People normally spend a third of their lives at work. That is a lot of time and a lot of time not feeling good if you’re not looking after your employee’s mental health. Mental health in the workplace is just as important as physical health, yet this is something we all too often overlook. Staying mentally healthy is the best way to cope with those long working hours. So what can you do to make sure your staff is staying healthy? Let’s break it down.
The biggest factors that contribute to stress, anxiety and depression in the workplace are unsupportive relationships in the workplace and feeling powerless. Only half of Australians believe that their workplace promotes mental well-being. Then of course there are also those same risk factors that cause physical health problems like poor diet and little physical exercise. Other than promoting physical well-being in the workplace, there are certain steps you can take to help your staff to be mentally healthy.
Keep it Clean
We all know we need to keep the workplace hygienic but it’s important for mental health to also keep the workplace free of clutter. Clutter around desks, on the floors and in the break room can all cause employees to suffer mild forms of anxiety. A clean and clutter free working environment helps to promote a more relaxed state in your staff and reduce negative feelings. A clutter free environment will also of course help your staff to be more productive.
Stick to the same temperature
Ever hear your staff arguing over the thermostat? I bet you have. Everyone has slightly different preferences when it comes to temperature in the office but it’s best to keep the workplace the same temperature each day. Around 75˚F or 25˚C should do the trick. A 2015 survey of 129 office workers in the United States found that 42% of people thought their building was too warm, while 56% believed their office was too cold.
Put it on the agenda
Perhaps the most important thing you can do to help your staff’s mental health is destigmatise talking about mental health in the workplace. Put mental health on meeting agendas, refer to it in newsletters and discuss it with your occupational health and safety teams. This will help employees feel they are being listened to and they are cared for.
Learn about mental health in the workplace
This article might be your first step in learning about what you can do to improve the mental health of your workforce. But it shouldn’t stop here. According to a survey by Mind , 56% of employers said they would like to do more to improve staff wellbeing but didn’t feel they had the right training or guidance. There are many programs employers can take part in to learn about mental health in the workplace. Have a look at the programs in your area and get enrolled to create a better working environment for your staff.
Founder Dinis Guarda
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