3 Ways Employers Can Combat Mental Health in The Workplace

What Is Mental Health?

Mental health affects how people think, feel and do. This can include emotional, psychological and social well being. Mental health affects your mind, emotions, time, environment and relationships, and poor mental health can even take a toll on physical health, causing numerous life threatening diseases. 

Why Does It Matter? 

Mental health is as important as physical health. Four out of five employees say that workplace stress has an effect on their relationships in and outside of the workplace. Mental health struggles can impact the workplace, specifically by affecting employees’ physical health. Depression interferes with a person’s ability to complete physical job tasks about 20% of the time and reduces cognitive performance about 35% of the time. Additionally, depression can increase your risk of physical health concerns such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Mental health and physical health go hand in hand. As an employer, it is a responsibility to invest in your employees’ physical and mental health.

As an employer, it’s essential that you ensure that your employees are taking care of themselves. 

Here are 3 Ways Employers Can Combat Mental Health in The Workplace

Take Breaks

Sitting at a desk eight to five every day can be exhausting. Encourage employees to take breaks within their workday by going for a short walk, running an errand, eating out for lunch, or taking a lap around the internal office. When employees take breaks, their brain can better process things and have more “aha” moments, which ultimately makes them more productive. 

It’s important that employees take a lunch break every day, meaning an out-of-office “real” lunch break. About 35% of employees eat lunch at their desk every day, meaning they may not get up from their office during their 8 hour day. Lunch breaks should be an escape for people to take a second for themselves, without the craziness of the office.  

Do Not Hesitate To Disconnect

When your employees leave work in the evening, make an emphasis on disconnecting for a few hours. Set a company wide policy for a period of time of disconnection; where employees can’t and shouldn’t email each other regarding work tasks. Tools like “do not disturb” and “auto reply” notify people when someone is busy and will be back shortly. It is important for employees to treat themselves on days off from work, and do things like travel, explore, exercise, and learn. Believe it or not, these experiences can even bring new ideas that they can take back to work. It is also important to take advantage of time off, for an optimal work-life balance.   

Practice What You Preach

Set up a system where coworkers can hold each other accountable. Whether this is logging sleep or tracking steps, checking in with a coworker every so often is important to ensuring the workspace has healthy, happy employees. You may also consider doing wellness checks every so often. Nearly 70% of employees enrolled in a wellness program have reported higher job satisfaction. In summary, the workplace is an optimal setting to create awareness of the importance of mental health in and well being.