Some employers see stress as a sign that their staff are working hard and do not realise that it can be a serious problem, it has been claimed.
Often, employees keep quiet when they are struggling because stress is treated in a "humorous way", System Concepts claims.
As the situation worsens and develops due to a failure to react to initial warnings, there is then a loss in productivity for a company because workers end up taking time off sick.
Tom Stewart, joint managing director of System Concepts, said managers need to "be vigilant and look out for signs that somebody is having a problem because it is much more effective to nip it in the bud and get somebody back to work".
According to a survey by the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts, 39 per cent of people say their bosses have been putting pressure on them to perform well at work.