The pandemic has affected a lot of people’s mental health, and this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Working from home has made for a 360 in business lifestyle. Don’t be shy, we know you took that meeting in a button-down and Christmas pajamas. Although we can’t complain about the ability to wear pajama pants (at all times), we will say it has created an obvious shift in employees’ mental health.
Coming into another year of remote work, we continue to see the consequences and effects this has had. The stigma around mental health has led to more than half of people with mental health disorders not seeking help. This proposes the question, how do we address the mental health of our employees?
We must open the conversation. Talking about mental health in the workplace has always been a bit unorthodox. When in reality, it is an issue with health, the same as a broken leg, except your brain is the body part being affected. Mental health issues often go unnoticed, because the physical indicators are not as obvious. Consider the tone in which you talk to your employees about their mental health, so they feel open to communicating when they are struggling. In a study done on mental health in the pandemic, 70% of employees said they felt overly stressed, compared to 32% in 2019.
Team support is crucial. Try a group bonding activity. Reminder: Karaoke exists and can be a great time to get to know your team outside of work. Mental health issues such as depression and anxiety are proven to escalate in isolation, and it is important to make your team feel they are not alone. Read more about how to support your team here.
Do what you can to motivate your team as a leader. Set your own personal standards to motivate each other, and alleviate their stress. Put an emphasis on the right coping mechanisms outside of work, to have a balanced healthy lifestyle. Encourage your team to stay active and eat healthily. If that means you have to dunk on your manager to get everyone out on the court – don’t hesitate.
Mental health is a serious issue that affects everyone, both at home and while in the office. When it boils down to it, making sure your employees have the mental health support and understanding they deserve, is an integral part of leading with love.