It’s not hard to guess that a mentally healthy workforce of an organization is its biggest asset.
Good mental health here refers to not only the absence of any mental disorder but to a state of wellbeing whereby the individual can realize his own potential, manage daily stress and increase or maintain a consistent work productivity, thereby benefiting his own and organization’s development.
According to a WHO report, depression is going to be the biggest cause of disability in both the developed and developing world by 2030.
It is a certain possibility that as a manager you will supervise someone who has some kind of mental health problem at some point in your career. However, seldom do you know that a subordinate working under you is suffering from some kind of mental health issue. This is because people with mental health issues manage to work successfully in most spectrums of workplaces and until they disclose it themselves no one even has an idea that they were suffering from any such problem. If we keep aside the clinical diagnosis, there are some other factors as well that determine an individual’s response to their mental health problems. These factors include support from family, friends and more importantly work colleagues and employers, as they are the biggest beneficiary of a person’s mental capabilities.
Organizations which encourage good mental health practices benefit in a number of ways. Not only they experience increased employee retention and reduced loss of corporate knowledge but also an enhanced productivity levels of all employees. In addition, there is a less absenteeism rate, which again is better productivity for the organization as a whole.
So how do you change a marginally unhealthy workplace to a healthy one?
The biggest step towards better mental health at workplace is to be taken by you yourself. It’s the individual who will have to take the responsibility of his work-life balance. As a part of your responsibility you are expected to speak up whenever the work expectations and demands are too much to handle. Until your employer knows where the pressure lies, it won’t be able to address it.
Instead of working hard and long hours, try to change your working strategy. Smart working involves tight prioritization and keeping away from distractions. Always try to avoid getting into unproductive activities even if they are a part of daily itinerary, like unstructured meetings or brainstorming sessions that tend to take up a lot of time.
Working for long hours at a stretch will ensure a breakdown at some point in time in the future. That’s why it is necessary that you include short breaks in your daily workday. Also, always ensure to keep a fine line between work and leisure. Never bring your work to home and even if you do then only work in a certain area at a certain time.
Work related stress is one of the biggest causes of mental ill health of employees. If you have any mental health problem, it’s time to identify the link between your working habits and problems. You can take help of your counselor or physician to reach a conclusion and solution for the same. However, don’t live in denial as the problems may compound with time and turn into serious physical conditions. Try to reduce the stress through recreational activities such as exercise, yoga, music and others.
Keep a track of your working hours over long periods of weeks or months and observe the cumulative effect on your health. In addition to the time you spend working, also take into account the hours spent worrying about work related problems or assessing your work-life balance. These are also accountable for work-related mental stress. You can compare the results with one of your colleagues who is better at managing his work-life balance.
You can also take assistance from external agents such as a health counselor who can help you identify the causes and solutions to your stress triggers and improve your mental health. A counselor will able to help you effectively manage your tasks and minimize the risk of any work-related stress. Such help is especially useful in cases where the victim finds it impossible to induce a change in his working habits or style
Mental training courses can play an important role in improving the mental health of an individual. These courses can condition the brain to withstand long hours of stress without affecting the individual’s physical health. These e-courses are a good way of performing mental exercise and inducing good mental strength in the individual. Organizations should encourage participation in such activities. Even simple online aptitude tests help to improve our mental health and wellbeing.
Saurabh is a blogger with interests in various new media technologies. He made a radical shift from his core engineering degree to this world of internet. A self-confessed gadget freak and social media enthusiast, he keenly follows the latest trends in the tech world and aspires to be a complete Internet expert and a technology maven in the long run. His articles offer resume writing advice to professionals who are interested in making their career in data analytics, inbound marketing, email marketing, affiliate marketing, SEO and other internet related fields.
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