It’s no news flash that working in an office often means sitting all day. Did you know that sitting for a prolonged period of time could affect your metabolism, your joint health, your weight, your cardiovascular system, and your immune system? That is why it is recommended that we are active in some way, every day to counterbalance sitting at our desks! This is also applies to mental health. Most people tend to accept stress as a natural part of the role. Yet, stress can increase burnout risks, depression, anxiety, and self-isolation. What can businesses do to make a positive change to our mental health?
Make regular breaks a habit
Taking breaks is not a natural behaviour. In fact, a lot of employees feel guilty about walking away from their desks. Yet, regular breaks during the day can significantly reduce stress levels. Creating comfortable and inviting break areas inside the company can help create a break habit. The company can also be more vocal about breaks, helping normalise the behaviour.
Be supportive of their individual goals
Employees have personal goals for their lives outside the office. While it might not seem relevant to their day-to-day work, their life goals are an overarching arch that influences their everyday behaviours. That’s precisely why it’s essential to gain an understanding of what people want to achieve. Utilising one-to-one catch-up meetings to address personal goals can provide a supportive approach. For instance, an employee trying to quit smoking could appreciate support in the form of vaping products such as the vape and grind range. Someone who wants to get fit would welcome a discounted gym membership. Offering support can decrease stress levels and improve their business life.
Shorten the workweek
According to countless experiments, a four-day workweek could be hugely beneficial for mental health. Indeed, working four days instead of five can reduce the risk of burnout for employees. More importantly, businesses that have embraced this approach have found that productivity levels remained the same or even increased.
Offer flexible work arrangements
Do employees prefer working from home or working in the office? The answer varies with each individual. Some people can find the home office less stressful as they can avoid the long commute during the rush hour. Others prefer the calm of the office to their loud neighbourhood. Offering employees the choice to decide when and where they work best empowers them to address crucial stress factors.
The typical full-time, permanent Australian employee receives a minimum holiday entitlement of 20 days and ten paid public holidays. However, are four weeks of annual leave enough to recharge their batteries during the year? The answer is no. Companies that have adopted an illimited holiday policy have found that teams are much more relaxed, productive, and engaged. Netflix, for instance, was one of the first to introduce unlimited holidays as early as 2010. The process enables employees to meet their personal needs without struggling with mental, emotional, and physical fatigue.
Mental health in the office remains a very important topic. While more and more companies offer perks such as access to therapy consultants, they often fail to provide a mental health boosting environment. It’s time to make a change inside the workplace! Will you be taking on board any of these tips?