Mental health, or rather the problems surrounding it, is no longer taboo. It is increasingly common to hear about pathologies such as stress or anxiety in all types of media. Because both are becoming chronic in society, and work has a lot to do with this.
The lack of conciliation, the limited prospects for professional improvement, an excessive accumulation of tasks, or the lack of digital disconnection are, among other factors, important triggers of discomfort in a large part of the working population.
Anxiety, depression and stress have contributed to the increase in the number of sick leave in recent years.. Between 2015 and 2021, the Temporary disabilities due to mental health grew by 30.9% among those under 35 years of age.
Given such a scenario, it is not surprising that the Mental health care has been one of the trends in 2023 in companies. And we are sure that it will continue to be so for a long time.
Because organizations are beginning to realize How your way of treating employees affects them on a personal level. And they are aware of the need to do everything they can to ensure that mental health stops being one of the main causes of sick leave, the high rate of absenteeism suffered by many companies, and even their high rates of staff turnover. .
Prioritize employee well-being Not only is it good for them, the company will also benefit. Because it will reduce costs associated with those rates and indices that we just mentioned, but also because it will achieve a workforce made up of much happier, more motivated and, therefore, more productive employees.
Let's see what measures can be implemented so that working stops being a source of problems and becomes a source of well-being.
Table of Contents
Occupational Risk Prevention has taught us to what extent the physical conditions of a workspace can affect our health, but it is time to think about the consequences at the mental health level.
By improving work spaces, the environment is much healthier. Create an environment in which people feel comfortable. To do this, we should work on both ergonomics and decoration.
At the ergonomic level, spaces must continue to evolve to become better and better. Using desks and chairs that allow you to do work comfortably, with the lowest possible risk to musculoskeletal health.
From a more aesthetic point of view, we should try to make the work spaces nice and pleasant places. With good lighting, and decoration that fits with the culture and values of the company.
Factors such as natural lighting and ventilation can also help employees feel more comfortable and relaxed.
And we must not forget about software and computer equipment, because outdated technology is a great source of stress, by not allowing the worker to advance at the desired pace. Just as furniture and decoration must be renewed periodically, we must not forget the most essential equipment for working.
Promote active employee participation
When a person she doesn't feel valued, it is normal that you are not comfortable in the work environment. Phenomenon that can give rise to a isolation from the rest which could lead to more serious psychological problems if the situation continues over time.
Giving employees the recognition they deserve is something that can be achieved in many ways, but one of the simplest and fastest to carry out is through active listening.
If a company wants to improve the work environment, make decisions about scheduling, assess the implementation of new technologies, etc., the best you can do is listen to those who will be directly affected by your choice: the members of the staff.
This does not always mean that we will do what the employees want, but it is necessary to make them see that their ideas, complaints and suggestions are taken into account.
If we show someone that their judgment is important, we are also showing them that it is an elementary piece within the puzzle that is the organization. With this alone, we can make employees feel more integrated and more willing to participate and make themselves heard.
Encourage a healthy lifestyle
We spend a large part of our daily lives at work, so both the environment and colleagues become a constant presence that can influence people both for good and for bad.
Why not take advantage to encourage a healthy lifestyle? For example, organizing “healthy” fridays, in which each team member must bring a healthy dish and share it with their teammates.
Or give courses to learn to manage stress, even for Help those who want to quit smoking.
The organization of sport activities Not only does it help everyone participate in a healthier lifestyle, it also helps generate team spirit and the bonds between employees become stronger. In this sense, there are many activities that can be organized, for example, creating a team and participating in a popular race, or organizing a paddle tennis tournament.
The company can promote the activities as such, or collaborate with the costs they may have.
The lack of balance between personal and professional life It has a big culprit: the lack of rationality of the schedules to which we have become accustomed.
On average, in Spain we leave work two hours later than our European neighbors and, in most cases, we still have a 30 to 50 minute drive to get home.
The feeling of not having time for oneself, or to dedicate it to the family, is a direct cause of burnout syndrome. Because the person feels that they only live to work, and that their work has become an important source of discomfort.
We could begin to solve this with a rationalization of schedules. Giving flexibility at entry and exit so that employees can attend to their personal and family commitments, but also reducing the time spent on food during split days.
The idea is not to work less, but better redistribute working time. Getting people to stop living to work and be able to dedicate themselves to their family, to study, to play sports, to be with their friends or, simply, to rest.
Offer good training
It is true that companies usually provide training to employees so that their knowledge does not become obsolete, but it turns out that Workers often see training courses as a burden.
In the end, many of them are nothing more than an online course made up of slides, or they consist of a talk by an expert who gives a master class that can end up being more or less boring.
Training, understood as the path to improve at a professional level, should be a source of well-being. But to do this, you have to make sure what is really going to be offered.
It is worth examining what real needs for improvement employees have and what is the best option to train them. Why not send them to a course on a weekend where they can also enjoy a spa session? Why not cover part of the cost of your studies if you want to study a career or vocational training? Why not hire good specialists to help them develop soft skills?
By dedicating time to planning, training can become one of the best tools to have happy employees.
Propose new challenges
Routine can be good for mental health, but it can also be its enemy if it is too tedious.
On the contrary, challenges make us alert, awaken a certain nervousness about facing the novelty, which is not bad at all but quite the opposite. They excite us and push us to give the best of ourselves.
Knowing all this, why not end routine in the work environment? It's not about continually doing something new, but it is about posing challenges from time to time. For example, invite employees to participate in a brainstorming session for a new project, or create a small contest to see which team can find the solution to a problem first.
As you have seen, small adjustments to the day-to-day work can do a lot to improve employee well-being. Why not start testing its effects today?