This month, Embryo Digital, the Manchester-based digital marketing agency, takes a look at mental health and how it affects people in the workplace, the importance of understanding and supporting those who are struggling at work, and what more can be done to help tackle these issues.
The month of May means various things to different people. The start of spring, bank holidays, and across the pond – Mental Health Awareness Month. It may not be our month or week to officially think about our mental health, but in all honesty, it’s something that many of us can’t help but think about. While the stigma around the issue is decreasing, it feels like there’s still a long way to go in recognising just how prevalent mental health issues are in the workplace. The truth is, most people will find themselves suffering from depression or anxiety at some point, though usually this manifests as off-days or occasional blips in mood or productivity. We might not even register these moments as recognisable problems, which is another part of the problem, especially when these days build up over time.
Many things can contribute to a decline in someone’s mental health, and we should keep an eye out for these signs while at work. The modern day workplace can quite easily become a stressful environment and the pressures at work can be stifling. Emphasis on productivity, efficiency and clearing ever-increasing workloads can lead people to try and work over their capacity and end up burning themselves out.
Just because somebody gets stressed out or suffers with mental health issues at work, it doesn’t mean they’re bad at the job, and it certainly doesn’t mean they simply can’t hack it. What it might mean is that a simple adjustment in the workplace can help remove a significant barrier and help someone function better at work. The value to the UK economy of those currently working who have suffered from mental health problems is around £225 billion, just over 12% of UK GDP. It’s important to protect that, both at a national level and in our individual working environments.
So what can we do? The first step is being able to recognise the signs, both in yourself and others at work. An uncharacteristic slip in timekeeping, motivation, or outbursts of emotion can all be clear signs that you or someone you work with may be struggling. Creating an understanding and supportive atmosphere at work can go a long way to make someone feel less isolated and help ease the pressure that they may be feeling. Reasonable adjustments to make work life a little more flexible will help give your employees and colleagues a little more room to breathe and help them deal with their issues in a healthy way.
As for dealing with mental health issues yourself, Embryo Digital’s Digital Project Manager, Charlotte Fallon, wrote a great blogabout self care tips for dealing with anxiety at work which you can read on our website. Tips include getting exercise, meditating, and taking frequent breaks to alleviate the pressure on yourself.
Embryo Digital are a rapidly growing and ambitious digital marketing agency, specialising in web design, SEO and content marketing. If you’re unsure about your company’s place in the digital world, visit their website (www.embryodigital.co.uk) or call 0161 327 2635 to give it that healthy position.