Mental health at offices is an arising concern for governments as well as organizations worldwide. Every year, poor mental health alone causes loss of productivity worth more than $1 trillion globally. Mental health is becoming popular rapidly and has been increasingly affecting Indian organizations too. A significant increase has been observed in the number of reported cases of employees suffering from some common work-related illnesses which include poor mental health caused by depression, anxiety, hypertension, and high workplace stress.
Despite all the global attention, this cause has been gaining, and initiatives that are being taken to raise awareness, the associated stigma with this topic is emerging as the biggest challenge for organisations. While some fear being singled out, some feel that the workplace is not the right place to open up.
Concluding, conducting a reorientation with the objective to address this issue is required clearly. A work culture that accepts the fact that every person is liable to go through a mental health issue at some point in life can be a significant initial step in this direction.
Cause and Impact of Mental Health on Workplace
Both work-related or personal factors can be behind an employee’s deteriorating mental health, although long-term workplace stress can be one of the major alarming causes among them. Burnouts at work caused due to continuous pressure can lead to serious mental illnesses, which can further turn into more severe complications.
Extended work hours, unfeasible deadlines, dejection for taking out spare time, insufficient health policies, lack of communication, and support are the main risk factors for people going through severe stress or are vulnerable to mental health issues. Moreover, the majority of working people in India admit that they are compelled to think about work even during their days off, leading to major burnouts and stress in their daily lives.
Being constantly stressed impacts the physical as well as mental well being of the individuals, which in turn results in high absenteeism and turnover, therefore negatively affecting the overall productivity of the organization. As a result, employees suffer from a lack of focus, decreased efficiency, unhappy mind state, degrading work quality, and inability to meet deadlines. Moreover, all of these are becoming increasingly common in the organisations globally.
Initiatives Organisations Can Take To Raise Mental Health Awareness
Many countries and renowned leaders have addressed this issue and international organisations like WHO have released guidelines regarding the implementation of mental health and safety standards in workplaces.
There are many ways in which organisations can ensure maximum productivity and still maintain a stress-free work environment for employees.
- Organizations can start by incorporating mental health awareness workshops, training, and formal policies.
- Aiding proper resources for screening mental illness, training of team members, managers, and especially senior-level staff to diagnose the signs of depression or anxiety and address the issue related to bullying or sexual harassment with affinity must be regarded as a priority at every organization to ensure a healthy work environment.
- Having flexibility in work hours/practices as per employee’s personal life situations, facilitating work from home when needed, setting logical and feasible expectations, and encouraging employees to take breaks to relax their mind.
- Maintaining a well-lit, airy, clean, and spacious office environment will help the employees to operate without any distractions or stress.
- Additionally, having an open collaborative office space can make the working experience even more pleasant.
- Besides the design modifications, developing a motivational culture aimed at making the employees feel respected, acknowledged, and rewarded from time to time can boost their overall morale.
However, individual contribution plays a vital role in creating a healthy work environment. Therefore employees themselves are a major contributor towards the success of a mental health initiative. Being co-workers and team members they spend most of their time together every day. That being the case, their mutual understanding, and genuine support during challenging times can truly contribute towards maintaining a healthy workplace.
During situations like this, when a mentally upset fellow employee approaches you, make sure you sit in a comfortable place, talk in a friendly voice tone, and maintain an open demeanor. Hear them out actively with your undivided attention while acknowledging their thoughts with a nod. Guide them to proper assistance and ensure that the workplace environment is safe and pleasant for them can be a significant step towards making a difference.
Importance Of Mental Health Awareness Workshops At Organisations
By now, you must have realized how employee’s wellbeing is essential for a company’s success. Without healthy and productive employees, businesses are more likely to suffer losses. Therefore as an employer, it is your duty to ensure that all your employees are in excellent health both physically and mentally. People suffering from mental ailments fear to be isolated and viewed as abnormal. Therefore, you need to make sure that the employees feel safe and listened to in their workplace. Establishing a mental health awareness workshop with the motive to address this issue, and creating a healthy environment is a huge step towards tackling this problem. Not only will this have a positive impact on their minds giving them the courage to overcome their troubles but will also restore their good health and, consequently, excellent productivity.
We hope this information was useful for you. Let us know about the initiatives your organization has taken to raise mental health awareness via the comments below.