Tips to Create Workplaces that Strengthen Employee Mental Health

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What the workplace looks like has changed a lot over the past few years. The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted priorities and has revealed the fact that workers don’t need to be at home to do a good job and the mental health of employees is pivotal to their productivity. 

Employees who work in all kinds of industries and environments have moved to virtual workplaces and have been working from home. The in-person interactions have decreased, leading to both benefits and drawbacks. Employees see our coworkers on conference calls and video meetings instead of seeing them at the coffee maker. 

Few workers are going out for drinks after work. In addition to the distance, employees are working in new hybrid workplaces and feel uncertainty about what the future holds. It is both nerve-wracking and exciting. The changes of the pandemic have negatively impacted mental health across the country, and it has affected productivity of the workplace. Below are some tips to create workplace environments that strengthen the mental health of employees. 

How We Can Succeed At Work

The productivity of our workplaces and the success of employees at work is not solely dependent on the quantity of work done, but the quality of the work. There are a wide range of factors that can throw employees off at work and lead to more errors. One of the most vital factors is mental health. If someone has poor mental health, they won’t be able to do their best work.

A productive employee will typically be open to discussion about the impact of emotional health in the workplace, but if they aren’t bettering themselves it can be a touchy subject. It’s imperative to  make sure every employee feels safe and supported while they’re working. Each of us is dealing with a complex set of challenges that should be understood within the workplace context to create the most healthy environment for their employees. 

How Employers Can Understand Us

Luckily, there are simple changes that can be implemented so every worker can thrive. For example, some employees need more regular check-ins with managers and leadership to help prioritize projects and remove the stress of not knowing if the employee is meeting expectations. Other employees might need a separate office, away from other distractions so that we can get into the flow of things. Others may require flexibility when they’re working so they can tend to their mental health in the ways that they see fit. 

What Mental Health Services Can Be Provided

Employers have started to step up and provide mental health services to their employees. They’re doing so because they understand there are numerous benefits of mental health training in the workplace including reducing stigma, improving productivity and performance, reducing workplace conflict, and improving employee health and wellness. 

Sometimes this mental health training will be focused on helping employees identify when they need help, knowing how to help others who are struggling, and working to create a work environment where people feel safe to talk about their mental health, the challenges of life, and how those challenges are impacting them in their day-to-day life.

How We Can Create Good Habits

While employer provided mental health services are great there are also a wide range of ways we can support our own mental health. During these uncertain times, mental health habits and routines may help you feel steadier and more secure. Some of these habits include paying attention to diet, exercising regularly, and making sure we are doing everything in our power to get enough sleep each night. Small steps taken every day can have a large impact on our overall mental health and well-being. We might consider adding one small healthy habit each day to see how we are doing mentally after a few weeks. 

How We Can Identify Sources Of Stress

Mental health is complex, and it is important that we have a holistic view of how we are doing at any one moment. For example, it is good to identify sources of stress in our lives such as caregivers, if you are facing financial woes, or if you’re worried about major challenges in your life. The ability to identify which areas of your life are making you stressed means we can find the support systems that we all need to thrive. This support could look like talking to a therapist, having a friend or family provide necessary care, and looking at what financial management resources are available to you.

How We Can Develop Mental Wellness

If we want to be able to feel confident and in control at work, we need to make sure to take advantage of workplace mental health programs, create good mental health habits, and understand how other areas of our lives might be impacting our mental health at our jobs. 

We spend a large portion of our days at work so if our work is not supportive of our mental health, anyone will face burnout very quickly. Mental health is important to consider in the workplace and at home. It is great that more and more organizations are having meaningful workplace diversity trainings around mental health and helping us learn to prioritize our own mental health.

Whatever you do for work and wherever your mental health is at, mental well-being is pivotal. You won’t be able to do the work you need to do if your mental health is poor (or non-existent). It’s absolutely imperative to put our well-being before everything else. If you do, you will be able to get all the things you need to get done. 

Whatever your passion, you simply won’t be able to do what you need to do if you aren’t feeling well. When you take the time to take care of yourself and do what you need to do, you will not only be happier. You will be more productive. Everything in your life will improve, including your experience at the workplace. Business owners and management should facilitate this for all of their employees.

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