Guide to Employee Mental Health

Work is an important component of life. Studies indicate that it can also be a grueling aspect that can have a profound negative impact on mental health. Work overload, long hours, and relentlessly hectic environments can lead to anxiety, depression, and other stress-related mental health issues. Because of this, it’s important for employers to promote strategies that create healthier work environments and encourage a positive work-life balance. The following resources can help accomplish this.


The Role of Mindfulness

It’s easy to be so concerned with what’s happening next that what’s happening now gets lost in the shuffle. This seems particularly true in this age of social media and handheld technology, which facilitate constant, nagging intrusions and demands for attention. However, studies indicate that mindfulness strategies designed to get people to focus on the present can reduce stress in the workplace and can have positive ramifications outside of the office.

Keeping Office Pets

Studies indicate pet ownership can promote a greater sense of mental health. This data has made offices more receptive to having pets in an office setting. While this does require the creation of several rules to promote a symbiotic work environment, allowing employees to bring their pets to work could increase production and lower stress.


Taking Mental Health Breaks

Americans are practically conditioned to work at a persistent rate. While this may seem to be the way to get ahead in the corporate world, studies indicate putting too many hours into work and ignoring a proper work-life balance can actually do more harm than good, particularly when it comes to mental health. Taking a reasonable number of mental health breaks from work, on the other hand, can leave a person ready to take care of business in a relaxed, rejuvenated fashion.

Turning Off the Tech

While cell phones and handheld devices have revolutionized communications, they are also responsible for the unfortunate reality that many people are now constantly connected to work. This perpetual link to the corporate world can be a prime mover behind an employee’s mental health degradation. That’s why the simple act of “unplugging” from these devices can do wonders for reducing work-related anxiety and stress.

The Need for Sleep

Increased anxiety and decreased productivity can be two key signs that an employee is experiencing mental health problems, and they can also point to a lack of sleep. Unsurprisingly, studies show that a distinct correlation exists between the two issues. A lack of sleep can lead to problems at work and, conversely, overwork can cause insomnia or sleep disruption. Good sleep habits and work-life balance can potentially lead to improvements in the well-being of workers.


What Employers Can Do to Help

Employers can have an immediate impact on the mental health of their employees. Since studies indicate a correlation between improved employee mental health and better productivity, keeping workers in a good state of mind is more likely to boost profitability than keeping them at their desks for extended periods. Fortunately, there are several steps employers can take to encourage their staff to take better care of their mental health.

Outlets for Outreach

Unfortunately, there are times when improving employee mental health isn’t as simple as allowing pets in the office or encouraging the occasional day off. In these cases, the causes of an employee’s struggles may need referral to an outside source. This is why having an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for a worker to reach out to can be a key component to an overall wellness strategy.

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