Is your team returning to the office? Before deciding on the location of your team drinks, leaders should prioritise and promote employee mental health and wellbeing in the workplace to ensure a smoother transition to the office.
After a turbulent year, there can be multiple factors that can make your team feel uneasy about returning from the office – and that’s not including making small talk and wearing outfits that aren’t activewear!
Whether you compile a toolkit of tips and resources for your team to use, promote open communication or perhaps you just need to refresh your outdated mental health strategy.
Mental Health & eCommerce
Workit Spaces recently conducted research to understand eCommerce practitioners’ attitudes to mental health in the workplace. Of those surveyed, 82% said they thought their workplaces could be doing more for mental health.
According to Black Dog Institute, 1 in 6 Australian workers are suffering from mental illness. A further sixth of the population will be suffering from symptoms related to mental illness such as stress and fatigue, which can directly affect how they work.
A mentally healthy workplace isn’t just something to tick off your list. Implementing a strong program will benefit the whole team, whether you’re a small business or an enterprise. A successful, happy and motivated team is built on a strong foundation of good mental health and wellbeing. From this, stems effective communication, time management, work ethic, attitude and motivation resulting in improved productivity, lower staff turnover and higher job satisfaction.
With more Australian employees demanding better mental health support and seeking assistance from employers, there’s never been a better time to update your mental health support and strategy both in and out of the physical office.
What does a mentally healthy workplace mean?
Headsup, an initiative developed by Beyond Blue describes a mentally healthy workplace as a place where employees feel supported, risks to mental health are identified and reduced, diversity is celebrated and has low staff turnover and sick and stress leave.
How can you create a mentally healthy workplace? Here are some examples:
- Having a strong support network and open communication policy. Let people know to approach you if they need to chat and utilise what any applications your company already has. Don’t want to chat in person? A phone call, text, message in your company’s internal messaging system or email can be just as effective for people to open up.
- Offer a flexible working environment. There’s a lot going on behind the scenes. If a team member has children they might prefer to work earlier or later, or there might just not be enough room at the dining table for everyone to work productively!
- Offering feedback to nurture employees. Feedback is important to improve skills and performance in the workplace. But make sure that it is delivered to inspire. Discuss with your team how you can deliver feedback effectively.
- Create clear goals and objectives. Make sure the team is completely across their roles and responsibilities. Allow them to take ownership of projects and let their strengths shine through.
- Sense of community. Becoming part of a community can make you feel less alone. Workit prides itself on its support network and wide knowledge base where members are always happy to help each other out. Check out our eCommerce solutions, office space and dedicated desks.
How To Improve Mental Wellbeing When Returning to the Office
After months of disruption, flexibility and effective communication are going to be essential to improve mental wellbeing when returning to the office.
Here are some ways to do so:
- Implement a buddy system
- Offer team building activities such as exercise sessions or trivia nights
- Encourage healthy eating habits like offering free fruit or healthy snacks in the office
- Make sure that staff have sufficient breaks during the day
- Give the team access to mental health support practitioners or programs
- Dedicate mental health days
- Reduce workload stress wherever you can – this a healthy practice that builds resilient teams and businesses
- Encourage staff to speak openly to a trusted coworker
- Implement a flat hierarchy that encourages employees to share their opinions and improve current practices
What do eCommerce employees value in regards to mental health in the office? Workit Spaces recently surveyed their eCommerce community, asking what companies can do to put mental health first during this transition period?
- 61% said flexible working arrangements were a priority
- 30% said reduced workload stress
- 4% prefer free mental health days and;
- 4% wanted more mental health support
What do our eCommerce members prefer? In a recent poll:
- 63% prefer flexible working arrangements opposed to reducing workload stress
- 68% prefer free mental health days opposed to accredited mental health support.
Promoting good mental health and wellbeing in the workplace is not a single step approach. The best results will combine a range of strategies and solutions to make the office more comfortable for all.
When implementing strategies for the team, don’t forget to look after yourself too! Make sure that you eat properly, drink plenty of water and get adequate sleep every night. All three of these activities play a major part in promoting overall wellness.
Making a Positive change for Mental Health at Your company
A happier workforce makes for a much healthier and resilient organisation, mentally and emotionally, which translates into happier customers. It’s vital to invest time and effort into creating a positive atmosphere at work. Remember, promoting good mental health and wellbeing in the workplace is not a ‘set and forget’, it’s something you should revisit regularly. Work towards creating good habits in your workplace in the culture, allowing employees to strengthen their resilience and increase awareness that you will support staff.
Check out the resources below for more information on how to promote mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.
If you or anyone you know needs help:
Lifeline 13 11 14
Beyond Blue 1300 224 636
Kids Helpline 1800 551 800