Are you often caught in the web of working extensively long hours juggling your responsibilities, trying to meet the given deadlines, please your customers or work under uncertain working patterns? Are these factors disturbing your mental health? NT BUZZ on the occasion of ‘World Mental Health Day’ focuses on theme ‘Mental Health at Workplace’
VENITA GOMES| NT BUZZ
Workplaces can play an important role in maintaining a healthy mental state. They provide employees with opportunities to feel productive, hone their skills and in many cases bring out their creativity. This environment that tends to bring out the best in a person can at times turn out to be very stressful. Often mental health at workplace is overlooked. Many employees who go under a lot of pressure start to show various declining signs and lose interest in their job. When employees feel their work is meaningful and they are valued and supported, they tend to have higher performance levels and in turn shows in their general wellbeing.
Opening up on why employees are neglecting their health, psychologist, music therapist and drum circle facilitator, Arthur Fernandes says: “Today, there is an increase in work pressure and lot of priorities are given to completing tasks on time, basic schedules like food and water intake are thrown off gear. Work culture, policies and ethics at the workplace matter a lot to the employee mental health.”
Mental health has become more of a priority in today’s times as the work output depends on it; the employee needs to be mentally stable, active and creative. Arthur is of the opinion that employees often feel unwinding after the work shift over drinks or an outing on the weekend leads to venting out work stress, but in actuality it does not really help. “Relieving work stress intermittently between work hours works best as it is being done within the work environment,” says Arthur.
Adding that the work stress tends to seep into personal spaces like family life and social life which ends up affecting the thought process and builds blocks towards understanding people or situations.
Understanding the real problem
Before taking any step it is important to know the problem. There is a need to understand what is leading to the mental tension or pressure in a person. Issues such as interpersonal conflicts, enmity, lack of human interaction and communication, stress, tension can be indicators or signs.
Guest service assistant, Nigel Vaz from Verna says that due to the monetary benefits people are willing to work for extra hours. “People do not bother about how stressful their work life is but are willing to work beyond the working hours due to the money that they will get from overtime. But they do not realise the repercussion of their activity. It causes many health issues both physically and mentally and people end up getting mentally sick, depressed. Some even start to consume alcohol and indulge in illicit practices.”
Creating the right
Everyone has a role to play in creating a healthy workplace, and simple strategies can help achieve this. Every workplace is unique, so your approach needs to be tailored to fit your workplace.
A member of Tea n Tonic – a PR and marketing firm – shares how the teammates break the stereotype of the ‘9 to 5 job’ and are working on establishing a creative work-life balance. “Working in the field of public relations, marketing and events can surely be a fast paced and taxing job. Therefore, we try to break the myth of a 9-to-5 desk job and work towards establishing a much more creative approach; each employee is allowed to sit anywhere in the office while we also make it mandatory to take tea (or dessert) breaks!”
If you visit the office, you can find members the team walking around the office space to get fresh air and making friendly conversation with each other. While they give priority to their work they also give equal importance to the health elements in the team. “After a hectic week one can spot the team doing a social hang-out session involving great food, good drinks and listening or dancing to amazing music. This not only helps in socialising with one another but you also get to know your fellow mates and build a bond with them,” adds the member, who requested anonymity.
Achieving a work-life
It is important to balance and organise things in life. “Your job is your passion. There are times when it can really get you tired but at the same time if you love your job you are able to do away with the fatigue. It is important to love what you do and understand what is right for you. Many times the work of three to four employees is given to one person; make sure to understand if it is really needed or not. Also, keep a healthy diet in order to avoid health related issues,” says co-ordinator of the COOJ Suicide Prevention Programme, Donna Noronha.