Workplace Well-being: The Importance of Mental Health in Your Career

Last Updated: 

October 26, 2023

The pandemic certainly did a number on people’s mental health. Isolation, illness, fear, grief, job loss, and financial insecurity had a severe impact on the mental well-being of many. While we have moved beyond the initial devastation that the pandemic brought about and a sense of normalcy has, for the most part, returned, many of the effects still linger. Mental health concerns are still a major issue and something that both employers and individuals need to be actively focused on, as it is something that can affect every part of a person’s life. It is crucial for companies to prioritise mental health in the workplace and for individuals to understand how important it is to find a place that is a good fit and supports their mental well-being.

Key Takeaways on Workplace Well-Being

  1. Mental Health is Vital: The pandemic highlighted the importance of mental health, as it impacts every aspect of our lives, including our career.
  2. Workplace Redefined: With remote work becoming more prevalent, employers and individuals must prioritise mental health no matter where work takes place.
  3. Employer's Role: Employers should recognise that poor mental health among employees can lead to decreased productivity, higher costs, and reputational damage. They can support mental health through flexible policies, training, and accommodations.
  4. Personal Responsibility: Individuals should seek companies and careers that align with their mental well-being, maintain work-life balance, and not hesitate to seek help when needed.
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Why should mental health be a priority?

Mental health refers to our psychological, emotional, and social well-being and affects every aspect of our lives, from the way we think to the ways we feel and act. Physical health can impact mental health, especially for people who have to contend with chronic pain or illness, and conversely, mental health can also have a negative influence on an individual's physical health. When someone suffers from poor mental health, it can significantly alter the type of employee they are - decreasing their creativity, productivity, attendance, and engagement. When companies and individuals work to make mental health a priority in the workplace, it can benefit everyone involved.

The pandemic also changed the definition of a workplace as the number of people working remotely increased drastically. While many people enjoy the advantages that can go along with working from home, the isolation and lack of connection can also have a negative impact on mental well-being. It is important for employers and individuals to monitor and prioritise mental health no matter where their “workplace” may be.

The role of employers in mental health

Employers must understand how significantly their employee’s mental health can impact their business. When employees have poor mental health, it can result in:

  • Decreased revenue and profitability
  • Lower employee and customer retention rates
  • Loss of employee productivity
  • Increased absenteeism and employee turnover
  • Higher health insurance costs
  • Strained working relationships and low morale
  • Damage to a company’s reputation or brand perception

Therefore, it is important for employers to take the necessary steps to support positive mental health among its employees. This can be done through a number of strategies, including:

  • Preventing mental health problems by identifying risk factors and implementing interventions that will reduce or eliminate problems. This could be done through flexible scheduling or working arrangements, allowing remote work when possible; modifying workloads; involving workers in decisions that affect their jobs; and fostering a positive working environment that makes employees feel valued and safe.
  • Promoting mental health by training managers and employees in mental health awareness and stress management. Training everyone in ways to identify job stressors and techniques to manage that stress can go a long way in promoting good mental health in the workplace.
  • Support employees who have mental health conditions or when concerns arise. Mental health problems can’t always be avoided, so it is important to have support in place for employees when they need accommodations or assistance.

Taking charge of your mental health

It is important for individuals to understand the importance that mental health has on their lives and their career and take the steps necessary to maintain their mental well-being. One of the best things someone can do is to find a company and a career that are a good fit for you. Working with a staffing agency can be a great way to receive guidance on a career or job and to “try on” different positions. It is typically free for job candidates, and recruiters will work with you throughout the hiring process and beyond to find you a position and ensure that it’s the right job for you. Maintaining work-life balance is another important part of good mental health. Finding the time to engage in preferred activities and spend time with friends and loved ones helps to promote mental well-being. Finally, ask for help when you feel overwhelmed or that your mental health is suffering. Whether it be from family, friends, or at work, seeking assistance can make a big difference.

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