The Association of Optometrists outline six ways managers and employers can facilitate a work culture which minimises the risk of stress
The standards cover six key areas of work design that, if not properly managed, are associated with poor health and wellbeing, lower productivity and increased sickness absence. These are:
- Demands – this includes issues such as workload, work patterns and the work environment
- Control – how much say the person has in the way they do their work
- Support – this includes the encouragement, sponsorship and resources provided by the organisation, line management and colleagues
- Relationships – this includes promoting positive working to avoid conflict and dealing with unacceptable behaviour
- Role – whether people understand their role within the organisation and whether the organisation ensures that they do not have conflicting roles
- Change – how organisational change (large or small) is managed and communicated in the organisation
In 2008, the New Economics Foundation (NEF) was commissioned by the UK government to undertake the Mental Capital and Wellbeing Project, to consider how to improve mental development and wellbeing for everyone in the future.
The project recommended five evidence-based actions, which contribute to improved personal wellbeing. You may wish to incorporate some of these into your day-to-day life.
- Connect – Talk and listen, be there, feel connected to others
- Be active – Do what you can, enjoy what you do, move your mood
- Take notice – Remember the simple things that give you joy
- Keep learning – Embrace new experiences, see opportunities, surprise yourself
- Give – Your time, your words, your presence
This short guide published by the Association of Optometrists highlights the five key factors that contribute to a healthy workplace with the minimum levels of stress.
- The importance of the optometrist’s role is recognised
- Workloads and work patterns are well-managed
- A comfortable working environment with adequate rest breaks
- Fostering good team relationships
- Openness about change and the need to change
The Association of Optometrists offers a confidential helpline for members and non-members at any stage of their career 0800 870 8401
The peer support helpline is a confidential, free-phone helpline for individuals (members and non-members) at any stage of their optical career to call and discuss their problems with a trained, empathetic peer who recognises the pressures of optical practice.
The video below explains more about the peer support helpline.