Productivity

How To Build A Mentally Healthy Workplace

Avatar of Autonomous Autonomous | Mar 29, 2021
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For many people, the workplace is where they spend a major portion of their lives. More and more job seekers are looking for a fulfilling job that pays well and supports mental health in the workplace.

Sometimes the pressure of finishing a deadline and working in a fast-paced environment can become overwhelming for employees. As the manager, they look up to you to create a supportive organizational culture that champions mental health and general well-being.

Read on to learn more about how you can improve work mental health for your employees. 

Why Employers Need To Show Their Support For Mental Health In The Workplace

Support For Mental Health In The Workplace

According to the World Health Organization, the global economy loses $1 trillion each year due to lost productivity.

The topic of mental health in the workplace is considered taboo due to the stigma attached to mental illnesses. Employees become reluctant to seek help, and many employers tend to seem unapproachable about such issues.

Here are some ways in which a negative work environment can affect your employees.

Job Performance

An employee with a mental illness may suffer from a lack of stamina and an inability to handle multiple tasks. Their inability to finish projects while dealing with time pressures will delay the company's work.

This will also severely affect workplace morale. It will cost the business time and money to deal with such issues.

Communication In The Workplace

Communication In The Workplace

Mental illnesses can also impact the employees’ social skills, especially communication skills. Moreover, not properly communicating their experiences to others out of fear will make them cut communication with everyone.

An employee with poor mental health is unable to engage with work and managers such as yourself. The lack of clear and effective communication in meetings will take you further away from achieving your business objectives.

Physical Health And Daily Functioning

Physical Health And Daily Functioning

Many people take up bad habits like over/under-eating or smoking to deal with mental health issues. Such habits can increase the possibility of employees developing physical health problems as well. 

The further deterioration of physical and mental health will leave them incapacitated. This extends to not only complex projects but also basic daily tasks.

How To Design A Workplace That Supports Mental Health And Well-Being

You need to get ahead of such situations by making room for conversations about mental health in the workplace. This is not just to reduce the long-term health and disability costs from poor mental health. You do this to make your employees feel more supported and welcomed.

If you are looking for ways to overcome this issue, know that there is no quick fix for it. Right from the get-go, you need to build a company culture that promotes health interventions to optimize work mental health.

Here are some ways to do just that.

Encourage Communication And Education

Encourage Communication And Education

First step is to normalize discussions about mental health in the workplace. Employees do not know how to handle mental health issues because of a lack of knowledge.

You can reduce the adverse effects of mental illnesses by educating your staff with mental and physical health interventions. This means hosting seminars about stress and mental health management practices.

This also creates a space for employees to discuss their mental health stories with employers.

As an employer or manager, you should take the initiative to join leadership training programs. These programs will train you in identifying symptoms of mental illnesses and managing a mentally healthy workforce.

Work And Personal Life Balance

work life balance

While juggling heavy workload, many employees feel the need to compromise on their personal relationships and goals. That is why employees need to allow some flexibility in the work hours and offer both personal and sick days off.

A good work-life balance will improve the mental well-being of the employees. Your workforce becomes more productive, efficient, and motivated to conduct business as usual.

Provide Employee Benefits

An employee should have access to benefit programs that allow them to take care of themselves.

For instance, you can offer health insurance that covers mental illness medication and counseling. For better mental health, employees should also get subsidized or free counseling, life coach, or stress management programs.

Update Workplace Design

Update workplace design

Another way to create a positive workspace is to give the workspace a whole new look.

You can upgrade workspace for mental health with open spaces that foster communication and collaboration.  A separate area for relaxation or lunch breaks will allow employees to get some quiet solitude time.

How Companies Can Upgrade The Working Space For Employees

Studies show that the indoor working environment's quality affects the general comfort and productivity levels of the employees. For instance, old chairs will strain the back, causing tiredness and thereby mental stress.

Investment in modern and smart office furniture will go a long way in easing the employees' work. As a result, they feel less stressed, overcoming various mental health problems.

SmartDesk and ErgoChair 2

Here are some furniture options you can add to your workspace.

Standing Desks

The physical and mental benefits of standing desk are immense. It keeps you active and strengthens your muscles. By enhancing your physical capabilities, it allows you to feel more energetic and mentally fit to work.

Pros

  • Strengthens legs and back muscles
  • Modern and sleek look

Cons

  • More investment than regular desks
  • Not meant for employees with severe leg pain

Ergonomic Chairs

An electric standing desk can switch to a regular desk when you and your employees need to sit down. In such cases, ergonomic chairs will be a great addition to all such desks.

Mental illnesses often result from severe backache and headaches. An ergonomic office chair will give you lumbar support that corrects your posture.

Pros

  • Great for back and neck support
  • Reduces risk of mental health problems arising out of physical ailments

Cons

  • More expensive than standard office chairs

With both standing desks and ergonomic chairs, your company will be required to make a hefty investment. However, the comfort and convenience they offer to employees for their well-being make it well worth it.

You can always go for a bulk office furniture order for special discounted prices.

Final Thoughts

Work and mental health go hand-in-hand. Whether it is severe depression or a common burnout, mental illnesses have a significant impact on employees and businesses as a whole.

The best thing you can do for your employees during such challenging times is always to provide a helping hand.

However you do this, make sure it conveys to the employees that you always encourage improved mental health in the workplace. It should never be considered an after-thought.

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