Practical step by step ideas, tips and suggestions to help employers of different sizes prevent mental injury and create a safe and mentally healthy workplace. Use tools, templates and resources to focus on work-related factors that impact mental health and learn good practice. Check out the full range of topics on the Toolkit.
How this helps your business
When employees are overworked, their mental health suffers. Workplaces with too-high workloads see more injuries, sick leave and compensation claims.
Healthy workloads mean employees can respond quickly to problems, because they are not already working at maximum capacity.
Key stats and facts
When employees have more control over how they do their jobs, lower workloads, and more support, their health improves.
Egan, M., et al., (2007). The psychosocial and health effects of workplace reorganisation. A systematic review of organisational-level interventions that aim to increase employee control. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.
Learn more on this topic
Assess your workplace
Consider using the checklist below and tick 'Yes' for each sign of work overload that you've seen in your workplace. Note how your work environment and management behaviours could be impacting positively or negatively on workload.
(You'll decide on your priority areas in Step 3).
Consult your staff
From the checklist you completed in Step 2, choose 2 areas you think are the most important to work on.
(You'll learn what your workplace can do to improve them in Step 4)
You should take these to your employees and ask their opinion – they might have some great ideas too. You can use surveys, team meetings or informal workshops to come up with some solutions. Write your two focus areas in the 'priority areas' section of your checklist.
Make a start
It is often hard for owners and managers to know where to start when they are faced with work overload problems.
Take a look at the tip sheet below and choose 1 or 2 strategies that you think will make a difference in your workplace. Get your people involved – since they are the ones doing the work, they often have valuable suggestions.
Tip: choose strategies that are simple enough that you can accomplish in the next 2 months. This will show everyone in the workplace that lowering work overload is important to you.
Tip sheet to address work overload problems
Allow enough time for tasks to be completed
Make sure employees have the right resources to get the job done
Monitor workloads at peak times or during holiday periods
Encourage employees to speak up if they are struggling
Give your employees tasks that match their skills
Offer training and keep records of who's done what
Talk with your employees about their growth and development regularly
Plan rosters so employees get enough rest time in between shifts
Discourage working long hours, taking work home, or working though breaks
Promote work/life balance and encourage employees to take their entitled leave
For physically demanding jobs, make sure the environment is safely set up, and employees are taking regular breaks
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