As workplaces continue to undergo dramatic shifts, with many employees finding themselves experiencing new, often remote, working environments, there is a developing concern regarding mental health issues. Depression, in particular, is becoming more prevalent.
Thankfully, there are a number of ways to both identify and approach such mental health issues within the workplace. Positive working environments and cultures, even those supporting a remote or asynchronous workforce, can be cultivated, ensuring the health and wellbeing of employees.
One of the best advantages individuals can have when dealing with depression in the workplace is identifying the signs early on. Such examples include a disinterest in tasks, low motivation, fatigue, absenteeism, alienation, and extreme emotions.
Depression, however, can also manifest in other ways too. This is why any unusual changes in behaviour should be scrutinised for their potential indication.
Mental illness continues to be shrouded by stigma, especially in the workplace. Many employees are too anxious to be open and honest regarding their mental health, especially with their line managers. This leads to the concealment and worsening of ailments such as depression, which is why it is important for managers and departments to create a non-judgmental and supportive culture.
If employees begin to show signs or confirm they are experiencing depression, then it can help to better accommodate their schedule. Relieving them of certain tasks can help to lower their workload and, as a result, their stress. Additionally, if they highlight any places or persons with which they are uncomfortable, then it can be hugely beneficial to remove them from such proximity.
Duty Of Care
Mental health issues, such as depression, are often masked as physical ailments. Employees tend to feel that physical ailments are taken more seriously than mental issues, disguising them accordingly. As such, it is important that managers make an effort to discern what might be causing certain issues and treat them with due discretion.
There are a number of ways in which employers can enact their duty of care within the workplace too. Offering breaks, especially those that are taken outside or enable employees to engage physically, such as with exercise, can be useful to keep a workforce stimulated and motivated. Other improvements can be made too, such as offering better food within a canteen service or improved flexibility with working hours to support a healthy work-life balance.