For most of us, we spend more than one third of our lives at work, and with such a significant portion of our time dedicated to our jobs, it’s essential to prioritise our mental health in the workplace.
Mental health is a crucial element of our overall well-being and affects every aspect of our lives, including our work performance. In modern workplaces, stress and mental health challenges have become more prevalent due to increasing demands. These challenges can have a significant impact, resulting in increased absenteeism, reduced productivity, and a negative work culture.
When employees experience mental health issues like depression, anxiety, or burnout, it can be tough for them to show up for work physically and mentally. They might feel overwhelmed by the demands of their job, leading to more time off work, aka absenteeism. This not only affects them but also their co-workers and the whole team, creating extra work and lowering productivity. Plus, the costs of absenteeism can add up, including the direct costs of sick leave, overtime, and temporary replacements, and the indirect costs of lower productivity and staff turnover. If people are absent from work often because of poor mental health, it can also hurt their career, potentially missing out on chances for career growth, promotions, and better pay. This can leave employees feeling stuck and unhappy at work. Employers prioritising mental health within the workplace can help reduce absenteeism, thus boosting productivity, and reducing costs.
Following from Absenteeism, improving mental health policies in the workplace can have a huge impact on productivity by helping employees be in a better mental state. When employees are feeling good mentally, they can handle the demands of their job with more focus and enthusiasm, leading to better work quality, higher efficiency, and output. Plus, investing in mental health resources can reduce absenteeism and turnover, creating a positive work culture that benefits everyone involved in the organization.
Positive workplace culture
“For me, when you hear that word, mental health in the workplace, the word that comes to mind is safe. It’s just a feeling of ease and safe. “ – Sue Liptrott, Executive Officer, Iris Foundation Australia Ltd
Improving mental health support at work can impact workplace culture significantly. When employees feel supported and valued, they are more engaged and motivated, leading to a positive environment. Prioritising mental health promotes a culture of openness and acceptance, where employees can discuss their concerns without fear of stigma. This fosters a sense of belonging and connection among employees, leading to a more supportive work culture. Moreover, employees who feel supported are more loyal and take pride in their work, resulting in decreased turnover and increased productivity. Investing in mental health support has a profound impact on workplace culture, leading to a more fulfilling and positive environment for everyone.
Overall, taking care of employees’ mental health is essential for a thriving workplace and a successful organisation. By providing improved mental health support, organisations can reduce absenteeism and turnover, boost productivity, and foster a more positive work culture. By implementing policies and resources that prioritise mental health, organisations can create a safe space where employees feel supported, valued, and comfortable discussing their mental health issues without any fear of stigma or discrimination. Ultimately, investing in mental health support is a win-win situation that benefits both employees and the organisation as a whole. Therefore, it’s critical for workplaces to acknowledge the significance of mental health and take proactive measures to improve support for their employees.
The contents of this blog post are drawn from the second panel discussion held at the Stronger Than My Excuses event – “IMAGINE: Challenging the Status Quo.” The panel was composed of a group of experts who shared their insights on the topic of “IMAGINE: Harmony and Good Mental Health at Work – It’s Called Happiness.” Watch the full panel discussion here.
Who is responsible for good mental health at work? View our other blog on this topic here