- August 3, 2022
- By Joshua Reid
- Accessibility , Advice , COVID-19
- care for employee , counseling , employee , flexibility , mental health , pandemic , stress , take care , therapy , time off
How Can Companies Help An Employee’s Mental Health?
A company’s work environment can positively or negatively affect its employees’ mental health.Whether emotional, physical, or psychological, the effects a work environment has on employees shouldn’t be understated. A company’s ability to recognize the potential harm their work environment is having on their employees is an essential factor of an employee’s mental health and wellbeing within a company.
Yet, how can companies help an employee’s mental health?
The CEO or manager might want their business to do well in the future at any cost; however the potential effects of the work environment on their employees is something they can’t afford to overlook. For instance, if a company’s work environment is positive, then an employee would have a more positive view of the work and a better opinion of the company.
A 2020 article by LinkedIn titled “5 Ways Companies Are Supporting Employees’ Mental Health and Preventing Burnout” noted that, in a recent study they conducted, of 2,700 employees: 75% felt isolated because of the COVID-19 pandemic, 67% experienced higher stress levels, 57% felt more anxious, and 53% had greater emotional distress. The high number of employees who felt anxious, isolated, or had greater emotional distress or higher stress levels is alarming.
“With many employees working 2-3 hours longer per day than they did before March 11 (when some companies made the call to work from home) — combined with additional pressures like caring for sick loved ones — the risk of burnout and mental illness is on the rise.”Samantha McLaren
If a company wants to help an employee’s mental health, they have to figure out ways to lessen the risk of burnout for employees. As the pandemic put pressure on businesses, the emotional, physical, social, and psychological effects of that pressure have forced employees to work longer hours and affected the productivity and engagement of employees with their clients.
Samantha McLaren argues that providing mental health support for employees when they need it most would lead to happier and healthier workers and save lives. According to McLaren, there are five ways that a company could help support an employee’s mental health:
- Providing counseling sessions and coaching.
- Giving employees access to meditation apps and online mental health resources.
- Allow greater flexibility and time off for those who need it.
- Promoting healthy work-life balance habits.
- Encouraging leaders to speak openly about mental health.
As companies grapple with the pandemic’s effects on their business, these are ways that companies could improve the lives of their employees. Even once the world is on the other side of the pandemic, these are still options that companies should pursue. For instance, they could start providing counseling sessions and coaching. When an employee’s stress levels rise, it may affect their productivity. If a business has the means, it should find ways to create counseling sessions where employees can discuss their mental health struggles. These affirmative actions can also give CEOs and managers insight into the stress their employees face.
According to the LinkedIn article, places like Starbucks, RedDoorz (a Singapore-based budget hotel platform), and software firms like Clearvision, have created programs where employees can receive counseling. This allows them to promote better and healthier work-life balance habits.
Due largely to the pandemic, a healthy work-life balance is needed. As the LinkedIn article mentioned, employees have to work 2-3 hours longer than usual. In addition to the potentially increasing workload and personal situations that put undue stress on an employee, these factors of stress can affect their work if not handled appropriately.
“For employees caring for their family members, flexibility is incredibly important right now for their mental health. For others, stepping away from work for a little while is a vital aspect of self-care.”Samantha McLaren
Taking a day or more off work could give employees a chance to keep their minds off of the increasing workload. Unless necessary, employees should be able to mute their communication with their co-workers while not on the clock. Time away from work is crucial because it not only allows the employee to refresh their mind and be active with family but refocuses the employees’ efforts on their productivity and engagement with clients once they return. Employees are, in a way, rejuvenated during their time away from work.
Allowing greater flexibility with an employee’s schedule would be an excellent way for companies to help an employee’s mental health.
McLaren, Samantha. “5 Ways Companies Are Supporting Employees’ Mental Health and Preventing Burnout.” LinkedIn. Accessed 16 May 2021.