Our tips for effective mental wellbeing at work

by Heat Recruitment

By Hollie Thomas

Mental wellbeing was one of the most talked about subjects last year, and will continue to be discussed going into 2018. With one in four people suffering from some type of mental health illness, the stigma behind the condition is finally starting to be explored, and more importantly, understood… but what about work-related stress?

With increased workloads, longer than average working hours and growing competition between businesses as a result of a strengthening economy, the number of UK workers reporting instances of workplace stress has risen to such an extent that as many as one in six of us will be affected at some point over the next 12 months.

January is billed as one of the most depressing months of the year, combining Christmas debt, poor weather and failed new year’s resolutions. Whilst many would hand-wave such issues away, work-related stress and mental health issues resulted in 12.5 million lost working days in 2017, with 40% of workers found to be prioritising their work over having a healthy work-life balance.

Moreover, according to a survey from the Mental Health Foundation, a quarter of employees who work longer than their contracted hours say they feel depressed as a direct result. Against this backdrop, it is more important than ever for employees and employers to take action. Here are a few relative simple yet highly effective ways you can take greater control of the stress you may be feeling at work:

Create more non-desk time

It is estimated that as much as 70% of our waking week is spent performing a work-related activity. Taking regular breaks and leaving the confines of the office environment is important as it enables you to escape for a few moments and take some much-needed time out. Look at how you can distract yourself – try and find a quiet spot to eat your lunch, read a book or catch up on your current affairs before prioritising your workload for that afternoon.

Create more time for you

Another stress buster is exercising after, or before you start work. With the release of endorphins, also known as the happy hormone, 30 minutes of exercise a day could really improve your work-related stress and mental wellbeing in general. Otherwise, try to relax and have some you time after work. Run a hot bath, settle down with your favourite book, or relax with friends and family, anything that’s not work related will help sooth your stresses and allow you to temporarily forget about work.

Talk to your employer

Just because your job is stressful doesn’t mean you have to look for another one. Speaking with your employer about working issues and your wellbeing in the workplace is really important, and could solve your work-related stress. Explain to them exactly what’s making you stressed, your workload, working hours, fellow colleagues or office environment and see if things can be improved by working together.

For employers, there are a number of strategies that can be implemented. At Heat Recruitment, we’ve designed a workplace that not only encourages excellence, but also does so in a way that best supports our growing team of recruiters. From experience, we have found that more engaged workforces have fewer absences and sick days as a result. We know that one person working willingly is far more effective than 10 who are ‘forced’ into it. Healthy people make for a healthy environment.

Work related stress and mental health issues within the work place equated to 12.1% of all recorded sick days last year – it’s likely the real figure is far higher. It’s important to understand that we shouldn’t feel stressed at work, or if we do, somethings got to give.

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