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We all know that some workplaces can be detrimental to the well-being of employees. Sometimes the job itself is stressful, sometimes supervisors manage in a negative way, and sometimes the work environment simply does not provide opportunities for workers to establish a positive work-life balance.
Whatever the cause, we know the consequences of poor mental well-being all too well. Employee morale suffers. Engagement goes down. Absenteeism goes up. Productivity decreases. Employees leave the company, and potential new hires are reluctant to sign on. And perhaps most serious of all, stress can cause physical health problems, which not only hurts employees, but it can lead to increased company health care costs.
The attached infographic, Mental Wellness and the Workplace, provides a brief overview of the extent of the problem and offers 10 suggestions for workplace fixes. Statistics back up the claim that workplaces are causing stress and lowering employees’ feelings of wellness. Large numbers of workers report that workplace issues affect their sleep and lead them to engage in unhealthy behaviors as a coping mechanism. And a whopping 89% agree that it is safer to remain silent about workplace stress!
So, how are workplaces going to get better if employees feel they can’t speak up or fear they will be punished if they do speak up? How will you know what employees need and want? Improvement must start at the highest levels of management. Our workplace cultures must be more open and caring. This is large undertaking and may be out of scope for many companies to do on their own. Perhaps bringing in the experts in the form of a specialty consulting firm is the solution to a culture overhaul.
The other ideas offered in the infographic are easier to implement. Management training, assessing job duties and deadlines, creating private areas and workspaces, offering telecommuting and flexible hours, and promoting healthy eating and exercise during and after work, and hosting company outings are all relatively easy to do and can produce great results.
We realize that not every workplace can run efficiently on flexible hours or with employees working from home. But some of the suggestions are so simple to put into place, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner. Encouraging workers to take a long enough lunch break so they can eat healthy and take a walk afterward is a great benefit to stressed-out workers and it is so easy to do! Likewise, designating a quiet work zone or building a private, walled-off area for private phone calls or discussions is simple — and it can make a substantial difference to workers’ well-being.
Continue reading to learn more about workplace well-being and how to improve it.
Graphic created by Pillar.
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