World Mental Health Day
11/10/2021 08:15:29 The pandemic has had a full impact on the Spanish population, affecting not only their daily life, but it has also had effects on their mental health. It has also had consequences in the business world since, in the last year, the emotional state and work fatigue of employees have suffered. And, according to the Official College of Psychology of Madrid, psychological consultations have increased by around 20%. Companies, for their part, are not immune to this since, according to the study Challenges of Spanish companies in the COVID-19 era prepared by Sodexo, 60% of organizations consider the work-life balance, the physical and emotional well-being of the employees as the most important challenge to start working on, and 32% of companies also stand out as a challenge to mitigate the stress produced by hyperconnectivity, accentuated by teleworking.
In this sense, remote work and the fear of dismissal in the midst of a health crisis triggered the obsession of workers to perform better and be always available for their companies, giving rise to the appearance of syndromes such as toxic productivity, which refers to the need to produce more out of fear and uncertainty and that causes a certain mental blockage that prevents the enjoyment of personal life and leisure time. But, contrary to what it seems, it can cause the opposite effect and that the productivity of an employee falls. Toxic productivity thus becomes a syndrome that companies must combat and one of its main effects is that it collides head-on with work-life balance, which is increasingly valued among employees. In fact, according to the study Randstad Employer Brand Research 2021In Spain, after salary (70%), it is the factor most taken into account by workers (66%).
Companies should strive to avoid the appearance of syndromes of this type among their employees and implement a strategy that takes into account the comprehensive well-being of professionals, including both physical and mental health. To do this, and as a reason for World Mental Health Day, Sodexo Benefits and Incentives offers some tips that companies can apply to achieve this:
- Create a culture of care and well-being. According to a survey carried out by HAYS, 64% of professionals claim to have suffered from job anxiety or fatigue since the start of the pandemic. Encouraging the application of healthy habits, both from a physical and emotional perspective, has positive effects on the well-being of staff and, therefore, on their mental health. Acquiring customs that avoid reaching these situations is easier if the company’s benefits policy offers services in this line, such as giving access to wellness programs that encourage personal care through physical exercise and with practices focused on well-being mental.
- Flexibility to receive help if needed. Sometimes ensuring emotional well-being involves having professional help. Facilitating this assistance from the companies will improve the mental health of the workforce, either by offering it internally or by providing flexibility to attend appointments. Organizations understand the importance of psychological support and it is something that they are beginning to consider as part of their benefit plans. According to the Sodexo report, 28% of companies consider including services such as meditation or practices focused on psychological well-being.
- Promote (additional) time off if needed. Avoiding work overload or hyperconnectivity are some fundamental aspects so that certain syndromes related to work in general and stress in particular do not develop. Enjoying quality free time helps to minimize these risks, so it is advisable to encourage disconnection and take advantage of the advantages offered by flexibility, closely linked to teleworking, but which can also be applied in face-to-face or hybrid work systems; even offering more free time than initially stipulated.
- Seek conciliation. Achieving a balance between personal and work life is increasingly valued and demanded by professionals. Controlling the day-to-day in a simple way, both in the workplace and in the personal and in terms of the combination of both, minimizes stress levels and increases the general degree of employee satisfaction, which benefits the mental state. In the case of workers who are mothers and fathers, services such as the nursery check facilitate this type of daily management.
“The mental health of employees is something that companies should not neglect. After the emotional burden suffered during the last year and a half, organizations must pay special attention to the integral care of the employee and implement initiatives that help to take care not only of their physical health but also of mental health so that it is possible to reconcile a full personal and work life “, establishes Miriam Martín, Sodexo Marketing Director.