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Where you can start as a business owner to improve wellness at work. Stress and Mental Health.

I have been planning to write about wellness in the office for quite a while now. So, here I am!

And as it is such a wide topic I will split it into smaller topics. If you like this article follow for more.

I am, also, on a quest to write a book about it, so, you might soon see it all in one piece.

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There is a lot of things to mention about wellness in the office or how to improve wellness in your workplace, for yourself and others, but today let's talk briefly about stress and mental health.

I will talk directly to the business owners, CEOs and decision-makers of small, medium and large businesses who have at least one employee.

After reading this you should:

  • understand how stress affects business financially.

  • have an understanding that to improve wellness in the office you have to manage your mental health first.

  • have an understanding that you are a responsibility for providing a healthy environment and reaching out to an employee in distress.

  • have an idea of what to do to make your workplace more mentally healthy for everyone.

This article should be more of thought provoking and less as a direction manual, even if it includes a bit of both. For more directions or suggestions on how to improve your workplace, contact me directly.

It goes without saying, that treating people unfairly, discriminating, undervaluing, ignoring their needs, micromanaging, disrespecting... etc equals to a toxic environment and creates stress and unhappiness which spreads throughout the whole office.

Learn to be:

- empathetic,

- able to communicate clearly,

- to be fair and inclusive to all/lead with integrity,

- self-aware and aware of other people emotions,

- able to create a healthy/non-toxic environment for yourself and others.

Always, start with your own mental health. Are you stressed and overwhelmed? How well do you know yourself and how well you can manage your own emotions? How does your stress affect people around you?

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Mindset is important! I hope you see employees as individuals, who has feelings, different personalities and has to be respected. But if you don't and still think that the most important role you have is to make money and the rest is not important, this is where you are wrong and how your company most likely is losing money due to stress in the workplace.

5 costly stress at work facts that affect business:

  1. Absence - Employees take sick days which can be costly to the business.

17.9 million Working days lost due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2019/20 Labour Force Survey (LFS) 2. Lack of productivity. Work productivity going down due to stress symptoms: lack of energy, disengagement, lack of motivation. As a recent survey conducted by Colonial Life shows, 41% of workers say stress has caused a drop in work productivity according to 3. Staff Turnover. How does much it cost to employ and train new staff? A survey conducted by employment search site of nearly 7,000 U.S. workers found that while a less-than-surprising 35% had contemplated leaving a job to flee a stressful work environment, a more significant number--42%--had "purposely" left a position because of such a workplace according to Forbes. 4. Work-related stress claims. It may not happen often but when it does it cost the business a fortune. The latest estimates from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) show: The total number of cases of work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2019/20 was 828,000 in Great Britain only. 5. Business Reputation. Employees talk! Your business reputation is invaluable. No one would ever recommend the company which they have to leave due to overwhelm, stress and toxic environment.

So, did that change your mindset? Did it make you think about how healthy is your workplace? Good! Or, maybe, you already agree with me that being a leader and not a boss is a better way to go for yourself, the business and everyone around.

Be mindful and be on the same team with your employees.

However, mental health is much more than just stress, is about how we think, feel and behave. Still, Stress, Anxiety and Depression are the most common mental health problems originating from the workplace and caused by work-related issues. It makes sense as we spend most of our time at work and if that work is stress, toxic and unhealthy this is how we will feel everywhere else. Did you know that a healthy safe environment increases creativity, focus, productivity and clearer communication?

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Have you ever thought of how many percentage of their energy and efforts each of your employees gives at work due to their mental state?

John is one of my clients at the moment. He is an investment funds manager in a small investment firm. John tells me he gives 30%, at best, when he is at work due to constant overwhelm, stress and pressure. He likes what he does and tries to battle stress and be more productive, but due to poor work conditions and a toxic environment is not possible. Toxic relationships and communication is starting to effect his self-esteem, confidence and even relationship outside work. John has tried to communicate that to his employer but that was ignored and didn't bring any results. John is planning to leave his workplace soon and look for another firm that can provide him with a better workplace environment and will look after him as a valuable employee. (John's name and work position is slightly changed due to anonymity)

There are so many people like John out there. I have multiple examples. Do you know anyone like John?

Imagine what John, could do for the company if he would give 100% of his energy, focus and creativity. And think of what you as company's owners are losing by not providing your employees with a healthy mentally stimulating and supporting environment.

Did I changed your mind and interested you to improve your workplace environment for everyone? If yes, here is where you can start:

  1. Talk about employees feelings with them (or have an assigned person for that). I know employers usually think that there is no place for feelings in the office and would rather pretend they don't exist. But, guess what! It doesn't work! Feelings come together with people, they are one package with no exceptions, just ignoring them will not solve your problems or make them disappear. it cost nothing to ask your colleague, 'how do you feel today?'

  2. Encourage your employees to know and accept themselves more. We’re all different. It’s much healthier to accept that you're unique than to wish you were more like someone else. Feeling good about yourself boosts your confidence to learn new skills, visit new places and make new friends. Good self-esteem helps you cope when life takes a difficult turn.

  3. Stay social and care for others. Provide inclusive social interaction for your employees. Relationships are key to our mental health. Working in a supportive team is hugely important for our mental health at work.

  4. Make sure everyone takes breaks and has a great relaxation technique when needed. Rest and change of scene are good for your mental health and can help to beat overwhelm and cut through stress and anxiety.

  5. Provide an option to ask for help. None of us is superhuman. We all sometimes get tired or overwhelmed by how we feel or when things don’t go to plan. Provide your employees with an assistance programme. These services can be confidential and can be accessed free and without work finding out. However, we should not be ashamed to talk openly about our mental health. Employees should also be able to access occupational health support through your line manager or HR service.

You can easily start with a simple assessment of your mental state and the mental state of your employees (more on how to in my next article, but if you have some questions now, contact me directly).

Implement more open, honest and from the heart communications between employees. Use this simple exercise: start or end each meeting by splitting your team into groups up to 10 people and give them an object which can be passed around. Ask one question like: 'how do you feel today?' or 'What are your thoughts about this new thing we talked about today?' 'What made you smile today?'. Question doesn't have to be related to work. Give one question and the person who holds the object has to answer it as honestly as possible with everyone else around just listening: no judging, no commenting, just listening. The object and the right to talk will be passed to the next person when done talking. There is so much more to be talked about and brought up to daylight about wellness in the office in terms of mental health but I will leave this for the next time, so follow for more. Good mental health at work and good management goes hand in hand and there is strong evidence that workplaces with high levels of mental wellbeing are more productive.

Lina's Holistic Coaching

Holistic Wellness & Meditation Coach

"Connect with yourself” |

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