5 tips on how to improve mental health in the workplace

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When people look for a job they are not only looking for a place that will meet their monetary needs. Even though the salary is an important motivator, it’s not the only one and for a lot of people, it’s not even one of the highest on their “perfect employer” wish list. What many employees are looking for in a workplace is the right culture and work-life balance.

 

“Culture can come across as just another buzzword, but finding the right culture can be the determining factor in how you feel about your job”, we can read in one of the Glassdoor articles.

 

It’s easy to agree with this statement because when presented with a choice we all would probably pick a supportive, energized, and positive work environment with some kind of employee assistance program over the one that has a negative impact on our mental health, that doesn’t care about mental health conditions and doesn’t promote well being.

 

The right company’s culture cares about mental health at work and ensures that the team members feel valued for their work, sustained, and encouraged to grow. Many people don’t realize how important it is for not only employees to fit the job, but also for the job to fit employees’ life.

 

A happy employee who works at a place that agrees with his life is less likely to quit. However, it’s not as simple as creating a supportive, innovative, and motivating atmosphere. It’s not one “right culture”. 

 

Types of work cultures and individuality

 

“Keep in mind that different types of people seek out different types of work cultures. Some people like to work solo, others love being part of a team. Some people are motivated by the pressure of hard culture, while others look for autonomy in soft culture” 

 

Choosing the right culture model for your company is one thing, but finding people who perform well in the kind of environment that you want to create is another thing entirely. This is why it’s so crucial to have a well-prepared recruitment process in place that follows the right methodology and is conducted by someone with knowledge about the process and the technology.

 

Before conducting any of the processes though, one should know what the company has to offer to the potential employee. A well-thought and thoroughly prepared recruitment process can contribute to reducing the rotation of the employees and all the costs that it usually generates. What are the other ways in which we can ensure that our employees stay with us? 

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How to Promote Employee mental health in the workplace: work environments

 

“In a 2020 study of 1,000 American workers, 80% said they would consider quitting their current position for a job that focused more on employees’ mental health.”

 

Since then it was confirmed through many studies that workplace mental health had become one of the most important factors for quitting your job. Companies worldwide started changing to accommodate the need for workplace wellness programs and a healthy workplace environment by coming up with mental health activities for employees. 

 

How to promote wellness in the workplace? One can start with benefits such as co-financing sports cards and private healthcare, but lately, it became even more popular to change the office spaces to further contribute to employee mental health.

 

Giving the employees room to relax and unwind between tasks or simply have fun with colleagues is seen as beneficial as it contributes to building healthy workplace relationships between co-workers, increases their motivation, and decreases work-related stress.

 

To achieve that we, at Profil Software, had one of the rooms designed to act as a “fun room” which we furnished with a Billiard table, a couch, and a TV with PlayStation, Chess, and an old-school arcade machine and seats for those who would like to watch others play.

 

Are you wondering how to create a space like this? You may want to take a page out of Profil Software’s book. 

 

To promote mental health in the workplace, good work relationships between co-workers, and encourage a healthy lifestyle, Profil Software created an office that included rooms designated for meditation and relaxation, a space for playing games and spending time with colleagues, and a room acting as an office gym.

 

What we did was we set up a room with a secluded area with two lounge chairs and flowers with white curtains for privacy during meditation sessions. As for the gym, we’ve asked our employees what they would like to have, and what gym equipment would come in handy the most, and then worked on bringing this idea to life. 

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Since mental health issues can have a significant impact on employees’ mental wellbeing, job satisfaction, and even job performance, it is important to encourage employees to take care of their mental health daily. To do that one may turn to meditation.

 

Mental Health Activities in the workplace: Meditation

 

According to Martin Hassall, founder of Meditation in the Workplace and the voice behind the Meditation in The Workplace App –  Take3Breaths, not only does meditation decrease stress and anxiety and help with sleep, but also increases productivity, motivation, and even creativity. Sometimes as much as 5 minutes of breathing exercise or quick guided sleep meditations, sessions for stress relief and more, can change the whole day. 

 

The room we’ve created for meditation was used for the first time during the Meditation workshops that we held at our office earlier this year. In search of ways in which we could support Mental Health of our employees, we invited Martin Hassall to guide us through our first meditation sessions. For the whole week, we participated in meditation sessions, and breathing exercises and we listened to presentations on how to promote wellness in the workplace and meditation itself. 

 

We strongly believe that meditation may be used to improve company efficiency and lead to positive changes in relations between co-workers. Investing resources in supporting employee mental health within your company is especially important now that we see such a big change in terms of remote and hybrid work.

 

Since employees spend more time working from home now, it’s important to find a way to still connect with them and to even reshape the way one approaches team building.

 

Workplace Mental Wellness: Remote and hybrid work model

Covid-19 changed a lot in terms of how we view working from the office. Before the pandemic, it was unimaginable for many companies to work remotely. Lockdown showed us that it’s not only possible but in a lot of cases, it’s also beneficial for the employees and by extension for a company as well. According to studies, employees’ engagement isn’t the highest for stationary workers. 

 

“Gallup’s February 2022 study indicates that engagement is highest for those who are hybrid or fully remote. Engagement is lowest for fully on-site workers whose job responsibilities can be at least partially performed remotely. In contrast, fully remote workers experience less burnout than all other remote-capable employees, while fully on-site workers have the highest burnout.”

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This doesn’t apply to everyone. Some people have no means to work from home, either because they have no space or no peace at home, or simply because they enjoy being out and with their colleagues.

 

However, it has been proven that people tend to be happier when they have the choice of working remotely, in hybrid mode, or from the office, so if you’re a company looking to hire, it is advisable to consider what working model and how much flexibility are you going to offer to your employees. 

 

Once you decide on working in a hybrid or remote model, there will be some challenges you’ll have to overcome to make the best out of the situation. With employees no longer in the office, it might be harder to monitor their job satisfaction or whether or not they’re overworking themselves or feeling stressed.

 

“As offices transition to hybrid arrangements and challenges associated with managing schedules arise, it will be important to monitor employee burnout. Flexible work arrangements and extreme employee autonomy can quickly morph into a 24/7 work experience that becomes difficult to turn off outside of normal business hours.”

 

As was already mentioned, one of the things you can do as an employer is to make sure that employee mental health and physical health are taken care of by promoting workplace mental health. Since we, at Profil Software, have already implemented all the ideas we talked about in this article, we know that people appreciate companies that genuinely care about workplace Mental Health support.

 

Encouraging employees to lead a healthy lifestyle and promoting mental health in the workplace by either introducing mental health benefits, such as co-financing entries to sports facilities, or by designing spaces at your office dedicated to meditation, relaxation, and even physical activity may play a huge role in preventing burnout, depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.

 

 

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