Does your company make the link between stress and productivity? Does your company have a wellness policy? Do you ever feel you have so much to do that even thinking about your workload sends you into a spin? Do you burn the midnight oil, drinking copious amounts of coffee trying to get everything done to meet ever tighter deadlines? Does your manager ever ask you whether you feel stressed or not?

It is likely that in future companies will be required to put in place health and well-being policies which look after your mental health as well as your physical health and the reason for this is that stress is detrimental to productivity. Stress costs British industry £3.4bn every year yet companies which have health and well-being policies tend to put them in place policies because they want to be seen as looking after their staff (which is very worthy) when in fact such policies will increase their profitability through an improvement in staff productivity.

Many companies are now looking to teach staff about stress; how to handle it by developing resilience, improving nutrition and exercising; how to avoid it by reorganization of lifestyle and most importantly, how to counteract it by relaxation. Relaxation techniques include hypnosis, meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, tai chi and qui gong and even mindful walking where concentration is on the steps in front of you rather than on the thoughts in your head. Only 20-60 minutes of relaxation is required every day for there to be a positive change in a person’s stress levels yet relaxation is a technique many of us have never learnt. Lunch-time relaxation sessions could soon become the norm!