How to Tackle Mental Health and Wellness at Work

Only two decades had passed in the new millennium when the world faced a deadly reckoning from the Covid-19 pandemic. The stress levels of employees across the globe skyrocketed and caused severe cases of anxiety and depression. According to Wellable Labs’ 2022 Employee Wellness Industry Trends Report, 90 % of companies have increased their investment in mental health programmes. This starkly contrasts with the baby boomer generation, where mental health discussion was more of a taboo.

Recent research by Monster Jobs indicates that more than 45 % of employees are willing to make sweeping and drastic changes in their personal and professional lives to ensure a clean work-life balance. Managing stress levels forms the apex option for enhancing life quality among corporate employees. The pandemic has left lasting effects on the mental health scenario, and the consequences of layoffs, wage reduction and remote work are still unravelling across the sectors.

This delayed effect is considered a huge disruptor in the skills and capabilities of people. The impact of the pandemic on mental health is not taken lightly. It should be researched at multiple levels so that our future generations will not face the devastating effects that cripple our generation.

Companies are moving heaven and earth to prioritise mental health and are taking all measures to remove mental health stigma.

Top 5 ways to tackle mental health and wellness at work

Following are some of the ways the companies are helping their employees deal with mental health issues and making sure that the workplace environment is a safe space both emotionally and psychologically:

Encourage movement

Movement is the sole contributor towards having a healthy and happy life. Movement helps in the eradication of anxiety triggers and also helps to demolish the root cause of anxiety.

Researchers conclude with scientific efficacy that movement is equivalent to treating depression in a non-invasive way without drugs. Activity helps form connections, increasing the serotonin levels of the brain. Serotonin is the feel-good chemical responsible for creating an ecosystem of happiness. Exercise helps us prime our neural models at a Zoom meeting or a lunchtime walking club.

Instead of using the lift or elevator, employees are encouraged to use the stairs, which jumpstart biochemical processes and increase the amount of oxygen in their bloodstream, therapy and counselling are the necessary prerequisites that will inundate the body with feel-good chemicals, and the positive consequences of stress elimination will happen in the body.

Encourage employees to form meaningful connections

Engagement in work helps employees deliver their potential and achieve their goals. The trust factor is increased when there is coordination among employees. Companies are taking the help of reputed corporate psychologists to address the challenges faced by employees who are backed down into a corner due to excessive use of remote work. The managers should trust their teams to take on new challenges and offer constructive feedback without the impending doom of judgment and career risk.

Offer flexibility

As the individual’s responsibility increases, the stress level automatically decreases. Meaningful spending of time on tasks perceived to be important reinforces the importance of self-worth in the managerial cadre and leads to an overall increase in productivity and efficiency.

Being flexible is the key tool to upgrading mental health support. Most GenZ graduates who are raring to work in MNCs believe that the flexibility quotient is more important to them than just money and perks.

Generate a follow-through mechanism 

Action speaks volumes regarding advocating for mental health wellness among the leadership cadre. Reward employees who are taking days off to ensure that their mental frame of mind is in perfect shape. The actions of a mentally stable employee add value to the whole company and the person who doesn’t take days off is often a liability to the company hindering long-term growth.

C-suite employees should be given mandatory sabbaticals and vacations. Praising healthy habits among employees will create a domino effect, incentivise healthy behaviour, and ensure that the whole company is in perfect synch regarding managing expectations.

Hold up a mirror

The root causes of employee burnout should be addressed to ensure that there is systemic cleaning. For example, the healthcare sector is facing huge attrition and loss in productivity due to patient overload. Ensure that yoga and mindfulness techniques help employees form a healthy baseline when approaching critical stress levels.

Final Thoughts

Companies’ top priority is mental well-being as they navigate these challenging times. Get to the basics of self-care and ensure every employee feels included and everyone has the required access to all tools of psychological well-being.

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