Nurturing Better Mental Health in the Workplace
9 October 2017 | beando_admin
World Mental Health Day 2017 (Tuesday 10th October) is focusing on mental health in the workplace.
According to the World Health Organisation, about 300 million people at any one time is suffering from workplace-related depression, anxiety and stress. The cost to the global economy is thought to be well over one trillion dollars in lost productivity and revenue. To put that into perspective, that’s equivalent to the population of the US experiencing the 2008 banking crisis every single year!
Of course, the figures only tell part of the story.
There is a lot riding on you being able to perform at your best every day. No matter what you do, if you suffer from workplace-related mental health issues that you carry to work on your daily commute, that Sunday evening when your mind turns to work once again becomes the most debilitating and heartbreaking experience. We know this is a very real issue: the figures show that teachers are leaving our schools and nurses are leaving our hospitals in their droves.
Improving workplace wellbeing
You might think workplace unhappiness is avoidable, that things can be different. Business leaders, employers and managers can, from the outset, incorporate and design wellbeing initiatives that not only minimise stress and anxiety but also in return nurture wellbeing, creativity and workplace happiness. In other words, the absence of one promotes the growth of the other.
There are countless ways to promote workplace wellbeing. Most of them are to do with making changes in the workplace setting. There are some businesses of course that confuse workplace wellbeing with things like adding a table tennis table to the kitchen, having an office dog and a PlayStation; while these things might work for a short while, they’re really only a distraction.
However, it’s our belief the workplace can’t become happy, it can only be happy. This is because happiness and wellbeing are our natural default. Good employers know this and will organise their businesses towards mining and utlising this key human characteristic.
This means creating the right context for workplace wellbeing to blossom naturally and fruitfully. Workplaces must not only get the environment right, but also the relationship between the management structure, the nurturing of skills, balance and support required – allied with a real sense of direction, creativity and purpose.
When we describe happiness in the workplace, we mean a deep, meaningful satisfaction and relationship with what we are doing and where we are. This is something more fundamental. Something that is sustainable and makes a real difference to the business and everyone in it.
What is the art and science of making happy work?
Promoting and sustaining workplace wellbeing should be focused on change from the inside-out rather than the outside-in. There are three components to this:
- A business that takes wellbeing seriously will promote inner work alongside outer work. In fact, to be truly successful, an organisation must help set the conditions for inner work and outer work to merge. Being and doing must be linked together.
- This will then stimulate and embrace the most valuable human capacity; intuition and creativity. When work and the workplace are structured around these empowering principles, the experience of work and the workplace is enhanced with a deeper dimension of rightness, purposefulness and usefulness.
- This results in creating a workplace that is balanced, well-managed and centred around its most valuable asset: its people. We’re talking about a workplace where people have enough time, feel empowered, connected, focused and valued.
There is no secret to discovering and maintaining workplace wellbeing. But actually achieving it can be another story. Our modern meditation programmes for business will not only help your company to find a deeper sense of purpose as a collective, but will work to reduce any workplace stress and anxiety that you personally might be struggling with at the moment.