1 in 4 people are now struggling with a mental health disorder placing a considerable strain on the nation’s workforce.
According to the latest statistics, The UK reportedly loses 17 million working days per year to stress and anxiety, meaning offering appropriate mental health support to employees is paramount.
New technologies can help facilitate this, improving communication between organisation and employee and empowering employees to voice their concerns and seek assistance.
Caroline Gleeson, CEO at Occupop, experts in recruitment software, explain how developed HR systems are helping mental health flourish in the workplace.
Lead the conversation
The first thing a company can do to gauge employee mental health is to run an online wellness survey that can be distributed via email. This can help you to collect valuable insights and take the pulse of employee wellbeing in a non-invasive way.
This creates an environment where individuals feel more comfortable discussing their emotions and how they may be affected during day-to-day working life.
The results can then inform an effective wellbeing programme – should you choose to employ one – which can create a culture that promotes a healthy work-life balance.
Can tweaks to flexible schedules or the option to buy more annual leave engender a better, more productive mindset?
Consider virtual events
Further encourage open dialogue by hosting virtual events such as webinars on stress management, work-life balance, mindfulness, sleep, and self-care.
Build these around landmark days in the working calendar – think world mental health weeks and kindness awareness days – and invite experts like psychologists or HR professionals to speak to your team about the importance of looking after one’s mental health.
Improved communication and collaboration
Using digital tools can help employees feel more integrated with their company and makes organising their workloads easier.
Video conferencing tools such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams, for instance, allow employees to connect from remote locations, which can help reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness.
This can be complemented by instant messaging apps like Slack and Discord, allowing employees to communicate easily and effectively, meaning any sticking points can be resolved quickly.
Also, consider using project management tools such as Asana and Trello, which can help employees better manage their workload and understand what stage a task is at.
Digital Mental Health Resources
When employees aren’t engaging in meaningful conversations, technology can provide access to mental health resources – making them readily available around the clock.
This can include mobile apps, online learning portals, self-care advice and virtual therapy sessions, which can act as a stopgap while waiting on professional counselling.
These resources may include a range of services like self-help tools, guided meditations, diet and exercise programmes and stress management techniques which enable employees to prioritise mental health.
By leveraging these new technologies, companies can actively foster a culture of empathy, understanding, and proactive wellbeing.