7 Activities Businesses Can Create to Support Workers' Mental Health

Published May 11th, 2022 - 06:00 GMT
Workers' Mental Health activities
May is being celebrated as the Mental Health Awareness Month. (Shutterstock: fizkes)

Throughout the month of May, mental health becomes one of the main topics of discussion around the world, thanks to announcing it as the Mental Health Awareness Month.

This month aims at shedding light on the different struggles lived by people who have unsettled mental health issues, and to encourage people to address such challenges and seek professional help to limit its effects both on individuals and their surroundings.

While it is important to bring up the importance of mental health in different settings, including personal lives as well as professional ones.

During the COVID19 emergency, global attention was forced to notice the vital role played by workers in the continuity of daily activities, especially as millions of workers were laid off and millions of others struggled to balance career goals amid a historic event that threatened lives. 

This eye-opening crisis is the reason more and more businesses are nowadays prioritizing their employees' mental health, realizing that individuals' well-being can have an enormous impact on their productivity, attitudes towards work, and their cooperation with their peers. 

While most management departments work on supporting their employees in terms of physical health and financial independence, more efforts are now put into emotional and mental wellbeing, using activities that help alleviate stress and pressure, in addition to maintaining fair treatment and compensation. 

For this year's Mental Health Awareness month, we have chosen to highlight a few activities that can help executives touch on their team members' mental health, ones that can help support employees and make them feel more at ease as they perform their daily tasks.

1- Plan mandatory group launch breaks

Group gatherings will usually help employees bond more, communicate, share their struggles, and feel more common sympathy towards each other. Making launch breaks mandatory is a good start to making people feel less guilty about taking proper breaks, during which they can unwind and recharge their energy on a daily basis.

2- Encourage days off

While the common practice is to think of off days (whether annual or sick) as reasons for slow work progress and undesired wasted time that lead to less productivity, studies are now showing that the more relaxed employees are the better their productivity becomes, which means that encouraging vacations is best for work as well as the people carrying it out.

3- Make them a home in the office

Most people spend at least a third of their workdays at the office, which means that it is home for them to some extent. This is why managers need to try their best into making offices feel welcoming, relaxing, and happy places to spend time.

Whether that is by providing sunlit areas, proper seating options, or by colorful decorations that make offices feel cozy and energetic.

Workers' Mental Health activities

4- Acknowledge excellence

There is no doubt that a well-acknowledged and appreciated employee is less likely to experience negative emotions towards work, which is why they can enjoy a better mental state, at least coming to work every morning.

Human resources departments can also initiate an employee recognition program where the best performers are celebrated and rewarded on a weekly or monthly basis, which can in turn keep productivity and healthy competition high.

5- Organize team events during working hours

Whether it is a lunch at the company, a game/sports activity, or a movie screening, having people invited to events just for the fun of it will have an enormous positive impact on their mental health. 

These need, however, to be planned during working hours, so it feels like a real treat, not to mention that it helps employees with timely obligations after work catch up with their daily tasks without having to make adjustments, such as people whose commute home might not be available several hours after work, or parents who will need to find or pay a baby sitter so they can enjoy a few hours with their business colleagues.

6- Adapt a flexible work schedule

Nothing builds an employee's loyalty to their workplace like gestures that say "we care about you." In the post COVID19 world, more and more companies are switching to flexible, hybrid, or optionally remote options, to help employees choose the work style and working hours that work the best for them, as long as they deliver the needed results.

7- Encourage physical exercise 

One of the best ways of ensuring good mental health for employees is by encouraging routine physical activity. Businesses can get their employees good discount deals at selected recreational centers and gyms to ensure that they spend some time working out, and consequently maintain a healthy psyche that reflects positively at work.

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