Poor mental health can have a devastating impact on businesses and of course the employees themselves. Mental health disorders are becoming more common and given that we spend upwards of eight hours a day in the workplace, it’s time employers start to take accountability.
Office furniture suppliers, DBI Furniture asked over 2,000 people if they felt like their employer could do more to support their mental health and wellbeing. The results showed us that:
- Just under half (48%) of respondents said that they would like more mental health support from their employer on some level
- 53% of 18-34 need more mental health support from their employer
That’s not all the results show. When we dig down further into the data, we can see discrepancies depending on the age and gender of the respondents.
The greatest difference was between the ages of participants. Millennials – those responding who were aged between 18 and 34 – were shown to want more support from their employer on some level, with a total of 53% saying yes. On the other hand, those considered to be in Generation X and older-aged between 45 and 64+ – were less likely to ask for support, with just 46% saying yes.
How to give more mental health support
Learn what you need to recognize
There is still a great amount of stigma surrounding mental health and talking about it openly, which creates a vicious cycle where people bottle up their feelings and end up worse. So it’s important that those in management within your business are trained in what to look out for, as not everyone will feel comfortable with approaching their manager and opening up the conversation. Sending anyone who wants to learn on a Mental Health First Aid course will ensure there are plenty of people who know what to look out for, and how to approach those they are worried about.
Focus on the work-life balance
It’s not just a buzzword. Although work-life balance has become more prominent recently, it has always played an essential part in reducing stress and helping to prevent burnout. Flexibility regarding working hours is a huge part of this. Flex-time – where people are allowed to adjust their start and end times – can give employees greater control over their commute, can allow for more family time, and the chance to attend appointments without losing pay.
And while you may not be able to stop people from taking their work home or checking their emails at the weekend, make sure you do everything you can to deter them. Make sure the focus is on them and their families once they’re off the clock.
Build an engaged workplace
And then monitor it closely. Employee engagement is considered to be the antidote to burnout, and it’s something that is becoming more of a focus for companies. When people feel engaged in their work and the business they work for, they have more positivity and enthusiasm. While on the other hand, those who feel disengaged are at a higher risk of stress, burnout and alienation which all contribute to poor mental health.
Employers need to be focusing on how their employees feel when they’re at work and how they feel because of their work. As mental health is pushed into the spotlight, there will be even more pressure for businesses to take accountability and start making positive changes, so get ahead while you can. Companies who invest in mental wellbeing by breaking stigmas and bringing down barriers will benefit from creating a positive workplace.
About the author: Nick Pollitt, is the Managing Director at DBI Furniture Solutions.