We all know personal mental health matters, but did you know that as an employer the mental health of your employees also matters? Employee mental health can have fantastic positive effects on the way your business runs, however, it can also be detrimental and affect the way your business culture runs in a negative way. Creating a mentally healthy working environment, an open space for discussion and a support atmosphere could be the way to increase employee productivity for good.
Stress, anxiety and depression are the main causes of employee burn out, with a shocking 28% stating work and life pressures are the catalyst of stress and anxiety. 46% of people say workload pressure is just too much and 20% have reported struggling with the common work/life balance routines in place for many families across the UK. These figures are a true reflection on employee productivity, directly affecting your company’s profit.
In the UK alone 12 million working days were lost to work-related mental health conditions last year and this figure is only on the rise. Depression and anxiety have been on the rise since 2018 with 21.2 days lost per patient due to mental health conditions. A recent study showed that 44% of absences across UK companies were mental health related with women being affected more than men, in fact; women in full-time employment are twice as more likely to have a common mental health problem than men.
Although there have been calls to action for the government to take control of the situation, it is ultimately up to employers to look into the health of their employees, whether this be physical or mental health. A study in 2017 showed that employers not addressing mental health conditions in the workplace can cost them up to £42 billion per year. The cost of ignoring mental health is simply not economical.
Take action now
A career helps people suffering with mental health problems by making them feel; improved self-esteem, a sense of wellbeing, social connectedness and with a healthy working environment potentially recovery. Creating a mentally-healthy workplace culture is the best way to battle the growing issue of work-related mental health conditions.
Change of culture
Set boundaries when it comes to working times and access to technology. Answering emails while out of the office can be harmful and adds pressure on employees in their personal life. Making time for your mental wellbeing is vital when it comes to a happy, healthy and balanced mindset. Set rules such as; no work discussion outside office hours, do not deal with work while on any form of annual leave, turn off work phones and technology at the front door and make time for breaks throughout the working day; to focus on your wellbeing and relax in a open environment if you can.
Support and socialise
Encouraging your employees to take time to get to know their colleagues and show an interest in their life can be extremely effective. Creating good work friendships and support networks means employees have the ability to discuss issues they may be facing with someone within the working environment. The average person spends 37.5 hours per week in the office, by creating a social working environment, employees can address concerns with the people they may see even more than their family. Colleagues will begin to notice if an employee is acting differently from the norm and even intervene when people need support and guidance.
Set an example
Employees look up to their employers as a role model, what you set as a precedence will more often than not be followed and looked upon as an example. Working past the usual office hours and idolising employees who work outside of work adds pressure on employees to invest more time and not prioritise a work/life equal balance. As an employer it is crucial that you set a good example of work and personal life. Make time so you employees make time.
Making change within the workplace is not difficult, the key
areas we have covered are simple to make and will show your employees that you
take their mental wellbeing very seriously.
The ultimate conclusion is that changing office culture to place mindful working in the limelight can and will help your company increase productivity, profit and attendance without breaking the bank.
How do you make your place of work a mindful space? Do you feel you need further help to increase mental wellbeing in the office? Comment below with you advice and see if you can make the change today.