With the new quotidian work from home, the worsening mental health of the masses has become a grave issue, whether we choose to talk about it or not. Gartner Inc decided to conduct a global survey and found out that 88 percent of businesses worldwide encouraged their team to work remotely during the COVID-19 outbreak. As per the stats provided by Buffer, 99 percent of employees who are working remotely would love to continue doing so for a longer duration.
One would surely fancy the flexibility and independence while working from home. However, what we can’t ignore is the constant vexation of working in absence of a physical team, leading to a higher job burnout rate. Even a small task can emerge as a herculean job while working from the same bedroom, alone, from the couch every day.
While working from home, employees are not only struggling with the workload but also psychological baggage leading to lesser concentration, more lethargy, aggravated anxiety, and lack of motivation. Binging on junk food while laying down on your bed and working all day might sound enviable, but nothing can replace the energy of teamwork and a good work environment.
How to promote mental health at work?
Employers and managers can share mental health quizzes during work from home times with the help of platforms like Google forms and Microsoft teams. This activity is quite suitable for groups. Therefore, you can conduct mental health quizzes on weekends for a few minutes with your entire team. With the help of this quiz, you’ll be able to find out the status of your team’s mental health and their struggles.
The mental health myth buster quiz is a quiz created to challenge and clear out common misconceptions surrounding mental health. You’ll be able to learn some real facts about mental health and spread awareness. This quiz will consume hardly 15 minutes and is usually played in groups.
Here’s an individual activity just for managers. As a manager, you’ll need to handle conversations with any employee who’s going through some form of mental illness. Ensure that you’re supportive towards them and make them feel like they’re not alone.
You can even come up with a few ways that will help demonstrate value and appreciation to all staff members who are working remotely. You can individually outline what makes each of your employees stand out and how they can contribute more efficiently. This would require about ten to thirty minutes.
Employers can organize workshops online where employees are guided on how to speak about different experiences safely. These workshops can include Ted talks as well where professionals share their own personal experiences. It can be a healthy interactive session amongst coworkers.
Ways to ensure that your workforce mental health is prioritized
There needs to be a change in the way our colleagues think and act about mental health while creating something artistically fabulous. Crafting provides great stimulation as well and would be a great option to help cope with stress and anxiety. You can even stream Netflix with your colleagues.
Discuss your favourite Netflix shows and movies and stream them together over Discord or a phone call. Did you just join the company and everything shifted online all of a sudden due to the pandemic? If so, this would be a great bonding session and you’ll be able to make quite a few good friends in your company. Moreover, having a healthy conversation after a difficult day at work is a great way to relax oneself. Putting across different ways to relax is good for your mental health as well.
Employers and employees can encourage one another to play secret Santa. Secret Santa is a very fun thing to do during Christmas. Besides, this activity can be done all year round! Advising people to shift their focus from their workplace onto something that’s beneficial and personal for them is an excellent way to start.
During your working hours, you can put the idea of discussing ‘taboos’ at work with your manager. This way, your company will be able to create a safe space to discuss ‘taboos’ at work, and establish that mental health belongs to everyone and it isn’t a taboo after all.
You can even play a stigma word map during your short breaks with your colleagues. This activity is for groups and requires hardly five to eight minutes.
Mental health has become a cause of concern over the years. While many workplaces allow breaks for mental health emergencies, many jobs in the private sector think of people as nothing more than objects to get things and push them beyond their limits. It’s high time to break away from the habit of telling others you are ‘fine’ when you might not be and seeking professional help when needed instead of worrying about what others might think.