How to Take Care of Your Mental Health at the Workplace?

Workspace Solutions   •   Published on December 6, 2022

The importance of mental health at the workplace cannot be overstated. According to the World Health Organisation, 15% of all working-age adults were estimated to have a mental disorder in 2019. Likewise, research cited by the UK-based Mental Health Foundation suggests that 1 in 6.8 or 14.7% people experience mental health problems at the workplace. 

Ensuring mental wellbeing at the workplace not only benefits employees in all aspects of their life, but is also beneficial to companies – research suggests a strong link between wellbeing at the workplace and increased work productivity.

What is Mental Health at the Workplace?

Mental health at the workplace refers to varied facets of employees’ wellbeing -psychological, emotional, and social – within the work environment. A sound mental health refers to a state of mind in which an individual can work productively, reach their maximum potential, build positive relationships with co-workers, and cope with the everyday challenges and responsibilities faced at the workplace.

  • Mental health denotes more than the absence of mental illness. It encompasses self-acceptance, social wellbeing, ability to cope with daily stressors, and a sense of purpose in life.
  • Mental health at the workplace plays a key role in contributing towards employee engagement, productivity, satisfaction and retention. 
  • Certain workplace factors may adversely affect employee mental health. These include lack of work-life balance, poor communication practices, job insecurity, and inadequate health and safety policies at the workplace. 
  • Both employees and employers can take proactive steps to look after and improve mental wellness at the workplace. 

Tips to Improve Mental Wellness at Work

Here are a few tips for employees and employers to boost mental health at the workplace.

Tips for Employees Tips for Employers
Share your experiences and anxieties with other co-workers. Just talking and being listened to can help you feel emotionally supported and less isolated Encourage employee autonomy to create a sense of purpose and accomplishment. 
Participate in employer-sponsored programs and activities that meet your needs and preferences Promote more sustainable ways of working. Allow flexibility in a hybrid work model to ensure better work-life balance
Take care of your physical health by engaging in regular physical activities, eating healthy, and getting adequate sleep. Educate and sensitise employees and managers on basic health practices. Conduct open discussions on mental health problems, run workshops on self-care, prioritising, & goal-setting, and make mental health self-assessment tools such as quizzes and  questionnaires available to employees
Choose a company with an office where you can be happy. Elegant offices that are conveniently located, have a vibrant work community, are surrounded by greenery, and have dedicated zones for relaxation activities typically make for happier workplaces. Provide a comfortable work environment with adequate relaxation spaces in which workers can unwind. 

While mental health awareness is oftentimes overlooked, it’s actually a key leadership skill that is critical to the long-term success of any business or organisation. Leaders must display an overall sensitivity to employee well-being. For instance, a leader should be able to spot and address a team member facing personal challenges. Unaddressed, their anxiety could seep into their work-life, impacting team productivity and cohesion. Additionally, organisations and businesses must make sure they provide a positive work experience to their employees. A workplace that is dank, over-crowded, poorly lit or ventilated, and unsanitary could easily have an adverse impact on employee mental and physical health.

A healthy and thriving company culture is ultimately rooted in the mental health of its employees. Mentally healthy professionals play a key role in establishing an amicable and supportive work community and company culture – a happier workplace in other words.