recognises trustworthy traders. Which? has helped consumers for over 60 years, and assesses and endorses traders who meet the high standards set up by assessment experts. 

BPCA has partnered up with Which? to give members a 50% discount for 6 months on the monthly recurring membership fee.


Back to news