Mental health is a subject which is only now receiving the attention it deserves. With one in every five of us in the US living with a mental condition of some description – amounting to over 50 million – it’s about time. Awareness of mental health is vital in professional circles as well as personal, as the rigors of work and the high-stress situations that result can worsen or even create conditions.
Thankfully, more and more businesses are beginning to treat mental wellness in the workplace seriously, introducing new programs and initiatives to support employees and minimize the effects of their workload. If you as a business leader are looking for your mental health strategy, the following tips can help you manage and improve the well-being of your workforce.
One of the bigger accommodations you can make to reduce stress in your team relates to the manner in which they work. Since the coronavirus pandemic, remote working has become a much more popular way of working; today, around nine out of ten workers prefer positions with the possibility of remote work over in-office roles.
There are a number of benefits attributed to work-from-home or hybrid-working agreements. For one, the stress of the morning commute is eliminated – alongside its often-significant monthly cost. Working from home also enables workers to manage their own working environment, ensuring they are as comfortable as can be.
For the employees that continue to work in the office, there are also workspace-related interventions you can make to improve morale and motivation. Lighting is especially key to the mood in the office; installing appropriate lighting in lamp sockets around the office can give you better control over the ambient light, lessening your office’s reliance on harsh fluorescent bulbs. Natural light is also key for mood, with mirrors an excellent option for bouncing more daylight around a darker office space.
Some employees may be reticent to mention that they are struggling – whether in general or as a result of their workload – to their superiors. This is understandable, especially where workers are concerned that their jobs may be on the line if they do not continue to perform their best.
To counter the ‘silent sufferers’ of your office, you could instruct department leaders to check in with their employees regularly. By keeping in touch with your staff, you can demonstrate that you care and also allow them to make requests about their working situation.
Recognition for Hard Work
Lastly, hard work can be a thankless task in many industries – but it doesn’t have to be. By recognizing employees for their contributions, whether ongoing or concerning a specific project, you ensure that they feel “seen”; recognition of hard work well done boosts morale, which in turn breeds more positivity and motivation. A workplace that endeavors to praise workers where it can is a positive one, conducive to a mentally healthy workforce.
HR Future Staff Writer