9 Ways to Stay Sane and Improve Your Mental Health at Work

Businesswoman meditating at her desk to improve her mental health at work
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Overview

Mental health issues are more common in the workplace than you might think. According to the Mental Health Foundation, around one in six people experience anxiety, stress, or depression at some point in their career.

Needless to say, such problems will not improve employee’s productivity. As an employer, looking out for your staff’s mental well-being is not just the right thing to do – it’s also better for your business. But how can you do it?

In this article, you’ll discover nine effective ways to support the mental health of your employees and make your company a better place to work.

1. Encourage Physical and Mental Activity

Employees put hours of their lives every day into building your organization, so is it too much to ask for you to invest in them in return? One of the best ways to do this is to promote their mental health by encouraging them to be active physically and mentally.. 

Remember: just because an employee shows up every day in the office doesn’t mean that he or she is in perfect health. Sometimes work pressure and stress can impact mental health adversely. That’s why you should keep your employees engaged. Try organizing fun sessions featuring activities such as quizzes and charades. 

Alternatively, you can hire or partner with organizations to hold meditation courses and yoga workshops in your office. Both are great ways to improve mental health and well-being. Remember, your employees can only work to their full potential if they are fit in body and mind.

2. Foster Team-Building

Team-building activities help to improve the psychological well-being of your employees. Such activities ensure that projects can run smoothly even when you as a leader are busy with other things. Team-building teaches employees to value each other’s unique contributions to the business’s success.. 

Encouraging team building activities to ensure that your colleagues work in harmony with each other. They can communicate the requirements of a task in a better manner and help each other in times of need. Team-building activities such as scavenger hunts, egg drops, the human knot, and other fun quizzes are excellent examples. 

Make sure that all your team members participate and have some time out from their routine activities.

3. Make Working Hours Flexible

Most leaders have too much on their shoulders. Be it managing their team, getting a task done, crunching the numbers, and preparing reports to highlight the work in front of the management. 

However, as the responsibilities are eventually passed onto the team, there’s too much to do for everyone. While micromanaging is the worst thing to do, most leaders end up doing it. Instead, make it a point to encourage flexible working hours for your team. 

Since most of your employees will likely be working from home, they will have to take care of more than just office duties. Therefore, a little empathy in providing them with flexible work hours can go a long way in your relationship. It will give them peace of mind while also helping them get their work done on time.

4. Provide Your Employees with Emotional Support

If you believe that your employees are bound to their duties because they are getting paid for the job, think again!  Remember that your team are real people, not robots whose sole purpose is to follow your orders. 

It falls on you to step up and support your employees not just monetarily, but also on an emotional level. This can take the form of motivating them regularly or mentoring them in a personal session; whatever it is, make it a point to value their emotions. Employees who feel they have a safe space where they can voice their concerns are more open to new challenges and ideas. 

5. Allow Employees to Take Mental Health Days

Just because you are physically fit doesn’t mean that you are always in tip-top shape to work. Sometimes an employee might be physically present, but unable to give 100 percent to a task. Poor mental health can take a toll on productivity and impede cognition. 

Therefore, make sure to encourage your employees to take some time off from work when they do not feel mentally well. Allow them to take a day off after completing a particularly high-effort task to refresh themselves before they take on new duties or responsibilities. 

6. Share Helpful Resources on Good Mental Health

A good read or video never goes out of fashion. Why not share something that helps improve mental health with your employees? 

Maybe there’s a new breathing technique or quick 1 minute exercises that help reduce anxiety. Share useful resources with your employees so that they feel valued and learn to prioritize their mental health. 

7. Do Regular 1:1 Check-Ins

Don’t forget to conduct one-on-one sessions with your team members. Many times people are not comfortable sharing ideas or their challenges in front of the entire team. Therefore, it is possible that they feel left behind or excluded from the group. 

With personal sessions, you can efficiently address the problems and develop a better connection with your employees. And you never know which of your employees have been keeping one of their most innovative ideas just because they couldn’t speak up in front of everyone. 

Alternatively, one-on-one conversations also help team members open about a personal problem or mental health issue they might have been facing. 

8. Champion Frequent Breaks

Many studies found that employees stay productive by taking breaks. Encourage your employees to take time out to relax over the day with regular morning and evening coffee breaks. 

Everyone needs a few breaks throughout the working day to recharge their batteries. Inspire your workers to take some time to stretch, walk around, and a quick nap. These activities will help you to reduce their stress level and improve their mood.

9. Conduct Surveys

You can survey employees regularly to check on their mental health. Anonymous surveys are a great way to get honest insight into issues such as workload, work-life balance, anxiety, and stress, and employees feel more comfortable answering these questions in an anonymous format.

Here are some example questions:

  • “During the past four weeks, how often have you felt sad or depressed?”
  • “Do you feel like your company currently aids in stress management?”
  • “How would you describe your work-life balance?”

Send your survey now and find out how your employees currently feel about mental wellness.

Wrap-Up

It’s up to you as an employer to ensure that the people who work for you are mentally healthy, and it’s also in your best interest.

Pawan Kumar

Pawan Kumar

Pawan Kumar has written for MarketingProfs, Jeffbullas.com, Entrepreneur, Addicted2Success, ShoutmeLoud, SEMrush, Huffpost and many other publications. When he’s not creating content at Springworks, he’s usually reading, blogging, or watching movies. Find him on Twitter @prepawan

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