The Link Between Mental Health and the Workplace

Franchesca Brawn
The Link Between Mental Health and the Workplace

 

Mental health problems are a leading cause of rising sickness in the workplace. Employers must understand this and ensure they provide support. We take you through a few tips.

Firstly, “mental health”, what does it mean?

“A person’s condition with regard to their psychological and emotional well-being.” Oxford Dictionary.

The typical 9-5 worker spends 2,349 hours and 261 day at work each year – not including overtime! Taking up a large proportion of their life. Employers need to ensure they are taking care of their employees mental and physical wellbeing. Luckily in society we are experiencing a movement towards removing the stigma of mental health issues and it’s not as much of a ‘taboo’ subject than previous years.

Retaining happy and healthly staff should be one of the key objectives for any business owner, yet a challenging one.

Make Time

The charity Mind, have some fantastic tips on how to take care of your staff. ‘I don’t have time’ is a regular thought for a business owner when projects are busy and time is poor. However, it’s important to realise that in order for you to run a successful business in which runs at peak performance, your staff are key.

“Your organisation is only as strong as its people.”

Wellbeing and motivation are so closely linked, Mind points out that increasing levels of staff wellbeing and engagement should be a major priority for UK leaders. Research shows that when employees feel their work is meaningful and they are valued and supported, they have higher wellbeing levels, are more committed to the organisation’s goals and, most importantly, they perform better too.

It’s not uncommon for companies to have an employee assistance programme where workers have access to a support team of councillors or life coaches. It that is out of reach for a smaller organisation, there are a number of options such as confidential phone helplines that are available.

Environment 

Did you know that going for a walk can boost your creativity? There is some science behind this too as trees give you cleaner air to breathe. The immitted oxygen helps your brain function and focus. A study by Matthew Silverstone reveals that the alleviation of mood is also down to vibrations.

It is said that everything around us vibrates and that different vibration frequencies affect biological behaviour. When you touch a tree, its vibrational properties are different from our own and as a result it absorbs negative energy.

Have you ever noticed in hotels, hospitals and spas that they have lots of pictures of trees on the walls too? It’s not going to be as powerful as going for a walk, however, incorporating a nature inspired design and of course lots of greenery and plants can help keep employees feeling positive, creative and motivated.

A big trend within the office interior design industry is greenery walls, check out some of our favourites. 

(Image Credits: The Modern House, Axiom Head Office, Greenery, Best Buds.)

greenery in office design
 

Office Design

The flow and design of your office can affect how your employees feel when they walk in each day. Open plan offices have become the norm for modern businesses. Replacing old fashioned modular and closed-door solid partition offices. Having these open spaces helps to promote teamwork, creativity and encourages collaboration across teams.

It’s vital that employees feel part of a team for their wellbeing. Working within a team increases a healthly environment and helps drive better results, inspiring employees to achieve goals.

It also battles loneliness, and helps your staff to bond and develop relationships with co-workers. Aiding their communication, highlighting individuals’ strengths and talents.

There are a few open office layouts you can adopt.

First being the full cubicle, it’s a great option for those who are not ready to adopt a full open plan space. It’s still open plan but each worker gets a cubicle offering a little more privacy, noise control and helps to hinder distractions. Ideal for call centres or where workers use the phone often.

Half Partitions are also widely used, they are low screens that are attached to desks. They help give privacy without being too invasive.

Then you can use a team enclosure system, these screens (usually glass) help to provide zones within your open space. A good option for teams who need to communicate often without distraction.

Finally, you have the fully open plan option. Everyone sits alongside each other with no partition, walls or screens. This kind of layout, when planned well can be extremely effective way to encourage team collaboration, improve motivation and team effectiveness.

Consider adding break out areas as well, this helps provide a space for employees to go for a change of scene, a place for them to gather their thoughts or simply have some privacy. 

(Image credits: Appointy, stock)

 

open office layout examples

 

These are just a few of the things that business owners can adopt and think about in order to support their teams wellbeing.  

 

To learn more about how we can help, contact our team here.

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