Americans spend over 90,000 hours at work throughout their lifetimes, so it’s not shocking that work environment plays a role in employees’ mental health. Careers can impact burnout, stress, and feeling overwhelmed in your day-to-day life. Some even consider walking away from their careers in order to protect their mental health.
Whether you’re a manager, an executive, or part of a team, there are ways — both big and small — you can help to improve the overall culture of your office, which can have a big impact on both productivity and morale.
3 Ways to Make Your Office Mentally Healthier
Whether it starts as a friendly smile as you walk around the office, or by holding the door for someone, leading by example can be one of the most influential ways to affect others. These acts might seem like small things, but they can have an outsized impact when they become the norm in the office.
1. Strive for more empathy and compassion
Both empathy and compassion are ways to create a safe space. If employees know they can be upfront and honest with you — if they’re running late because of a train delay, or they’re having a family emergency — they’ll feel both comfortable to do so, and less affected by these stressors that are out of their control.
Employees who feel they are safe and secure at work can be more productive without unwarranted stress!
2. Practice gratitude
Paying attention to what you are grateful for can help you cope with daily stressors by putting them in perspective, and can also lead to a longer, healthier life.
Try starting each day with three things you are grateful for. Maybe you start a running note in your phone, keep a small notebook, or use sticky notes of what you’re grateful for. Challenge yourself not to repeat on your running list…you’ll be surprised all you come up with! While working with someone, you might even share with a coworker why you’re grateful for them.
3. Have an open door policy
Creating clear lines of communication between you, your co-workers, and employees, can help everyone feel happier, and more at ease in the workplace. With this “open door policy” you might consider what your physical office space says about the culture. Are doors closed? Are people sectioned off from each other?
Consider communal work areas and open spaces for more effective team collaboration and conversation.
Why It’s Beneficial To Your Company
Employers that provide benefits that are not directly related to the company’s day-to-day shows employees that they are valued as a person outside of the office. Allowing your employees to grow as people, too, is powerful. Creating a mentally healthy office space can help with:
- Retention. Employees are less likely to leave the company if they feel secure and comfortable working with those around them. Hiring new employees and having high turnover rates can be costly to a company. It will ultimately save a business time and money if they’re not constantly looking for new employees.
- Productivity. When employees aren’t distracted by other stressors, anxious about a co-worker or boss, and ultimately feel happy in their job, they can be much more productive in the workplace, giving the business their 110% and full attention.
Providing employees resources beyond HR can allow them an outlet for personal issues, to keep them more present at work. Again, resources that show you value employees as people allows them to be their best and more productive selves. Talkspace: Self-Guided is designed to meet your employees where they are. Self guided therapy helps executives, managers, and teams prioritize their mental and emotional well-being while in and out of the workplace.
If you’re looking for a new resource to help your employees, discover how Talkspace has increased productivity at work by 36%. Along with showing kindness and empathy to your employees, it will show up in the quality of their work too!
Talkspace articles are written by experienced mental health-wellness contributors; they are grounded in scientific research and evidence-based practices. Articles are extensively reviewed by our team of clinical experts (therapists and psychiatrists of various specialties) to ensure content is accurate and on par with current industry standards.
Our goal at Talkspace is to provide the most up-to-date, valuable, and objective information on mental health-related topics in order to help readers make informed decisions.
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