Good mental health and wellness is essential in the workplace. As an employer, you must ensure you are invested in your employee’s mental health as it is paramount to their overall success. You want your employees to feel valued, appreciated, a part of the team and an overall asset to the business. This alone will improve their mental health and wellbeing. To give you some idea of how to improve mental health at the workplace, we’ve made a quick cheat-sheet.
Sector and industry are irrelevant. It does not matter if you are combatting teacher burnout or carer stress, improving mental health and wellbeing in the workplace is important to a healthy workforce. Here are some small ideas for improving mental health at the workplace:
Productive lunch breaks
Individuals should insure they take time away from their desk/workspace for their designated lunch break as it is key to step away and take a rest.
During the lunch break, you could:
- Organize a picnic – go and sit outside, have some fresh air, or soak up the sun with some nice food and colleagues. Talking to others and having a laugh will instantly improve mental health.
- Exercise – go for a walk, run, or complete some light exercise (which is even better if you have an onsite gym!) You could take up a challenge such as a marathon or sponsored walk with colleagues and use this time to train. Set up a company running or walking club so you and colleagues can enjoy exercise together.
- Group activities – If you have the space nearby (large field or pitch), hold a game of rounders or football. These can be great fun!
During the working day
Mental health can affect you at any time of day, so there are ways to manage and improve your mental health whilst working.
- Play some music – quiet and calming music can help you unwind, relax, and refocus which also reduces anxiety. Or you can reward yourself by playing your favourite song, giving you some added motivation.
- Grab a drink – if you can feel your stress levels rising, step away from your workspace and make yourself a nice cup of tea or coffee at the office’s drink station. It is also very important to drink plenty of water and keep hydrated.
As a Company
- Staff lunches – Hold a weekly or monthly staff lunch, order some food into the office so everyone can enjoy a treat together.
- Bring your dog to work day– Obviously this is a very sought after and popular day for employees because dogs bring out so much happiness in us humans! They are also very calming and de-stressing for many.
- Charitable workdays – It may be a good idea to give your employees 1 or 2 days off per year to conduct charitable work. This will lift employee moral by making them feel as though they have done something good by helping others and giving back to the community.
- Office space (aesthetics) – create a warm, friendly, and welcoming environment for your employees. Employees spend majority of their time in the workplace, so it is important that the décor isn’t boring or dull on the eye. Ensure there are bright lights and fill up the space with plants, pictures, and decorations to ensure a more comfortable space for employees to be in which will instantly lift their mood.
- Hybrid working – Since the pandemic, hybrid working has become increasingly popular. It gives employees the flexibility to work remotely and in the office. This improves mental health and wellbeing as it removes the added pressure to be in the office all day every day, and it shows you trust your employees to complete their work wherever they are which will instantly make them feel better about themselves. This also helps employees who are new parents.
- Public rewards/recognition/praise – Employee recognition is crucial to boost positive mental health. Employees love to feel valued and that they are a key member of the team. Monthly/quarterly/yearly public rewards are a good way to highlight and celebrate the positive attributes of employees and where they excel. This will help employees feel like they bring something to the business and their work is crucial to success.
- Mental health first aiders and support – It is important for a business to have a mental health first aider, this will help spot the signs of when someone may be in mental and emotional distress and work with them to get the help they need, potentially avoiding or limiting sickness and absences in the process. You should educate everyone on signs and symptoms. Create awareness campaigns, events, literature, support groups and social meetings. Implement stress risk assessments. Ensure Return to work procedures are completed, to invest time in your employee’s wellbeing. Everyone should have access to a mental health first aid box.
If you’re thinking of implementing any employee wellbeing initiatives to improve mental health at the workplace, get in touch. We are passionate about helping employers improve their efficiency while improving the lives of their staff. You can get in touch by using our quick online form, or by giving us a call on: 0330 400 5490.
A valued member of the Wurkplace team providing administrative and coordinating skills for the HR department and also overseeing the accounts department of the business whilst carrying out key bookkeeping tasks and conducting payroll.
Georgia holds a level 3 in Business Administration and AAT level 2 whilst continuing to work towards gaining a diploma in AAT.