We’ve had Mental Health Awareness Campaign Days, Weeks, and Months, not just in New Zealand but worldwide. The term ‘wellbeing’ is now a trending word. Looking after yourself is no longer confined to what you do at home but is a concept that has been transferred into the workplace. Many businesses now offer mental health days, and various resources.
Red Office had the pleasure of on online mindfulness and resilience training session delivered by Rachel from Sparkhouse in September ‘21. She covered things such as the warning signs of stress overload, how the body reacts to stress, what our stress triggers were, and got us thinking about ways we could handle stressful situations. Taking ownership of our stress has helped us put boundaries and clarity in place for those triggers or stressors.
What does this mean in the workplace? It’s obvious when you or your team are stressed or overworked, the work suffers. Performance is down as well as moral. People don’t talk to each other and don’t enjoy being at work.
How has this improved the wellbeing of our team? Reading tips or books and watching online videos or webinars is one thing, but then putting these suggestions into practise is another. Each team member is now aware of a few strategies they can practise to help minimise their stressors and are provided with ways to manage their stress. Knowing that it is ok to feel worried and stressed can in itself be helpful. It has also helped to know what may trigger a stress response in our team members and what we can do to help each other when we see this happening. In our session with Rachel, she asked everyone how they usually react if things get stressful. Some people retreated into themselves, others took home the worry, some had poor sleep, others took their anger out on those around them or lost their appetite. When we see this happening we’re better enabled to reach out and offer support.
Flexible working has meant our team are able to manage their workload according to their schedule. The team can adjust work according to their personal lives and other commitments ensuring that their client requirements are met. They plan their workflow, and we ensure there is backup available to cover leave, sickness and other absences. Having a plan or a process in place has been crucial to our success as a business.
There are huge benefits to creating a workplace culture where it’s okay to talk about mental health. Your employees are your greatest asset – you need them to feel confident, happy and engaged in their work, so that productivity is high. Opening up a dialogue can result in:
- More positive mental health (less depression, stress, burnout)
- Better physical health
- Reduced absenteeism
- Lower staff turnover
- Improved work performance, motivation, commitment and energy
- Less tension and conflict, more connectedness, kindness, tolerance and patience.
See more guidelines here for managers from the Mental Health Org.
I’ll leave you with some advice we received from Rachel: “You are not your thoughts. Only YOU add the meaning to your thoughts”.