In the 21st century mental health is a major topic of conversation. With a rise in transparency in mental health it has led to companies having to be more transparent with employee's mental health and having ways of helping them with this. The real question is are companies doing enough to protect their employees?
Covid-19 was a major world event that affected everyone, every corner of the world. It led to people being put in lockdown and not being able to leave their houses for months at a time. Due to this there was a huge increase in mental health problems. Additionally, Covid-19 led to many companies being closed and having to let go of many of their employees. Suddenly being let go, especially in the current cost of living crisis, would have put a huge strain on people and could cause stress and anxiety about how they are going to be able to provide for their family or find a new job. This recent event has made companies focus more on their employee's mental health and what they can do to protect this. But does it work?
Workplace mental health
It is said that one in five people experience a mental health problem every year and working from home is now more common than ever. Working from home can present many new challenges like feeling isolated and disconnected. It also causes the problem of separating work and home lifestyle. Feeling isolated can lead to depression. Employers can help provide good mental health among employees and this will not only benefit employee well-being but can also improve the prosperity of businesses. It is suggested that poor employee's mental health has led to decreased work productivity. There are many ways for employers to help an employee's mental health, one example being cognitive behavioral therapy which is said to be a cost-saving way to address depression. Some other methods include providing regular opportunities to discuss and review people’s positive achievements; encouraging exercise and regular social events to boost staff health, teamwork and mental well-being. Furthermore, a company could provide counselling sessions for employees; give them access to meditation apps and online resources; allow flexibility and mental health days off; promote healthy work-life balance such as making it impossible for employees to send emails after hours in an attempt to stop them working late into the night. Working late into the night could affect your schedule and lead to a lack of sleep which can affect your mental health.
Innocent smoothies are said to be one of the best companies when it comes to employee's mental health. This is due to the flexible work schedule you can have and the positive benefits that would help motivate employees such as a bonus at each level as well as private healthcare. They also provide yoga clubs, sabbaticals, gym and provide mental health resources. Innocent smoothies have long been an advocate for workplace wellbeing and mental health related issues. Additionally, the company runs ‘the people clinic’ every week where employees can get practical, confidential help for issues in their work or personal lives. In 2018 the company was awarded the third best company to work for in the Sunday Times Best Companies to Work for in 2018. Having a positive workplace will impact their employees in a positive way and therefore improve their mental well-being.
Overall companies are improving in protecting their employee's mental health. With leading companies such as innocent smoothies setting an example for what companies should be doing it should motivate more companies to start doing the same. Employees' mental health is a vital part in helping a company succeed as it is more important now than ever, especially with the increased number of suicides each year. Work is a major part of most people's lives and having a good work life balance and a company with healthy values will majorly help someone's mental health.