Research confirms that a culture of fear and silence around mental health is costly to employers:
- 21% (more than 1 in 5) agreed that they had called in sick to avoid work when asked how workplace stress had affected them.
- 14% agreed that they had resigned and 42% had considered resigning when asked how workplace stress had affected them.
- 30% of staff disagreed with the statement ‘I would feel able to talk openly with my line manager if I was feeling stressed’.
- 56% of employers said they would like to do more to improve staff wellbeing but don’t feel they have the right training or guidance.
Mental health problems at work are common. At least one in six workers is experiencing common mental health problems, including anxiety and depression. You might not be talking about it, because mental health is still a taboo subject. And many people feel scared and confused about confronting the issue at work. But there are small, simple steps you can take to look after yourself and make your workplace mentally healthier.
There is strong evidence that indicates that feeling close to, and valued by, other people is a fundamental human need and one that contributes to functioning well in the world. It’s clear that social relationships are critical for promoting well-being and for acting as a buffer against mental health for people of all ages.
Try to do something different today and make a connection.
- Talk to someone instead of sending an email or message
- Speak to someone new
- Ask how someone’s weekend was and really listen when they tell you
- Put five minutes aside to find out how someone really is
- Finding more out about your colleagues
- Give a colleague a lift to work or share the journey home with them.
If you’re feeling stressed, listening to a calming song can take your mind off work for a few minutes and help you unwind and refocus. Research has found slow, quiet music can encourage relaxation and reduce anxiety. When you’re working hard to complete a task, music can also help eliminate distractions around you. By blocking out the noise of your fellow workers, machinery or bleeping phones you can focus easier on the task at hand. Listen to your favourite song as a simple treat to yourself. Rewarding yourself is a great way for your general wellbeing.
If you want to read into mental health at work in even more detail you can take a look at our other blog ‘tips for managing employee mental well-being at work’ so you can help yourself and other employees to keep them safe and happy.