Recognizing Mental Health in the Post-Pandemic Workplace
Navigating the future of the workplace is a large part of the world’s post-pandemic recovery. Over the last year and a half, work environments have drastically changed along with work-life balance. According to the American Psychological Association, two-thirds of employees report that mental health issues are negatively impacting their work performance, and 40% of employees are reporting burnout.
Mental health used to be a stigma that was hardly ever talked about in the workplace, but times have changed, and the pandemic has created an opportunity for wellness benefits to ramp up and for open conversations to be had surrounding mental health.
The pandemic created a long period of isolation and loneliness for many people. Returning to social work environments may be a huge source of anxiety and fear for individuals, so creating a return to work plan and leading with transparency is crucial during this time.
In addition to communicating with transparency, employers can also help increase the quality of care available to employees through adding on unique wellness benefits, implementing company-wide policies for work-life balance such as unlimited PTO, flexible work models, and designated mental health days, and lastly, increasing Employee Assistance Programs (EAP).
In Lyra Health’s State of Mental Health at Work Report 2021, 36 percent of employees surveyed said they had not tried to access mental health care using their employer-sponsored benefits, and 31 percent said they thought their employer offered mental health benefits but weren’t sure what they were.
If you are an employer or a company leader, it’s critical to ensure that are aware of your EAP. A few questions to ask yourself are – How often am I talking about mental health in the workplace? Is my communication about our mental health resources clear? What are three ways that I can improve my transparency regarding mental health?
In closing, here are three key takeaways that your business can take action on to improve mental health recognization in the workplace:
- Transparency: Always communicate clearly with your employees, especially when it comes to mental health in the workplace.
- Wellness Benefits: Try implementing tech resources like apps for meditation or tools that encourage exercise, sleep, and mindfulness into your benefits plans.
- EAPs: Communicate clearly the benefits of utilizing your EAP and ensure that they are aware.
For additional information on mental health in the workplace, click here.