Mental Health in the Workplace – Building Programs for a Happier Work Environment

For a while now, virtual care has been at the forefront of health. Mental health practitioners, doctors, and even nurses have taken to using technology to help patients and care for people who might not be available to make it in-person to an office. Even though using services like Skype or Zoom has made the accessibility of virtual care easier than ever, we must ask ourselves? Is talking to a doctor or a medical expert that much better remotely? Or are we truly missing out by not being there in person?

What Employers Can Do

Now that plenty of employees are working from home, building a health care package that is more inclusive, no matter which city your employees are working from, is more important than ever. Employee health should be a priority, and this is where virtual care comes in.

Offering great health benefits packages to prospective employees not only makes you stand out as someone who cares for the well being of their workers, but it also makes current employees happier overall because they trust that you care and know that help is available to them. Studies show that employees who take comfort in their work environment will take more pleasure in the work they do.

While benefits such as vacation time, and a good work-life balance are instrumental for making sure your employees are happy, offering health services is crucial to not only keep your workers happy but also important for keeping them healthy. During the pandemic, many employers started offering an expanded health package for their employees. During a time of uncertainty, this not only helped people who needed medical treatment, but it also provided a sense of mental safety, because in case something should happen, workers would have some recourse.

Balance and Flexibility

Aside from investing in workers’ mental and physical health with programs and benefits like medical care. Sometimes offering employees other options helps with building a mental health-focused space as well. Offering a number of sick day options alleviates the stress of having to come into the office while ill and also makes the general health of the workforce better as well since people will be less inclined to come in sick and spread germs.

While sick days are not necessarily a new concept, the notion of “personal days” are at the forefront of employee benefits and time off options. Providing “personal days” is just as important to a happy workforce because it offers a mental health respite. Whether or not personal days are used for simply taking some time off and relaxing, or they’re used for taking your kids to the doctor, having personal days means being able to get personal stuff done with none of the guilt.

The way of modern business and work skews more and more every day towards working remotely and using our technology to work at varying hours in oftentimes, varying places. In this pursuit, offering flexible working hours increases productivity and overall employee happiness. More and more people are also working towards being freelance workers, and are typically choosing this path because of the work-life balance benefit that it offers.

While not everyone has the luxury or know-how to dive into the world of freelance work, offering flexible hours to employees has shown no decrease in work output, but has shown an increase in workers’ mental health, happiness, and general sleep quality.

Flexible schedules and comfort knowing that your boss won’t question you if you need a day off are all things that make employees happy to work for you. Actively working together with employees regarding things not necessarily related to work also helps to bond and leads to an overall sense of employee empowerment and dedication. Employee dedication often leads to people feeling more loyal and less likely to want to leave the company.

How Can Employees Help Themselves?

With a lot of people working remotely, there are plenty of things still employees can do themselves to make their experience better for their mental health wellbeing.

  • Prepare an “In-house” office experience: If you’re the type of person who needs the physical separation of space from “home” and “work”, dividing your routine can help. Treat your home office, like your work office. Getting dressed in “work” clothes and creating a work schedule routine will help divide your brain into “work hours” and “off hours”.
  • Separate your work from your life: If you have the luxury of having a separate space for an office you’re already in luck. Being able to physically be in an office-like space even if you’re at home will help mentally distinguish between the two. When work is done, close your tabs, shut off the phone a bit, and hang out in a different room for a moment.

Moving Forward

In recent years more and more people and employers are turning towards a more remote way to conduct business. Having employees readily available no matter where they are in the world has made things easier for everyone. But despite our distances, having readily available telemedicine options, as well as flexible work schedules, have led to workers being happier than ever. Having balance, flexibility, and options in all work aspects is the way forward for both employers and employees.

Enjoy this free infographic, courtesy of Duffy & Duffy Law.

infographic-mental-health-in-the-workplace

Author Bio

Liam started his first business at 13 years old and learned right away that while the entrepreneur life wasn’t an easy one, it was something he loved. He began writing about business and finance as an opportunity to share what he’s learned and maybe have a chance to help someone else. He is also an avid Madden player and always on the hunt for good street tacos.

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