5 Ways To Boost Mental Health Of Employees At Workplace
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5 Ways To Boost Mental Health Of Employees At Workplace

Mental Wellbeing
Dr Jankhana Hakani
5 min read

5 Ways To Boost Mental Health Of Employees At Workplace

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In most of the workplaces, there is work-pressure, limited breaks, minimal job or income satisfaction, cut-throat competition. It is imperative for the employers/managers to boost mental health of their employees. Here, we share 5 ways to boost mental health of employees at workplace.

 

I work,

all I do is work,

I don’t care if I am tired,

I just want to work.

These lines sum up the feelings and emotions of most of the modern professionals. Work-pressure, limited breaks, minimal job or income satisfaction, cut-throat competition are few of the issues faced by employees at their workplace.

High pressure at workplace results into many mental health problems and illnesses, like anxiety, depression, substance abuse, anger issues, et cetera, which in turn result in absenteeism, decreased productivity, and increased healthcare expenses. It is not just about saving on healthcare expenses, but supporting employees in achieving mental wellness, also reduces suffering on the individual basis.

1 in 4 employee suffers from some form of mental health problem. According to Carleton University researchers, people spend one-third of their time at the office. Therefore, a healthy workplace environment, with an empathising employer/manager is the necessity of today, for the company’s success.

Here we tell you 5 ways to boost mental health of employees at workplace. These are easy to apply and save a lot of time and cost, and increase productivity.


1. Create mental health awareness among employees


Many of us are not aware about the signs and symptoms of mental health problems. So, we tend to associate our symptoms with ageing or everyday stress. This results in suffering, which aggravates illness and deteriorates the overall health and productivity of an individual.

Mental health and illness awareness can be created by organising workshops and/or mental health expert discussions on various topics, like depression, anxiety, stress-management, anger-management, sleep problems et cetera. Awareness about the fact that mental health problems are common and easily manageable is also important.

This also helps employees to develop coping mechanisms and avoid harmful habits like smoking, drinking, eating junk foods, et cetera.

2. Training of managers/employers


improve the working conditions of employees

Training of managers and employers is necessary. It helps the managers to pick up the signs of mental illness and to respond to the problem and provide appropriate solution, including reasonable adjustments at workplace. It also prevents the manager from dismissing the problem just because he doesn’t know the solution or is too fearful to respond.

It helps create a more positive and supportive workplace environment.

3. Improving working conditions


improve the working conditions of employees

People spend most of their time at workplace. The more the employees are happy, comfortable and satisfied, the more their productivity will be boosted. This can happen only in good working conditions.

Here are few tips to improve the working conditions of employees:


  • Allow frequent breaks, to let employees socialise with colleagues.
  • Provide flexibility, in terms of work hours.
  • Provide and use updated tools and resources.
  • Recognise and reward employees’ efforts and results.
  • Create awareness about and if possible, provide healthy and well-balanced meal.
  • Provide a safe and healthy environment for sharing problems and finding solutions.
  • Maintain confidentiality about the employee’s mental health issues.
  • Allocate work as per the employee’s capability and potential.
  • Set clear expectations and share all details about work-profile of each employee, at the time of joining.
  • Avoid allocating multiple accounts/projects to one person.

4. Communicate


The best way to solve a problem is first to talk about it. Talk to you employer or co-worker if you have a problem/issue with him, and try to find an amicable solution.

For example, if your employer is frequently asking you to work or respond to emails, beyond working hours or during holidays, talk to him in a respectful and affirmative way; tell him that it’s interfering with your personal time and is also taking a toll on your personal life.

5. Encourage physical activity


Encourage physical activity

Exercising on a regular basis, improves mood, as endorphins are secreted when you exercise. Additionally, it keeps you physically healthy. Companies can organise marathons and inter-departmental sports competitions, to ensure that employees are physically-fit and active.

As far as employees are considered, if regular exercise is not possible, they can do the following:
  • Walk while talking on the phone.
  • Switch to ‘walking meetings’.
  • Walk during the breaks.
  • Use stairs, instead of using lift.
  • Try and walk to office, instead of driving or renting a cab. You can leave home relatively early, and walk to office.
It’s just a matter taking the first step towards boosting your employees’ mental health. With the suggested changes, many mental health issues can be prevented and managed.

Dr Jankhana Hakani is a Consultant Psychiatrist and Counsellor. She is also a Health Council Member at Healthhunt.

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