We offer some advice on how you can help and support positive mental health in the office.
Today is World Mental Health day, a day to spread awareness of a good mental health but also promote ways we can support and offer solutions that encourages a positive working life. It’s easy to make aware of a good mental health, but it’s vital to have the policy’s in place that supports your employees working life.
Encourage Flexible and Home Working.
Flexible and home working is quickly becoming the norm in many businesses, as it allows the employee much more power over their working life, but is it supporting their mental health? A recent study in flexible working has found that out of 115 companies, 39% of those who worked flexibly had benefited from better mental health, in addition it found that 43% who did not have the option of flexible working felt it would enable them to better manage their mental health and 69% of the respondents felt flexible working helped maintain a work-life balance.
Providing Mental Health Days
A poor mental health can have as much impact as an illness, so its important to treat bad mental health days as much as a sick day, offer compassion and understanding to workers who are being open about there mental health and need to take a mental health day. For the most part, the last thing an employee wants to do is stop working because of their mental health.
Support a culture of openness.
Senior managers play a major role in the type of culture you have in the workplace, as having a culture of openness and inclusiveness has a massive impact on your employee’s mental health. 1 in 6.8 suffer mental health problems at work and a recent study has shown that only 53 percent of employees feel comfortable talking about mental health issues such as depression and anxiety at work. Importantly it can also save you money, as better mental health support in the workplace can save UK business up to £8 billion per year, by reducing long term periods of absense.
Design an office that doesn’t encourage isolation.
The office the employee is in can have a massive impact on that person’s well-being. If you have an office that is closed off by partition walls, this can help increase isolation at work and can negatively impact team work. So, when looking at ways to improve your office have your employees’ feedback and needs at the heart of what you do, as they will be spending a large amount of there time there.
Offer Mental Health Awareness Training.
Mental health training is a great cost-effective way to promote mental well being in the office. Keeping your employees informed on dealing with mental health in the workplace allows them to have the skills and knowledge to deal with employees who are going through bad mental health. Training can include informing employees about the causes, symptoms and knowing the signs of a negative mental health. The mental health charity ‘Mind for better mental health‘ offers courses for business who want better to understand and promote their workers well-being.
Remember that removing the taboo is the greatest challenge of mental health in the office and no matter what you do as a business to support your staff’s well-being, some will still be reluctant to be open about it. So, it’s important to have the culture and policies in place to be ready for when any employee wants to be open about their mental well-being. Mental Health awareness day this year focus on suicide prevention, for more information on the day visit: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/world-mental-health-day