Mental Health in the workplace today can have many different meanings depending on the individual. This could include emotional, psychological and social well-being which affects how we think, feel and act. Our mental health is very important in every stage of life and we must find ways through strategies in the workplace, and home, to combat the stress that life throws at us.
As the world changed how we work from office and home, it has brought a lot of anxiety and uncertainty in workplace. Employees who thrived by going into the office everyday, being around people and having that connection, are now experiencing depression, isolation, and problems with communication and relationships. Without the physical and the emotional environment we have been accustomed to from the beginning of our careers; it makes it difficult to stay motivated in our jobs which brings on job security worries and career growth.
Employers who never had to deal with virtual workers are behind the curve on putting a policy together for their employees of the new norm, the “virtual office”. This, within itself, brings stress throughout the whole company!
What can employers do to safegard the mental health of their employees going forward with the new workplace?
- Encourage employees to communicate frequently; and to be honest with the struggles.
- Improve training methods that employees have voiced which are workplace challenges (Example: On-Line Courses).
- Consider virtual communication outlets for employees to have immediate access to their supervisors (Example: Skype).
- Keep employees feeling needed and wanted even when they are doing a good job. Employees do not always see the results of their hard work and need that reassurance of doing a good job to stay motivated and for continuing their career with their company.
Understanding how to manage the mental health concerns in the new workplace environments is a key factor in companies for motivating and retaining employees.