Human beings crave certainty; we thrive on stability and being able to control and predict the future to our best. But with the pandemic, uncertainty has become the norm. Over 2 crore Indians have lost their jobs in the second wave of the pandemic (source). There has been an increase in fear over loved ones or oneself getting Covid-19 and job loss. Feelings of isolation have also tremendously intensified.  The second wave of Covid-19 saw a 40 percent increase in daily distress calls, the majority of those having to do with anxiety over schools reopening, credibility of vaccines, and more (source). A May report talked about a surge in consultancies for mental health issues caused by fears of losing a loved one or jobs and post Covid-19 recovery trauma.

Globally, depression and anxiety disorders have costed 1 trillion US dollars (source). Not only is poor mental health detrimental to employee productivity, but it’s also costing businesses money.  

Poor mental health caused by various factors including stress, pandemic fatigue and work pressure leads to decreased job productivity, demotivation, lack of focus, poor communication and reduced resilience to work needs. 

World Mental Health Day is observed on October 10th to raise awareness about mental health issues and meet the growing need for support and care. The theme for this year,‘Mental Health in an Unequal World’, was announced by the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) President, Dr Ingrid Daniels. 

Our jobs take up most of our waking time, with a typical workday lasting for 8 hours, excluding commute. Mental health care in this scenario is no longer an option, but a necessity. Let’s make mental health care in the workspace a reality. 

 

What causes poor mental health conditions at the workplace?

Inadequate support from managers and increased performance pressure

When managers put unrealistic expectations on employees or expect them to always work at their best, it leads to added stress. On the other hand, if managers expect the employees to work on their own, without sharing resources or engaging with them meaningfully it can leave workers demotivated and overwhelmed. 

Poor management practices and job insecurity

Poor communication between employee and managers can lead to increased workspace stress and strained relationships. Job insecurity is also a major fear among employees who often have loved ones relying on them for income. 

Poor safety and health policies

When workspaces have employees working in hazardous conditions, or if the workspace is poorly ventilated, or unsanitary etc., it leads to the risk of losing workers, reduced profitability, and leaves employers open to prosecution.

How can employers help employees to achieve better mental health?

Carry out surveys to identify mental health concerns

When a tangible report or survey is at hand, it makes it easier to address mental health concerns. It also helps to understand the employee’s stance on mental health and push organisations to do better. 

Encourage a culture of work-life balance

Blurring of work and home lives in the Work From Home (WFH) situation, can make employees lose their sense of work-life balance. People need to connect with others, indulge in some ‘me time’ and fun activities to recharge themselves and maintain sound mental health.

Organise online activities

Encourage your employees to take a break and de-stress with online games. Make fitness an engaging collective activity where employees can participate in live fitness classes. Activities like these will help employees put health and wellbeing first. Thereby creating an environment where they can motivate each other to stay fit.

Keep an eye out for signs of mental distress

Decrease in productivity and engagement, change in eating or sleeping behaviours, are some of the few signs indicating poor mental health, which leads us to our next point. 

Manager sensitization

Educating managers about issues that employees are currently facing and those that can crop up in the future can keep miscommunication at bay. This can help managers lead with kindness and empathy and boost productivity!

Create avenues for employees to freely talk about their mental health

Managers can provide a kind, listening ear and promote more openness by talking about their own stories. An encouraging and supporting workspace can build a culture of acceptance and reduce the stigma around mental health.

More sustainable ways of working

With the shift to WFH, there has been an increase in flexibility of work timings and workspace. Managers need to establish clear communication guidelines regarding urgency, completion, and communication of task goals. This will reduce confusion and stress, ensuring smooth workflow. 

Connect with your employees

Create meaningful connections with your employees. Questions like ‘How are you?’ followed up with ‘Is there anything I can do to help?’ goes a long way in showing that employees are cared for, and their concerns are heard. Providing employees adequate mental healthcare benefits should be top priority. You can establish Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and a variety of other services as part of your corporate wellness program to help your employees deal with their stressors better.

How can Wellbeing on the Web help you?

Wellbeing on the Web (WoW) is an online health and wellness program that can help you take care of your employee’s emotional wellbeing. We have dedicated EAP services for mental health requirements, a mood meter, emotional self-assessment tools, webinars headed by mental health experts and so much more.  

Wellbeing on the Web also covers Physical, Social and Financial pillars of wellbeing, all offered on one digital platform.  

How does it work? Get a free demo here.

+91 99809 30541 | reachus@thefullerlife.com