This guide isn’t just about health and safety, it’s also about well being.
Whilst mental health issues are certainly not a new deal, as they’ve been around as long as people have, they’ve become more and more prevalent in the modern office environment.
Now, we all have mental health, just as we all have physical health, but there are certain situations in a working environment which can detrimentally affect someone’s mental health. The biggest one by far is stress.
Employers need to recognize the damaging effects of stress and work with employees to raise awareness. Whilst you can’t kick out the possibility of stress completely, you can do a lot to reduce it if you place enough focus on it.
As you can see, deadlines, unfair workloads and conflict can be some of the main reasons that stress can creep into a working environment but home issues can also find their way into the office too. If someone is struggling at home, they may become distracted and make uncharacteristic mistakes at their stylish office desk, or find themselves contributing less and less at the funky meeting tables during collaborative sessions.
As part of your well being package, you could offer confidential counselling sessions, which would help employees to deal with issues and work through them in their own time and space. However, raising awareness of stress and highlighting stress management techniques during mandatory training sessions is also a good idea.
Most offices work within teams these days, which can certainly help to reduce problems in terms of unfair workload, but you also need to make sure that personality clashes and conflicts between team members aren’t causing issues too.
At the end of the day, there is little you can to do stamp out stress completely, because absolutely anything can cause stress, but there is plenty you can do to raise awareness of it and help those who might be struggling. Having an open-door policy will ensure that staff feel able to approach management when they’re worried or struggling with their workload, or when something else is bothering them.
When employees feel supported, they’re less likely to feel stressed, and if they do, the effects are likely to be less. The problem is, when stress is left unchecked over a long period of time, it can become extremely serious and can even impact on physical health too.
Of course, mental health issues don’t always involve stress, but there’s no denying that it plays a huge part. We’re seeing a huge increase in the number of people dealing with depression and anxiety in everyday life, and you have to remember that these people will all go to work too. As a result, the effects of the condition will impact not only on the quality of their work but their overall job satisfaction too. Mistakes might become more prevalent, collaboration reduces, and you can simply see by looking at them that they’re struggling.
Focusing on your employees as human beings is the single best way to connect and help someone who is going through a hard time, whatever the reason. By doing that, you’re showing your employees that you care, and together you can work through the issue, or give key support in various different ways.
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