Lee: Take stress in the workplace seriously
Borneo Post Online, 25 November 2013
SIBU: Employers are urged to recognise that work-related stress is growing into a major concern and there is a need to implement programmes to help employees manage it.
National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (Niosh) chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said if stress levels were left unchecked it could lead to problems such as depression or even attempts to commit suicide.
“The pressure of work can be so great to the extent that it could adversely affect health, leading to serious health problems such as cardiovascular ailments and cancer.
“If employees succumbed to work-related stress by falling sick, companies will suffer. This is because the core asset of any organisation is its workforce,” he told The Borneo Post yesterday.
Hence, he stressed, it was imperative that employers devise programmes, such as outings, for their employees to unwind on a regular basis.
“Engaging specialists or experts to give talk on managing stress could also come in handy.”
Lee, who is also a member of the Mental Health Advisory Council, was reacting to a news report citing a survey that 70 per cent of Malaysian workers experienced an increase in stress-related illnesses.
The report stated that Regus, a global workplace provider, whose study covered the opinions of 20,000 senior executives and business owners across 95 countries, also revealed that 48 per cent of the Malaysian respondents felt their stress levels had risen and over 42 per cent reported sleeping less due to work worries.
Lee concurred with the findings, saying that in a competitive age, the intense competition among companies had compelled their workers to work harder.
Meanwhile, Bernama quoted Regus as saying in a statement, that businesses could help change this trend as workers identified flexible working as critical to help ease work-related stress.
To this, Lee said: “Employers and employees could sit down and work out an amicable solution.”
Noting the suggestion from the survey, he said people, especially women folk, wanted flexi work hours as they had to shuttle between career and family.