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How Can Flexible Working Benefit Mental Health?

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by Startacus Admin

Poor mental health has been an issue for a long time, especially among employees. It costs businesses a lot of billions in lost revenue due to absenteeism at work and low productivity.

The situation of mental illness in the workplace is enormous and cannot be dismissed. If workers are not performing because of mental illness, there is a lot at stake.

Not only is their work productivity affected but also their relationship with their loved ones. There is evidence suggesting that flexible working can help reduce the incidences of mental illnesses among employees.

Giving employees the chance to have flexible working arrangements improves their alertness, quality of sleep, and energy levels. Businesses, therefore, need to think about the welfare of their employees if they want to record high performance. There is a lot of stress at the workplace, which also triggers unhealthy behaviors such as excessive drinking and drug use among employees. If you want to help your employees, consider flexible working arrangements. Read on to learn why you need flexible working arrangements in your business.

Reduced Hours

Most businesses tend to overwork since they want to increase sales and boost their revenues. This means that their employees will have to work extra hard to attain their targets. In most cases, some end up getting overworked and even staying late. The disadvantage of this is that the employees become unproductive over time because they have a lot of pressure, to deliver the set targets without fail.

Some end up not having quality sleep over time, and this triggers fatigue. Through flexible working arrangements, the working hours are reduced. Employees can maintain a balance between work and their personal lives. Reduced working hours has a positive effect on fatigue, sleepiness as well as exhaustion. The employees can handle the work pressure more healthily, reducing the impact of mental illness.

Remote Working

The other way to improve mental health in the workplace is to introduce remote working. Allowing your employees to work in a different space, away from the office could help to reduce the effects of mental illness. Working in a different environment from the one you are used to is said to improve your mental satisfaction and wellbeing.

It gives you a sense of new beginning, away from the daily office that is filled with tension, when things get tight or busy. Working from home and introducing co-working spaces helps to reduce psychological distress and burnout. Research also shows that individuals with longer commutes are likely to suffer depression and financial distress. As an employer, it is your responsibility to ensure your employees are comfortable with the working arrangement and that is where also working with a business psychologist team could be of benefit. 

How Can Employers Promote Flexible Working Among Employees?

Allow Employees to Schedule Their Time.

Flexible work options usually allow employees to work at a time when they feel their best. This also includes giving them a chance to choose where they want to work. Giving employees this privilege is advisable because it allows them to be more productive and boosts their performance. If you have some employees suffering from mental illness, giving them this option will encourage them to comfortably go for checkups and appointments without feeling guilty for missing work.

Also, as an employer, you need to continually encourage them to practice self-care, such as exercises or meditation, which helps to improve their overall wellbeing. Do not try to force them to work at a time when they don’t feel comfortable because this might worsen their mental situation. Understand that when the employees know that you care about them, they will feel obliged to work harder and perform in their respective roles.

Train Your Employees.

It is essential for business owners to train the managers when it comes to remote working. Not all managers have the necessary training needed to support their staff. This is required because the staff may not be reporting to work every day. Some may choose to perform their tasks from home. The manager needs to know how to handle this situation to ensure everything is going on as planned.

The culture of measuring performance based on the amount of time one spends at their desk, as opposed to the quality of output, needs to stop. The mentality that employees cannot perform unless they work from the office needs to change because this belief may not do any good to your business and your employees. The training is relevant because it empowers everyone, including the managers and the employees, on the importance of flexible working. The more you do the training, the better your employees get at working flexibly. Your staff need to learn how to develop resilience to enable them to handle the high demand in the workplace more effectively.

Flexible working is an excellent solution to minimizing mental illnesses in the workplace. It helps to reduce burnout, work stress, and enable the employees to find a work-life balance. Employers need to embrace flexible working if they want to minimize cases of mental illness and increase productivity.

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Published on: 20th May 2020

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