Improving Employee Mental Health in the New Future of Work

Even before the pandemic, mental health in the workplace was a key challenge facing employees and employers alike. Fast forward two years into the Pandemic, and employee mental health has turned into a full-on crisis. 

While many organizations offer physical health benefits like gym memberships and office yoga classes, historically there has been a dearth of programs focused on mindfulness and mental well-being. In our Spotlight on Human Capital, we discuss how his imbalance has resulted in more people feeling burnt out, stressed, and anxious at work and home — which are now one and the same for many employees.

Fortunately, thought leaders like Quartet Health are reimagining the way society — and the companies that inhabit it — address mental health issues. Removing the stigma surrounding mental health and acknowledging that the old methods of addressing mental illness are insufficient are chief amongst their priorities. And by using data-driven solutions and new technologies, they’re able to help bridge the gap between supply and demand for mental health treatment.

How to Create a Space that Supports the Mental Health of Employees

Even before much of the world migrated to remote work, mental health issues have historically been difficult to detect prior to becoming so severe that it was noticed by their employer. While this factors into the stigma held against mental health, self-assessment is also a large factor.  

It’s crucial for companies to proactively support and educate their employees, empowering them to speak up when something is wrong. Your business can use a sieve model, which works to address mental health issues by focusing on preemptive actions, detection, and remedies. This approach works by addressing areas and environments that generate mental health issues, and then finding solutions to reduce these impacts. 

Preemptive Stressors

This facet of wellness promotion focuses on eliminating the root causes of stress, anxiety, and depression in the workplace. Some proactive ways to promote positive mental health include: 

  • Flexible working conditions — Letting your employees decide to continue working remotely or flexibly creates an environment where your staff achieve greater work-life balance. 
  • Monitoring workloads — Monitoring the workplace of your staff and their personal needs (this can include the supervision and education of their children from home), and creating a workload that doesn’t overwhelm them. While the Great Resignation has caused staffing headaches for many companies, it’s important to remember that simply assigning a departing employee’s work to someone else is not a real solution. Inevitably, that person will burn out, and you’ll be stuck with two fewer employees, instead of just one.

Detecting & Solving Issues

You can’t fix what you can’t see. Fostering an environment of supportive transparency is crucial in addressing mental health in your office. Some ways to better detect problems include: 

  • Investing in resources, and then promoting them. Make sure your company’s health plan not only offers comprehensive mental health coverage, but ensure that your staff are aware of the benefits. Ensure your sick leave policy covers time off for mental health, and that your staff are aware that they can take this time to take care of themselves. 
  • Training your staff to support one another. While your staff should never be responsible for diagnosing or reporting the mental health challenges of their coworkers, you must still ensure that your team knows how to support its members.

Improve the Health of Your Employees

Mental health is a top priority; if you want to improve your workplace’s HR and health standards, take the right step today. There are great resources available online, especially on Quartet Health’s excellent blog and resources page.

Photo by Total Shape on Unsplash

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