Tips for Improving Mental Health in the Workplace

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Written by: Valbona Shameti
Human Resources & Engagement Coordinator
Diversity MBA Media

 

 

Mental health wellness:

Mental health: a topic that is often taboo in the business world, but that has been gaining a lot of traction recently. More companies are starting to talk about mental health and employee wellness and implementing programs into their organizations to make sure that their employees are doing well. While it can be a tricky and broad topic to tackle, there are plenty of small things manager, supervisors, and companies can do to reduce employee stress and increase mental well-being.

  1. Make sure your employees know they can ask for help. Often times supervisors will give their employees more work and employees will take it on with the intent that they can handle the extra work, or with the intent that they don’t want to come off as “lazy” or “slow” to their superiors. When employees are handed too much work, they become overwhelmed, anxious, and stressed out. They may start putting in extra hours to complete new tasks, get less sleep, and develop a negative mood when in office that can rub off on other employees. Overall, the lack of sleep, longer working hours, and stress will contribute to a decline in employee mental health, which will then add a negative energy to a positive work culture and may even create resentment within that one employee. Supervisors and higher ups should make it very clear to all employees that it is okay and encouraged to speak up and ask for help if they feel that their workload is too much to handle. This way, bosses can take tasks that may not be major priorities off the plate of one employee and move the due date or give it to another employee who may have more time. This sense of open communication not only helps decrease burnout, but also helps employees put more focus on more important tasks and shows them that their organization cares about them and their mental well-being.
  2. Bring nature inside. Having plants around the office and letting in as much sunlight as possible can also contribute to positive mental well-being. Many people will go outdoors to relieve their stress, so bringing the outdoors inside will have a similar effect. Plants in the office add more oxygen to the space and studies show that stress can be reduced and mental health improved just by looking at a plant, especially during fatigue hours. Tending and caring for plants has also been proven to relieve stress. Open windows and more sunlight in the office can also help improve mental health. Vitamin D helps to release mood boosting chemicals, which can reduce stress and the feeling of burnout. Supervisors should encourage employees to have lunch outside on bright sunny days and keep blinds/curtains in the office open to optimize the amount of sunlight coming in. If possible, having an outdoor workday at the office on a nice day is also a great chance for employees to not only get fresh air, but to also relax and stay energized while working.
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