Occupational stress can no longer be considered an occasional, personal issue. It has become global phenomenon, which can affect any category of employee in almost any workplace in any country. This trend is coupled with mounting costs to the individual, to industry and to society as a whole.
According to HSE UK, 12.5 million working days were lost due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2016/17.
Increased workload accounts for 44% of total work-related stress.
What causes work-place stress?
We need to engage with our teams with a heightened awareness and acknowledge the need for effective and innovative ways of tackling stress.
The main premise of any workplace stress prevention program would be to addressing the roots and causes of workplace stress; rather than merely treating its effects. It is suggested that the “Triple A” approach to stress management be adopted in the offshore environment. It incorporates three main elements:
Awareness about stress arises from a reliable, systematic analysis of the problem, and on the basis of an accurate diagnosis, action can be taken with confidence. This approach has the added advantage of ensuring commitment to a subsequent stress prevention initiative, and resistance to change is minimized.
Dr. Valerie J. Sutherland and Professor Cary L. Cooper from Manchester School of Management suggest three possible ways to reduce stress in the offshore environment
Job rotation: Offshore workers should be able to rotate through a set of different, but similar, jobs in order to provide more variety and to reduce the boredom that might exist offshore when people are exposed to the same rig location for a long period of time and work a 14-day tour, or more, without a break.
Job enlargement: Additional tasks are included within the scope of the job to increase the variety and diversity of the job.
Job enrichment: Entails assigning more important and challenging duties (for example, additional decision-making responsibilities). This has potential for increasing autonomy, variety and task identity.
There are a number of factors that make offshore worker more susceptible to stress than those onshore. This article talks briefly about the nature/causes of stress offshore and gives three possible solutions to manage it.