Today is World Mental Health Day – you’ve probably already seen the hashtags flying around on Twitter and the flurry of news stories filling up our news feed today in aid of the event – a big one being the governments appointment of a suicide prevention minister.

However, if you weren’t aware that this was happening today, it’s not your fault, as it’s probably because mental health is still very much a taboo subject to discuss openly, despite the current national, and international, concerted efforts to raise awareness of the topic.

Therefore, it is important to keep the conversation very much alive and at the forefront of people’s minds, especially on the topic of mental wellbeing at work. Something which is very important to a happy and productive workforce, no matter what industry you work in, or who you work for.

As adults, we spend a very large proportion of our time at work – and this can be a tricky balancing act for keeping a healthy, well-adjusted mind. Why? Well, because on the one hand, unemployment is recognised as a major risk factor for mental health problems and on the other side, a toxic or negative working environment, can also lead to an abundance of physical and mental health issues that can then lead to unhappy employees and a loss of productivity.

Studies have continuously shown that workplaces that promote employees mental health, and provide a supportive environment for those under strain, are more likely to have a happy workforce and benefit from increased productivity – and all of the associated economic gains that go with that.

Don’t believe us? In 2017 a study by WHO estimated that depression and anxiety disorders cost the global economy approximately 1 trillion dollars each year in terms of loss of productivity – not a happy statistic for any of us, right?

Now, whilst employers aren’t able to safeguard employees from private struggles, nor can they offer sufficient treatment for those suffering from mental health conditions, they can do their utmost to be aware of the conditions within the work environment that may contribute negatively to an employee’s mental health, and do their best to combat them.

So, how can we, at Pistachio, contribute in our own small way to World Mental Health Day today? Well, we’ve put together our criteria for how to help create a mind-healthy workplace…

Workplace culture –

Every company has their own ‘corporate’ culture that determines its value and it usually creates a standard that employees generally follow. By creating a positive workplace culture that is practised by both employers and employees, the environment of the workplace tends to be healthier as everyone feels supported and valued and the atmosphere is inclusive rather than alienating. Think more ‘do as I do’ not ‘do as I say, not as I do’.

A great company culture can keep employees productive and even help your company retain the best employees as happy workers are also more likely to stick around.

Physical environment –

A healthy workplace is also affected by the physical environment that you are working in. Simple – and seemingly obvious – things, like making sure the environment is safe and comfortable to work in i.e. no exposed cables and dodgy lights/shelves looking to take someone’s eye out is a good place to start. But additionally, ensuring that natural light is readily available, that lunchbreaks away from your desk are actively encouraged and that there are quiet areas available where employees can take a break from the general office buzz if they need to, can go a long way in ensuring that positivity, and thus, productivity levels, are at a high during working hours.

Work / Life balance –

It is a truth universally acknowledged – or it should be- that employees will care for the company they are working for if they know that they are being looked after. Your employees are your best asset, so putting effort into ensuring their wellness can encourage better teamwork, cohesion and increased (here’s that golden word again) productivity.

Studies have also shown, non-too surprisingly, that companies that demonstrate a good work-life-balance for their employees have greatly reduced sick leave from staff and less workplace accidents. What’s not to love about that?

Support, support, support –

No, this is not the intro to another political party conference, but a gentle reminder that no matter how hard we try, emotions will inevitably get brought into the workplace. Everyone has personal problems they need to deal with, and it’s only human that sometimes these are filtered into the work environment.

If a colleague, or someone in your team, is visibly upset – or depressed – when they arrive at work in the morning, show compassion and don’t ignore it. You don’t have to hold their hand all day, but some acknowledgement that the door is open to talk about it shows that you care about their well-being, as well as the progress of the company. A supportive workplace culture is the holy grail for creating the foundation of a healthy workplace environment.

Let’s all just love each other!!

Ok, no not what you’re thinking – that’s a different kind of employment – but the sentiment is there. We all have to go to work every day, so it’s important that we work together to create the best environment we can to make sure we are keeping our minds as healthy as can be, and thus create the best work that we can.

Help keep the conversation going by liking and sharing posts like this on social media and encouraging your workplace to take employee mental health seriously.

Now, whilst we’re all making sure we’re happy, healthy and productive, why not drop us a line to discuss your next project? We’d love to hear what you have planned for your next marketing or communications campaign that will keep your staff excited for the future, so get in touch today!