Ensuring the mental wellbeing of employees: What can be done and how?
As defined by WHO that health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Throughout the course of our lives, we tend to give more importance to our physical health while our mental wellbeing takes a backseat. While it is essential for us to take care of our physical health, our mental health also plays a crucial role in our overall wellbeing. Particularly, in times of a global crisis such as the pandemic that the world is collectively facing, it would bode well for us to pause and ensure that our mental health is in good shape. Unfortunately, this is an aspect that most of us tend to neglect. As the pandemic-induced mayhem continues, health officials across the globe are concerned about the next potential global issue – poor mental health. More and more studies are finding that the pandemic scenario is taking a staggering toll on people’s mental health.
With lockdown regulations being lifted in phases, the economy is slowly but surely beginning to regain its footing. Businesses are reopening with a partial percentage of their workforce and employees returning to office spaces after more than 2 months of lockdown and remote working. This brings us to the mental wellbeing of employees which can be impacted by a hoard of elements. Crisis or not, the mental health of employees must take precedence. Let us take a look at how companies can make sure that employees’ mental wellbeing is maintained during these uncertain times.
Promoting a healthy work-life balance
With almost the entire workforce working from home, work-life balance appears to have become a blur. Indians’ working hours are known to be notoriously lengthy with an average of 50 hours per week despite receiving fewer benefits. When it comes to boosting mental health, it cannot be done without a healthy work-life balance being maintained. When companies advocate a healthy work-life balance, the results are more than likely to be progressive. When employees can balance their work and personal lives equally, their productivity levels are bound to be enhanced. Through reduced working hours or allowing them personal space after work, organizations can make sure that there is a healthy work culture and employees’ wellbeing is accounted for.
Encouraging healthy habits
Since employees spend most of their time at work, employers need to create a culture that makes health and wellness a priority. Encouraging healthy eating habits and regular exercise can go a long way in helping employees adopt a better lifestyle. For this, companies can introduce employees to nutritious snacks and healthy alternatives such as green tea instead of coffee or digestive cookies instead of regular sugar-laden options. In doing so, companies can lead the change and help employees feel healthier, happier, more energetic, and confident. In the long run, such holistic wellness contributes greatly to better mental health.
Conducting sessions for improved mental health and wellbeing
In most cases, all one needs to get their wellbeing back on track would be a little guidance. Companies can organize workshops and sessions for activities such as yoga and meditation, sessions on how employees can safeguard their mental wellness and allow their minds to remain calm. It is popularly said that when one’s mind is peaceful, they think clearly and perform better. The right guidance through online sessions can help employees to a large extent. Another aspect is awareness of mental health which is the fundamental element to protect and enhance your wellbeing. This awareness is majorly lacking and workshops on creating awareness will go a long way to help employees identify what they need to focus on and help them work towards achieving their goal.
Offering employees the space they need
When a company’s work culture is lauded, it often means that its employees are happy, and the company is considerate. Being considerate of employees’ needs is key. For instance, in case an employee is unwell or unable to perform to the best of their potential, companies can consider allowing them to take the day off or work from home to rejuvenate themselves. Additionally, employees need to be able to express their concerns and woes to the management in an unhindered manner. Allowing them to bring their concerns to the table and addressing them will certainly reduce employees’ stress and allow them to work better while maintaining their mental wellness.
Particularly in the post-COVID-19 world, mental health will be a major part of overall workforce health. Promoting employee wellness and offering a nurturing environment will undoubtedly prove to be mutually beneficial. Mental health and wellness of employees require undivided attention. When companies offer importance to the overall wellbeing of their employees, there will be a significant difference in the overall progress of the organization.