5 minutes for 5 tips: Mentally Healthy Workplace

Author: 
Marcus Clarke
Publication date: 
30 August 2017

5 minutes for 5 tips: Mentally Healthy Workplace

By Marcus Clarke

A mentally healthy workplace is essential to ensuring that both employers and employees are healthy, happy and productive. Below are five tips to read in just five minutes that will help in creating a mentally healthy workplace with various benefits.

1.     Ensure personal wellbeing – physically and psychologically

Personal wellbeing for both employers and employees is an important part of ensuring a healthy state of mind and body. One way to foster personal wellbeing is through understanding your role within the organization. This helps relieve pressure from doing work outside of your expected scope, which easily leads to overworking. Other measures that can help ensure personal wellbeing include getting enough sleep, doing regular exercise, packing healthy lunches and taking frequent breaks to stand up – especially if you work in front of a computer for hours on end.

2.     Be informed of workplace policies and procedures

An awareness of workplace policies and procedures allows you to better understand the options available should a mental health complication arise. Inform your boss and colleagues who you trust if you are suffering from a condition such as depression or anxiety. This will help build support in times when you are feeling down. Employers can implement a staff wellbeing program, while workplace surveys can help employers understand the needs of employees. This guide provides helpful information for employers who wish to promote mental health practices in the workplace.

3.     Stand up against bullying, discrimination and harassment

If you are witness to instances of discrimination and harassment in the workplace, report this to management and take a stand to deal with unacceptable behaviour. Workplace bullying can have devastating effects on employee relationships within an organization and can even lead to physical violence. Dealing with a bully can be difficult but there are several subtle methods to stand up for yourself and others. Employers can implement team building exercises to foster stronger employee bonds and encourage effective communication.

4.     Decorate your workspace

Colour can be used to influence factors such as creativity, productivity and mood. Decorating the office in colours can create different effects: consider hues of orange to have an energising effect, while blue can help people focus and be productive. Brown and green can also help give a calming and peaceful feeling. Decorating with plants is not only pleasing to the eye but also provides health benefits such as filtering dirty air and enhancing our concentration while working. Read here for more ways to decorate your workspace in ways that have positive mental health effects. 

5.     Provide health screenings

Physically healthy and mentally happy employees are more productive and engage better with colleagues and work practices. Health screenings can also cut employer costs on medical expenses by catching problems such as high cholesterol and blood pressure early on. Companies supportive of health and wellbeing in the workplace have demonstrated lower levels of employee sickness absence levels, increased productivity and reduced staff turnover – along with several other benefits. Organizing work activities such as sport days and providing time each week for employees to get active can also ensure healthier, happier employees.

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Marcus regularly blogs at psysci, a psychology, science blog that examines the latest research and explains how findings can impact and improve people’s lives.