How a Healthy Work Environment Contributes to Improving Your Mental Health
An extensive part of our adult life is spent at our workplace, therefore, several health risks are related to it. For the same reason, this issue has become one of the main problems of the human resources department in recent years.
Furthermore, all the constant changes that we have gone through, such as some changes in our work environments, new technologies to interact between us, and an increase in our access to the internet have allowed millions of remote employees to work almost at any time of the day. However, the competition level in the workplace has increased all around the world and it has enabled an increase in pressure to improve cost efficiency and productivity.
Moreover, there are additional factors within the workplace that can influence the mental health of workers. Some of the problems are psychological harassment and intimidation at work, also known as mobbing, which causes work stress, possible physical and psychological problems, among other risks that may arise, such as absenteeism, loss of productivity, and high healthcare costs.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), depression at work is the main cause of reduced labour productivity, and consequently an increase of paid non-worked days and a premature retirement.
Although it seems contradictory, working is beneficial for our mental health, as long as there is a positive work environment, a healthy workplace, promotion and protection of health, safety, and well-being of all workers.
At Randstad, we know that an optimal work environment is one of the keys to empowering talent, therefore, we share the following practices to protect and promote mental health in your workplaces.
- Apply and enforce health protection policies and practices that make it possible to detect pathological stress, illnesses, and the harmful use of psychoactive substances.
- Promote staff participation in decisions, convey a sense of control and participation, and implement practices in the organization which promote a healthy balance between work and personal life.
- Recognize and reward the staff contribution.
- Make psychological health support lines available to workers.
- Promote physical activities practice, relaxation, and meditation.
As a result, this must be a part of an integrated health and wellness strategy that covers prevention, early detection, support, and rehabilitation.
For example, in Mexico, in 2019, the Official Mexican Standard 035 came into effect, which aims to establish the elements that identify, analyze and prevent psychosocial risks factors (those that can cause anxiety disorder, serious stress due to the nature of the job functions or acts of workplace violence on account of the job performed), as well as to promote a favourable organizational environment in the workplace.
Finally, there is a progressive recognition of the mental well-being of workers and has positive effects on the organization results, as well as on the health, professional fulfilment, and workers quality of lives, even when we are currently in an uncertain situation due to COVID-19.
This publication was written by Mayerlline Nájera & Bernardo Peña, representatives of our Gold member Randstad.