Ways to improve workplace well-being

There’s already enough stress in life. Why add your place of work into the mix?

Happy workers also make healthy and productive workers, according to the nonprofit Mental Health America (MHA).

A 2017 study compiled by the MHA and the Faas Foundation found that 65 percent of respondents reported being distracted more than 30 hours a week due to a hostile work climate and 35 percent of respondents reported that they “always” miss three to five days each month due to workplace stress.

Being unhappy with or unfulfilled by work can take a toll on an employee’s health, relationships and lifespan.

Creating an environment where workers feel supported and valued is beneficial to both the employee and the employer. To that end, the MHA has compiled a list of ways organizations can foster a mentally healthier workplace.

  • Productive atmosphere:A clean, functional and well-lit space where employees feel respected, appreciated, incentivized and rewarded. Signs of intimidation, bullying, sexual harassment and fear are absent.
  • Livable wage:Providing a livable wage encourages a committed and sustained workforce.
  • Reasonable accommodation:Employers and employees should work collaboratively to identify reasonable accommodations in the workplace for physical and mental disabilities.
  • Health and wellness:Provide a comprehensive health insurance plan that includes smoking-cessation, weight-loss and substance abuse programs.
  • Open communication:Creating an environment of open communication contributes to a more energetic and productive workforce where all employees can feel invested in the company.
  • Employee accountability: Employees must come with a can-do attitude and be willing to support each other as well as management.
  • Management accountability:Allow employees to provide work-related, possibly anonymous, feedback to their supervisors.
  • Work/life balance:Work options such as flexible scheduling, hoteling or telecommuting should be implemented if applicable.
  • Clear positive values:Be transparent and definitive about what the organization stands for.
  • Fitness:Offer a gym membership, fitness class or an exercise space that encourages employees to become physically active and stay fit.

A healthy work environment is one of the keys to job satisfaction. The happiest employees tend to have interpersonal relationships, commitment to the organization and a sense of purpose in their jobs.

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