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How an Employee's Mental Health is
Affected by the Workplace

By Mikkie Mills

Concern about an employee's physical health has almost always been a high priority for every human resource (HR) manager or employee, since that affects the company that they work for. More recently, the mental health of the employee is also becoming just as important since at least 5 percent of all workers have or are affected by mood disorders like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and more.

Here are a few simple ways that an employee's mood can be affected by how positive or negative their work environment is. These are a simple HR guide for those who want to ensure their employees’ mental health...

  1. Organize time
    Sometimes companies are short-handed and many employees need to work more hours or complete more tasks in less time than they are used to, slowly creating a negative. This can drastically affect an employee's mental and physical health by adding low to high amounts of stress. The longer or more often the employee works more than they are used to, the more their mental health and stability will decline and affect their work performance and ethics.

    The solution to this is to make sure the extra hours that need to be covered are distributed between multiple employees and a filler employee can be found soon. For employees who do not have enough time to complete an extra set of tasks, make sure they can get assistance from other employees or managers.

  2. Make sure there is communication
    Some jobs do not have that much physical contact with many people while others allow the employee constant contact with other people. Regardless, taking the time to talk to an employee and hear what they have to say, whether it is professional or personal, makes the employee feel more comfortable and safe in the workplace. This can help keep their stress levels down too.

    When done properly, this can also help employees to know how their performance is, what needs to be done and give them recognition for their hard work.

  3. Let employees have their own personal space
    Whether it is a locker or a break room, giving the employees of the company a pace for them to keep some personal things allows them to have their own area for their social identity. It makes them feel like they belong and that they matter to their employer(s). This can boost morale and the work performance while they are on their break and spending their time in that personal space.
  4. Keep on eye on managers and employees
    Many employees perform by the example of their managers and how they perform. Every day, employees take note of how genuine the managers are, their tact, and how they distribute tasks, duties, and punishments. In order to maintain a positive work environment, a manager's system must be concrete, not too lax and not too stern.

    Easy ways to see if the system can be corrected are how the employees respond to it, and in particular, if they begin to have negative stress reactions. These are things like a drop in performance, being late, expressing dissatisfaction, lack of organization or commitment, and not showing up to work.

  5. Arrange celebrations seasonally or monthly
    When morale is especially low across the company, usually around busy periods and the holidays, having a small celebration or party can boost positivity throughout the workplace and increase worker morale which will increase work morale overall. It also encourages the employees and managers alike to communicate and express themselves more and feel more involved and appreciated.

By following these 5 simple steps, the workplace may quickly be able to become and stay positive every employee. It also allows human resources to be able to recognize those with mood disorders and how they may react once the workplace becomes positive again.

About Mikkie Mills: “I’m a Chicago native who loves to share her expertise about personal development and growth. When I’m not writing, I’m chasing the little ones around or rock climbing at the local climbing gym.” More articles by Mikkie.

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