Teamwork not an automatic cure for stress

A new Health and Safety Executive (HSE) report finds that teamworking can either
increase or decrease work-related stress levels, depending on the team design
and methods of implementation adopted by employers.

According to Effective teamworking: reducing the psychosocial risks, there
are two alternative scenarios.

First, that successful teamworking can reduce employees’ work-related stress
through enabling greater discretion over their work environment and increasing
job challenge.

Alternatively there is a danger that team working can escalate employee
stress levels through increasing workload and raising uncertainty about what is
expected of employees under a new approach.

Co-author Dr Helen Williams said, ""Implementing team working is
implicitly neither good nor bad for employee well-being. Rather, the effects of
team working will depend on a number of organisational, design, strategic,
individual, and implementation factors.

"The important point is that organisations need to recognise that they
can make choices that have important consequences for employee well-being. By
pro-actively considering the factors outlined in the report, employers can make
choices that enrich employees’ work characteristics and thereby promote mental
health at work. Employers need to be fully informed about the choices available
to them, and the consequences of these choices".

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