Mental health is a significant part of overall well-being. The concept of health is incomplete without including mental health as a component. Mental health is mental well-being. It translates into having the ability to cope with life stressors and also being able to realize your potential. It is also the ability to cope with life’s daily stressors and have a healthy relationship with self and others. It is not absolute but dynamic. It fluctuates between good and poor over time. It is vibrant and based on interaction with the outside environment and personal experiences.
One such environment affecting a person’s mental health is the office. It is where we spend most of our time and effort in the early years and even the later years of our careers. Our interactions with our peers, boss, management, and our subordinates. Even the physical conditions of the office, such as space, lighting, and temperature, affect our working thinking and abilities. The policies adopted by the management towards its employees also matter. The nature of work also has a significant role to play in a person’s mental health.
A better working environment can increase the productivity of the individual doing a particular job, and a healthy working environment can also support the growth of its employees, career-wise and as a person. Excellent job satisfaction can lead to much-improved output for a company and the employee. The frame of mind at work carries forward into the home front too.
Therefore maintaining good working conditions at the office and ensuring the good mental health of employees can do wonders for a company.
What factors can contribute to bad mental health in a workplace?
The following factors can contribute to bad mental health in the workplace:
- Fewer opportunities for relaxation
- Congested working space with poor amenities
- Working overtime is the norm.
- Inconsiderate behavior on the part of peers and boss.
- Poor pay
- No incentives in the form of bonuses or any added benefits.
- No safe space to discuss problems on the work and personal front.
- No job security. There is no telling when you will lose your job.
- lack of participation in decision-making.
- Uncooperative management, and I’ll define work roles.
How to improve Mental Health at work?
The management, authorities, and employees must continuously monitor mental health in the workplace, and employers should offer professional help. Below are some of the ways to improve mental health in the workplace.
- Having an area dedicated to relaxation and unwinding. It could have some books to read, maybe a ping pong table, or even a treadmill. Anything to burn the extra stress off and help people get back to work.
- Professional counseling services should be offered to all employees to better deal with all the stressors in their life and the workplace. It should be a safe space to open up.
- Tools for mental health assessment should be made available to employees to keep a tab on their mental well-being, like mental health questionnaires, work satisfaction assessments, and productivity assessments.
- There should be employee benefits that cover health and education expenses. These benefits would take off significant stress associated with these areas of life.
- Encourage bonding among coworkers by organizing fun group activities and events.
- A health bonus can be introduced for the employees to prioritize their health and get frequent checkups.
- Employees in a company should foster good interpersonal relationships. Interpersonal relationships will help reduce work stress and build rapport for a better working experience.
- Employees should also strive to provide job security to the employees in the wake of all the jobs that are being lost due to the pandemic.
A robust workforce will lead to better outcomes, profits, new and creative ideas, and better overall health. Poor decision-making, reduced working capacity, and poor health outcomes for everyone are some outcomes of a neglected workforce.