Mental Health in the Workplace

By Olly Thomas

Mental Health in the Workplace: Introduction and Statistics

As our lives get more hectic with an ‘always on’ culture, technology invades our lives where previously we had time to breath and escape from the pressures of work. The modern workplace makes it harder than ever before to find the time for our own mental health.

As a result stress, anxiety and depression are common among todays knowledge workers with many employers now recognising that this is a problem that needs serious action. Its rise in the modern workforce has been staggering with it’s effects on employee engagement and mental health issues rising at an alarming rate.


The Problems and Solutions for Mental Health

In recent years there has been a rise in the awareness of mindfulness as a way to pro-actively combat the stresses of modern life. Mediation has moved from an ancient Eastern philosophy, into the counterculture of the West and now in to the mainstream. Often times it is given a bad rep by preconceived judgements by some without giving it a fair go. It is often thought of as ‘too hippy’ or ‘cheesy’. But time and time again meditation is being scientifically proven to physically rewire parts of your brainto become more focused, increase empathy and become resilient in deal with stressful situations in turn decreasing anxiety. ****By developing small habits of mindfulness into our workday one is able to deal with the ups and downs of the modern workplace. In time we can build a mental resilience that contributes to increased wellbeing and empathy.

As we move toward a remote-first, distributed model of work the lines between work and our personal lives are becoming increasingly blurred. Because of this it’s even more important for employers to take mental health seriously. Be that encouraging mindfulness throughout their organisation, openly talking about mental health issues or even offering 1-on-1 sessions with mental health professionals.****With the inherent flexibility enabled by remote work it allows space for this that was previously thought of as a waste of time in a traditional office. Taking the time to check in with oneself allowing a few minutes in the day to let go of stresses and worries will yield surprising results.


Mental Health Conclusion

We believe that by developing daily mindfulness habits an organisations overall mental health can be increased. With practice and time an organisation can become mentally resilient and empathetic. This results in less turn over of staff, less mental health related sick days, and overall higher job satisfaction.With a decrease in stress and anxiety employees can bring their whole selves to work, become more focused in their role, collaborate and communicate with their team more effectively and make better decisions in their day-to-day role.

At Deskguru we believe in a ‘little and often’ approach. We want to deliver employees timely mindfulness exercises, breathing techniques and work-focused meditation practices that fit in with their workday. We know everyone works differently and so want to be as flexible and customisable as possible to cater for differing schedules. We want to deliver valuable content that is approachable and inclusive for all in the organisation. By making mindfulness a daily habit we hope to make a difference in peoples day-to-day lives and in turn impact the entire organisations approach to work-life integration.


Actionable Checklist

  • Take the time to develop a mindfulness habit – do a 5-10 minute meditation in the morning before you start work to clear your mind.
  • If you’re feeling particularly anxious about an important meeting, take 5 minutes to have a moment of quiet and focus.
  • Make time for a mental ‘check-in’ with yourself now and again – How are you feeling? Is there anything bothering you? What little actions can you take now to alleviate your worries?
  • Make sure your employees have a ‘safe space’ to be vulnerable about mental health. Allow transparent communication without judgement and foster a culture of inclusiveness.

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