In 2019, the World Health Organization classified burnout as an occupational phenomenon. According to their report, burnout is characterized by three dimensions: feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; increased mental distance from one’s job, or negative or cynical feelings about one’s job; and reduced professional efficacy. In other words, burnout is a state of mental and physical exhaustion caused by prolonged exposure to workplace stressors.
It’s no secret that modern work life can be stressful. With technology allowing us to be reachable at all hours of the day, it can be hard to ever really “unplug.” Combine that with long hours, unrealistic deadlines, and office politics, and it’s no wonder that so many of us are struggling to keep our heads above water.
In fact, a recent study found that 78% of full-time employees report regularly experiencing physical symptoms of stress, while 73% report experiencing psychological symptoms. Not only is this bad for employee morale, but it also slowly erodes productivity and increases absenteeism.
So what can you do to combat these trends? Supporting mental health in the workplace is a good place to start.
What You Can Do to Support Mental Health in the Workplace:
There are a number of things you can do as an employer to support the mental health of your employees. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Offer Flexible Work Arrangements:
One way to help reduce stress is to offer employees more flexible work arrangements. This could mean anything from letting them set their own hours to allowing them to work from home on occasion. When employees feel like they have more control over their time, they’re less likely to experience feelings of overwhelm and anxiety.
Encourage a Healthy Lifestyle:
Another way to reduce stress is to encourage employees to live a healthy lifestyle. This could mean anything from subsidizing gym memberships to offering healthy food options in the office cafeteria. When employees have access to resources that help them lead a healthier lifestyle, they’re less likely to experience stress-related health problems like heart disease and obesity down the road.
Make Time for Fun:
Finally, don’t forget to schedule some fun into the work week! Whether it’s hosting monthly happy hours or organizing team-building outings, making time for leisure activities can do wonders for employee morale. And when employees are happy and well-rested, they’re more productive and less likely to call in sick.
Supporting mental health in the workplace is not only the right thing to do for your employees—it’s also good for business. By taking steps to reduce workplace stressors and promote a healthy lifestyle, you can improve employee productivity, morale, and retention rates while also reducing your company’s healthcare costs down the road.