Prioritizing Mental Health at Work: The Importance of Creating a Supportive and Positive Workplace Culture
December 18, 2023
The realm of Health and Safety at work goes beyond mere physical protection of employees, organisations need to recognize the significance of safeguarding the mental well-being of their employees as equally important as ensuring their physical safety.
15% of the global working population experiences mental health disorders caused by work-related stress and burnout which results in a staggering loss of twelve billion working days every year to depression and anxiety alone. The absence of adequate support from employers/leaders for mental disorders and mental health conditions affects an individual’s self-esteem and work identity, ultimately hampering their productivity and work performance.
Maintaining stable and positive mental health is a significant concern, especially for individuals working in the communications and marketing industry, which is known for its high-pressure and fast-paced work environment. They have to constantly immerse themselves in the creative process of generating innovative and creative ideas for storytelling which many times can be an emotional and mental draining process, leading to a high level of emotional labor for creative professionals. The urge to produce something exceptional often leads to creative blocks, work-related stress, anxiety, and burnout amongst individuals, posing significant obstacles to their mental well-being.
It’s also crucial to acknowledge that work stress and burnout can stem from various factors in today’s workplace environment. Leaders must ensure that their teams are not burdened with heavy workloads, unrealistic deadlines, or excessive overtime. It is also essential that individuals understand their roles and responsibilities to avoid conflicting priorities. Leaders should provide open communication at all levels and offer adequate support and training for stress and burnout management. It’s equally important for employees to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
These practices are even more critical given the increasing prevalence of mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and burnout in the workplace. Failure to address these issues can have dire consequences for both the individual and the organization, including decreased productivity, increased absenteeism, loss of concentration, poor decision-making, high turnover rates, job satisfaction and a negative impact on the overall workplace culture.
The workplace is where we all tend to spend most of our days’ time, we need to relish and enjoy each day while learning and conquering new challenges. Creating a healthy work environment is the responsibility of both, the management and the employees By fostering open communication, promoting work-life balance, building supportive relationships, seeking help when needed, and engaging in mental health programs, everyone can contribute to a positive and supportive workplace culture.