Working is about more than just making money. We go to work because we love what we do. Our occupation greatly influences our physical and mental well-being. A job can not only improve our financial situation but also give our life more direction and meaning. Our life and our work have become increasingly entwined in this fast-paced world. Therefore, it is impossible to emphasise the significance of workplace mental health at this time.
The employees are not always in control of the workplace environment. So, the higher authorities of different companies should take care of their employees and their mental well-being. We will discuss the significance of creating a mentally healthy and productive workplace in this blog, as well as some doable steps that both employers and workers may take.
Mental health in the workplace: Statistics
Studies are going on all over the world to understand the situation of mental health at work. According to the Mental Health Foundation, UK,
- About 14.7% of people experience mental health problems in the workplace.
- The mental health issues in full-time working women and full-time working men employees are 19.8% and 10.9% respectively.
- Studies suggest, 12.7% of all sickness absence days in the UK can be due to mental health conditions.
How can the workplace affect mental health?
- Work-Life Balance: Working long hours and finding it difficult to strike a good work-life balance can cause stress, strained relationships, and a lack of time for self-care.
- Lack of Support: People who often feel devalued and unsupported by their coworkers, managers, or the organisation may suffer from low self-esteem and mental health issues.
- Workload and Stress: High workloads, unreasonable expectations, arbitrary deadlines, and ongoing pressure can cause chronic stress. This amount of stress for a person can easily lead to despair, anxiety, and burnout.
- Career development opportunities: If an employee can not see any possible opportunity for growth and improvement while working in a company, it becomes hard for them to focus on work. This might make one feel uninspired, frustrated, and stuck in place and lead to severe mental distress.
Creating a supportive work environment
A cornerstone of promoting mental health in the workplace is to establish a supportive work environment. A supportive and ideal workplace is where employees feel valued, and respected, and are comfortable expressing their opinions and concerns. Employers can ensure a safe workplace for their employees by taking into consideration a number of strategies.
The companies should first establish an encouraging atmosphere where employees can express themselves without fear of reprisal. Clear communication channels for employees in need, such as employee assistance programs, can be vital in providing immediate support.
Employers should also ensure work-life balance for their employees. They should encourage the employees to avoid excessive overtime and should allow more flexible work arrangements. This will help improve mental well-being which in turn will improve their productivity.
Creating a supportive work environment is not only beneficial for employees’ mental health but also for overall workplace productivity and satisfaction.
Learning from organizations that have prioritized employee well-being
Many organizations have successfully implemented strategies to support their employees’ mental well-being, resulting in positive outcomes for both individuals and the company as a whole. Let us look at some of the examples that we can learn from.
The company Earnest and Young (EY) supports its employees with up to 25 counselling sessions for them and their family members. Along with this, they also provide mindfulness training and meditation sessions for their wellness. EY also provides online support tools to help their employees better manage stress.
This can be an amazing example from which other organizations can get inspiration to embark on their journey of employee well-being.
Prioritizing mental health in the workplace is more than just a matter of empathy. It is a kind of investment that organizations indulge in for the benefit of their employees as well as the organization. Ensuring a mentally healthy workforce leads to increased productivity and innovation. Let’s break down the stigma surrounding mental health, and create workplaces where every individual feels valued, heard, and supported in their journey to mental well-being.