Creating a positive work environment doesn’t happen overnight, but there is a lot you can implement immediately to start paving the way for improved mental health for all employees. This article will share some of the most practical ways you can do this and create a healthier workspace for everyone involved in your business
1. Start Talking
Stress, anxiety, and depression are amongst the leading mental health issues that affect the general population, and in the workplace, this often leads to burnout, reduced productivity, and increased turnover rates.
One of the reasons why these issues are so prevalent is because there is a fear of speaking out about them. For example, even in highly developed nations, there are still stigmas surrounding mental health, and there is hesitation in bringing up these concerns to their supervisors.
To counteract this, leaders must be willing to allow open dialogue about mental health topics and listen and have empathy for their employees who report having issues.
When people feel free to speak up about mental health issues, like stress and anxiety, they will be more likely to reach out for support, and this can lead to a happier and healthier team.
2. Encourage Breaks
In a fast-paced modern work environment, there can be a tendency for people to overwork themselves and even skip out on breaks or work during lunch so that they can keep up with the responsibilities that the job demands.
However, the pros of taking breaks usually outweigh any benefits of using this time to catch up on work. Just taking five to ten minutes every so often to get up and stretch or change your environment can do wonders on a person’s ability to refocus and be more productive when it’s time to actually return to their tasks.
When people don’t take any breaks, though, this can cause physical and mental stress by straining the mind and body, and clearly, this won’t benefit anyone in the long run. Therefore, if you are leading your business, it’s optimal to make sure people are taking their breaks..
Breaks don’t need to necessarily be just brief ones either; people should also be encouraged to get enough sleep and take mental health or vacation days so that they can destress and recharge.
3. Provide Resources
While allowing people to talk and feel comfortable at work are valid solutions, the issues that commonly affect the workplace aren’t usually ones that will go away on their own, and individuals will need extra support so that they can address their concerns head-on.
One of the most effective ways to do this is by pointing them in the direction of a mental health professional, such as a counselor or therapist who is familiar with the problems that can persist at work.
For example, professionals can help people become better communicators, which will aid in interpersonal relationships at work, and they can also teach them effective coping skills so that they can deal with stress. By doing so, you can help prevent conflicts and even burnout.
Online therapy is becoming an increasingly popular way to get this kind of assistance because it doesn’t have to cut into a work schedule, and finding an appointment is simple and flexible. Everything can be done from home or during breaks, making it easy to get the support you need.
Many great strides have been made when it comes to mental health education and resources, but there is still work to be done in some regards. By being open about it and helping people get access to assistance, you’re doing a big part in promoting mental health in the workplace, and this will gradually become the norm over time.