Given the recent pandemic, perhaps it should come as no surprise that wellbeing in the workplace is now seen as more important than ever. It’s not easy being separated from colleagues and working in isolation. Staring at the same four walls of your home office, day in, day out, can be pretty knackering.
Workplace wellbeing initiatives are something close to the heart of connective3. Previously, we attended an All in. Leeds. breakfast event led by Jennifer Potter from Oasis Human Relations, who spoke all about creating a great work environment. Following the event, we wanted to share our key takeaways from the talk and our own thoughts on managing mental health in the workplace.
During the talk, Jennifer spoke about the importance of building strong, open and informed relationships in the workplace to encourage resilience and wellbeing for employees.
By taking a humanistic approach – ensuring you value someone as an individual rather than a tool – and adopting what’s known as whole person learning, it can be much easier to encourage happiness and responsibility at work and spread workplace wellbeing ideas.
Why is wellbeing important in the workplace?
The Quality of Life @ Work study discovered employees have four predictable core needs at work:
- Physical rest
- Emotional value
- Mental empowerment
- A sense of meaning and purpose
In this day and age, we all know just how important our mental health is. It dictates our mood, our enthusiasm, and even if we want to get out of bed in the morning. It also influences our overall wellbeing.
Plenty of things can influence our mental health in the workplace. Not getting enough sleep makes us grumpy, and a bad mood means we can’t focus. Restrictions on mental empowerment and a sense of purpose can make us hate our jobs.
The daily grind can get the best of us down, which is why it’s so important to have workplace wellbeing initiatives in place to help employees cope with high-stress projects and work environments.
By creating a supportive environment that encourages managing mental health in the workplace, employees know they’re being valued and will be empowered to work at their best.
How to improve mental health in the workplace
With the four needs we previously mentioned in mind, we’ve pulled together several workplace wellbeing ideas to help you and your employees promote a healthy work environment with managing mental health in the workplace at its core.
Improving employees’ physical energy
Sometimes, a bad night’s sleep is unavoidable. We all have them, but if you know certain staff are constantly feeling lethargic or burnt out, then workplace wellbeing initiatives that focus on boosting their sense of activeness can be hugely beneficial.
To start with, you should try and cultivate an atmosphere that values your employee’s time, both inside and outside of work. When the workday is done, it’s done. Employees shouldn’t be expected to set time aside outside of work to answer emails or finish projects. They should be able to switch off and unwind.
Other in-office ways of helping boost mental health in the workplace could include the use of walking meetings and breaks outside the office. Fresh air can do wonders for waking the body up, and standing can encourage blood flow to the brain and legs.
And if your office has the space, then you could set aside a small room for activities that promote improved mental health - for example, meditation, breathing exercises and yoga. All of these activities can renew body and soul, ultimately boosting mental health in the workplace.
Improving emotional energy in the workplace
Emotional energy is just as important as physical energy. It doesn’t matter if you’ve had the best night’s rest in the world. If you’re not mentally charged, you’re not going to be able to focus.
You can start boosting employee mental energy by creating a base of support from managers and leadership. While a manager might be the face of a team, they’re only as good as those they’re leading. By taking time to team members who might be struggling, employees will feel more inclined to express worries and concerns that could be slowing work down.
Another great tip is to lean into conflict in an empowering way. Not everyone will get along, and arguments in the workplace will happen. But when difficult conversations need to be had, it’s far better to talk about them in an open manner rather than avoid them. Workplace wellbeing initiatives like this will only benefit your staff’s teamwork.
Last but not least, while giving employees targets gives them something to strive for, you should always encourage realistic optimism. You’ll shouldn’t set them something they can’t achieve. Realistic goals are a cornerstone to self-improvement and mental health-boosting.
Improving mental energy in the workplace
While emotional energy is how an employee might be feeling, mental energy is their ability to focus and drive forward with work.
Without a doubt, one of the best ways to help improve employee mental energy is to provide a space that offers quiet working time with supportive people. Give employees space if they need it and offer opportunities to continue working from home.
Other workplace wellbeing ideas you could consider implementing include having clear workplace contracts established. Through these, you can clarify expectations and make sure everyone involved is happy with what is expected of them.
As well as increasing physical energy, activities such as yoga and meditation are also great for refreshing the mind and should be encouraged as workplace wellbeing ideas.
Improving spiritual energy in the workplace
Meaning and purpose are something everyone seeks in life. There are plenty of ways to encourage those senses in someone’s work, helping boost their mental health in the workplace by making their job meaningful.
To start with, everyone needs to have a shared understanding of your workplace’s goals. This can help employees understand where they are now and where they’re going in the future.
Employees should also be given meaningful responsibilities that align with their personal values, ensuring that they’re never asked to do something that might make them feel uncomfortable.
Improving creative energy in the workplace
Alright, we know we only mentioned four needs, but consider this one a bonus. Creative energy is made up of a mix of mental and emotional energy. Someone who is drained on both these levels isn’t going to be working at their best.
One of the best ways to improve creative energy and workplace wellbeing is to create an office environment where it’s ok to get things wrong. It’s ok to make mistakes. We just need to be able to learn from them and move on.
You could also promote unique and fun ways to hold meetings, whether through problem-solving, brainstorms, or other activities that help activate the creative centre of the brain.
And generally speaking, a more inclusive, social, and fun workplace is a great way to boost creative energy overall.
With these tips in mind, you should be able to start managing mental health in the workplace today, boosting productivity, team cohesion, and ultimately, making your employees feel valued. For even more tips and tricks on improving your workplace environment, head over to the c3 blog for more articles like this one.
Here at connective3, one of our key workplace wellbeing initiatives is to have wellness ambassadors in place for our employees to talk to. We also hold wellness Wednesdays, where we have group sessions of activities like mediation.
Thanks to our focus on wellbeing in the workplace, and our always-on approach, our employees have been able to produce some stunning digital PR campaigns, award-winning organic content, and some incredible SEO overhauls. Get in touch today to see how our agency can help your business.