Protecting Your Mental Health: Awareness for Employees

protecting mental health

Protecting your mental health is an increasingly important yet ever-more challenging task amid the current global situation.

There’s no denying that COVID-19 related lockdowns have taken their toll on the UK’s mental health. With uncertain futures and further economic challenges, employees need to protect their mental health as the nation steels itself for another difficult few months.  So how can employees protect themselves? Can flexible working arrangements promote positive mental health?

Employee Mental Health and The Workplace

Even before COVID-19, the UK ranked poorly amid wellbeing surveys concerning workplace stress and mental health awareness for employees. Now that 2020 has brought about many more problems, businesses are starting to implement long-term flexible working strategies to protect their employees’ mental health and maintain company-wide morale.

If you’ve been struggling at work, assessing how you feel on a day-to-day basis is a great way to better understand your mental health. Taking stock of your mental wellbeing can help you can take assertive action if you’re feeling downtrodden. If you’re prone to feeling stressed or anxious, you might be struggling with the varied symptoms of mental health problems.

How Can You Improve Your Mental Health as an Employee?

No matter your position –– whether you work for a large-scale business or you’re an entrepreneur –– feeling unproductive, overwhelmed, exhausted or burnt out can be draining. But, there are a few resources to help you cope inside and outside of the workplace.

The NHS –– alongside mental health charities, such as Mind and the Mental Health Foundation –– provide fantastic online and offline resources to help people deal with their mental health issues. These resources are a great place to start if you’re struggling, but it’s advisable that you speak to your GP to establish whether or not you’d benefit from counselling or cognitive behaviour therapy.

Talking therapy services can be delivered over the phone or in-person and are available to anyone. All you have to do is refer yourself via the NHS website, so don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any concerns about your mental health. It’s free to do and might benefit you and your employer greatly in the long run.

Why Looking After Your Mental Health Is Important

Although mental health is a topic that’s becoming more prevalent, many people still don’t believe that their symptoms constitute enough of a problem to tell their GP, let alone their friends and family. But, opening-up can enact positive change and bring about better mental health, which can help you:

  • Fulfill your potential 

Whether you’re looking to buy a house or start your own business, adopting a positive mindset can help you achieve your ambitions. It’ll also help you attain your short and medium-term goals, making you more productive and fulfilled at work. Any time you complete tasks, your brain releases endorphins that boost your confidence and make you want to achieve more, it’s just a matter of kickstarting this process.

  • Cope with new challenges

Building your resilience is key to success and, ultimately, happiness. Being resilient will help you overcome setbacks and allow you to take constructive feedback on board without feeling discouraged. While this isn’t straightforward and takes time to develop, it’ll mean you can take on bigger challenges and achieve more as you continue to progress in your career.

  • Be present in your relationships

Once you’re confident that you’re in a good place and in control of your mental health, you can start to help others who might be struggling with their problems. You can take on more responsibility in your job and in your personal life, especially if you’re allowed more freedom and space to do so.

The Benefits of Flexible Workspaces for Mental Health

Flexible office spaces are the antidote to rigid, old-fashioned work environments. They’re designed to naturally enhance the working experience to benefit employers and employees alike. The days of sitting at a desk in a grubby office block are fading, making way for a much brighter, more flexible futures. Coworking spaces –– such as those of The Brew –– have incredible benefits.

  • Alleviating boredom: Breaking the monotony of working from home or in tired office buildings is essential to maintaining good mental health and productivity. Without suitable provisions to stay focussed and alert, it’s an uphill struggle to do the fantastic work you’re capable of.
  • Revolutionising the workplace: With plenty of natural light, super-fast internet and free refreshments available for guests and members, you’ll feel so much better working from somewhere fully equipped to handle your needs. Contemporary office designs and open-plan layouts will make you feel more comfortable at work, while flexible contracts will allow company owners to manage their business’ finances more effectively.
  • Boosting creative output: Creative thoughts don’t happen by accident, you have to be in the right frame of mind to let your ideas flow. Often, people have their best ideas when they’re most at ease. That’s why our spaces are designed to inspire creative thought, allowing you to feel relaxed, focussed and engaged with your work.
  • Keeping it social: Improving the social aspects of your work can greatly increase your happiness. A friendly greeting or a quick chat at the coffee counter can be enough to reinforce positivity and facilitate friendly conversations. Although they might seem trivial, it’s the little things that break up your workday that help you feel more comfortable at the office and more in tune with your environment.
  • Networking and meeting new people: Coworking spaces will allow you to network more freely and naturally than ever before. You’ll be able to make new connections organically, meeting people who also opt for the same super-productive, professional environments to undertake their work.
  • Reclaiming your personal time: Having more flexibility will allow you to spend more quality time with your friends and family and create separation between your work and personal life. It’ll also give you more time for self-care activities, whether that’s cooking a healthy meal instead of getting a takeaway or exercising instead of crashing in front of the TV at the end of the day.

Conclusion: Protecting Employees Mental Health at Work

It’s easy to underestimate the value of good mental health amidst difficult circumstances, but there are strategies you can implement and resources you can access to help you look after yourself. Speak to your employer about flexible working arrangements, check-in on your friends and family regularly, and –– most importantly of all –– don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. 

Good levels of mental health awareness for employees can help you stay productive at work, while flexible working can further enhance these positive effects and allow you to stay positive when faced with tough challenges.

Do you want to increase your productivity while avoiding burnout with relaxed, welcoming and flexible coworking spaces? Get in touch with our friendly team today to discuss your needs and see how a flexible working environment could benefit you today.