Managing anxiety in the workplace

Anxiety is a feeling of worry, fear, nervousness or unease about something.

It may be caused by issues in the workplace, such as workload, performance or conflict with colleagues. Outside the workplace, factors such as relationship, family or debt problems can create anxiety.


Employees could take steps to manage these issues, by communicating with their managers and seeking help, where necessary.

Employers can also support their staff and look out for signs that an employee is suffering from anxiety. These could include:

Mind report that 1 in 6 workers are dealing with mental health problems such as anxiety, depression or stress. These conditions can stop people performing at their best.

Managers should be confident and trained in the skills they need to support staff who may be experiencing anxiety at work. Informal and formal conversations will help establish a rapport with members of staff as addressing issues early and maintaining good communications is crucial.

Managers should:

Anxiety disorders

Mental health problems can affect anyone, the most common forms of mental ill health are anxiety, depression, phobic anxiety disorders and obsessive compulsive disorders.

Depending on the kind of problems an employee is having they may be given a diagnosis of a specific anxiety disorder, such as:

Some forms of mental ill health may be classed as a disability under the Equality Act 2010 if they have "a substantial and long term, adverse effect on a person's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities". The Act makes it unlawful for an employer to treat a disabled person less favourably for a reason relating to their disability, without a justifiable reason. See our Disability discrimination page for more information.