In recent years, the mental health of employees has taken a prominent place in company consciousness. Multiple studies have shown that employees who work themselves to the brink of exhaustion and completely disregard their mental health are less productive than those who take their mental health needs into account. As mental health awareness increases, companies are taking steps to address stress levels in the workplace.
In this study, almost half of respondents reported feeling overwhelmed at work on a frequent basis- not stressed out, but overwhelmed. This suggests that on the whole, workloads and work/life balances are weighing employees down and forcing them to work in conditions of constant urgency. As a way of counteracting these problems, employers have begun implementing new policies to give employees the support they need.
The Option to Work from Home
For many new companies, opening up the option of working from home to employees has gone a long way in allowing people to feel less overwhelmed. The option to forgo the daily commute, primping ritual, and work from the comfort of home is a great way to allow employees to take a breather, sleep a little later, and work the exact same hours as they would have. The bonus time added by avoiding the mad scramble to get out the door in the mornings gives time back to the employees that they can use on themselves.
Flexible Working Hours
The days when in order to be deemed effective you had to work from 9-5 is gone. Many companies are turning power over to their employees, allowing them to work whatever hours work best for them, rather than static business hours. This not only gives employees a further measure of freedom, it also shows the company’s confidence in them. By saying that they can work when they need to, their superiors are basically saying “We trust you to get your work done. As long as you meet your deadlines, work when you want to.”
Clear Tasks and Objectives
One of the main pain points for employees comes from convoluted instructions. When expectations and standards vary by the person you report to, meeting those standards can be tricky. If an employee does not know what they are supposed to be doing, day in and day out, it becomes impossible to maintain standards and meet expectations. Companies are therefore making more of an effort to be transparent with their employees and give them clear instructions not only for day to day responsibilities but for promotion eligibility as well.
Better Health Care
In the past, employees were completely on the hook for mental health care. Healthcare policies often did not cover therapy or psychiatrist visits, leaving the financial responsibility of addressing mental health issues completely on the employee’s shoulders. Today, insurance benefits usually offer coverage for therapy and psychiatry, allowing employees to get the help they need without having to worry as much about the financial aspect of treatment.
Overall, companies are beginning to look at the mental health of their employees, not as a burden or an inconvenience, but as an asset that makes them more valuable. By providing an environment where people can be open about their needs for their workplace, we are taking steps towards eliminating the stigma around mental illness.