With stats showing that one in four of us will experience mental health problems each year, and nine out of 10 will experience some sort of stigma or discrimination because of it, it seems only too relevant that this year’s World Mental Health Awareness Day is focusing on mental wellbeing in the workplace.
It doesn’t take a genius to work out that when employees feel cared for and happy at work, their productivity soars, but sadly the Mental Health Foundation reports that over 65% of employees feel scared, embarrassed or unable to talk to their employer about mental health concerns.
Here at Avant we place great value on a relaxed and happy environment in the office, so we’ve shared some tips for creating and maintaining a positive work space for both staff and management.
It sounds an obvious one, but this doesn’t have to be as daunting as sitting down for a one-on-one chat with your colleague or boss. Sharing useful or uplifting articles, tips and quotes via email with your team is a nice way to boost everyone’s mood and show your team members you’re here if they need to chat.
Communicate away from your desk
Where possible, take team meetings away from a formal desk setting. Holding catch-ups in comfy sofa areas, or over coffee, are great ways to make everyone feel more at ease. At Avant, we hold a team breakfast every Friday where we’ll catch up on the week and brainstorm ideas for our clients.
Get together out of the office
Out-of-work socialising isn’t for everyone, but something as simple as going for team drinks helps people feel more relaxed around colleagues and allows them to open up in a more informal environment.
Nominate a mental health rep
Larger companies could nominate a member of the team to act as a go-between for staff and management on mental health issues. Our Account Executive Melissa is our self-appointed Head of Happiness.
Reward your team
Another obvious one, but putting incentives and rewards in place during particularly busy or stressful periods is going to boost morale and productivity. We’re always crazy busy in the run-up to Christmas so we make sure to organise little treats like team drinks, makeup artists visiting the office, and of course a Christmas party.
Get some breathing space
If you find work getting on top of you, a quick five minute meditation can help you empty your mind, and refocus. One of my friends recommended the Calm app to me, which has a huge range of guided meditations, and I use this during times of stress or when I want to unwind before bed.
– Ellen Kelly, Director and Co-Founder