This week saw the return of world mental health day (10th October). A wonderful chance for everyone to reflect and raise awareness on such an important topic.
The theme for WMHD last year (2017) was Mental Health in the Workplace. The average person will spend 90,000 hours at work over a lifetime. That’s about a third of our life!! So it’s safe to say a working environment can have a huge impact on quality of life.
Writer Annie Dillard famously said, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”
The focus on wellbeing at work is becoming increasingly more important as more evidence and statistics show the negative impact poor mental health has on our economy. For business owners it can negatively affect the bottom line and cost a lot of money, but more importantly, it can have a horrible impact on our culture and working environments for our staff.
A recent WHO-led study estimates that depression and anxiety disorders cost the global economy US$ 1 trillion each year in lost productivity…that’s a staggering amount of money.
Our experience in the workplace is one of the factors determining our overall wellbeing and it’s our responsibility as business owners, to ensure that we’re providing the happiest, most productive and satisfying environments for our teams.
A happier team is more productive, and therefore more profitable.
Lately we’ve seen a huge positive shift towards employers seeking out ways to improve wellbeing at work. Things like agile working environments, improved leadership skills and training on topics like emotional intelligence in leadership, are all becoming commonplace.
Companies and managers who put in place workplace initiatives to promote mental wellbeing and to support employees see gains not only in the health of their employees but also in their productivity at work. That’s a win, win for everyone involved!
So what should we do?
We need to move away from the need for crisis intervention and be more proactive in our whole approach. Instead of “fixing” the problems when they occur, we should be looking ahead to prevent such problems from happening in the first place. When external issues strike our staff – things that we have no control over such as depression or problems at home – we should be prepared to support them with relevant procedures to reduce the impact for them and their colleagues.
It’s important for businesses big and small, to be open to learning about what proactive wellbeing at work solutions looks like in their companies, now more than ever.
The potential risks and costs are too high and the potential gains are too great to ignore what often only requires some small changes and short training interventions with the right people in the business.
To find out more about how improving your employee’s wellbeing can increase your business performance, book one of our free consultations by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.