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Why and How to Prioritize Mental Health in the Workplace

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Mental health is a hot topic these days, but it’s important that it doesn’t become yet another buzzword in the office. In 2022, we are two years post pandemic lockdown, and people are putting their mental health and wellbeing first more often than ever. This is apparent with the continuation of working from home along with other measures that are being brought into workplaces to prioritize the mental and emotional health and wellbeing of employees. But why exactly should mental health be prioritized in the workplace, and how can your business do this?

Mental Health Affects Work Performance

Our mental health can have a direct impact on our performance in the workplace. These days, employers are starting to wake up to the fact that it is not always as easy as it might sound to leave our personal lives at the door when we come into work. Mental health is not something that you can just switch off at 9AM and turn back on again at 5PM. Employees living with mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, OCD, BPD, bipolar disorder and even chronic stress will perform better when they are provided with the right support. In addition, they are more likely to be happier at work and tend to be loyal employees who appreciate working for an employer who clearly sees them as an individual and wants to ensure that their needs are met.

Supplemental Benefits

Supplemental benefits are a good place to start when it comes to offering more mental health support in your workplace. These benefits are great for both employers and employees as they can often be gotten at no extra cost to the employer, while providing employees with discounted access to things like therapy, gym memberships, healthy foods and other things that might help with improving mental health. In addition, insurance benefits like health, dental, or vision insurance will help ease anxiety and stress.

Mental Health Days

Allowing workers to take mental health days is an increasingly popular practice, and the vast majority of companies that do this say that it has had a positive impact on performance. The truth is that sometimes we all just need a break and pushing ourselves to work when we are not feeling mentally up to it could impact our performance for days or weeks afterwards. A mental health day is a great chance to reset, take a break and come back feeling more refreshed.

Flexible Working

One aspect of understanding employees’ mental health is to accept that not everybody gets work done the same way. For many companies, a flexible approach to working where employees are trusted to get on with the job in whatever way works best for them, as long as they can get the desired results, can often result in better mental health across the company. This could include working from home or flexible hours, as long as productivity is present. This takes the pressure off employees and gives them more autonomy to choose how they work best.

These days, mental health is something that employers simply can’t ignore. If you want your workplace to be more mental health friendly, these are just some of the main things you can do to get started.


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